Above photo: Clean energy advocates drop a banner over the entrance to the FERC. Ted Glick.
Turn the fossil fuel rubber stamp machine (the FERC) into the FREC, the Federal Renewable Energy Commission.
Something new is happening this Thursday, February 18 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A person will be chairing a FERC Commissioners meeting who has written publicly that he appreciates why some consider FERC to be a rubber-stamp agency.
Richard Glick has done more than this in his three-plus years as a FERC Commissioner. He has openly opposed and written strong dissents, primarily but not only on climate grounds, to majority decisions approving new gas pipelines, LNG terminals and compressor stations. Those dissents likely helped lead the DC Court of Appeals to strike down last year, FERC’s “Kafkaesque” (their words) decades-long abuse of eminent domain to the extreme detriment of landowners around the country faced with planned fossil fuel infrastructure on their land.
We at Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) are glad that Glick was named chair of FERC last month by President Biden. And on Thursday many of us will be emailing, calling, or tweeting at FERC to congratulate him as he gavels in his first commissioners’ meeting. At the same time, we will be urging him and the other commissioners to stand up to the fossil fuel industry consistently and repeatedly, stop being a rubber stamp for them.
You can join us in this effort by sending a message to the five commissioners or live-tweet at them during the meeting with us.
‘We’re excited for big changes at FERC under Chairman Glick. However, we remain skeptical that FERC can be reformed in ways that truly meet the challenges of the climate crisis. We’re keeping our eyes on FERC, especially with new promises of environmental and climate justice.’
‘I’m calling to congratulate Richard Glick on his new position as Chair of FERC. I’m excited that he is looking to make big changes at FERC regarding cumulative green house gass emissions, environmental justice, and renewable energy. We hope he continues to take a stand against fossil fuels as we seek to build longterm solutions like the creation of a Federal Renewable Energy Commission.”
Commissioner Christie: 202-502-8110
Commissioner Chatterjee: 202-502-6477
Commissioner Danly: 202-502-8338
Commissioner Clements: 202-573-2699
We hope for and will continue to work for the best possible results from a FERC chaired by Richard Glick and, later this year, with a Democratic majority of commissioners. But we are acutely aware of FERC’s long, rubber-stamp history and its continuing ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Accordingly, we will continue to advance our FERC Into FREC campaign. We call for and are working toward Congressional legislation that mandates that this new Federal Renewable Energy Commission have as its primary mission to lead the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, battery storage and energy efficiency. Commissioners of FREC must be champions of renewable energy and free of conflicts of interest. They must be serious about environmental justice, transparency and active promotion of community-based involvement in decision-making as a new electrical grid is built based on jobs-creating renewables with storage. And much more.
Why do we need a new FREC if Richard Glick is chair and will soon lead a Democratic majority of commissioners? One reason is that if a Republican wins the Presidency in 2024, we can expect FERC, under Republican control, to experience the same efforts to advance fossil fuels that we’ve seen under Trump. And we remember 20-plus years of FERC doing its rubber-stamping thing for the fossil fuel industry under both Republicans and Democrats. Without FREC legislation any positive actions by FERC will be hampered, litigated against, and not complied with by the fossil fuel industry.
So as we congratulate Richard Glick on Thursday, we will let him and the other commissioners know that we are watching and we will keep pressing in every way we can for the creation of the kind of 21st century, federal energy regulatory body we desperately need.