Climate Solutions: Reforming FERC

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Merriam Webster Dictionary: schizophrenia

“contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes.”

As our climate crisis grows, as we demand climate solutions and as we get closer and closer to the climate cliff… the direction and actions of our leaders – in government, industry, finance, and in our communities – often seem schizophrenic when and where it comes to our energy choices. The choices we make – clearly and directly – impact our ability to slow down the climate crisis. Yet tragically, our leaders regularly both confuse and confound us. One of the instruments of this confusion is FERC, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ClimateMama is pleased to join more than 180 organizations from around the country who are calling on the Chairs of the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to SLOW DOWN and Reform the Natural Gas Act, and as part of this process, to hold oversight hearings on FERC.

Our main asks are the following:

fercdoesnt1. Hold congressional hearings to learn the many ways communities are being harmed by FERC’s implementation of the Natural Gas Act as currently written;

2. Take swift affirmative action to reform the Natural Gas Act so as to better protect communities including eliminating the threats associated with natural gas infrastructure; and

3. Oppose, or at a minimum hold in abeyance, any further advancement of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 which includes language intended to further “streamline” an already misused, and well streamlined, process for advancing the review and approval of natural gas infrastructure until you have learned, through the hearing requested above, how people’s rights, state’s rights, and the environment are already being abused under the implementation of the Natural Gas Act and how they will be further harmed by passage of provisions proposed in the new law.

“The time has now come for Congress to investigate how FERC is using its authority and to recognize that major changes are in fact necessary in order to protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act”Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper.

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has been instrumental in coordinating this national call to action. Please learn more here.

shutterstock_33724795As we have shared in numerous posts, FERC – until recently a relatively obscure independent federal agency – has been thrust into a hugely powerful role as it oversees and regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines. Given what we know about climate change and it’s acceleration due to our use of fossil fuels, it’s past time for FERC’s mandate to be reviewed and updated.

According to the FERC website: “To avoid any undue political influence or pressure…there is no review of FERC decisions by the President or Congress, maintaining FERC’s independence as a regulatory agency, and providing for fair and unbiased decisions.” In addition, the website states: “the Commission is funded through costs recovered by the fees and annual charges from the industries it regulates.” … Or in other words, FERC get’s 100% of it’s budget, from the industry it regulates. Yes, you read correctly. Clearly this needs to be reviewed.

So, our asks to Congress on this one, are simple and the impacts huge. We must demand that our energy choices be renewable energy choices. We can’t allow the “green lighting & green washing” of fossil fuel energy projects that move us in the exact opposite direction of where we need to go. Currently it seems “schizophrenic,” that a quasi-independent government agency is working to accelerate the expansion of fossil fuels across our country while our President, federal and state agencies, the international community, the world’s scientists and Mother Nature are all telling us we must move NOW to renewables. Yet, we see and hear this “schizophrenia” from members of Congress and even presidential candidates when it comes to our energy choices. We need to demand that we all get on the same page. The facts and the reality is clear. Gas is a fossil fuel, period. There can be no “transition through gas,” we must leapfrog over ALL fossil fuels to a renewable future and now.

What you can do today to help:

Contact your Congresswoman or Congressman and reiterate our 3 asks:

Read the asks as they are written above.

Put these ask into your own words; copy and paste them into a note or a letter.

What you can do on November 8th: BE A CLIMATE VOTER – your vote matters.

Let your congressional representative know that this matters to you. Demand that they help “connect the dots.” Our energy path must be clear. We must build out and build up renewable energy. This shouldn’t be complicated, it should be easy. Fossil fuels out, renewables in. We can and we must build climate hope – our children are watching, their future and now is in our hands!


Climate Mama

This entry was posted in Climate Mama News, Disasters, Do Something Wednesdays, fracking and pipelines, In The News, Renewable Energy, Take a Stand: Action & Advocacy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *