Crack FERC Open: The Time to Escalate is Now!
CALL TO ACTION: The time to escalate is now at FERC (and elsewhere)!
BXE is planning a three or four day sharing/training, art-build and action from June 23-25, beginning the morning of Saturday, June 23rd. Will you join us?
Our communities and our planet are in desperate need of a halt to the permitting and building of all new fossil fuel pipelines and other infrastructure. Communities in the way of proposed new pipelines, compressor stations, storage and export facilities face toxic industrialization, eminent domain abuse, air, land and water pollution, and threats to health and safety. And our disrupted climate can only heal when jobs-creating renewable energy and energy efficiency have displaced fossil fuels, and people power has displaced corporate power.
For decades FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has supported the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. It has rubber stamped virtually all gas pipeline permit applications. They have confronted us and the rest of the country with a rigid, unified and punitive refusal to listen to grassroots concerns about communicide and climate change. This has led to a massive build-out of fracked gas infrastructure in many parts of the country, with all of the disruption and danger that come with it.
Recently, though, things are changing. Despite the Trump Administration’s full-throttle efforts to keep fossil fuel empires going, many cracks in their foundations have been appearing:
**Industry leaders are openly upset about the grassroots actions that have affected their plans.
**State and federal courts are beginning to delay or challenge FERC permits, efforts to subvert state powers over air and water quality, eminent domain abuse and actual pipeline construction.
**Fracked gas prices are so low that some companies have gone bankrupt, while costs are increasing. Trump’s steel tariffs are hurting the pipeline industry.
**A broad range of groups are working together to get banks to stop financing extreme energy.
**Wind, solar and renewable storage technologies continue to grow, as low prices make them much more attractive, and this is happening worldwide.
**2017 was the first year ever that both coal and gas declined in the electric power sector.
**Several states have stopped the construction of new gas-fired power plants, and resistance against them nationally is a big worry to the gas industry.
There are even cracks appearing at FERC: Commissioners voting unanimously to reject Rick Perry’s push to further subsidize coal and nukes; voting, because of a court decision, to end a substantial tax break for pipeline companies; new Democratic commissioner Richard Glick issuing several strong dissents on pipeline permit applications; and there have been other dissents too. These can greatly help court challenges.
It is time to escalate at FERC. BXE is planning three days of sharing/training, art-building and action from June 23-25, beginning the morning of Saturday the 23rd.
On June 23rd we will take part in the DC national action being organized by the Poor People’s Campaign. This will be the last of 40 days of action the PPC is organizing around the country. Following the demonstration we will gather in the late afternoon for a time of sharing, art-building and getting prepared for action at FERC and elsewhere the morning of Monday, June 25th. We will spend all-day Sunday continuing that preparation and community-building.
We intend to devise actions which can further open up the cracks in FERC's leadership and structure. In the past BXE has had success in getting the attention of FERC employees, press and others with nonviolent blockades, fasting, die-ins, days of silence, sidewalk feasts of pancakes and sweet potatoes, music, prayer and bird-dogging. We are also considering other locations where we could take action.
We urge you to sign up for this convergence and action. It’s time to Crack FERC Open!
Below you’ll find:
information about the Poor People’s Campaign, which BXE is actively supporting
a link to all four popular education videos that BXE has produced and released on consecutive Tuesdays in May
a link to our latest BXE No New InFRACKstructure action calendar, and
the latest logistical and other information
If you have questions, you can write to Lee Stewart at
The BXE Crew
Latest logistical and other information:
We will gather for the Poor People’s Campaign event on the 23rd beginning at 9 am, on the mall at 10th and Jefferson Sts. SW, in front of the Smithsonian Castle, where we will have colorful, attractive t-shirts for people to wear, literature to pass out about June 25 and 26, and a 50-foot long mock pipeline. The PPC rally begins at 10 am on the mall between 7th and 9th Sts. and will end by 2:30 pm after a march to the US Capitol.
For people who have packs or bags that need to get to St. Stephen’s Church after the rally and march ends, and if you can’t make other arrangements, you can bring them to the mall. We’ll put them together and make sure they’re secure ‘til the PPC events end, at which point you can get them and head up with others to St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, for our art-build at 3:00 PM.
We’ll spend that afternoon and evening time working with Kim Fraczek of the Sane Energy Project, who will be bottom-lining the art build and prop- and sign-making for BXE’s actions on June 25th and 26th. We’ll also have our first meal together, provided by Seeds of Peace.
Those who want to can stay overnight at St. Stephen’s. We’ll be sleeping on the floor, but people can use pew cushions, if you don’t bring a mat, along with your sleeping gear. You’ll need to put two pew cushions side by side to get an adequate width, so if you’re particular, you might want to bring a mat. There are bathrooms and a shower available for our use.
If you’re staying overnight at St. Stephen’s for one, two or three nights, here are things you should be sure to bring, and to not bring (some of these, like sunscreen and hats and water, should be brought by everybody):
-sleeping bag, or other sleeping stuff (it’ll probably be warm so you might want to consider just sheets, or sheets and a blanket)
-a pillow or something like one
-towel and wash cloth
-toiletries, including soap and shampoo
-sun screen and a hat (current predictions are high temperatures in the mid- to high-80’s)
-drugs, alcohol, weapons
Sunday morning we’ll leave pretty early, storing our personal gear in a locked room. Seeds of Peace will provide breakfast. By 9 am we’ll gather at the Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th St. NW, for a day-long gathering. We’ll be there until 5 pm, getting to know each other, getting organized, building community, learning about one another’s pipeline fights, doing a nonviolent direct action training, hearing a legal update from our lawyer Mark Goldstone, etc. At 5 we’ll return to St. Stephen’s to finish our preparation for Monday’s big day of action.
Seeds of Peace will provide lunch and dinner.
People who want to will stay overnight Sunday night at St. Stephen’s: We’ll get up early Monday morning and leave for FERC for our activities there, beginning with leafletting and greeting FERC employees as they arrive for work. We’ll also be considering what we can do to welcome the delegates to the World Gas Conference at the DC Convention Center where the World Gas Association just happens to be gathering for the first day of a several-days-long event. We also expect to be doing some bird-dogging of appropriate power structure players.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We will have a mix of activities. Some will involve a risk of arrest, and some will not. We need people willing to take part in each kind of activity to be successful.
Seeds of Peace will be providing food for us throughout the day Monday.
We will be staying overnight Monday night at St. Stephen’s. We’ll leave early Tuesday on the 26th so that we can we can get to Samuel Gompers Park, between 10th and 11th St. at Massachusetts and L St. NW, where we’ll gather at 8:30 am to get organized to go to the World Gas Conference. We’ll plan to be there when Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry is giving a keynote speech at 9 am.
Other things of note:
FERC’s review of its pipeline review process: Previous emails from us had reported that June 25th was the last day of a 60-day time period for people to submit comments to FERC about their (rubber stamp) process of reviewing (approving) proposed gas pipelines and infrastructure. But because of pressure from organizations fighting pipelines, they have extended the period for such comments until July 25th. We’ll be delivering, in person, our message about what needs to change as far as FERC.
12 noon rally at FERC on 25th: At 12 noon when we’re at FERC we will hold a rally where the speakers will be people from local areas where there are battles going on against new gas pipelines or other fossil fuel infrastructure. Please contact us if you want to be sure to be on that list to speak
Luci Murphy to lead us in song: We’re pleased to report that Luci Murphy, long-time cultural warrior and activist, will be with us the afternoon of the 24th and on the 25th to contribute her beautiful and soulful voice in song to our efforts.
Contributing to event costs: We are asking that all taking part in the June 23-25/26 actions, especially those sleeping in St. Stephen’s Church and/or eating Seeds of Peace-provided food, donate to help cover costs. We are asking for a $35/day donation, but we welcome everyone, whether you can contribute $5/day or $100/day. No one will be turned away because of their financial status. Click here to make a much appreciated (and needed) donation.
Nonviolence principles: We will be guided by these BXE nonviolence principles.
Poor People’s Campaign
The PPC is organized in 40 states and DC, and it has held actions in those states four Mondays and the Tuesday after Memorial Day since they kicked off a 40 days of action campaign on May 14, the day after Mother’s Day. The last Monday day of action happened today, on June 18. The final day of action will be June 23 in DC.
BXE is pleased to be part of this important, historic movement, and we urge everyone to take part as much as you can in it. It will be continuing after June 23rd.
You can find out more about the PPC here and you can read an article I wrote about it here.
BXE’s Popular Education Video Series
We have gotten a lot of positive feedback on the four videos we have distributed over the month of May. The last one, What is FERC?, was particularly well-received.
Click here to check them all out, and please share widely.
350 Loudoun (
Alliance to Protect Our People and the Places We Live (
AMP Creeks Council
Appalachians Against Pipelines
Berks Gas Truth (
Berkshire Environmental Action Team (
Better Path Coalition
Center for Biological Diversity (
Chesapeake Climate Action Network (
Chesapeake Pipeline Resistance
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Earth Defense Coalition
ECHO Action NH: #FossilFree603 ( ECHOaction.org)
Food & Water Watch
Fossil Free Rhode Island
FreshWater Accountability Project(www FWAP.org)
Friends of the Earth
Howard County (MD) Climate Action
Lowell Pipeline Resistance
New HavenLeon SCP
New Progressive Alliance (
New York Climate Action Group
NH Pipeline Resistance (PipelineFree603.org)
No Eastern Shore Pipeline (
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE) (
NYC H2O (
OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (
People Demanding Action (
Protect Orange County
Resist the Pipeline
Roseland (NJ) Against the Compressor Station
Sane Energy Project (
The Shalom Center (
Shut Down Indian Point Now
Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment
Transition US (
We Are Cove Point
Yoga For Peace, Justice, and Harmony with the Planet (
What extreme energy struggles are you a part of?
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Saturday, June 23rd
Sunday, June 24th
Monday, June 25th
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