Ron Binz testimony before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Testimony of Ron Binz, Nominee to be a Member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

United States Senate

Sept. 17, 2013

Thank you Chairman Wyden, Ranking Member Murkowski and members of the Committee. I am greatly honored to be before you today as a nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

I would like to thank President Obama for nominating me. And I am especially pleased to acknowledge my own two senators from Colorado. Senator Udall’s and Senator Bennett’s support means a great deal to me, and I appreciate their kind words regarding my nomination.

Last, but most importantly, I want to acknowledge my family, who have been so supportive of my career in public service. I know that FERC has substantial responsibilities, and Congress could add even more as it takes up new energy bills.

Issues before FERC in the coming years will be critical to strengthening electric and gas infrastructure for greater reliability, security, and economic growth; enabling new sources of energy to connect to the electric grid; and, promoting fair and efficient markets to reduce costs to consumers. I welcome the opportunity to apply myself diligently to these efforts if I am confirmed.

I believe my background is well-suited to meet many of the challenges FERC will be facing should I be confirmed. My tenure on the Colorado Commission and as a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners taught me much about working within a state environment and about collaboration with other regulatory professionals.

I believe I earned a reputation as pragmatic problem solver under the leadership of Governor Ritter as we searched for consensus solutions that benefitted our state’s consumers. Similarly, my service as a NARUC leader deepened my respect for and my understanding of our nation’s regional diversity. Those experiences will help me enormously if I am confirmed to the FERC.

And I pledge to the Committee that I will work with my colleagues on the Commission to work across regional, philosophical and party lines to make regulatory decisions that work best for our nation’s energy consumers and market participants.

FERC faces many challenges in protecting consumers from energy market manipulation, ensuring the reliability of the electric grid, enabling the development of energy infrastructure like gas pipe lines, storage facilities and LNG terminals, and ensuring the protection of those assets from cyber and physical threats. If confirmed, I intend to pursue these issues and again pledge to work diligently with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Committee today. That concludes my statement. I am pleased to answer any questions you may have.