Fix the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) First

To be delivered to Rickey R. Hass, Inspector General, The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

We call on our Federal Legislators, the President, and the Inspector General of DOE to: 

• Conduct an INVESTIGATION by independent researchers of FERC’s procedures.
• Based on investigation results, REVISE and UPDATE FERC’s POLICIES to reflect the critical need to decrease fossil fuel reliance and rapidly expand renewable energy technologies.
• Enact a MORATORIUM on new fossil fuel infrastructure approvals by FERC until the investigation is complete and changes are implemented.


Our United States is massively expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, causing disastrous consequences for health, safety, air and water quality, food systems and climate. Across our nation, residents plead with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject fossil fuel projects, yet FERC continues to approve nearly every new proposal.

Is FERC a regulatory commission or rubber-stamp commission?
FERC’s presidentially appointed commissioners have major ties to fossil fuel companies, with revolving doors between FERC regulators and the industry they supposedly regulate. FERC’s funding comes from fees FERC charges to those companies. FERC approves nearly all project proposals it receives.

FERC’s decisions harm our environment, climate and livelihoods.
FERC accepts dangerous energy practices that directly conflict with clean air and water standards and greenhouse gas reduction goals. FERC’s decisions hurt public health and safety. Those impacts are documented and widespread everywhere fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure occur.
Overwhelming worldwide scientific consensus states that, since the mid-twentieth century, climate change has been caused primarily by human activity, particularly fossil fuel use, yet FERC ignores this in decision-making. Renewable technologies are available, efficient and cost effective, but FERC doesn’t consider alternatives such as roof-top solar or renewable option combinations in its review process.

We need change. We envision a FERC that:
• Includes the public, residents of impacted front-line communities, non-industry-funded environmental scientists and public health experts in all decision-making.
• Bases decisions upon all downstream and upstream environmental impacts, including global warming.
• Grounds decisions upon cumulative effects of entire and multiple projects, never practicing illegal segmentation again.
• Encourages renewable energy technologies development while discouraging fossil fuel infrastructure expansion.
• Has distinct independence from industries it regulates.
• Requires the fossil fuel industry to follow the same clean air, clean water and safe drinking water standards as every other industry, and holds those companies accountable for their actions to the fullest extent of civil and criminal law.

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