Oil and natural gas pipelines across the United States threaten local communities, ruin livelihoods, contaminate water supplies, and contribute to the expansion of fracking nationwide. We must resist the drive to build pipelines.
Green America is active in fighting pipelines nationwide. Pipelines for fossil fuels provide the infrastructure to keep America addicted to fossil fuels. That addiction to fossil fuels is, in turn, fueling climate change. The US is the number two contributor to climate change in the world (second only to China, which has a far larger population), and the energy and transportation sectors drive most of that climate change.
Pipelines don’t only fuel climate change. They also cause massive amounts damage on a local level:
- Building pipelines results in deforestation and the destruction of habitats for multiple species
- There have been approximately 9,000 significant pipeline spills over the past 30 years. Over 500 people have died because of these spills, in addition to 2,576 people injured, and over $8.5 billion in financial damages 
- Property owners around the country have had their land seized under eminent domain to build pipelines. Lower income people and people of color are disproportionately affected by this, including Native Americans.
Fighting Back Against Pipelines and Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
Local people impacted by pipelines are the leaders in fighting these deadly fossil fuel projects. Several of the largest pipeline projects in the US directly impact American Indian communities, including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and it is these communities are on the front lines of fighting back. Green America has joined with allies nationwide to support impacted communities in opposing the following:
- The Keystone XL Pipeline, which would bring 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil to the US each day
- The Dakota Access Pipeline, which would bring over 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil from the Bakken Shale each day. The pipeline threatens the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux and the water supply of millions of people
- Cove Point, a natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export facility in Maryland, that would export fracked natural gas oversees
- The Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon, which would have exported fracked gas oversees. In 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a permit to Jordan Cove, making it one of the rare fossil fuel projects rejected.
- The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, which would bring fracked natural gas through Pennsylvania
Fighting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
FERC is the federal agency that is charged with reviewing and approving natural gas pipelines and infrastructure in the US. FERC approves almost every pipeline that it reviews. Green America has joined with dozens of allies nationwide to call for Congressional hearings regarding FERC’s rubber stamping of fossil fuel industry projects.
Specifically, Green America is working with allies to call attention to:
- FERC’s bias in support of the industry it is supposed to regulate. Since FERC is 100% funded by the industries it regulates is has no incentive to deny any project that comes before it. FERC has denied only one natural gas pipeline project in the 30 years since it has been funded this way
- The revolving door between FERC and the industry it regulates
- FERC’s process discourages public comment, and the agency does not allow people impacted by proposed pipelines to speak at all at FERC’s public hearings
- FERC’s use of consultants who work for the pipeline industry and clearly have a conflict of interests
Fighting Funding of Pipelines
We must put pressure on the Wall Street banks that finance the fossil fuel industry. Several banks that claim to have strong climate commitments, but simultaneously finance pipelines, fracking, and oil exploration in the US.
We urge individuals and institutions to divest from fossil fuels and the banks that support the industry. Green America is at the forefront of the movement to encourage individual investors divest from fossil fuels, and our Break Up With Your Megabank program has helped thousands of Americans move their money from megabanks to community banks and credit unions.