David Gutman has a story in today’s Charleston Gazette reporting that Sen. Joe Manchin has publicly declared that he will oppose President Obama’s nominee for FERC chairman in the Senate confirmation process. Manchin is a member of the closely divided Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Without Manchin’s support, Binz would need the vote of at least one Republican on the Senate Energy Committee — an unlikely proposition — in order to progress to a confirmation vote by the full Senate.
Mr. Gutman’s story is a little confusing, but that’s not surprising, because Manchin always talks out of all sides of his mouth at once. He quotes Manchin as opposing Binz because:
- “Manchin said a main reason he would not support Binz is because of Binz’s past work in transforming Colorado’s coal-fired power plants to natural gas.”
- “He’s [Binz] ideologically in a position where he believes we should be moving more to a renewable market that’s not as reliable.”
- “I’m for an all-in policy,” Manchin said.
So Manchin is for his usual “all-in” blather, but he says Binz is bad because Binz pushed for the expansion of natural gas and renewable sources to produce electricity. Doesn’t sound like “all-in” to me. Sounds like Manchin is a coal industry enforcer, as usual.
My friends in the natural gas industry in WV should be appalled at Manchin’s open hostility to the use of natural gas to produce electricity.
Oh, Joe, about that reliability issue – if renewable power is so unreliable, why are major companies across the US unplugging from the coal-oriented electrical grid and generating their own electricity with solar and natural gas generation? Here is that story from today’s Wall Street Journal.
From big-box retailers to high-tech manufacturers, more companies across the country are producing their own power. Since 2006, the number of electricity-generation units at commercial and industrial sites has more than quadrupled to roughly 40,000 from about 10,000, according to federal statistics.
Experts say the trend is gaining momentum, spurred by falling prices for solar panels and natural gas, as well as a fear that power outages caused by major storms will become more common.
And that is just the kind of reliable electrical system that Ron Binz has supported for years.
Mr. Manchin continues to stand in the way of electrical reliability and innovation. He did enough of that in WV. We’ll now see how the rest of the country likes it.