Did the Obama administration try to silence whistleblower agency on energy policy?

posted at 2:01 pm on May 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Imagine, the Wall Street Journal implores, what the federal government would do if a whistleblower had tipped off JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon about the risky maneuvers that ended up as a $2 billion loss earlier this month — and had gotten fired or discredited in an attempt to shut him up.  The Obama administration would have started an SEC probe, Congress would demand that witnesses appear, and the media would have spent weeks interviewing the brave soul who endured retaliation for speaking truth to power.  But what happens when a watchdog organization with decades of experience and involvement try to blow the whistle on bad policy in the Obama administration?

They get a proctological audit, that’s what:

The target is the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, and its crime is scrutinizing the Obama Administration’s anticarbon agenda. This highly respected nonprofit has monitored the power system since the 1960s and establishes best practices to keep the lights on. In 2005, Congress gave NERC a formal role as adviser. But now it may be defrocked for questioning the “pace and aggressiveness” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory wave in a 2010 report.

NERC’s position is that the EPA goal of mothballing many or most coal-fired power plants could endanger the security of the electric-power grid, with possible blackouts and much higher energy costs. In a follow-up report last year it found that “Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.”

Apparently that was too honest for Washington. Earlier this month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission disclosed that it has spent months conducting a highly unusual audit of NERC. The commission oversees NERC under the 2005 law, so it has every right to check its practices. But this probe exceeded normal auditing standards and was a free-floating investigation into NERC’s “economy and efficiency,” whatever that means. It didn’t find any rule-breaking.

Instead, the auditors question NERC’s focus and statutory responsibilities, concluding that it “may have exceeded the functions” Congress intended for a reliability organization. Never mind that NERC has been doing the same job for decades and its integrity hasn’t been questioned. The feds also complain about NERC’s “periodic reliability assessments,” otherwise considered the gold standard. They say this role “should be revisited.”

As the WSJ concludes, the FERC apparently wants NERC to protect the reliability of energy distribution without considering threats to its reliability.  Or, probably more accurately, FERC doesn’t want NERC to publicly disagree with the Obama administration.  Obama appointed Jon Wellinghoff as the chair of FERC, and he repaid the appointment by ordering the audit — without putting it to a vote by the board.  Another Obama appointee, Cheryl LaFleur, criticized that move, but the message has already been sent: dissent from the Obama agenda will be punished severely.

Or, as another Obama appointee once put it, all you have to do is crucify a few people and everyone else gets the message.


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“may have exceeded the functions” Congress intended for a reliability organization

They’re not rubberstamping hard enough to placate the Gaia worshippers, apparently.

NoDonkey on May 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM

You just have to crucify a few of them and the others will fall into line.

UnderstandingisPower on May 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Boot on the throat
boot on the throat
looking like a thug
with his boot on the throat

burrata on May 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM

“Report only the goodness that is Obama”

Sign over WH Press Room entrance

BobMbx on May 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Dissent is not patriotic apparently

cmsinaz on May 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It’s a good thing that Obama is a SCOAMF and thus is the most incompetent dictator thug of all time.

wildcat72 on May 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The Obamanation Administration, committing the felonies that regular law abiding citizens refuse to…

SWalker on May 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Jon Wellinghoff as the chair of FERC, and he repaid the appointment by ordering the audit — without putting it to a vote by the board.

Well FERC me… these guys,

“may have exceeded the functions” Congress intended.

cajun carrot on May 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

why is this man not in jail?

losarkos on May 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

In a follow-up report last year it found that “Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.”

The hell you say……. Do you mean to tell me that we cants generate no goldang kilowattsovolts when the sun aint shining and the wind ain’t blowing??????

*daaayumm!*

ted c on May 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

We only have to crucify one, that being “The One”, and most of this nightmare ends. You cannot play little league baseball without showing a hard copy of a birth certificate. Yet the President of the United States cannot produce one and the media ignores the fact.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on May 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Or, as another Obama appointee once put it, all you have to do is crucify a few people and everyone else gets the message.

how’d that work out for Pontius Pilate?

ted c on May 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

OT: I get the Houston Improv schedule sent to my e-mail every week and they’re advertising shows the weekend of Jun. 1-2 for Jon Lovitz. I could be wrong but I swear he’s never performed there in the nearly 10 years it’s been open. Dude apparently wasn’t kidding when he said he’s getting new job offers left and right. I’m almost tempted to buy a ticket just to see if he gets a standing O when he comes out(this is Texas after all).

Doughboy on May 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Did the Obama administration try to silence whistleblower agency on energy policy?

Of course not. That would be illegal.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Change.

visions on May 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

171 days left….

Turtle317 on May 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Who knew that a policy of shutting down power plants would lead to unreliable energy???

/SARC>

Brainless, clueless, self-destructive “greenies” (aka Pagans)!!

landlines on May 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

…all you have to do is crucify a few people and everyone else gets the message.

I’ll take, “What is the Chicago way” for $500 Alex.

Flora Duh on May 21, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Dear Liar’s fascist regime is becoming less softcore every day.

rbj on May 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Did the Obama administration try to silence whistle blowers???

Dept of Justice
Eric Holder
ATF
Fast and Furious.

Cross Obama and you will suffer.

Most corrupt WH bunch evuuuuuhhh!

171 days is it?

Nana on May 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yup there is no doubt, this is the most corrupt administration we ever had.

Yet how many still believe the economic numbers team Zero publish?

dogsoldier on May 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

O.K., so he’s slipped a little on the transparency thing, but, he remains firm on his vow that no lobbyists will influence his administration….,…wait..Wut?

a capella on May 21, 2012 at 2:27 PM

NERC’s position is that the EPA goal of mothballing many or most coal-fired power plants could endanger the security of the electric-power grid, with possible blackouts and much higher energy costs. In a follow-up report last year it found that “Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.”

Obama: How DARE anybody say that? I am the truth! I am the way and the light, and you don’t need no stinkin’ coal plants! Let the sun shine in, I am the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and algae!

Steve Z on May 21, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Yes

acyl72 on May 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Rogue regime.

Top to bottom.

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

This is just getting ridiculouser and ridiculouser.

NJ Red on May 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Did the Obama administration try to silence whistleblower agency on energy policy?
Of course not. That would be illegal.

Happy Nomad on May 21, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Exactly, the “No Justice No Peace” Department frowns on anyone other than themselves breaking the law.

NoDonkey on May 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

That’s not all they’ve done. Check this out:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/05/obama-administration-pressured-contractors-to-change-coal-mining-job-loss-numbers/

UnderstandingisPower on May 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

…Jesus help us!
…even the Press, which is supposed to look out for our freedom and liberty, are being traitors. Today, it’s as if we were all Jews during Hitler’s era …today’s media, would be driving the trains and holding the cattle prods…and releasing the gas!

KOOLAID2 on May 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

And the best feature is that the energy prices won’t skyrocket until after the election when Obama has more flexibility!

The Rogue Tomato on May 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Jesus help us!
…even the Press, which is supposed to look out for our freedom and liberty, are being traitors. Today, it’s as if we were all Jews during Hitler’s era …today’s media, would be driving the trains and holding the cattle prods…and releasing the gas!

KOOLAID2 on May 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

If he is reelected what color will our uniforms be?Do you think they will have any red,white,and blue in them?

docflash on May 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The thugs in Russia are indignant.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Rogue regime.

Top to bottom.

hillbillyjim on May 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Ignorant people, unfortunately, the land over.

It’s a dire and sad situation. It’s all self-inflicted.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2012 at 2:57 PM

171 days until 0′s fate is sealed.

But 250 days until he is out of office. He can do a LOT of damage in those last 79 days. I’d say gridlock is what we can hope for, but that won’t stop the narcissist-in-chief. Heaven help us.

iurockhead on May 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

docflash on May 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I’m thinking something in gray or OD, with a beret.

Gotta have a beret. It ain’t communism without the beret.

BobMbx on May 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Gee, the photo looks like 0bama is greeting squaw Warren (How!)

Sasha List on May 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

…Jesus help us!
…even the Press, which is supposed to look out for our freedom and liberty, are being traitors. Today, it’s as if we were all Jews during Hitler’s era …today’s media, would be driving the trains and holding the cattle prods…and releasing the gas!

KOOLAID2 on May 21, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Repeat out loud after me…

Fifth

Column

Treasonous

Media

These are not words of inflammable hyperbolic rhetoric. They are a straight forward truthful statement of FACT.

SWalker on May 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

In the 1960′s people were warning the masses about big government and chanting anti-establishment slogans…… are all those people dead?

Control of the controlled….. If Obama stays in office we’ll be able to save all kinds of energy….. See, businesses will no longer be on the grid, using electricity or gas making and taking deliveries and people won’t be commuting …so, in a democrat liberals mind they have saved us a nanosecond on the world clock…..yippie!

ActinUpinTexas on May 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM

The Danger is Real!
This jnova comment (wes george) hit it on the head, with Obama fooling around with, impeding, or scrapping our ability to generate power:

Imagine the total civil breakdown that would ensue if the electric grid failed for an extended period in Sydney or London…It’s worth noting that if a major city lost all electric supply in 1950, it wouldn’t have been catastrophic… Then ask yourself — why do we tolerate those in our polity who are working to weaken our already over-extended energy generating and delivery systems?

anotherJoe on May 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Only the fired and railroaded Inspector General knows for sure.

/S

viking01 on May 21, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Another for SCoaMF’s Enemies List.

MNHawk on May 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Ah, that will be a $five billion loss and counting…

“Morgan Stanley’s research team came out with a note on Friday, guesstimating that JPMorgan’s losses on the synthetic credit portfolio held by its Chief Investment Office will come to $5bn by the end of the year, which is $2bn more than CEO Jamie Dimon seemed to think”

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2012/05/21/1008231/oh-so-now-its-a-5bn-loss/

Viator on May 21, 2012 at 3:19 PM

One does not question The Obamassiah or His Disciples! So when do the folks at FERC start wearing their Brown Shirts to work?

GarandFan on May 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

The press is behaving just like they did during Carter’s reign! They know the end is near, but just can’t stop their lying ways and go in the tank once again.

This regime is so similar to Carter’s, but they keep driving the bus over the cliff……it’s uncanny the way this is developing.

tomshup on May 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Funny how quickly the libs went from “Speak truth to power!” to “Shut the truth up with power!” in the space of an election.

squint on May 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Both Present and Forward, yet still incomplete.

sdbatboy on May 21, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Not surprising.

What they’re saying is “we want to report the numbers, so we can fudge them in secret and never tell you what we’re doing”.

That is why the Government took over the reporting the the Natural Gas storage numbers and blocked anyone else from reporting them… and why they have unlisted revisions without note to numbers posted months ago.

That’s not a problem, that’s the goal of their action. If you abuse the reporting enough you can make anything look good; or at least push blame to some other place/time where it can;’t be your fault.

gekkobear on May 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Wait a minute. You’re telling me that FERC ferc’d NERC?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on May 21, 2012 at 5:13 PM

docflash on May 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I’m hoping it will be Obama wearing the uniform – preferrably one in black and white stripes or a neon orange jumpsuit.

GWB on May 22, 2012 at 9:33 AM