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One Hell Of An Editorial

GIF edition!

Sometimes you read something so good, you just have to high five the internet a little bit.

5sThe Recorder, the “newspaper of record serving scenic Bath and Highland counties, and the Allegheny Highlands of Virginia”, published a stellar editorial on March 26th that deserves to be read by far more than the paper’s 5,000 subscribers.

In “Aww, FERC Is Frustrated,” the editors respond to FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur’s infamous and telling comment, “We have a situation here.” If the commissioners are perplexed by the recent groundswell of opposition to fracking and its associated infrastructure, The Record, at least, is not.

“Why the “unprecedented” outcry, Ms. LaFleur? Because of the industry’s failure to adequately protect us, and your agency’s failure to do the same.”

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“We see little evidence of a sturdy, unblemished record of oversight or protection. What we do see is the gas industry has much more control over FERC, state agencies, and lawmakers who make up the rules than it should.”

pwnt

“You are not representing our interests, Ms. LaFleur. You are representing industries that have full and powerful resources to mostly glide through your processes with ease.”

slammed

“Until your agency can balance its mission to help the energy sector with its mission to minimize risk, Ms. LaFleur, your in-box will remain flooded for the foreseeable future. Get used to it”

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We here at Beyond Extreme Energy could not agree more.

Read “Aww, FERC Is Frustrated” at https://recorder.our-hometown.com/news/2015-03-26/Opinions_%28and%29___Commentary/Aww_FERC_is_frustrated_002.html.

Maryland Governor Hogan Celebrates TOWN-breaking At Cove Point

Hogan town-breaking ceremony

Tracey Eno of Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community had this to say about Dominion Resources’ groundbreaking ceremony today for its LNG export plant at Cove Point.

“The residents of Lusby are NOT celebrating Dominion’s ‘TOWN-breaking Ceremony’ today. It’s no surprise that this event was kept a secret until the last minute and is closed to the public ‘due to security concerns,’ according to Dominion PR spokesperson, Karl Neddenien. If Dominion is worried about security, they should think twice about building a dangerous liquefaction train next to the 20,483 residents of Lusby. We worry about security every day and the risk of vapor clouds and explosions of propane and LNG, with potential for grave catastrophe. The 2006 Maryland Department of Natural Resources study shows that 360 families are at risk of a flash fire right now.

“We look forward to meeting with Governor Hogan to tell him the truth. We can only assume he hasn’t studied the details of the project. We recommend he Google ‘Images Skikda Algeria 2004’ as a primer.”

Cove Point Residents Protest At FERC Meeting

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reposted from www.baynet.com

Washington, DC – This morning, March 19, singing and chanting members of We Are Cove Point (WACP) from Lusby, Maryland, and their supporters from Beyond Energy (BXE) attempted to sit in and read a statement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s(FERC) monthly meeting, protesting FERC’s failure to rule on a Request for Rehearing of its Sept. 29, 2014 order approving Dominion Resource’s construction permit for Cove Point even while construction at the hotly-challenged site continues. They were immediately removed from the building and the doors were locked behind them.

The prepared statement read:

You are continuing to allow Dominion to proceed with construction while simultaneously asking for a lot of new information from them—why didn’t you ask for this before you granted the permit in the first place? You are taking months to rule on local residents’ request for a rehearing. You are refusing to rule on a request from their legal team to stay all construction while FERC considers their request for a rehearing.  The combined result of this is that Dominion gets to continue construction for many months before the case gets heard at the Court of Appeals.

The community groups and their supporters also presented FERC with a petition – supported by nearly 20,000 signatures – demanding that FERC order construction at Cove Point to stop while the agency considers the health, safety, and legal issues raised by the Application For Rehearing, which was filed by Earthjustice, and when granted would invalidate the permit – bringing the Cove Point project to a halt.

Today’s protest at FERC is the latest in a series of continuing and escalating community protests at FERC’s monthly meetings. The protests have led FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur to declare, “We have a situation here.” FERC has also issued a gag rule to silence these protestors. (The rule was imposed in early March, but will not go into effect until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.)

As to the gag rule, BXE says:

FERC must get its priorities straight – beginning with stopping construction at Cove Point. It is outrageous that FERC cares more about suppressing citizen protests – which are necessary because of its failure to act – than it does about acting promptly to protect the health and safety of the communities in and around Cove Point. FERC must no longer be the first line of defense for the fossil fuel industries in setting energy policy.

BXE will continue to bring these concerns to the Commission, and emphasized that concerned citizens and communities will not be silenced by an industry-friendly gag rule.

BXE has also called for large-scale non-violent direct action later this spring to protest FERC’s arbitrary, secretive and industry-friendly policies. Hundreds of concerned citizens, families, and community groups will converge on FERC to demand that the agency “Stop the FERCus” by turning FERC’s natural gas policy around and opening up a clean, renewable energy future.

http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0315/plantprojectfoesescortedfromcommissionmeeting.html

Help Us Take BXE To The Next Level In 2015

BXE action at FERC, Nov. 2014

BXE Friends,

It is truly amazing what Beyond Extreme Energy has been able to accomplish in just five months with your generous support and help. We are building upon a movement that has been developing for years.

Here is what Cheryl LaFleur, Chairwoman of FERC, said publicly on January 27th at the National Press Club: “Increased demand for natural gas-fired plants will lead to new pipelines, . . .And I believe meeting the goals of the (EPA) Clean Power Plan will also lead to construction of a lot of new natural gas generation.” She added that implementing these polices could become more difficult due to the increasingly hostile views environmental activists have taken toward hydraulic fracturing and pipeline projects in recent years.

“These groups are active in every FERC docket… as well as in my email inbox seven days a week, in my Twitter feed, at our open meetings demanding to be heard, and literally at our door closing down First Street so FERC won’t be able to work. We’ve got a situation here.”

In other words, she knows who we are, and she knows we are a problem for FERC and industry.

At last, by going to FERC’s open meetings and to their front door, BXE has gotten FERC’s attention. And we have plans to keep doing so. In late spring, from May 21-29, with your help, we will be organizing nonviolent actions at FERC with many hundreds of people taking part.

We hope that you will want to join with us in this action and reach out to bring others with you. But we need more than that.

BXE has initiated a $10,000 pledge campaign. We are asking those who can to pledge $500, $1,000 or whatever you can, more or less, toward a goal of $10,000. We’re not asking for the money until we reach that goal. Once we reach it, and the money comes in, we will be able to hire young people to visit campuses starting in early March to strengthen student participation in the late spring actions, as well as move the overall organizing for those actions forward.

As of this writing, a little over $3,300 has been pledged. We also have other substantial money committed, further along, from one of our member organizations which worked with us in the fall.

BXE is a very frugal organization. It literally runs on the volunteer energy and commitment of dozens of individuals and many groups, with no paid staff up until now. Our major action last November, “closing down First Street so FERC won’t be able to work,” was pulled off very successfully for less than $16,000 in total.

We figure we’ll need close to three times that to organize this spring action, because our plan is to triple, or more, the number of people taking part in it.

That is why this $10,000 pledge campaign is so important. It will fund our work this spring in the build-up to those actions, especially the campus organizing, and it will generate energy to keep the organizing and fundraising momentum going.

So how about it? FERC is central to the fossil fuel industry’s plans to expand the natural gas empires in the US and to other countries. BXE, on the other hand, has the experience and has developed the organization to challenge FERC. We are uniquely situated to challenge, slow and maybe even halt the extremely dangerous policies and practices of the gas industry and FERC right now.

Isn’t what Beyond Extreme Energy has brought to the movement against fracking and the climate justice movement worth your financial support? What if it didn’t exist and wasn’t active? Without question, this movement would be missing a very important component.

BXE is a loose, flexible, resilient and adapting organization, with our hearts and minds focused not only on FERC but also on gritty and difficult community-based struggles like the ones going on in Cove Point, Seneca Lake, the Pennsylvania fracking fields and elsewhere. Because of these strengths, BXE is bringing grassroots energy into the conversations going on at the highest levels in Washington, D.C.

We look forward to your responses. Please let Ted know at ted@chesapeakeclimate.org what you are willing and able to pledge.

Many thanks,

Steve Norris
Ted Glick