Brian Wllis: 202.253.7486, Brian.Willis@sierraclub.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bernard McNamee, a long time fossil fuel lawyer and architect of the Trump Administration’s failed coal bailout attempt, testified today before the United States’ Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on his nomination to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). His long record of promoting and defending fossil fuel interests was scrutinized in light of the nonpartisan, technology neutral nature of FERC, causing some members of the committee to express doubt about whether or not he could be unbiased on the commission.
Further complicating his nomination was his steadfast refusal to preemptively recuse himself if his bailout plan came before FERC again, which cased one committee member to react with “surprise and disappointment”.
In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Senior Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, released the following statement:
“Bernard McNamee’s refusal to recuse himself from decisions regarding a coal bailout plan like the one he created while at the Department of Energy is completely unethical and should disqualify him from a seat on FERC. This, coupled with his long history as a lawyer and promoter for fossil fuel interests, makes rejecting him the only reasonable choice. McNamee is a clear political plant by the Trump Administration to subvert the nonpartisan, technology neutral values of FERC and turn it into another political branch of the Trump Administration. This is unacceptable and we strongly urge Chairwoman Murkowski, who has rejected a nominee based on perceived technology bias before, and the rest of the committee to vote against him.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.