Tags: obama | binz | energy | gop

GOP Forces Obama Energy Nominee Binz to Withdraw

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 09:48 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dropped out after opposition from Republicans and a key Democrat concerned he would support renewable energy at the expense of coal all but doomed his nomination.

Ron Binz, a former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, said he won’t seek the FERC chairmanship because he didn’t have the support of a majority of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which was considering his nomination.

“Last evening I asked the President that my name be withdrawn from further consideration as his nominee” to the FERC, Binz said today in a statement this morning. “I am withdrawing so that the President can move forward with another nominee, allowing the FERC to continue its important work with a full complement of commissioners.”

While the White House hasn’t named a replacement, possible candidates to head the FERC now include Colette Honorable, chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, and FERC commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, a former executive vice president of National Grid Plc’s U.S. subsidiary, according to industry officials that conduct business with the five-member commission.

Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, on Sept. 25 said he would vote against Binz, virtually ensuring that the nominee wouldn’t have the backing of a majority of the Senate committee. The other nine Republicans on the 22-person panel already said they would oppose the nomination. Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, also planned to vote against Binz.

GOP Opposition

Republicans led by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the party’s top member on the committee, lined up against Binz after his Sept. 17 confirmation hearing before the panel. Murkowski told Binz at the hearing she was concerned he wasn’t forthcoming about the extent of his support from lobbyists and public- relations officials.

Others, including Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Manchin have said Binz displayed a bias toward renewable fuels at the expense of coal as head of the Colorado regulatory authority. Without Manchin’s support, Binz needed the backing of at least one Republican on the Senate committee.

Binz, who had the support of clean-energy groups and 12 former FERC commissioners from both parties, said at his confirmation hearing that he was open about the support he had received to help prepare for his nomination. He also said he wasn’t against coal and supported the use of natural gas as a fuel source.

Even if the committee had recommended his nomination, Binz faced an uphill battle before the full Senate.

“His nomination is yet another threat to American energy and jobs and I will work to defeat it,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a Sept. 19 statement.

--Editors: Jon Morgan, Allan Holmes

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Top US Diplomat Warns Russia: Don't Put Nukes in Crimea

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 21:41 PM

A senior State Department official warned Russia on Wednesday against deploying nuclear weapons in Crimea, and said the  . . .

Palestinians Set Deadline for Israeli Occupation

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 20:52 PM

Israel suffered back-to-back diplomatic setbacks in Europe on Wednesday, while the Palestinians at the United Nations se . . .

Raul Castro to Obama: Use Executive Action to Lift Sanctions

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 20:18 PM

Cuban President Raul Castro on Wednesday praised President Barack Obama's moves to restore relations with the communist  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved