Category Archives: Opinion

Will New FERC Chair Protect People or the Fossil Fuel Lobby?

Federal Protective Services officers pull Ted Glick out of his seat at FERC meeting.
Federal Protective Services officers pull Ted Glick out of his seat at FERC meeting./Photo by John Zangas

By Ted Glick, EcoWatch

From the time I walked yesterday into the FERC building—that’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the most powerful and dangerous federal agency most people have never heard of—things felt and looked different.

First were the cops. There are always FERC security personnel at the front entrance, but it seemed like there were twice as many yesterday as I’d ever seen before in past visits. In addition, and ominously, there were also a couple of Department of Homeland Security/Federal Protective Services police prominently stationed where they could not be missed. Continue reading Will New FERC Chair Protect People or the Fossil Fuel Lobby?

The Fight Against FERC: Communities Demand An Accountable Government

Photo by Erik McGregor
Photo by Erik McGregor

By Angel Vogel, Beyond Extreme Energy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydro-power projects. Since 1935 when it first became an independent regulatory agency it has done little to protect citizens from exploitation. Instead, the agency uses its vast powers to facilitate the expansion of dirty and deadly extraction for export to international markets. FERC ensures that toxic energy projects create greater profits for rich developers while leaving poisoned communities with the lie of so-called U.S. energy independence through fossil fuels. Continue reading The Fight Against FERC: Communities Demand An Accountable Government

Hey, FERC, Until You Shape Up, Get Used to “Unprecedented Opposition”

Photo by Erik McGregor
Photo by Erik McGregor

By The Recorder

“Unprecedented opposition.”

That, according to Cheryl LaFleur, chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is what faces the nation’s natural gas pipeline development.

As widely reported, LaFleur made comments at a National Press Club event in Washington in January. She talked about the volume of those opposed to building more pipelines, and how these folks are overwhelming her office and staff. Continue reading Hey, FERC, Until You Shape Up, Get Used to “Unprecedented Opposition”

Dominion’s Promises Vanish Into Thin Air

dominionlogoBy The Virginian Pilot

Three days.

That’s how long it took Dominion Virginia Power to abandon its pledge of transparency for a law that eliminated state regulation of its base electricity rates until 2020.

Republican and Democratic supporters of SB1349, sponsored by Virginia Beach’s Sen. Frank Wagner, touted the measure as a way to lock in current base rates and protect Dominion’s customers from paying more because of federal environmental regulations.

In exchange, the utility agreed to absorb any losses, let this year’s review of base rates proceed, boost its use of renewable energy sources and permit state regulators to inspect its financials. Continue reading Dominion’s Promises Vanish Into Thin Air

It’s Time to Ratchet Up the Pressure on FERC

More than 2,000 climate justice activists assembled for a rally and march—in Washington, DC  on July 13, 2014—to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in opposition to the expansion of a natural gas transfer and storage facility at Cove Point on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Photo credit: Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr

By Ted Glick, EcoWatch

For the third time in less than two years, I met yesterday with the chair of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. I was not alone. With me from the “good guys” side were Tracey Eno, leader of Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community in Cove Point, Maryland; Jocelyn D’Ambrosio of Earthjustice and; via phone because her plane arrived late due to weather, Sandra Steingraber from We Are Seneca Lake. Continue reading It’s Time to Ratchet Up the Pressure on FERC

Biologist Tells Head of FERC: Your Agency’s Approach Is “Dysfunctional and Downright Treacherous”

Since the We Are Seneca Lake campaign began on Oct. 23, 2104, there have been 216 arrests. The campaign is working to protect Seneca Lake and the surrounding Finger Lakes region from the gas storage expansion project by Texas-based energy company, Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood’s intention is to repurpose the crumbling salt mines underneath Seneca Lake’s hillside into massive gas tanks for highly-pressurized products from fracking: methane, propane and butane. Photo credit: We Are Seneca Lake

By Sandra Steingraber, EcoWatch

Author’s note: On Wednesday, I was part of a citizen delegation that met with the chief commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner (FERC), Cheryl LeFleur, and eight of her staff. Led by Ted Glick of Beyond Extreme Energy, who had requested the meeting, our group included Tracey Eno from We Are Cove Point and Jocelyn D’Ambrosio of Earthjustice. I represented We Are Seneca Lake. Sadly, my flight from upstate New York was delayed for hours by bad weather. Hence, I ended up delivering my remarks to Commissioner LeFleur by speakerphone, while standing just outside the baggage claim area of Dulles International Airport. Continue reading Biologist Tells Head of FERC: Your Agency’s Approach Is “Dysfunctional and Downright Treacherous”

Cove Point LNG Protest Was Not a ‘Stunt’

Cove-Point-crane-climbed-2-February-3-2015
An activist drops a banner from a crane on Dominion’s construction site.

By Yvonne Micheli, Calvert Recorder

On Feb. 11, The Calvert Recorder published an unsigned editorial [“Protest in a safe, legal and peaceful manner”] calling the nonviolent civil disobedience that took place at Dominion’s Offsite Area A a “stunt” that endangered lives. It claimed the action was unnecessary because there are “other safe, legal avenues to pursue.” Continue reading Cove Point LNG Protest Was Not a ‘Stunt’