FERC Quorum Restored In Night Vote After Protests
Above photo: From the Beyond Extreme Energy Facebook Page.
Washington, DC – On Thursday, August 3, climate protectors and New York residents occupied Senator Chuck Schumer’s office to shut it down in protest of the upcoming senate vote to confirm Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners. The FERC has not had a quorum, and thus has not been able to issue permits, since the inauguration in January.
Protesters stated that they would “not leave until he [Schumer] opposes Trump’s nominations to #FERC and vows to fight the #DirtyEnergyBill, which if passed, would give FERC more power. FERC has been working as an arm of the oil and gas industry to rubber stamp unneeded and harmful fossil fuel infrastructure for decades. The #Senate must take steps to replace FERC with an agency dedicated to a just transition off fossil fuels.”
The seven people blockading the door to Senator Schumer’s office were arrested. Six were later released and one was held overnight.
The Senate was expected to vote on the FERC nominations that day, but senators waited until night time and voted by unanimous consent to approve the two new FERC commissioners, Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson. The vote was done by voice so that there is no record of how individual senators voted. Additionally, none of the Senators present spoke up to request a recorded vote or slow the process in any way.
Soon after the FERC commissioners were confirmed, Senators left Washington, DC for summer recess.
Beyond Extreme Energy is formulating a response and next steps in this struggle to stop the FERC from rubber stamping oil and gas projects without regard for the health and safety of communities or the impact on climate will be announced.