Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

End of the Road for FERC Nominee? End of the Road for FERC Nominee?

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Energy

End of the Road for FERC Nominee?

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announced Thursday he would oppose the nomination of Ron Binz to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

photo of Alex Brown
September 26, 2013

Barring some unusual maneuvering by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Ron Binz's chances of heading the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may be all but gone.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., announced his opposition to Binz on Thursday morning, meaning all 10 Republicans on the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee--along with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia--reportedly stand against his confirmation. That means the 22-member panel will not be able to recommend him for a full Senate vote.

A spokesman for committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., signaled the White House may be moving in a new direction. "The committee is aware that other candidates are being considered to lead the FERC," Keith Chu said.

 

Binz's confirmation prospects had been tenuous following a grueling hearing before the committee earlier this month. Manchin and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have said Binz revealed a bias toward renewable fuels over coal during his time as head of the Colorado regulatory authority, but Binz has denied he is anti-coal.

Speculation intensified Wednesday when Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said she had heard Binz was withdrawing his name. Not so, according to the commission. "Mr. Binz has not withdrawn his nomination," said FERC spokeswoman Mary O'Driscoll.

Although Binz may not be able to earn the committee's majority support, a spokesman for Wyden said the panel would still hold a vote on recommending him to the full Senate.

What remains to be seen is if Reid will put Binz's confirmation before the full Senate without the committee's approval, a move previous majority leaders have used in rare instances for stalled nominees. In 2005, the nomination of former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was sent to a vote before the Senate without the backing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Reid has not stated whether he will use such a maneuver, but he did push the White House to nominate Binz over the original choice, John Norris. 

According to Senate data, only five nominations that got a neutral reporting from a committee have been brought to the floor since 1987, and only one was approved. Similarly, only five negative reports on nominees were sent to the Senate floor, and just one was approved.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Energy Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of energy coverage.

Sign up form for Energy Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus