PRESS RELEASE September 18, 2013 FMELC Statement on Senator Joe Manchin Decision to vote against the Nomination of Ron

Binz as FERC Chair Today's announcement by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that he will not support President Obama's nominee to chair FERC, barring another "recess appointment" while the Senate is in session, ensures the nomination is effectively finished. In this we see a positive sign that, just maybe, the "green energy" agenda to impose state-managed energy scarcity, toward "bankrupting" coal and causing electricity rates to "necessarily skyrocket", as President Obama has promised, may be reaping the results of this administration's massive overreach. We are hopeful that this signals the beginning of a clawback of some semblance of a market-driven world in which reliable, abundant energy supplies are no longer deemed "dead-ends", to use one of Mr. Binz's phrases. FMELC also takes some pride in its role of bringing to lawmakers' attention many documents that made Sen. Manchin's vote the determinative one – a part of FMELC’s transparency initiative headed by FMELC lead attorney Chris Horner and FMELC Policy Analyst Brittany Madni. Specifically, FMELC and the Independence Institute in Colorado obtained two sets of documents under the Freedom of Information Act which called into serious question Mr. Binz's independence, and raised equally serious concerns over the lobbying campaign being run for him by high-priced Washington industry lobbyists. The emails, emphasized by ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) at Binz's confirmation hearing, also showed that this campaign run by lobbyists, most of whom have close ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as well as rentseeking corporations, began before Binz was even nominated. FMELC filed one appeal of withheld information with FERC on Monday and is transmitting another today. Regardless of the future of Mr. Binz's nomination, FMELC will continue to pursue the wrongfully withheld information, which incredibly include more than two dozen emails withheld in full -- such that even the must-release factual information in the documents' "To", "From", "Date" and "Subject" fields was deemed too dangerous to release without a fight, and delay. FMELC is also appealing other improper withholdings, such as claiming "deliberative process" for information that FERC sharied with individuals who may not avail themselves of the government's privilege, thereby waiving any privilege even if it did apply. “Mr. Binz’ record in Colorado is unattractive,” says Dr. David W. Schnare, Esq., FMELC Director. “Beyond his war on low-cost, clean but fossil-fueled energy, he has long supported unconstitutional state regulatory efforts that impose his personal renewable energy agenda on surrounding states. Such disregard for the Constitution, alone, should be enough to demonstrate his lack of fitness as Chairman of FERC.” Sen. Manchin indicated that yesterday's hearing, and further obfuscation by the anti-energy activist Mr. Binz about his record and his past, sealed the deal regarding his vote. That hearing was an opportunity for the nominee to try and restore his credibility in the face of claims he had misled the members regarding his independence, and coordination with a lobbying campaign that FMELC's work exposed in detail. However, moments such as his claim to champion natural gas, which he was caught on video calling a "dead-end" energy source just as he has also declared our most abundant electricity source coal, seemed to ring so hollow that Binz lost ground. He came off as the committed green warrior he is, but one who will deny his deepest convictions to obtain the power to pursue them. FMELC is pleased that this scenario now seems much less likely. FMELC is a 501(c)(3) public interest law clinic dedicated to promote sound environmental policy through transparency and strategic litigation. For further information, contact David Schnare at

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