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Nominating Utility And Oil Crony Brings Frustrating End To #HotFERCSummer

WASHINGTON -

In response to reports that President Joe Biden intends to nominate corporate regulatory lawyer Willie Phillips to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Revolving Door Project climate policy lead and research associate Dorothy Slater released the following statement:

“#HotFERCSummer has ended as disappointingly as every other part of this summer. I wrote for The American Prospect last month that Phillips has done the bidding of utilities giants during his time on the D.C. Public Service Commission, and spent years working for corporate BigLaw firms which represent oil and gas interests. Elsewhere, I highlighted that he voted to approve rate hikes for D.C. residents and Exelon’s purchase of D.C. electricity provider Pepco, furthering monopolization in the industry. This despite the vehement opposition of over half of D.C. neighborhood governments, several council members, climate activists, and solar energy advocates. For Biden to nominate such a person in the face of a climate emergency and against the wishes of 466 environmental justice-aligned groups is cynical and short-sighted.”

“However, Revolving Door Project's work does not end when a nomination, disappointing or heartening, is made. We will work to make the unlikely reality by applying pressure on Phillips and FERC to disprove our justifiable pessimism. It will take an extraordinary about-face from Phillips to keep onlookers from seeing him as a crony of the fossil fuel industry. We’ll be monitoring Phillips closely, and expect hard work from him to green the grid at scale. Anything else will be forgoing the future for the sake of a few tycoons’ short-term profits.”

Slater wrote for The American Prospect about the pending FERC nomination on August 6. She began tracking the FERC nomination process on July 20. The open seat on FERC vacated on July 30.

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The Revolving Door Project (RDP), a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement.

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