Controversial former FERC nominee joins Brookings

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ron Binz, a former controversial Obama nominee to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is joining the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow.

Binz, a former Colorado regulator, is joining Brookings’ Energy Security Initiative (ESI) to research and publish papers.

He issued a release yesterday seeking ideas for research topics.

Binz is slated to host a panel discussion on the future of the electric industry with former CEO and outgoing Chairman Jim Rogers, a Brookings trustee, and Mike Chesser, an ESI senior fellow and former chairman and CEO of Great Plains Energy.

Charles Ebinger, director of Brookings’ ESI, will moderate the panel.

Binz withdrew his bid to take the helm of FERC last year under pressure from industry groups and Republicans. He would have replaced Jon Wellinghoff, the agency’s longest-serving chairman and a Democrat.

Cheryl LaFleur, a Democrat, has since been named acting chairwoman of the commission and told reporters yesterday she is interested in being renominated and continuing as the agency head.