The decision by Ronald Binz (pictured) to withdraw himself from consideration for the top job at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has sparked a fresh search for a suitable candidate by The White House, The New York Times reports.
Binz, a former utility regulator in Colorado with a history of supporting renewable energy, has attracted opposition from the coal industry and conservatives, and his appointment looked destined to be turned down by the Senate Energy Committee, according to the paper.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has some authority over transmission lines and other factors important to connecting energy sources to the grid.
The support of two Democratic Senators on the committee hailing from states with large ties to the fossil fuels industry – Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana – was, in Manchin’s case, non existent , and, in Landrieu’s case, unclear, according to the paper.
Binz withdrew himself on Tuesday, amid the government shutdown, saying that he would be staying at Public Policy Consulting, his consulting practice in Colorado. That state, said Binz, had shown that it is possible to move towards renewable energy while “protecting consumers, stimulating the economy and creating jobs,” the paper reports.
The White House described Binz as “very qualified,” according to the paper.