Harry Reid is the Loser in FERC Fight

Harry Reid is the Loser in FERC Fight

When Ron Binz announced Tuesday he withdrew his name as President Obama's nominee to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the biggest loser in Washington was not Obama or Binz.

It was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who hand-picked Binz, a renewable-energy advocate, over Democratic Commissioner John Norris, who was Obama's initial choice but reportedly "too pro-coal" for Reid.

An aggressive campaign by conservative groups won this battle and Reid lost it.

Obama must now go back to the start, without his initial pick Norris as an option, because no one in town thinks Norris has a shot after blaming Reid for getting passed over.

Reid's office didn't respond to a request for comment. But of course, this is just an ember amid the raging flames of the first government shutdown in 17 years.

Reid has bigger problems now.

Amy Harder


WYDEN BLAMES PR CAMPAIGN FOR FAILED FERC NOMINATION. Sen. Ron Wyden criticized the role of lobbying and interest groups in the lead-up to the confirmation hearings and said he believes Binz was qualified.

McAULIFFE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR NEW EPA RULES. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe broke his silence, saying he supports strict EPA rules for new power plants.

PROGRESS ON ENERGY-EFFICIENCY BILL AMID SHUTDOWN. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., will convene a meeting this week to discuss a way forward with Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and a group of House lawmakers.

BLOOMBERG JOINS NEW FRONT IN CLIMATE BATTLE. The outgoing New York City Mayor is teaming with a pair of high-profile partners to study the economic cost of climate change.

SHUTDOWN COULD (SLIGHTLY) SET BACK NEW EPA RULES. The agency says the shutdown could delay the public comment process for the new regulations, but a former EPA official says it won't have a major impact.

A Swedish nuclear facility with the world's largest boiling-water reactor shut down when moon jellyfish clogged the water intakes. The reactor is expected to restart soon.

COAL EXPECTED TO SURPASS GAS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. The U.S. may be cutting back, but Southeast Asia's rising energy production means the region is increasing its reliance on coal for electricity production.

THE EPA WANTS TO HELP YOU SELL YOUR USED CAR. The agency is offering printable fuel-economy stickers, but adding the sticker to your car may not help you sell it.

The administration is betting small modular reactors can diversify the nation's energy portfolio and rein in carbon emissions.

SUPREME COURT DOESN'T MOVE ON CLIMATE CASES. The court has yet to take up any of the nine petitions seeking to thwart Obama's climate change regulations.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN DRIVES DOWN OIL PRICES. The price of oil is falling due to market speculation that a shutdown will lower consumer demand.

WILDFIRE SEASON COULD BE LONGER, MORE INTENSE BY 2050. New research shows wildfire season could last up to three weeks longer in future decades due to climate change.