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Wyden calls on colleagues to oppose FERC nominee


Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Wednesday on the Senate floor urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of Bernard L. McNamee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Video of the floor speech is available here.

In his speech, Wyden expressed serious concerns over McNamee’s 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.

“If Mr. McNamee takes a seat on the commission, it means that Christmas is coming early for the executives who want big, dirty energy bailouts,” Wyden said. “Mr. McNamee has had for some time a plan to build out and bail out some of the oldest, dirtiest plants in America, and he wants typical Americans to pay for it with higher utility rates. . . . You shouldn’t sugarcoat the McNamee’s plan. It’s a ripoff–plain and simple.”

Wyden announced his opposition to McNamee’s nomination in November during a U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing. Wyden pressed McNamee on his concerns during that hearing.

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.

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