Thousands Tell Congress to Hold Hearings into FERC Abuses
Bold Alliance joins 180+ groups in letter urging incoming House Democratic Committee Chairs to investigate FERC
Washington, D.C. – 181 groups including Bold Alliance signed on to a Jan. 29, 2019 letter urging the incoming Congress to hold hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) abuses.
The organizations signed on to the letter, submitted by the VOICES coalition, represent communities who have been and are being harmed by FERC’s misuse of its authority. The VOICES coalition has long expressed concern about FERC’s abuses of its power, detailed in a dossier of evidence demonstrating the abuses (http://bit.ly/DossierofFERCAbuse).
The letter, which notes that FERC has a near 100% approval rating for pipeline projects, ask that Congress:
- Hold congressional hearings that include members of the harmed communities as well as scientists, journalists, and other knowledgeable non-energy-industry-connected experts, to learn the many ways FERC is misusing its authority granted by the Natural Gas Act, and how that abuse of power is harming communities and our environment;
- Take swift affirmative action to amend the Natural Gas Act so as to protect communities including eliminating the threats and harms associated with natural gas infrastructure;
- Oppose the proposed Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018, S. 3303/H.R. 6889, which seeks to diminish the rights of states to have a role in pipeline reviews, approvals, and/or permitting; and seek, support and advance only legislation that strengthens the rights of states and people to decide whether pipeline infrastructure should be permitted to advance through their states, communities, and/or private properties; and
- Ensure that any new infrastructure legislation pursued by Congress or other federal officials does not cause increased proliferation of fossil fuel pipelines and infrastructure, which would increase and exacerbate climate change and the environmental and community harms already experienced.
“With this letter we are telling Congress to stop with the climate change rhetoric, it’s time to act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is cavalierly approving gas pipelines at a dramatic rate. In the past 10 years alone FERC has approved on the order of 240 pipelines. Each pipeline advances thousands of gas wells, in the case of the PennEast pipeline our analysis shows approval would result in at least 3,000 fracked gas drilling projects, each, along with the pipeline, bringing us closer to climate catastrophe. As our letter and dossier makes clear, FERC is misusing its authority to disenfranchise the public, undermine the rights of states, ignore conflicts of interest that compromise the approval process, and ignore clear legal mandates, all in an obvious effort to advance pipelines through to construction with as few impediments as possible. The new Congress says it wants to exercise oversight in order to prevent government abuses. They can prove it by including FERC amongst the government bad-actors in need of their review,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and a leading member of the VOICES coalition, a national coalition opposing the advancement of FERC approved infrastructure and calling for Congressional hearings and FERC reform.
Read the full letter and list of sign-on organizations below: