‘We Will Not Be Silent’

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We Will Not Be Silent! — Letter of support for the actions in May at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington DC

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

With climate change, we are at a moment when as humanity we cannot remain silent. We must hold those accountable who are causing and furthering our climate crisis.

This is why we urge support of and participation in the nonviolent demonstrations and other events May 21-29 in Washington, D.C. organized by Beyond Extreme Energy and focused upon the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Why FERC? Robert Kennedy, Jr. has called them “a rogue agency, a captive agency.” FERC is the federal agency which, among other duties, has to approve proposed interstate natural gas pipelines, compressor stations, export terminals and other gas infrastructure. And approve is what they do; they are a rubber stamp for the fracking industry.

At this time of crisis, we need a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that does what is right, not a weak body whose funding comes from fees paid by the gas industry and other fossil fuel companies they “regulate.” As a result, they function as if they were being paid by the fossil fuel industry.

We need people like you and me to take action to stop disastrous fossil fuel expansion–more fracking, more gas pipelines, export terminals and other extreme energy projects. That is why we support Beyond Extreme Energy’s (BXE) mass action at FERC, where BXE will promote a pathway for FERC to transform into a leading institution that can support the shift from fossil fuels – oil, coal and gas – to wind, solar, and other renewables.

Last November Beyond Extreme Energy organized nonviolent blockades of the entrances to FERC and disrupted its functioning for five straight days. And on the fifth day, for several hours, BXE was able to keep hundreds of FERC employees out of the building and on the street outside. Pennsylvanians harmed by fracking told their stories over a bullhorn to the hushed and listening crowd. The actions then, and the actions since, are having an impact on FERC and are increasing public awareness.

FERC must be stopped from being a part of the problem, which is what nonviolent action is about, and we must transform FERC and other government agencies into drivers of the solutions we need to stop climate change. Stopping FERC in an important front in the struggle to end corporate control of our government.

We urge you to go to beyondextremeenergy.org to learn more. And please join us or support the actions in Washington DC for some of all of the time from May 21st to 29th.

Power to the people!

Signers:

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. (president of the Hip Hop Caucus)
Tim DeChristopher (Harvard Divinity student, subject of the documentary Bidder 70)
Josh Fox (director of 2010 Oscar nominated film Gasland)
Wenonah Hauter (founder and director, Food & Water Watch)
Naomi Klein (author of This Changes Everything:  Capitalism vs. the Climate)
Ed Begley, Jr. (actor)
George Lakey (co-founder Training For Change and Earth Quaker Action Group)
Debra Winger (actor)
Jennifer Krill (executive director of Earthworks)
Mark Ruffalo (actor)
Cherri Foytlin (journalist and author of Spill It! The Truth About The Deep Water Horizon Oil Rig Explosion)
Annie Leonard (executive director of Greenpeace USA)
Matt Leonard (350.org)
Jill Stein (Green Party 2012 presidential nominee)
Ed Asner (actor)
Paul Winter (musician)
Eve Ensler (playwright)
Koreti Tiumalu (Pacific Climate Warriors)