Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove said he regreted endorsing Alabama Service Commissioner Terry Dunn in 2010, Yellowhammer reported on Thursday.
Rove, a conservative strategist, took issue with Dunn's commitment to energy regulation and recent push for a formal review of utility rates in Alabama. Now, Rove wishes he hadn't supported Dunn in 2010, and hopes Alabama will push him out in 2014.
“I regret it because I’m concerned about the relationships he’s building with out-of-the-mainstream, anti-coal environmental groups,” Rove told Yellowhammer.
"They've had a free pass for the last 30 years. That's what the problem is," Dunn told the Associated Press of Alabama Power. "It's time to have a checkup."
Rove blamed energy regulations set out by the Environmental Protection Agency for the country's slow rate of economic recovery, saying the Obama administration has favored "green" energy over fossil fuels.
“We need to have an American energy policy that means we produce more energy here in the country, and we don’t use the government’s power to discourage the use of resources that you have in abundance like coal and coal methane,” Rove said. “We need to have sensible regulation where the question we ask is, is the cost of this regulation offset by a dramatically better benefit from it.”
But as it stands, coal only accounts for 40 percent of the country's electricity, a proportion that continues to drop as the industry struggles to compete with cheap natural gas.
Rove is not the only one lashing out against Dunn's call for greater oversight of the state energy market. Phillip Brown, chairman of the Alabama Minority GOP, announced in August his decision to face Dunn in the 2014 election.
"Terry Dunn has come under a lot of fire this year for being sentimental toward the environmental lobby, and that's dangerous for our state," Brown said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mischaracterized Dunn's position on environmental policy. According to the Associated Press, Dunn has raised concerns about Alabama Power's rate of return on earnings, which is among the highest in the nation.