Live From FERC – the Aliso Canyon hearing we deserve

Earlier today, BXE members visited the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a special hearing on Aliso Canyon – the fracked gas storage facility in California that sprang a massive leak last year. The leak eventually lead to evacuations, major health problems for people and animals in the area, massive media coverage, and an emergency declaration from Gov. Jerry Brown.

Five BXE members entered the meeting and spoke out to disrupt the hearing and demand that the concerns of the public be included. Ellen (in the video below) and other speakers were backed up by more than 300 people who joined a “thunderclap” action – tweeting and posting at the same time to show solidarity with BXE and our allies around the country fighting fracked-gas infrastructure projects that FERC reviews and oversees.

A short while later, we set up camp outside the building and held our own “people’s hearing” featuring front-line activists and experts from around the country. Our lineup included:

  • Dr. Robert Howarth on the climate threat of fracked gas.
  • Ellen and other BXE activists on the hearing and why FERC doesn’t work.
  • Nancy LaPlaca on cumulative v individual threats and federal policy on fracked gas infrastructure.
  • John Dennis A researcher from near Seneca Lake New York on the current and future risks of fracked gas storage in his area.
  • Michael Bagdes-Canning on the local harms from fracking in Western Pennsylvania, where he lives.
  • Karen Feridun from PA Against Fracking on the climate effects of methane leakage.
  • And finally Richard Mathews, a Save Porter Ranch board member who has been organizing during and after the evacuation to expose Sempra Energy’s terrible conduct. Richard’s interview was cut off when we lost power for a few minutes. We’ll post our interview with him as a separate video soon.

Here’s the recording:

After our people’s hearing (and a short break), BXE members marched to the national headquarters of the Army Corps of Engineers a few blocks away. Several volunteers including Ellen Barfield and Steve Norris, who are themselves veterans, asked to meet with someone from the Army Corps about the Dakota Access pipeline.

When no one would come out to meet us, BXE marched around the building blowing whistles and ringing bells to “blow the whistle” on the Army Corps for not denying the DAPL permit outright. To date, the Army Corps, in coordination with the Department of Interior and other parts of President Barack Obama’s administration have ‘paused’ the pipeline pending a review now expected to last just weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates and info on BXE actions at FERC and in solidarity with the #NoDAPL protests soon!