Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell today welcomed the news that the President’s anti-coal jobs nominee to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Ron Binz, had withdrawn his name for consideration following McConnell’s announcement last month that he would oppose the nomination.
“This is a victory for job creation and for Kentucky families, and I’m encouraged that members on both sides of the aisle spoke out against the anti-jobs agenda of the President’s nominee. Given the Obama administration’s hostility toward coal and other fossil fuels and the jobs they create, the last thing American families need is another regulator who is willing to block job growth in the vital field of energy production,” McConnell said. “My constituents in Kentucky and Americans around the country rely on these jobs and the abundant, affordable and reliable power that coal brings. The administration must now nominate a thoughtful leader who doesn’t have an anti-energy-jobs agenda. If they don’t, they can expect another fight.”
In announcing his opposition to the Binz nomination last month, McConnell said, “Representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky and thousands of hard working coal miners and their families, I cannot support Binz’s nomination as the next chairman of FERC. His nomination is yet another threat to American energy and jobs and I will work to defeat it.”
Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association also welcomed the news of Binz’s withdrawal and lauded McConnell for leading the opposition effort.
“While the Obama Administration has been very adept at using federal agencies like the EPA against the production and use of coal, FERC has not been a major player in these actions this far. Recognizing that coal as a resource provides this country with very reliable electricity, it makes sense that President Obama would now want to put another anti-coal ideologue in this federal agency to keep it on the sidelines, thus keeping reliability out of the ongoing energy debate,” Bissett said. “KCA would like to thank Sen. Mitch McConnell and every United States Senator who made their position known against this poor choice to lead this important federal agency.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is a federal government agency within the Department of Energy. This commission is responsible for regulating and overseeing the transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines, as well as licensing hydropower projects.