EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSManchin Voting Against Obama Regulatory Pick
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Sep. 18, 2013 8:29 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 18, 2013 10:39 PM EDT
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said he is voting no on President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that decision could torpedo the president's plan.
With Democrats holding a 12-10 edge on the committee, Manchin's "no" vote could cause a tie, which would doom the nomination.
Manchin questioned the president’s pick, Ron Binz, when he appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Manchin said he and Binz disagree on how to meet the country's energy needs. The senator said he wants an approach that includes all energy sources, including coal.
However, he said Binz clearly prioritizes renewables over reliability and that his approach of demonizing coal and natural gas has increased electricity costs.
“I'm not asking someone to be over the top pro coal,” Manchin said. “I want someone that basically understands that coal plays an intricate part of the energy mix we have, and treat it the way you should - treat all of the energy mix that we need to make us energy independent. I don't believe that Ron Binz does that.”
Manchin said Binz as the country's top regulator would threaten the reliability of the electric grid, damage the coal industry and impose high energy costs.
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