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Wyden opposes FERC nominee over coal, nuclear ‘bailouts’


Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced Thursday that he will oppose the nomination of Bernard McNamee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Wyden released the following statement:

“It is clear that Mr. McNamee played a pivotal role in developing the U.S. Department of Energy policy that would have reached into American household budgets to pad the pockets of coal and nuclear corporations — a policy so outrageous that it was rejected outright by the FERC.

“Now, the Trump administration wants to put this person on the very commission that rejected his plan. This is not just the fox guarding the chicken coop. This is putting the fox inside the chicken coop.

“It’s obscene the lengths this administration will go to prop up its friends in the coal and nuclear industries, and at the expense of American families just struggling to pay their utility bills.

“I will oppose any effort that will pick the pockets of American families to bailout uncompetitive, dirty energy — and that means rejecting Mr. McNamee’s nomination.”

Wyden pressed McNamee on these concerns during a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on Thursday. He also called on McNamee to recuse himself from any matters regarding specific rates and subsidies for coal and nuclear energy that would come before FERC if confirmed.

Even if confirmed, Wyden said he will continue to pressure McNamee to recuse himself from these clearly conflicted issues.

Watch Wyden’s remarks here.

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