FERC’s Announcement of Pipeline Policy Review — A Big Hoax if You Ask Me

Anyone who is saying this bodes well for communities, the environment and FERC review of pipelines has their head in the sand,says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

The announcement by the Federal Energy Commission (FERC)’s new Chairman Kevin McIntyre that there will be a review of the agency’s previous 1999 policy statement on how it issues permits for new interstate natural gas pipelines should not be any more welcome than the recent restoration of a quorum. Anyone who is saying this bodes well for communities, the environment and FERC review of pipelines has their head in the sand. I have been battling FERC and its fracked gas pipelines for coming up on a decade, and I have never seen them take a step to protect the environment, to protect communities, or to honor the spirit or the rule of law if they could find a way around doing so.

I simply do not believe this review will be good for those concerned about the proliferation of fracked gas pipelines and those who suggest otherwise are not paying attention to the facts, recent or otherwise. I believe this process will be used to further advance pipelines and further empower pipeline companies and it will be very bad for states’ rights, people’s rights, property rights and the environment.

I think FERC is likely to strengthen their undermining strategies when it comes to states and state reviews, that they are likely to roll back GHG reviews which they had kind of took a step forward on, that they will probably further solidify the undermining strategies they use to exclude people from having any meaningful opportunity to address FERC or FERC commissioners on proposed pipelines and they are likely to identify new pathways to undermine reviews by other agencies at the federal level as well.

The recent comments by Commissioner Chatterjee disparaging states’ rights and Commissioner Powelson talking about communities opposed to pipelines as jihadists support my concerns. Further, while some point to Commissioner LeFleur’s recent dissent, when one looks at her entire history and even the specifics of that particular decision, there is no reason to believe she in anyway doubts FERC’s abuse of its power and authority over the years. Indeed, even the recent statements of concern by Commissioner Bay only came when he was on his way out the door.

And so we will get organized and get active and do all we can to turn this faux review into something meaningful for our communities, environment and the future of our earth. If we had a Green Amendment at the federal level we woudl have a stronger leg to stand on. But we will get there, I know we will.