Home > Uncategorized > Dear Climate Activists: Please Stop FERC-ing Off!

Dear Climate Activists: Please Stop FERC-ing Off!

A Focus On FERC Is A Complete Waste of Time And A Diversion

Provides Political Cover For Democrats Who Support Gas

Suspicious Timing Just Days After Biden OK’s Dakota Acccess Pipeline

A NJ friend forwarded me an appeal by Friends Of Earth (FOE), titled:

Your Signature is Needed: FERC has approved over 130 fracked gas pipeline projects in the past five years

We have a chance to stop FERC from fast-tracking permit approval. The agency is revising its process, and we need an outpouring of activists like you to demand it stop greenlighting polluting pipelines.

Are you kidding me?

I can not think of anything lamer than urging activists to sign a petition to FERC asking them to please stop rubber stamping pipelines and strengthen their regulations!

I spent years of watching my former NJ colleagues waste their time with FERC, something I call “FERC-ing off”:

I’ve also spoken with many of you to advise that submission of comments to FERC is a waste of time, because FERC is captured by the energy industry and there is virtually no chance of FERC denying an approval of PennEast’s application.

So it is a disgrace to now see that same misguided waste of time and resources being replicated at the national level. (see:

So in frustration, I fired off this email to FOE and my NJ friend:

Dear FOE:

Appealing to FERC is a complete waste of time.

If activists want to change the FERC review and rubber stamp approval of pipelines, they have 3 choices:

1) amend the Natural Gas Act to put teeth in it – but that would require putting pressure on Pelosi and Schumer and all the corporate Democrats that support gas and pipelines. It is so absurd that activists can’t seem to pressure their Democratic friends; OR

2) design a campaign at the State level to target Governors and pressure them to kill pipelines via Stater power under Clean Water Act 401 by denying Water Quality Certification (or, Coastal Zone Management Act State powers, as appropriate). These State powers are NOT pre-empted by FERC and the Natural Gas Act. see:

3) Pressure Biden to use Executive power, e.g. issue an Executive Order declaring a moratorium on federal approvals and directing federal agencies to kill projects in the pipeline and strengthen regulations to assure that science based greenhouse gas emissions climate targets are met.

But Biden supports gas too! And activists won’t call him out for it or make real demands (Dems already are undermining Biden’s fake “pause” on drilling on public lands). We saw the same thing under Obama. For the pathetic state of liberals, see WaPo:

I’m expecting to see pipelines receive subsidies and “streamlined regulatory review” under Biden’s infrastructure plan. I’ve already read quotes from Sect. Transportation Buttigieg that included pipelines in the definition of infrastructure. And Biden supported the gas industry before the US supreme Court, see:

Biden loves to cut deals with Republicans from oil & gas states and pro-fossil Dems like Manchin from W. Va. FOE should be bird dogging ALL THAT.

This FERC stuff is a diversion on top of a waste of time – and it provides cover for Democrats. For example, just yesterday, did you see this from EarthJustice?

While FOE is FERC-ing off, there are also efforts in Congress that are getting zero attention, including:

  • legislation to expand gas and oil exports; (while exports should be banned)
  • legislation to strip states of power to kill pipelines under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act;
  • ignore Congressional Review Act powers to kill Trump regulator rollbacks. Democrats did nothing with this power for 4 years to block Trump rollbacks and are doing nothing with it now.
  • legislation to impose a tiny and regressive “price on carbon” in exchange for stripping EPA of authority to regulate greenhouse emissions. That’s the fossil energy industry’s “compromise”. And that’s exactly what was in the Obama first term climate bill sponsored by Congressman Markey. 

Time, resources, and the attention of activists are finite resources.

Stop FERC-ing off and wasting them!

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