Democratic News

Watch Senator Cantwell’s floor speech here

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) took to the Senate floor to voice opposition to the Trump administration’s nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Bernard McNamee.

“It's important that the Commission remain independent and impartial because it is a quasi-judicial role…They need to be impartial making decisions about important energy projects that get built around the United States,” said Senator Cantwell.

“I believe that this nominee, Mr. McNamee, does not meet the standard. I believe that he is too ideologically motivated to continue on what needs to be a fact-based decision-making model on outcomes that affect people's energy rates,” said Senator Cantwell. “The Commission has to police and regulate energy markets without regard to fuel source, market power or having a political lens.”

"Their job is not to pick winners and losers in the market. Their job is to determine whether there will be just and reasonable rates for the individual consumers in those markets," said Cantwell. "It's their job to make sure that there aren't excessive prices and that there is true competition in the market, not to favor a high-cost fuel source like coal and try to protect it from other fuel sources that might be more economical for consumers."

“Trying to prop up uneconomical coal plants for the sake of the reliability of the grid is a fake rationale that the administration tried to use, and it would have impacted the free market and consumers,” said Senator Cantwell.

“Mr. McNamee's words reveal a very strong bias in favor of fossil fuels against renewable energy,” said Senator Cantwell. “One of the most striking is when he said, ‘the green energy movement is always talking about more government control because it's the constant battle between liberty and tyranny.’ And then to say that his son should, ‘just deny climate science’ even if it hurts the boy's grades. These are not the words or sentiments of someone who is going to play that role of an arbiter for federal energy regulatory policy.”

Broadcast quality video of Senator Cantwell’s floor speech can be found here.

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