Agency refuses to acknowledge widespread outrage at role in burgeoning gas infrastructure
By Anne Meador and John Zangas, Cetology
On May 14, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in its monthly open meeting took up the issue of the electrical grid’s vulnerability to geomagnetic disturbances. But the government agency’s own vulnerability to public disturbance was front and center.
Federal Protective Services took extraordinary measures to prevent disruption of the Commission meeting by planned protests, barring access to about 30 members of the public. FPS also banned the use of recording devices, brushing aside FERC’s own rule expressly permitting it. Two people were escorted out of the meeting room, three arrested and two more detained.
See below for video of FERC meeting plus interviews with protesters
FERC has moved up its monthly May meeting at the recommendation of federal law enforcement in order to avoid planned large-scale protests. The commissioner’s regularly scheduled monthly public meeting had been slated to take place on May 21, but because of plans for protest actions involving potentially hundreds of people, FERC has moved up the meeting to next Thursday, May 14. The decision was made after a recommendation from the Federal Protective Service “to better ensure the safety of its staff and the public during the protests planned for May 21 at FERC headquarters,” FERC spokesman Craig Cano wrote in an email.
Judge Sentences Cove Point Defenders to 40 Days for Trespass
By Anne Meador
On April 20, two environmental activists appeared in Maryland District Court in Calvert County on charges related to a protest against the Cove Point LNG plant, in which they climbed up the arm of a crane and dropped a banner at a Dominion Cove Point construction site.
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?→
At his first meeting as FERC Chairman, Commissioner Norman Bay gave the cold shoulder to demonstrators who repeatedly interrupted him to protest what they say is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rubberstamp approach to regulation.
“Oh my God, we have a situation here. The situation is not going away,” shouted protestor Charles Chandler. “There is no democracy here. You just ignore what I write on my computer.”