An official at a government agency responsible for permitting gas infrastructure took a potshot at protesters who were disrupting a public meeting on January 21. As Commissioner Tony Clark announced that he was leaving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission when his term expires, he sniped at what he seemed to think was the demonstrators’ ingratitude for a primary service FERC performs: greasing the wheels for gas companies to build pipelines, storage facilities and compressor stations to fuel the electrical grid.
Washington, DC – Several hundred people allied with environmental organizations rallied at the White House on Sunday, November 30 to show their solidarity with protests happening at the start of a major summit on climate change in Paris.
More than 500 activists called on President Obama to end carbon emissions and implement programs now to transition to renewable energy sources.
Parisians responded to a government ban on planned climate protests by setting 20,000 pairs of shoes in streets near the Place de la République.
Several thousand protesters defied the “State of Emergency” ban nonetheless, congregating at the square. Police tear-gassed protesters and arrested hundreds. One video shows police clubbing youth seated quietly on the sidewalk.
Charges against an anti-fracking activist will no longer proceed after the prosecutor placed the case on an inactive docket at a hearing in Maryland District Court for Calvert County on November 23.
The outcome of Monday’s hearing is the latest development in the fall-out ensuing from a protest against a fracked gas export terminal almost ten months ago.
Defendant Carling Sothoron, a Baltimore educator, climbed up the steel arm of a crane on a Dominion Cove Point construction site last February to drop a banner that read, “Dominion get out. Don’t frack Maryland. No gas exports. Save Cove Point.”
The stunt was an effort to draw attention to the facility’s potential to bring fracking and thousands of miles of pipelines to Maryland, she said in an interview with Between the Lines. She was also concerned with exaggerated benefits and negative consequences to the local community.
Environmentalists celebrated a major victory over Big Oil on Friday night at the White House after President Obama officially announced he would not approve the Northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,700-mile TransCanada project triggered a seven-year battle joined by scores of environmental groups who worked to defeat it.
Obama’s announcement on November 6 came four years to the day after 350.org, Sierra Club and many other organizations held a major protest against the pipeline at the White House.
The victory marks the first time people power of a grassroots movement leveraged political power to defeat a major fossil fuel project. It is likely to embolden green groups to step up efforts to convert energy policies to renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Had the Keystone XL pipeline been built, it would have resulted in a daily capacity of 860,000 gallons of Alberta tar sands bitumen being transported to Gulf Coast refineries.
Vibrations from the fiddler’s bow ricochet off the hot concrete canyon walls of First Street near Union Station. About a dozen people lounge on sleeping bags and lawn chairs on the sidewalk under a blue awning, sipping salt water. They toss a few bucks into a pot for a wager on who has lost the most weight since their public fast began five days ago. Fifteen pounds dropped since Labor Day wins the prize.
It’s come to this. Eighteen days of virtual starvation to draw a line under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s intransigence, its refusal to do much of anything to address controversy, protest, and mass mobilization against the stream of permits it issues to greenlight gas. In other words, rubberstamp approval for the infrastructure projects it takes to transport fracked gas from the shale fields.
The repercussions of climate disruption are still not being acknowledged fully, warned climatologist Dr. James Hansen, addressing an audience of Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation climate activists on September 9.
“We’ve now got an emergency,” he told about 150 “elder activists” at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, who were participating in Grandparents Climate Action Day.
Hansen–formerly NASA’s head climate scientist, now Adjunct Professor at Columbia University–is probably best known for bringing definitive evidence of global warming to Congress in testimony in 1988. In July of this year, he released a report with sixteen co-authors studying glacier melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Unlike previous models, the new report takes into account some feedback loops which may be hastening the loss of ice sheet mass far faster than anticipated.
Time is running out to transition to renewable energy, Hansen said, yet the most “relevant” people in power aren’t aware of the situation’s gravity. “Even people who go around saying, ‘We have a planet in peril,’ don’t get it. Until we’re aware of our future, we can’t deal with it.” Continue reading Climate Expert James Hansen: “We’ve Got An Emergency”→
Photo: About 200 people participated in Saturday’s walk/ Photo by Anne Meador
By John Zangas and Anne Meador
Lusby, Maryland has never seen a civic action this big, according to local residents. Almost two hundred citizens and supporters mobilized on Saturday for a march to stop energy corporation Dominion Resources from converting Cove Point LNG into a liquefaction facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood. They walked six miles from Solomons Island to Cove Point Park to bring attention to health and safety concerns posed by the Dominion export terminal, which they say appropriated the Cove Point name from their community.
We Are Cove Point, Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community, Beyond Extreme Energy, Sierra Club Southern Maryland Group, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Patuxent Friends Quaker Meeting organized the “Walk for Calvert County to be Dominion Free.” The walk was to help residents support each other in the fight against the plant, and to tell Dominion and the local government it is not safe to proceed with a project of this scope so close to 8,045 Lusby residents. Continue reading Calvert County Citizens March with Allies to Stop Cove Point LNG→
The Williams Companies Inc. has submitted its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application for its proposed pipeline in Pennsylvania with about half of the route being changed from the original plans, a company representative said.
An energy company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Williams Companies Inc. wants to expand its Transco pipeline to connect the natural gas fields in northern Pennsylvania to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states by 2017.
Dubbed the “Atlantic Sunrise Project,” the proposed expansion of the existing Transco natural gas pipeline would add about 180 miles of new 42-inch, high-pressure pipeline to reach Susquehanna County, transporting about 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day that can serve about 7 million homes. The section of the new lines called the Central Penn Line South would run from Lancaster County to Susquehanna County and include about 18 miles of pipeline through five townships in the western part of Schuylkill County, entering from East Cameron Township, Northumberland County, and running underground through Eldred, Hegins, Frailey, Tremont and Pine Grove townships in Schuylkill County, to Union Township, Lancaster County, through Swatara State Park. Continue reading Atlantic Sunrise Route Changed→
A group of residents from Nelson County traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to participate in a nonviolent action at FERC headquarters that was organized by the group Beyond Extreme Energy. They joined citizens from all over the country who have been the victims of communicide at the hands of the fossil fuel industry and FERC.
FERC has the power to give away to Dominion our property rights, health, and safety, just as they have done to many around the country through their rubber stamping of infrastructure projects and failure to adequately assess public benefits and alternatives. In Nelson County and beyond, our direct experience of this treatment includes FERC’s unwillingness to hear from the majority of residents who wanted to speak at public meetings (which were stacked to hear pro-pipeline puppets), and their refusal, despite public and federal officials’ outcry, to grant additional meetings. Furthermore, last Thursday, FERC released the transcript of Nelson County’s March 18th scoping period meeting, and it is so full of errors that it is incomprehensible. They also allowed Dominion to “respond” to scoping comments within two weeks—a deadline that obviously renders Dominion’s review nearly meaningless. FERC’s negligence shows their regard for our property, health, and safety.Continue reading Central Virginia Pipeline Foes Join Protests at FERC→