The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the agency that is primarily responsible for approving pipelines in the US. It has a terrible track record. Its latest approved project, the Rover pipeline that is being built in the Midwest, already caused over 2 million gallons of drilling waste to spill into wetlands in Ohio – an environmental disaster.
This is just the latest community to be devastated by a FERC-approved project. Over the past 30 years, FERC has approved all but one pipeline project that came before it. FERC repeatedly ignores the concerns of communities, disregards scientific evidence highlighting the risks of pipelines, and supports expansive and industry-friendly eminent domain over the rights of property owners nationwide. FERC’s rubber stamping of pipelines negatively impacts the health and safety, property values, and livelihoods of people nationwide.
Currently, FERC only has two out of five commissioners in place, and lacks a quorum to vote on pipelines. This has prevented FERC from greenlighting $20 billion in destructive pipeline projects since February. But, that’s about to change. President Trump has nominated two candidates to be FERC commissioners – Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson – both friends of fossil fuels. And, with President Trump’s ties to foreign powers and business deals increasingly under scrutiny, it is deeply concerning that his nominees will be running an agency that is deeply tied to our nation’s energy and national security. If Both Chatterjee and Powelson are confirmed, FERC will once again have a quorum, and can start approving pipelines.
That’s why over 160 groups nationwide are demanding that Congress hold hearings on FERC’s abuses and investigate Trump’s actions prior to considering any nominees his administration puts forward.
Activists across the country will be talking to their Senators in DC on May 22nd and 23rd about FERC’s abuses. Please take five minutes to support their work by calling your Senators. And then call 1-3 members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
- I am calling to urge the Senator to oppose hearings on the President’s nominations for the vacant FERC Commissioner Seats.
- Instead I want the Senator to make it his/her/their top priority to hold hearings into the abuses of power and law being experienced by communities across this nation at the hands of FERC and to identify needed reforms.
- Without hearings and reforms FERC will continue to abuse its power and the health, safety and welfare of all decent people here in America.
- Installing Commissioners advanced by a President with business interests around the world that conflict with good decision making and energy policy here in the U.S., particularly one that demands inappropriate loyalty to himself from his agency heads, is a serious national security risk.
Don’t know your Senators’ phone number? Find it here: http://go.pardot.com/e/176172/tact-senators-cfm-cfm-State-MA/36nq2/57314903
The Members of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources are:
Senator Maria Cantwell, Minority Ranking Member: 202 224 3441
Senator Bernie Sanders: 202 224 5141
Senator Al Franken: 202 224 5641
Senator Ron Wyden: 202 224 5244
Senator Debbie Stabenow: 202 224 4822
Senator Angus King: 202 224 5344
Senator Mazie Hirono: 202 224 6361
Senator Tammy Duckworth: 202 224 2854
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto:202 224 3542
Senator Joe Manchin: 202 224 3954
Senator Martin Heinrich: 202 224 5521
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chair: 202 224 6665
Senator Rob Portman: 202 224 3353
Senator John Barrasso: 202 224 6441
Senator James Risch: 202 224 2752
Senator Mike Lee: 202 224 5444
Senator Jeff Flake: 202 224 4521
Senator Steve Daines: 202 224 2651
Senator Cory Gardner: 202 224 5941
Senator Lamar Alexander: 202 224 4944
Senator John Hoeven: 202 224 2551
Senator Bill Cassidy: 202 224 5824
Senator Luther Strange: 202 224 4124