Click here for the BXE after action report.
In the week beginning November 1, 2014, a coalition of frontline communities, regional and national organizations, and concerned individuals will take nonviolent direct action in Washington DC to interfere with business as usual. JOIN US. Also, you can now check out the updated schedule of events for the week here.
The actions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are incompatible with all that sustains life on Earth, including our climate system and clean water, air and land. Communities across the nation have risen up to fight pipelines crisscrossing the land, gas storage under lakes, and compressor stations and fracked-gas export plants in our backyards, but FERC has remained unmoved, unresponsive and unaccountable. FERC has answered only to the fossil fuel industry, rubber stamping every project.
In the face of ongoing threats to our health, communities, democracy, property values, environment and climate:
1. We demand that FERC withdraw its permit for the dangerous fracked-gas export facility at Cove Point, as well as recent gas expansion permits at Myersville, Minisink and Seneca Lake. In addition, we demand a stop to the permitting of all fracked-gas export facilities and other fracked-gas infrastructure.
2. We demand that all future FERC permits:
-consider as the top priority the rights of human beings and all life on Earth;
-fully assess the cumulative harm from infrastructure projects on public health, local economies and the climate. FERC must consider the damage from fracking--the extreme extraction process that generates the gas for these projects--and from climate change. FERC must reject industry's practice of disguising major projects by dividing them into separate, ostensibly unrelated ones.
-adhere to the precautionary principle: in the face of uncertainty and the absence of scientific consensus, the benefit of the doubt will go to public health and the environment. The burden of proof that a project is safe falls with those proposing the project; communities will not need to prove that a project is harmful.
3. We demand that FERC commissioners meet with communities affected by approved and proposed fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Cove Point export facility, Myersville and Minisink compressor stations, and Seneca Lake gas storage project. This is a key step in changing FERC from an agency that protects only the interests of the fossil fuel industry to one that protects the public interest.
4. We demand a Congressional investigation into FERC's rubberstamping of industry proposals.
[UPDATED: Read Tim DeChristopher and Rev Lennox Yearwood's letter in support of BXE. Click here.]
In recent months many voices have called for larger, escalated action on climate change. We agree. Vote we must, but we must also do more. At the beginning of November, as the election campaigns conclude, we call for multiple, consecutive days of climate direct action in Washington DC and elsewhere.
Business as usual is the problem we face. Business as usual is the collusion of government and industry to fast track new fossil fuel infrastructure investments while ignoring the warnings of climate scientists and the voices of ordinary people.
Right now we are hurtling toward a climate precipice. One foot may occasionally, tentatively tap the brake, but the other foot is simultaneously flooring the accelerator on our fossil-fueled economy. At the wheel, among others, is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Our government is pretending to navigate, but industry is calling the shots from the back seat.
We know how this will end: very badly, unless we change how we make energy, how we transport ourselves , how we grow food, how the economy is structured, how we measure the economy, and what we value.
Warnings are everywhere: persistent drought and heat waves, super storms, rising seas, dead oceans, wildfires, melting glaciers, spoiled rivers, exhausted aquifers, vanishing species, poisoned people. While some of us and some nations have more resources to protect themselves from these catastrophes in the short term, low-income people and people of color globally are already disproportionately harmed.
But business as usual prevails: pipelines snake through communities; compressor stations are installed; flames roar from frack chimneys; wells, springs and rivers are polluted; families are forced to buy replacement water; forests fall; farmland turns into fracking factories; toxic and radioactive waste roams the countryside; coal ash and chemicals slide into rivers; blobs of tar lap at our beaches; oil gushes into oceans; methane leaks; explosions rock our towns. They are drilling under our homes, farms, schools, rivers, oceans, parks and graveyards. They are exploding our mountains, stripping our soil. And in Oregon, Louisiana, Georgia, Maine, Texas and Maryland, expensive and dangerous gas export plants now await construction.
our immediate action to move beyond extreme energy can make the difference.
In our November actions, we will turn our attention to fracked gas and all its tentacles. Government, industry and even some big environmental groups herald shale gas as a cleaner energy bridge to the future. The science says otherwise. But adhering to a broken rulebook, FERC and other federal agencies rubber stamp almost every plan. Everywhere becomes the next sacrifice zone. And global temperatures continue to climb.
WE call on our government to drop its “all of the above” energy strategy. Extreme energy extraction — fracking, tar sands, deep ocean drilling, Arctic drilling, and surface mining and undermining practices such as mountaintop removal and longwall coal mining — of the last fossil fuels condemns us to ravaged landscapes, poisoned water, and weather convulsions. And it ensures catastrophic global warming for future generations.
WE call on FERC to make decisions based on the well-being of current and future generations and the protection of our shared natural resources. Rubber stamping industry pipelines, compressor stations and export facilities contaminates the air, water, land and climate that support all life on Earth. Specifically, we demand that FERC withdraw its permit for the dangerous fracked-gas export facility at Cove Point, as well as recent gas expansion permits at Myersville, Minisink and Seneca Lake. In addition, we demand a stop to the permitting of all fracked-gas export facilities and other fracked-gas infrastructure.
WE can no longer allow our government to segment gas projects from all others, thereby hiding the full danger. We must look at the whole picture, evaluating what is happening downstream and upstream. Each export terminal creates hazards not only for the local community, but for communities where the shale gas will be extracted, for communities where pipelines and compressor stations are built to transport the gas, and for communities receiving the exported gas. We must also measure the release of climate-disrupting methane and other greenhouse gases during this whole process, from extraction, transport, export, and eventual burning in faraway communities.
WE call on
the Obama administration and FERC to recognize the unfolding disaster guaranteed
by fueling our economy from the last dregs of fossil fuels.
And until these goals are accomplished, we will get in the way of whoever and whatever would continue to endanger our communities and our climate.
will protect our communities, the climate and the Earth.
Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
Chickenfoot Ranch And Rewilding Center
Sandra Steingraber, Bill McKibben, Tim DeChristopher, Matt Leonard, Kristin Cook/350 MoCo, Barbara Hurd and Ann Bristow Frostburg, Md., Victoria Furio (Climate Justice Convener, Union Theological Seminary), Dana Dolney, Michael Bagdes-Canning, Briget Shields, Richard Fireman, MD