President Obama’s nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced he was stepping aside on Tuesday, on the heels of concerted pressure from the coal industry and a widespread reluctance in the Senate to take on the confirmation battle.
Ron Binz’s announcement is somewhat of a shocker for the president, who has handily won previous controversial appointments in the Senate, including those at the Pentagon, the Labor Department and the EPA.
His statement, reported by Politico: “Last evening, I asked the president that my name be withdrawn from further consideration as his nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. I am withdrawing so that the president can move forward with another nominee, allowing the FERC to continue its important work with a full complement of commissioners.”
Mr. Binz is a former Colorado utility regulator and not well-known in the Washington, D.C., political circuit.
His statement came as realization dawned: Two weeks ago, it started to become clear that he wouldn’t win the necessary number of votes in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.