165 Groups Demand GAO Investigation Of Agency Abuse

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Above photo: From Beyond Extreme Energy. Hunger strikers pose in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September, 2015 during the fast for no new fossil fuel permits.

Over 2000 Individuals and 165 Organizations Sign Submission Urging GAO Review of FERC, Underscoring the Agency’s Abuse of Power and Bias Toward Gas Industry throughout the United States.

Washington, DC – On January 14, Popular Resistance joined the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, hundreds of other organizations and thousands of concerned community members in calling for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC). The letter urging Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren to use their key seats on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to call for a GAO review details FERC’s ongoing bias toward the same pipeline companies it is intended to regulate and highlights the toll this abuse of power has taken on local communities.

READ THE REQUESTS HERE: http://bit.ly/FERCGAOInvestigationLetter

“We know first-hand that FERC is attempting to bypass our rights to judicial review and fair public participation in the decision-making process,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “FERC has time and again prioritized the advancement of gas infrastructure projects over the wellbeing of the communities it should be protecting – misusing legal loopholes and ignoring court orders while ordinary citizens play by the rules. The GAO must take immediate action to ensure that FERC’s malfeasance does not go unchecked.”

“An independent investigation into FERC will pull back the curtain on the abuses taking place at the agency and help identify needed reforms,” said Margaret Flowers, co-director of Popular Resistance. “It’s time to transform FERC into an agency that protects and serves the people – not the natural gas pipeline industry.”

The request for an investigation notes that FERC is entirely funded by the industry it regulates, resulting in a demonstrable bias in favor of the energy industry’s agenda over community and environmental concerns. FERC has approved 100 percent of pipeline project proposals submitted by the industry – the highest approval rate found at any independent federal agency. The revolving door between employment with the regulatory agency and the industry also contributes to this bias and to the lack of oversight and enforcement for pipeline projects approved by FERC. Additionally, the submission asserts that FERC greenlights the seizure of land through the use of eminent domain for projects that benefit private companies rather than the public.

BLOCKADIA - THE BEYOND EXTREME ENERGY ACTION in Washngton DCPopular Resistance, as a partner in Beyond Extreme Energy and We Are Cove Point, has stood in solidarity with front line communities that are being harmed by the FERC’s approvals of pipelines, compressor stations and gas export terminals that drive more extreme energy extraction such as fracking for oil and gas. This investigation will be used to demand that the FERC stop the harm that it is causing by representing the interests of the oil and gas industries without concern for the health and safety of families and communities.

The original letter laying out the case for GAO Investigation can be found at:

http://bit.ly/DRN-TheCaseForGAOInvestigation