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.
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.
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→
Five people were arrested today at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, DC protesting the agency’s blanket approval of gas infrastructure projects. Nearly a hundred people blockaded the agency and for two hours held a meditation and silent vigil, hindering staff from entering the building most of the morning.
On day two of a series of protests called “FERCus,” activists played a cat-and-mouse game with police, starting out early in the morning at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, proceeding to the U.S. Department of the Interior and then returning to FERC by midday.
They began with an early morning sit-in at FERC as employees arrived at work. Later, they ducked into the Metro, confounding police who were closely following their movements.
About 30 activists from as far away as New Mexico rallied today in the first of a series of protests at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC, they say, harms thousands of people through the pipelines and gas infrastructure projects it approves.