‘No More Fossil Lovers!’, BXE Disrupts Hearing For New FERC Commissioner
Above photo: From Beyond Extreme Energy.
Washington, DC – Members of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) spoke out at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing for James Danly, who was nominated by President Trump to be the third Republican commissioner at FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. BXE members unfurled a banner reading “Reject Danly” and yelled “FERC: No more fossil lovers! Wind and solar now!” before being arrested. The Danly nomination has been controversial because the Republican Danly was not paired with a Democrat nominee, as has been the norm at FERC for years.
Climate activists from @BXEAction disrupted Senate hearing on @FERC commissioner – “FERC No more fossil lovers. Wind and solar now!”@RisingTideNA @350 @Peoples_Climate @XRebelDC @sunrisemvmt pic.twitter.com/Xc8fgpm3yr
— Popular Resistance (@PopResistance) November 6, 2019
Danly is not qualified to be a FERC commissioner. Let us count the ways:
He just graduated from law school in 2014. He had no regulatory experience when he was appointed by Pres. Trump in 2017 to be general counsel at FERC.
He does his work as a triumvirate, having brought two colleagues from his former job to the agency, who accompany him everywhere. This does not bespeak competence.
His philosophy of “the humble regulator” harkens back to the desire of conservatives to shrink government small enough to drown it in a bathtub. He is a strict constructionist whom one advisor to regulators says, according to an article in E&E, “To suggest that FERC may do nothing not explicitly stated is to misunderstand Congress’ intent. Congress chose not to describe every specific tool the Commission may use, because no Congress would have the expertise or foresight to know what those tools are.” This brand of ‘malicious compliance’ will only worsen FERC’s reputation as a weak regulator. FERC has only rejected 2 out of 400 projects in the last 30 years.
The article continued, “Evidence of Danly‘s belief in the ‘humble regulator’ theory might be found in his leading the commission last year to abandon the approach it had employed toward evaluating the effects of downstream greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas projects, using authority found in the National Environmental Policy Act.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit criticized FERC for its “decidedly less-than-dogged efforts to obtain the information it says it would need to determine that downstream greenhouse-gas emissions qualify as a reasonably foreseeable indirect effect of a project.”
Finally and most importantly, climate scientists say we have until 2030 to cut global greenhouse gases in half if we hope to avoid irreversible climate catastrophe. Building out fracked gas projects such as those that FERC rubber stamps will not cut it. We need to transform FERC into FREC — the Federal Renewable Energy Commission. Danly’s contributions would only send us backwards.