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Trump’s FERC Nominee Is Too Extreme, Must Be Opposed

Oct. 3, 2018

Trump’s FERC Nominee Is Too Extreme, Must Be Opposed

Statement of Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program

Note: President Donald Trump today nominated Bernard McNamee to fill the fifth and final vacant seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

McNamee is not qualified and must be rejected by the U.S. Senate. This has nothing to with partisan politics – indeed, Public Citizen has opposed only one other FERC nominee in our history. FERC is a deliberative body that requires fact-based assessments, and both of McNamee’s prior roles show he is incapable of making them.

First, prior to his nomination, he worked in two different U.S. Department of Energy offices where he played a direct role in promoting Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s outrageous coal and nuclear bailout. Second, he worked for the radical Texas Public Policy Foundation, where he attacked the role renewable energy plays in our energy markets.

FERC is at a critical crossroads, currently deadlocked 2-2 on key issues, including how to respond to the alternative to Perry’s bailout. Will the agency maintain its legacy of placing fact-based, empirical analysis over politics? Or will political rhetoric prevail? A McNamee confirmation would turn FERC into a pawn of Trump’s White House at enormous cost to consumers, the climate and the agency’s integrity.