McConnell to oppose 'anti-coal' energy nominee

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that is was “shameful” that President Obama will replace Cheryl LaFleur as chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with a “less experienced” nominee.

Later Tuesday, the Senate will vote to confirm LaFleur and Norman Bay to serve on FERC. As part of a deal to get both nominees through, the administration has agreed to keep LaFleur on as chairwoman for nine months, but Bay will then take over.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I fail to see what qualifies Mr. Bay to be the chairman of the commission, especially when the acting chair of FERC whom he would displace is much more qualified to hold the position,” McConnell said. “I find it shameful that this administration would seek to displace a well-qualified woman in favor of a male nominee with less experience.”

McConnell pointed out that Bay has never served as a state utility regulator or as a FERC commissioner.

Republicans and some pro-fossil fuel Democrats opposed Bay’s nomination in committee.

“There are factors that lead us to believe that Mr. Bay would reliably serve as a rubber stamp for this administration’s extreme anti-coal agenda,” McConnell said. “This agenda harms the people of Kentucky and is one I must strenuously oppose.”