JOE MANCHIN IS USING FERC TO LINE HIS POCKETS
THE vast majority of Americans don’t know what FERC is, which is too bad because FERC is making climate decisions on a huge scale that are making things much worse for our planet, our country, and our children.
FERC is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It must approve all new methane gas and energy infrastructure projects. It is widely accepted that to avoid a climate catastrophe we must transition from the use of fossil fuel energy, which emits the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet, to renewable energy. In a sane world, FERC would therefore refuse to approve any new fossil fuel infrastructure projects (as was called for in a report by the International Energy Agency in 2021). This would speed the transition to renewables considerably. Instead, FERC is a rubber stamp for the fossil fuel industry, having rejected only 2 out of 400 applications over the past 30 years.
FERC has five commissioners. After Biden was elected, the agency shifted from Republican to Democratic control with three Democratic commissioners thanks to a Biden appointment. The agency adopted a new rule requiring that climate impacts, including climate justice issues, be considered when reviewing proposed projects. This could have meant significant progress in the fight against climate change.
But Joe Manchin stepped in. Manchin chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house! Manchin’s personal fortune is due to investments in the fossil fuel industry. And his Committee oversees FERC, giving him enormous power to squelch climate initiatives that would be good for all of us, but bad for his pocketbook.
Manchin summoned the FERC commissioners and bullied them into rescinding the new rule. Then when FERC Chairman Glick was up for renomination at the end of his term, Manchin refused to hold hearings on his re-appointment. To be clear, this was a Democratic Committee Chair refusing to even hold hearings on a nomination from a Democratic President because the nominee favored climate friendly policies that would have hurt the Committee Chair financially.
Please share this article. People need to know that the agency best positioned to speed the transition from fossil fuels to renewables is being prevented from doing so due to the avarice of Senator Joe Manchin. The solution? Manchin must be removed as Chair of the Committee that he uses to promote his own financial gain.
Tell Senate Majority Leader Schumer to do just that: (email Chuck Schumer).
And ask others to do the same.
Let’s put someone in charge of the Senate Energy Committee that oversees FERC who cares more about our future than their fortune.