FERC: A Fight for the U.S. Energy Future

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sets rules for renewable energy development and authorizes natural gas pipelines and exports. You’re going to hear a lot about this usually little-known agency, as the nomination of Ronald Binz to be its new chairman is being opposed by a coalition of coal and fossil-fuel energy advocacy groups. Binz, the former head of the Colorado Public Utility Commission, was instrumental in drafting that state’s Clean Air Clean Jobs Act, aimed at reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants and increasing wind energy production. Binz says that he wants to reduce carbon admissions, but also supports natural gas production, pipeline expansion, and exports as part of an overall energy source mix. His goal is a “balanced” portfolio of traditional and renewable resources. Look for further fireworks as Congressional hearings on Binz’s nomination provide a showcase for regional, philosophical, and political positions on fossil-fuel and renewable energy sources.

John Howell, Editorial Director