Last week was a week of intensive action in Washington DC to challenge the power of extreme energy in the USA. One reason for the timing of this action week was to mark the end of the Great March for Climate Action. On March 1, 2014 dozens of climate marchers set out from Los Angeles to march to Washington DC in order to raise awareness among the public of the need for urgent action on climate. You can read the inspirational details of their progress across the country and their engagement with communities across America on their journey at their web site. The Climate Marchers arrived at their destination on November 1st and some of these same warriors for the planet were among those arrested in DC last week in the various protests focused on FERC.
Below is a blog written by one of the FERC protestors from NYC who participated in the ”pointing the finger at FERC” photo below. Many thanks to Susan for sharing!
What is FERC?
FERC is an independent government agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil. Quite frankly, I didn’t even really know about FERC until a year or so ago when I started learning about the fracked gas pipelines headed our way, here in NY. This is the agency that gives green lights to gas companies for pipelines, compressor stations and LNG (liquid natural gas) terminals.
This agency was founded in the 1930s, but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 expanded FERC’s authority, naming it the lead agency coordinating all federal authorizations a pipeline might need — such as clean air or other environmental permits.
Here’s the problem. FERC is funded by the fossil fuel industry. Unlike agencies like EPA that is funded by taxpayer money, FERC gets money to run from annual charges from the corporations they are supposed to be regulating. And here’s a kicker! The more projects FERC approves, such as pipelines and compressor stations, the more fees they collect from the industry they are in charge of regulating.
Why should you care? It boils down to clean air and water. Future generations, including your kids and grandkids will be directly impacted as climate chaos accelerates due to the continued use of fossil fuels.
The more I learned about FERC, the more I realized something needed to be done. So I joined up with the gang at Beyond Extreme Energy, a consortium of more than 50 environmental organizations from around the country who are fighting FERC’s approval of fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
For me, taking action is the antidote to despair. The more I learn about things like FERC, the more I realize what a mess we’re in!
To learn more about gas projects in the NY area, check out the SANE Energy project.
Check out Susan’s blog at http://www.drsusanrubin.com/heck-ferc-care/