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Sen. Cruz Introduces Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nominee to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

‘I have every confidence that Bernie McNamee will make an exceptional commissioner at FERC and I encourage this committee to confirm him’

November 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced Bernie McNamee, nominated by President Trump to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, at the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ hearing to consider various nominations.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s introductory remarks here. The full transcript is below.

“Thank you, Madam Chairman. Thank you, members of the committee. It’s a pleasure to join you this morning. I’m particularly happy to have the opportunity to introduce to you Bernie McNamee. He has been nominated, as you know, by the President to be a Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. And I think he’ll prove to be an excellent addition to FERC.

“Bernie joined my Senate staff as an energy advisor and as a counsel in July of 2013. Which I think was just weeks after we had moved out of the basement office they put us in as freshman senators. So, his timing was impeccable to arrive to actually get an office where there was room for him.

“Bernie’s intellect and his work ethic soon led for him to be promoted to becoming the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor in the office. And that was a position he held until he moved back to Texas in December of 2014.

“While he was working in our office, his work was critical in developing legislation I introduced - the American Energy Renaissance Act, which was designed to be a comprehensive bill focusing on unleashing the great energy resources of this nation and helping spur our economy and create jobs. 

“Bernie’s policy advice was particularly useful because it was also informed by his practical experience of having been an energy lawyer before.

“Before he joined my staff, he was a partner with the major law firm of McGuireWoods in Richmond, Virginia, where he represented electric and natural gas utilities before state public utility commissions. 

“Bernie has been recognized by Virginia Business magazine as one of the “Legal Elite” for “Legislative, Regulatory and Administrative Law” in the years 2008 and 2012. And he has been named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for Energy Law, by Woodward/White, Inc. from 2010 to 2013. 

“Bernie’s approach was consistently thoughtful and he would examine issues from all angles.

“One aspect of his character that I always appreciated was his concern for the younger members of the staff. He was always willing to help guide and mentor them and take time to help them think through complicated and challenging issues.

“In addition to having worked in the United State Senate, Bernie served in leadership positions for four attorneys general in two different states, in Virginia and Texas. And in addition, he was a policy advisor to a Virginia governor. 

“Bernie currently works at the U.S. Department of Energy, where his positions have included Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy and Executive Director of the Office of Policy. And he currently serves as a senior advisor in the Office of Science.

“Finally, I’ll say Bernie is just fundamentally a good guy. He’s someone who when you work with him, he thinks carefully, he thinks diligently, he’s smart, he’s principled, he’s earnest. He cares about these policy issues. He cares about understanding them. He cares about hearing from different stakeholders and understanding how a particular policy issue is going to impact all of the stakeholders.

“And he’s got a good heart. He values public service. He has had a lucrative career in private practice and yet he has [repeatedly left that career] to go back to public service over and over and over again. And it's because he genuinely cares about helping implement policy that will benefit the American people.

“I would note in the opening remarks there was reference made to consumers and consumers wanting low prices in energy. And I will say Bernie is someone who appreciates and appreciates passionately the importance of competition for lowering prices and for benefiting consumers. And so, I’m pleased to tell you from my experience working alongside him that I have every confidence that Bernie will make an exceptional commissioner at FERC and I encourage this committee to confirm him.”

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