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N.H. Senators Join Calls For FERC’s McNamee To Bow Out Of Coal, Nuclear Cases

State Impact

New Hampshire's U.S. senators have joined calls for one of the nation's top energy regulator to recuse himself from future decisions on coal and nuclear power.

The Senate voted along party lines in November to narrowly confirm Bernard McNamee as the latest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

It manages the nation's power grids and carries out energy policy. Some New Hampshire- and New England-related issues are currently awaiting a FERC ruling.

The vote came after video surfaced of McNamee criticizing renewable fuels and environmentalists at an industry conference earlier this year. He argues instead that fossil fuels and nuclear power are the key to energy stability.

McNamee previously worked at the Department of Energy on a failed plan to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear power plants.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan and others sent a letter to McNamee this week. They ask him to recuse himself from future FERC decisions that "might be characterized as pitting one fuel source against another."

McNamee has previously dismissed accusations of bias.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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