They've banned us from the meetings, arrested our friends for speaking out, and called our attempts to save water, land and our climate "a turn off." But FERC can't shut down our movement. Can you make an emergency donation to fund our protest action in two weeks?
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is doing everything it can to shut out public criticism. They rescheduled their monthly public meeting at the last minute to avoid us.1 They accused us of being a threat to security, despite the fact that all our allies have pledged to behave non-violently, even when being physically pressured by armed police and fracked gas security guards.2 They've also violated their own rules, delaying or ignoring valid legal challenges to fracked gas projects.3
Despite all of that, a brave coalition of about 40 activists representing communities directly impacted by FERC made a special trip to Washington, D.C., yesterday to confront FERC over their climate killing policies. Even though some activists had gotten up at 4 a.m. to travel to D.C. and confront the Commissioners, federal agents wouldn't even let them into the meeting. Three volunteers were even arrested on trumped up charges just for trying to enter a public meeting!1
And after denying our concerns, denying democracy, and denying us access, FERC Commissioner Norman Bay had the audacity to insult all of us by saying our protests were "a turn off" to important beltway bureaucrats like him.4
As Josh Fox, maker of the Gasland movies, said right before being arrested at a similar blockade in Seneca Lake New York, "FERC, which is really just five people appointed by the President, is behaving like a subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry masquerading as a government agency."5 But if we can shut down FERC, we can block fracked gas pipelines and export terminals and bottle up fracking just like we bottled up the tar sands by blocking KXL (so far). Can you chip in to help us stage a massive action in D.C. to stop the pipelines and move beyond extreme energy?
When Federal Protective Services (FPS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, banned members of the public from FERC's public meeting, they crossed a line. FPS also banned the use of recording devices, arrested three protestors and held two of them overnight in jail. This comes on the heels of news that the Houston office of the FBI investigated protestors opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline, and shared confidential information with Transcanada, the company that wants to build the pipeline and mine the tar sands.6
The message could not be more clear: If you speak out against fracking, tar sands, pipelines, export terminals or any piece of extreme energy, you're a target.
But Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” With fracked gas and climate change, we cannot remain silent. We must hold those accountable who are causing and furthering our climate crisis. That's why hundreds of Environmental Action members have already pledged to support and participate in the Beyond Extreme Energy protests at FERC May 24-29.
And what's more, we know we can win. Just yesterday, the New York City Council voted unanimously to opposed the Port Ambrose fracked gas terminal in New York.7 Communities are mobilizing from Georgia to Oregon to fight fracked gas and all its infrastructure. This May could be a turning point for our society, moving us away from fracked gas and puts us toward a clean energy future. But we need your help to make this action work. Our costs are modest, but we can't do it without you. Can you chip in $5, $36 or $100 to make this happen?
Drew and the Beyond Extreme Energy team
1 - Anne Meador and John Zangas, Dozens Denied Access to FERC Public Meeting, DC Media group, May 14, 2015
2 - Urgent! FERC moves May Meeting Date, Beyond Extreme Energy, May 8 2015
3 - Marty Madden, Feds deny request for gas plant rehearing, Bay.net May 5, 2015
4 - Rich Heidorn Jr., Another Meeting Day, Another Drama at FERC, RTO insider, May 15, 2015
5 - James Joiner, Exclusive: Anti-Fracking Filmmaker Josh Fox Arrested In Finger Lakes Protest, the Daily Beast, May 13, 2015
6 - Paul Lewis and Adam Federman, Revealed: FBI violated its own rules while spying on Keystone XL opponents, The Gaurdian, May 12, 2015
7 - NY City Council Acts on Two Resolutions: Port Ambrose and Indian Point, Sane Energy Project May 15, 2015