These columns recently interrupted the coronation for Ron Binz to become one of President Obama’s key energy regulators, and apparently reporting on his record is a violation of Capitol Hill decorum. We’re happy to have the story to ourselves because there is so much more that Senators ought to scrutinize before they vote on his nomination this fall.
“Ron Binz’s Rules for Radicals” (July 30) questioned his fitness to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, whose narrow mandate involves interstate energy transmission and protecting the U.S. electric grid’s reliability and affordability. The White House wants to conscript FERC for the climate wars—and now environmentalists and crony capitalists are teaming up to install their man inside this supposedly independent body.
They’ve found a lot to like in Mr. Binz. His background includes a collusive deal with an electric utility he regulated in Colorado that shut down coal power plants with an upside for the utility. He’s mused about the rule of law as a nuisance when regulators want to exercise a “legislative role,” while his global warming beliefs are so extreme that he calls even natural gas a “dead end” fuel.
Our reporting on all of this was too much for a dozen former FERC commissioners, both Democrats and Republicans. In a letter we published—a version is being circulated in the Senate—they assert that Mr. Binz fits FERC’s “long nonpartisan tradition” and “will be a fair and impartial judge.”
The 12 commissioners offer no evidence for that proposition other than an appeal to their own authority, but that’s not their most notable omission. They somehow forgot to mention that, since their FERC tenure, most of them have taken the revolving door to become lobbyists, strategic advisers, utility executives and white-shoe attorneys with business in front of FERC.
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The one thing the former FERC members are right about is that the agency’s chairman really is supposed to be “a fair and impartial judge,” not a political soldier. Perhaps that helps explain why Mr. Binz and his letter-writing and check-cashing partisans are so defensive.
ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside.
More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010.
Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading. Oh, and pay “public servants” what they are worth.