Disappointing: Trump to Nominate Nuke/Coal Proponent to FERC

Just yesterday we posted an article observing that today, Friday, is Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member Rob Powelson’s last day on the job (see FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson Leaving Friday – Deadlock Looms). We won’t lie (when do we ever lie?): We’re pretty sore at Powelson, and grumpy that for the foreseeable future no new pipeline projects will get approved due to the two partisan Democrats on the Commission who now vote against every pipeline project. The rumor mill is in overdrive that Trump has already picked a replacement for Powelson–Bernard McNamee, head of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy. McNamee helped roll out a plan favored by Trump and DOE Secretary Rick Perry to artificially favor and boost nuclear and coal energy sources, at the expense of other sources like natural gas. Boneheaded plan. This is the guy Trump now wants at FERC. Recall that FERC rejected DOE’s boneheaded “save coal and nuke plants” plan. No doubt Trump is looking to stack the deck in his favor by naming McNamee. On the plus side, we suspect McNamee would be a reliable vote in favor of pipeline projects, so it’s not all bad news. But the issue remains that Senate Democrats can and most certainly will delay any confirmation votes on McNamee–likely until after the November election. This is how dirty politicians play the game. We’re not thrilled with McNamee, but we’d rather have him at FERC than an ongoing 2-2 deadlock…

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