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Senate Must Oppose McNamee

Dec. 3, 2018

Senate Must Oppose McNamee

Extremist FERC Nominee Rejects Climate Science, Pushed Nuclear and Coal Bailouts

Note: This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) nominee Bernard McNamee.

Bernard McNamee is too extreme for FERC, and the Senate should not confirm him.

McNamee played a central role in crafting the Trump administration’s extreme proposal to force consumers and taxpayers to spend hundreds of billions to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. The Senate has yet to receive any documentation detailing McNamee’s role in coordinating with outside corporate interests in crafting and promoting this horrible policy. Without that information, the Senate cannot properly assess his fitness to serve as a FERC commissioner.

Furthermore, McNamee was caught on video dismissing carbon dioxide as not a “real pollutant,” mocking efforts to take the climate crisis seriously and expressing disdain for efforts to address climate change and renewable energy sources. In the video, McNamee attacked numerous environmental public interest groups by name, claiming they seek an agenda of “administrative tyranny.” He even touted fossil fuels as the reason we have clean air.

FERC is at a crossroads. Several commissioners have given public speeches expressing their fear that FERC, an independent agency, is at risk of becoming politicized. The agency is facing crucial decisions on whether renewables should be disadvantaged in capacity markets in order to favor fossil fuels and nuclear power, and whether the agency’s gas infrastructure review should consider the impacts on climate change. McNamee not only would politicize FERC; he also would stack the deck in favor of costly, uneconomic polluters at the expense of consumers. His nomination should be resoundingly rejected.