Opposition to Controversial FERC Nominee Grows

WASHINGTON — The American Energy Alliance was joined today by thirteen other free-market organizations in a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, calling on committee members to oppose the confirmation of Ron Binz as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by taking a “principled stand against the costly energy future that he represents.”

In recent weeks, growing concerns about how the Obama Climate Action Plan and a potential Binz chairmanship at FERC would force a hidden energy tax on lower- and middle-income families and small businesses have aligned the groups — most of which have never opposed a nominee for confirmation in the past — to draw the line on Ron Binz, who is scheduled to appear Tuesday morning before the senate energy panel.

“FERC and Commissioner Binz together are an essential piece of this administration’s costly energy vision. The Obama Climate Action Plan stresses the need for new subsidies for electricity transmission to help remotely sited renewable energy compete with easy-to-site conventional generation. This administration knows that FERC is the best way to socialize those costs, to subsidize their favored energy sources, and reward their corporate cronies,” the letter states.

Citing the failed German experiment with similar policies that turned electricity into a “luxury good,” the coalition reminds Senators that “not since the time of FDR has electricity in the U.S. been considered a luxury for Americans.”

Given FERC’s tremendous authority — from ensuring just and reasonable electricity rates to permitting natural gas pipeline infrastructure and LNG export terminals — the coalition voiced alarm that Binz (who has recently called natural gas a dead end) would “not be constrained by Congressionally-mandated boundaries, but would act to carry out President Obama’s plan to make electricity rates ‘necessarily skyrocket.'” With respect to pipeline permitting and LNG export terminals, Ron Binz could “make those processes more burdensome . . . threatening to dim one of the brightest spots in the economy right now.”

The American Energy Alliance is joined in the coalition letter by the following:

The 60 Plus Association
American Commitment
American Tradition Institute
Americans for Prosperity
Caesar Rodney Institute
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Family Business Defense Council
Freedom Action
Frontiers of Freedom
Independence Institute
National Center for Public Policy Research
National Taxpayers Union
Positive Growth Alliance

To read the full letter, click here.


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