Colorado regulator has history of pushing radical green agenda
Parker, CO – Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s leading free market grassroots organization, today joined more than a dozen other organizations urging the United States Senate to reject President Obama’s nomination of Ron Binz to be chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Binz has a record of aggressive regulatory activism in his time at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, calling into question whether he would run FERC according to statutory constraints or driven by his own agenda. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing this Tuesday on the nomination.
Dustin Zvonek of AFP Colorado says the nominee long has been an advocate for one-size-fits-all energy mandates that force consumers to pay more for utilities in order to suit his environmental politics.
“He hurriedly left the Colorado Public Utilities Commission under a cloud after his extravagant travel on the public dime raised ethical questions,” explained Zvonek. “Equally troubling was his propensity, while serving on the board, for putting the interests of ratepayers second and cutting backroom deals that seem in conflict with his role as an impartial regulator.”
“We in Colorado have seen first-hand how Ron Binz consistently puts the interests of the green lobby ahead of those of energy consumers,” said Zvonek, “and we would be doing the rest of Americans a disservice if we didn’t tell the unvarnished truth about Binz’s abysmal tenure at the Colorado PUC.”
A section of the coalition letter, which was sent to the senators who sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, stated:
We are very concerned that Commissioner Binz would not be constrained by Congressional-mandated boundaries, but would act to carry out President Obama’s plan to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.” Just like in Colorado under Commissioner Binz’s watch, electricity prices will increase if he is confirmed as FERC chairman, which will be a hidden tax on your constituents.
Commissioner Binz apparently believes that regulators should not merely execute the laws, but should usurp the role of the legislative branch and legislate. He has said the “problem with current regulation is the regulatory process” and therefore “regulation must become a more legislative (as opposed to judicial) process.” This view is antithetical to the boundaries Congress has set for FERC. Congress created FERC to keep energy prices “just and reasonable”—not to legislate a “New Energy Economy.”
For further information or an interview, please contact Dustin Zvonek at DZvonek@afphq.org or 720.219.1451.