• ECHO Action Editor

Call out House Democrats: Help Stop FERC Nominations


Last week, 14 Democrats in the House (9 of them from MA) wrote a letter to Trump calling on him to make FERC operational again by putting forward nominees for the open commissioner spots. These representatives don’t understand FERC like we do. For some reason, they think making this rubber stamping agency operational again will be helpful. We know otherwise. Let’s speak out!

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has emailed us an letter for organizations to sign on to and we have. (bottom of page)

Many of you wrote letters to the Governor, House Representatives, our Senators, FERC, local newspapers and more when we were fighting the NED pipeline. You know how incredibly time consuming and exhausting it is. We're asking you to please, be proactive.

Write a strong email and send it to all 14 Democrats who are pushing for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to get back to work. Let them know that FERC is a rubber stamp agency that works against us, not for us. We expect them to stall for as long as possible on FERC nominees and to promote responsible energy use and an immediate transition to 100% renewable energy, which will benefit our economy and create safe, sustainable jobs across the nation.

- SS

It looks like New Englanders are going to have to send a strong message to representatives in Massachusetts, so please call them today! Your New England representatives (10) are in blue below.

If you’re from a state represented by one of the House Democrats (MA, NY, MD, VT, CO, IL), please give them a call. If you're not, we need your support too. Below, you will find phone numbers to their Washington, DC offices, as well as a sample script.

MA Representative Joseph P. Kennedy (202-225-5931)

MA Representative William R. Keating 202-225-3111

MA Representative James P. McGovern 202-225-6101

MA Representative Michael E. Capuano (202) 225-5111

MA Representative Stephen F. Lynch (202) 225-8273

MA Representative Nicki Tsongas 202-225-3411

MA Representative Seth Moulton (202) 225-8020

MA Representative Katherine M. Clark (202) 225-2836

MA Representative Richard E. Neal (202) 225-5601

NY Representative Paul D. Tonko (202) 225-5076

MD Representative John P. Sarbanes (202) 225-4016

VT Representative Peter Welch (202) 225-4115

CO Representative Diana DeGette (202) 225-4431

IL Representative Bobby L. Rush (202) 225-4372

Sample Script/Messaging

Hello, my name is _________ from ___________.

I’m calling about the letter Representative __________ signed with 13 other Democrats calling on Trump to approve new commissioners to FERC. I am disturbed by the letter.

FERC funding and staffing are heavily tied to the industry they supposedly regulate. That’s why FERC approves virtually every fracked gas infrastructure permit that crosses its desk, regardless of community opposition, negative health and environmental impacts, and devastating climate change consequences. Such undemocratic and corrupt practices put communities in the state at risk in order to serve the bottom-line of the fracked gas industry.

Without a full quorum of commissioners, FERC can’t approve devastating, unwanted, and unneeded fracked gas infrastructure. This is a good thing.

Until FERC is investigated and its abuses stopped, I demand that their quorum not be restored.

Tell the representative to publically rescind his/her support for Trump to appoint new commissioners to FERC.

To: Representative Joseph P. Kennedy Representative Paul D. Tonko Representative William R. Keating Representative John P. Sarbanes Representative James P. McGovern Representative Michael E. Capuano Representative Stephen F. Lynch Representative Nicki Tsongas Representative Peter Welch Representative Seth Moulton Representative Diana DeGette Representative Katherine M. Clark Representative Richard E. Neal Representative Bobby L. Rush

Cc: Chairman Fred Upton, House Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski, Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

Dear Congressional Representatives,

On behalf of communities across the nation who are being abused by the misuse of power and law by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), we were deeply disturbed by your February 22, 2017 letter urging swift nomination and approval of new FERC Commissioners.

Rather than advocating for the installation of new FERC Commissioners, you should be doing all you can to forestall the nomination and approval process. Without a quorum FERC cannot issue Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity to natural gas infrastructure projects using its abusive, biased and conflicted review and approval process for which the approval is a foregone conclusion and not the result of objective consideration of facts, impacts and need.

Communities across the nation are being harmed by the indiscriminate, ill-informed and misguided approvals rolling out of FERC for natural gas infrastructure projects. FERC has proven itself to be an agency with unparalleled bias – approving every natural gas interstate transmission line brought before its Commissioners for approval. In 30 years FERC’s Commissioners have said “no” to only one, just one, gas pipeline project brought before it for approval. Not only are communities being harmed by the pipelines themselves, but they are being mistreated by FERC throughout the review process.

Until Congress has investigated the abuses of power and law by FERC, including the biased and self-serving decisionmaking advanced by its Commissioners and staff, and put in place needed reforms you should oppose restoration of a quorum of FERC Commissioners. Among the many reforms that must be undertaken before a quorum is restored are: the removal of eminent domain power; a prohibition on the use of tolling orders that prevent legal challenges to FERC approvals before pipelines go into construction; a prohibition on the stripping and undermining of state legal authority by FERC; a mandatory public participation process that provides for meaningful access and input; a mandatory determination that there is a genuine need for a project that genuinely serves the public interest (as opposed to corporate greed and goals); a prohibition on the use of consultants that have conflicts of interest and/or work for the industry; a prohibition on self-dealing by the pipeline companies in their claims of need; an end to the employee revolving door between FERC staff and the industry; a clear and enforced prohibition on conflicts of interest by FERC Commissioners …. just to name a few.

In order to genuinely serve the public interest you must take a strong stand against approval of any new Commissioners to FERC until such time as the House and Senate have held hearings investigating the bias and misuse of authority demonstrated by FERC, its employees and Commissioners and needed reforms have been identified, proposed and passed.


ECHO Action NH (Delaware Riverkeeper Network organizational supporters)


© 2020 ECHO Action: #FossilFree603  • •

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