Protest organizers say fracking wouldn’t happen without FERC
By Anne Meador and John Zangas
Several days of protests are about to kick off in Washington, DC in response to the increasing toll which hydraulic fracking is taking on communities in the United States and the global climate. A coalition group called Beyond Extreme Energy has planned direct actions on the doorstep of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which approves construction of interstate gas pipelines, compressor stations, gas storage facilities and other infrastructure around the country.
On weekdays from May 21 to 29, the protests, called “FERCus,” will highlight the agency’s sham process of evaluating infrastructure projects, which always favors industry. People in communities affected by these projects say that their voices aren’t heard, and that FERC disregards the consequences to their health and safety while abusing powers of eminent domain.
Moreover, they criticize the agency’s refusal to acknowledge the “bigger picture,” that is, how the infrastructure FERC approves is related to fracking and climate change.
In its Call To Action, Beyond Extreme Energy issues nine demands of FERC, and says it wants the agency to fulfill its mission to provide “safe, efficient, sustainable energy.”
Last November, Beyond Extreme Energy blockaded FERC for a whole week. Several protesters have disrupted monthly Commission meetings since then. FERC has loudly criticized protesters and responded by issuing a gag rule during public meetings. The Department of Homeland Security has stepped up security and last week barred members of the public from attending an open meeting.
You can find a schedule of events here.
Participants are preparing for the demonstrations by making signs: