Denver Direct: The Withdrawal of a Fracking Champion – Naysayer – November, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Withdrawal of a Fracking Champion – Naysayer – November, 2013

Opinion by Phil Goodstein

Those who love fracking are disappointed that Ron Binz is not going to serve as head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Once a seeming public advocate against the monopolistic power of Colorado utilities, in recent years Binz has been the personification of thoroughly shallow environmentalists.

In particular, rather than pushing for public control of utilities or asking why pollution is as terrible a threat as ever despite all of the environmentalists’ seeming political victories, Binz used his power
on the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to favor natural gas over coal.

There has been no reflection about what this actually means. In particular, it has come at the time when petrochemical corporations have engaged in new and highly destructive ways of procuring
natural gas, particularly fracking. But linking causes and effects has always been missing from the self-righteous wing of the conservationist movement. Nor is it surprising that Binz has been closely
allied with Bill Ritter, a corporate Democrat who, upon leaving office, gained a sinecure at Colorado State University as the head of the phantom Center for the New Energy Economy, a program to which Binz has had links.

Given the way Barack Obama has readily supported the Wall Street agenda and is leaning to okay a pipeline which will encourage the plunder of tars in Canada, Binz seemed ideal for Washington. Naturally, the environmentalists backed the appointment. Coal interests, however, squawked so loudly that Binz was unwilling to face a Senate committee, withdrawing his nomination to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Such is the legacy of an advocate who has come to challenge nothing of substance, merely advocating the replacement of one filthy source of power with another. It also shows how compromisers invariably fail, particularly when muscle, imagination, and a real vision of a new economy are vital to clean up the mess sponsored by the likes of Ritter and Binz.