Pipelines are responsible directly, and in their support of increased fossil fuel development such as fracked shale gas indirectly, for the release of mass quantities of methane and other climate changing emissions. As a result, every natural gas pipeline approved by FERC is preventing our ability to meet the 1.5 degree goal and to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change. Every FERC pipeline approved is putting more families in peril, costing taxpayers billions of dollars in needed response, keeping workers from their jobs and preventing the advancement of clean energy technologies that create 3 to 5 times the number of jobs compared to their dirty fossil fuel counterparts. Waters are being polluted, communities devastated, and the future of our children, our children’s children, and every future generation to come is being jeopardized. Additionally, pipelines are massive investments, so they’re built to last at least 40 years. The pipelines McNamee will surely rubberstamp will be online past the point when we need to be completely off of fossil fuels or will become stranded assets. In addition to advancing the release of climate changing emissions through the approval of pipelines, FERC is blatantly misusing its authority to undermine the rights of property owners, communities, states and other agencies to question or challenge fracked gas pipelines. FERC uses a loophole called a tolling order to rob people of their legal right to meaningfully access the courts before a project is allowed to take property rights and begin devastating construction. FERC advances projects before state and agency reviews have been completed, thereby undermining and usurping state and agency authority. FERC continues to expand efforts to shut people out of the public comment process, to use third party consultants that have professional relationships with the very pipeline companies and pipeline projects they are supposed to be objectively reviewing for FERC, and FERC continues to allow agency employees with known conflicts of interest to review and approve pipelines. I join with individuals, organizations and communities from across the nation to urge you to reject Bernard McNamee to fill the vacant FERC Commissioner seat – he is unsuitable for the job. In addition, I urge you to keep the FERC Commissioner vacancy vacant until you have conducted congressional hearings into FERC’s abuses of its power in order to wrongly advance pipeline projects, including its recent pronouncement that it intends to ignore the climate changing impacts of its decisions. Then, you can put in place needed reforms and a candidate worthy to fill the Commissioner vacancy. If we are to save our communities, nation and earth, we need FERC Commissioners who recognize science as an important tool for decision-making, who recognize the importance and viability of clean energy on a near term basis, and who recognize that fossil fuels, including their CO2 and Methane emissions, are contributing to devastating impacts on our nation and earth and need to be phased out as soon as possible.
Please, reject Bernard McNamee’s nomination to be a FERC Commissioner, hold hearings into FERC’s abuses instead.
Respectfully and Urgently,
[Signers to be listed in order of sign on]
[i] Bernard McNamee, This Earth Day, let’s accept the critical role the fossil fuel plays in energy needs, The Hill, April 17, 2018, available at https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/383605-this-earth-day-lets-accept-the-critical-role-that-fossil-fuel. [ii] See Mark Z. Jacobson, et al.,100% clean and renewable wind, water, sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy roadmaps for the 50 United States, 8 Energy Environ. Sci. 2093 (2015); See also National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Renewable Electricity Futures Study: Executive Summary, NREL/TP-6A20-52409-ES (2012).