Anti-energy left trying to thwart infrastructure projects by stalling on FERC appointments
Environmental groups are switching gears from opposing single pipeline projects, such as the Dakota Access and Keystone XL, to opposing the agency that is charged with approving them.The Senate needs to push through the appointments to the commission and get this done quickly to stop the anti-energy left's attacks on the US economy. As their pipeline protests have shown they are willing to destroy the environment to achieve their anti-energy goals.
A coalition of environmental groups will announce a nationwide campaign Wednesday to stop the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from gaining new members required for it to approve pipelines and other energy projects.
Democrats and activists alike have become energized because the commission has been knocked out of service by a strange set of events that has eliminated its quorum to conduct rulemakings and pipeline approvals. The five-member commission oversees the nation's wholesale electricity markets and approves transmission lines, natural gas pipelines and export terminals.
The commission needs three members for it to function. But it has only two commissioners after Norman Bay, an Obama appointee, decided to resign immediately after Trump chose Democratic commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to serve as acting chairwoman. Now the environmentalists want to keep the commission from gaining back its strength by vowing to block new nominees from being appointed.
The pipeline and export component of FERC's duties has made the commission an increasing target for activist groups trying to stop fracking in states such as Pennsylvania, which depend on the pipelines to get their product to the market. Environmentalists have sued the agency and staged elaborate protests at FERC's headquarters in Washington over the last three years to block its activities. It is not clear what the new campaign will bring.
The coalition of green groups is being led by Oscar-nominated documentarian Josh Fox, an activist and director known for his documentary "Gasland," which took aim at the environmental effects of fracking on home owners and their communities.