Ron Binz drops out of consideration as FERC chair

Colorado electric power regulator Ron Binz has withdrawn his name from further consideration to be the next chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), according to reports.

“It appears that my nomination will not be reported favorably by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,” Binz said in a statement.

Binz formerly chaired the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The White House has yet to name a new nominee for the position, which is currently held by Jon Wellinghoff.

“I am withdrawing so that the President can move forward with another nominee, allowing the FERC to continue its important work with a full complement of commissioners," according to Binz's statement.

Members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including leading Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said Binz favored renewable energy over traditional generation sources such as coal and gas. Binz said FERC is "fuel neutral" has no ability to regulate the coal-fired power generation industry.

Each of the 22-member committee's Republicans said Binz would not receive their votes to confirm. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a coal-producing state, joined those members.

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