Early in the afternoon of Dec. 6, the Senate confirmed Bernard L. “Bernie” McNamee as the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
McNamee currently serves as the executive director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Policy, where he oversees analysis, planning and strategy efforts for the department on issues such as energy productivity, infrastructure modernization and climate vulnerability.
McNamee’s nomination was criticized by environmental activists as endangering any meaningful governmental action on climate change. Sierra Club staffer Mary Anne Hitt described him as a “fossil fuel surrogate” who is “intent on … eliminating clean energy from America’s electricity markets.” Upon McNamee’s confirmation, FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee commended him as a knowledgeable energy policymaker whose experience “will serve the commission well”.
McNamee was previously the Department of Energy’s deputy general counsel for energy policy; Virginia’s chief deputy attorney general; and chief of staff to Texas’s attorney general. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Emory University.