Observers say Binz nomination in doubt in light of unprecedented attention and attacks

Observers say Binz nomination in doubt in light of unprecedented attention and attacks

September 02, 2013
Originally published in Platts

William Yeatman of the conservative free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute said that Binz's work with the Colorado PUC raised concerns, including his actions in support of renewable energy development and its impacts on ratepayers.

Given his track record in Colorado, Binz's successful confirmation to lead FERC, Yeatman argued, would lead to the continued socialization of transmission costs, potentially past the point of reasonableness, and more aggressive actions in the support of demand side management resources. While acknowledging that federal courts have required that cost allocation be reasonable and roughly commensurate with the benefits, Yeatman argued that the cost-benefit analysis leaves plenty of room for interpretation, which could allow Binz to impose unnecessary costs on ratepayers.

On demand side management, he agreed that Binz could develop policies even beyond those advanced by Wellinghoff, a strong supporter of demand side management, and that such actions raise concerns about elevating one industry versus the interests of dispersed ratepayers.