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Delaware Riverkeeper Wants FERC Shut Down

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

 

The Delaware Riverkeeper and 182 of it’s friends demand the U.S. Senate hold hearings to find FERC “corrupt” and shut it down completely.

Maya van Rossum, who is THE Delaware Riverkeeper (the river’s mamma), got 182 of her friends, whom she calls “organizations” to sign a letter and sent it to the U.S. Senate demanding (she always demands, never politely asks) for hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Why? Because they’re actually doing their job, and that just can’t stand.

Delaware Riverkeeper

Instead, she wants FERC shut down so no new pipeline projects will get approved. That’s the only acceptable outcome for Mamma Maya. She alleges that FERC is misusing its power under the federal Natural Gas Act. One of Mamma Maya’s friends, CORNball Paul Gierosky (cofounder of COalition to Reroute Nexus, or CORN) says: “FERC is corrupt and needs to be reformed.” What hubris.

More than 180 organizations representing communities across America called on leaders in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold congressional hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) extensive history of bias and abuse. The groups are also requesting reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC and too little to state and local officials.

“The time has now come for Congress to investigate how FERC is using its authority and to recognize that major changes are in fact necessary in order to protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a primary organizer of the effort.

DRN’s letter to Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairwoman Lisa Murkoski (R-AK), Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), signed by 182 community organizations representing communities in 35 states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, argues that FERC’s review and approval process for jurisdictional pipeline projects is infected by bias; and that it is resulting in uncontrolled and irresponsible proliferation of unneeded natural gas pipelines. Finally, the letter charges the agency with misusing provisions in the law to strip people and states of their legal rights, to prevent fair public participation in the pipeline review process, and to improperly use the power of eminent domain to take private property and public lands in a way that inflicts unforgivable harm to rights, jobs, and communities.

delaware riverkeeper

“FERC is corrupt and needs to be reformed,” said Paul L Gierosky, cofounder, Coalition to Reroute Nexus. “The evidence is overwhelming and clear as is set forth in the request for Congressional Hearings. It is time for Congress to hold FERC accountable.”

The letter details how FERC has implemented the Natural Gas Act in ways that deliberately undermine public input. FERC has prevented communities from challenging projects before the exercise of eminent domain and pipeline construction, made decisions to benefit its Commissioners, and used conflicted consultants to handle much of the review process.

In addition to calling for hearings into FERC and the Natural Gas Act, the letter opposes any further advancement of language in the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 meant to shorten critical pipeline review periods. Signers of the letter argue that the proposed law should be held in abeyance until after the hearings, where Congress will learn “how people’s rights, state’s rights, and the environment are already being abused under the implementation of the Natural Gas Act and so will be further harmed by passage of provisions proposed in the new law.”

Upon Congressional review, DRN and fellow parties demand the reforms necessary to address FERC’s extensive abuse of power, which requires revising the Natural Gas Act to prevent the misuse and exploitation that has been rampant. Additionally, the organizations seek affirmative action to remedy FERC’s problematic funding structure.

“It is a new day and a new way as citizens come together to say enough is enough,” said Chad Oba, Friends of Buckingham. “There is purpose and dedication in our resolve and we won’t stop until our voices are heard and our right to live in health and freedom from corporate interests is restored.”

“The number of frack gas pipelines is exploding and the feds are not only not applying appropriate oversight, but are in fact also enabling the trampling of people’s property rights, public health standards, and environmental protection,” said David Pringle, NJ Campaign Director, Clean Water Action. “This letter is a clarion call to action for Congress to rein in this modern day Wild West that if left unchecked will lead to even worse abuses and explosions.”

We say it’s time for Congress to investigate THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the 182 “organizations” signing the letter for corruption and collusion. Specifically, it’s WAY past time for the IRS to investigate how these groups are being funded, for violating their tax-exempt status with their activities.

Below is a copy of the letter signed by Mamma Maya, CORNball Gierosky and the other 180 friends of Maya (click to read the whole thing).

delaware riverkeeper demand

Editor’s Note: It’s worth reminding our readers of a couple things. First, is the fact (proven many times here) that many of these organizations are just the same tiny group of individuals operating under different names. Second, most of them are simply shills for uber-wealthy special interest foundations, The Delaware Povertykeeper (a/k/a Riverkeeper) being the prime example as the dirty tricks outfit for the William Penn Foundation. These sorts of ridiculous letters where the same group of malcontents try to convince others they represent thousands is the stock in trade of the Povertykeeper. It’s pure gimmickry.

Finally, readers might also take note of the listing of Beyond Extreme Energy on the list. I wrote about them here. They proudly flirt with violence, engaging in such actions as “rolling occupations of FERC Commissioners houses.” Their leadership consists of spoiled brat trust-funder types who love getting arrested for vandalism. Here’s what I wrote about their funding:

When you dig into Beyond Extreme Energy, though, by going to their donation page, you find the operation is funded by something called the Center for Public Interest Research, Inc., which is affiliated with the National Center for the Public Interest. Inc. and is basically designed to serve the community organizing arm of that entity. Both are parts of the U.S. PIRG operation, about which we’ve written numerous times. Public interest research groups, or PIRGs, were created by Ralph Nader and others as a tool to fund raise for radical causes using college students as pawns.

They are also designed to be rain-makers for trial lawyers, which is where people such as Jay Halfon come into the equation. Halfon, now integrally involved with the Park Foundation, the Rockefellers, Bill McKibben and his 350.org, the Sustainable Markets Foundation and Earthworks, among others, served as executive director of both the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). Trial lawyers thrive upon and actively support PIRGs who set up opportunities for lawsuits.

The Center for Public Interest Research, the PIRG group behind Beyond Extreme Energy, is funded by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Tides Foundation (Teresa Heinz Kerry) and other entities such as the Western Conservation Foundation which is, in turn, funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund, the same folks who, with the rest of the NRDC gang, ginned up the recent RICO attack on Exxon Mobil with the help of New York Attorney General Schneiderman who acts as an extension of the NRDC and brought on Weitz & Luxenberg trial lawyer Lemuel Srolovic to do the dirty work.

Nice people, aren’t they? Well, not really. They’re a bunch of condescending little rich kids, funded by even richer special interests to served as useful idiots in a cause they don’t begin to understand and wrongly suppose is what they protest. Much the same can be said about most of this list.

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10 thoughts on “Delaware Riverkeeper Wants FERC Shut Down

  1. So if someone does not agree with her, she goes nuclear and demands they be 100% destroyed. But I’m sure she thinks the IRS was doing a bang-up job back in the late Lois Lerner days.

  2. One paragraph in this article caught my eye.

    “It is a new day and a new way as citizens come together to say enough is enough,” said Chad Oba, Friends of Buckingham. “There is purpose and dedication in our resolve and we won’t stop until our voices are heard and our right to live in health and freedom from corporate interests is restored.”

    It’s that they are anti-corporation and this has nothing to do with the environment. In the meantime I have a cousin, that lives in Connecticut, who could’ve benefited from one of these “unneeded fracked” gas pipelines a couple years ago when he had to replace his oil burning furnace. If the cheaper cleaner burning “fracked” gas was available he would’ve switched to it. Natural gas is unavailable in most of Connecticut because of a lack of pipelines. A lot of people, including my cousin, burn wood too to reduce their heating bill which is much worse for the air quality and their health.

    I have a 20 inch “fracked” gas pipeline that crosses my farm within 300 ft. of my house and never had an issue with it. I’m 54 years old and has been there longer than that. They are in the process of replacing it and are in the planning stages. They should be starting on doing the work soon. Even though they are replacing an existing pipeline an environmental study was required by the FERC before it could be permitted. This wasn’t done overnight and in fact has been ongoing for at least 2 years. So I’d have to say the FERC is doing it’s job and they bare doing a good one at that.

  3. “The groups are also requesting reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC”

    “protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act,”

    “FERC is corrupt and needs to be reformed,” said Paul L Gierosky, cofounder, Coalition to Reroute Nexus. “The evidence is overwhelming and clear as is set forth in the request for Congressional Hearings. It is time for Congress to hold FERC accountable.”

    “demand the reforms necessary to address FERC’s extensive abuse of power, which requires revising the Natural Gas Act to prevent the misuse and exploitation that has been rampant.”

    I certainly agree with the above issues quoted from the letter. The FERC has been abusing its power for decades. The letter, however, does not address the issue of FERC abuse of power with respect to underground natural gas storage. The FERC has absolutely no justification or authority for its abuse of power with regard to underground natural gas storage. The natural gas act was written for pipelines only not underground natural gas storage.

    The FERC has been illegally issuing permits for underground natural gas storage for decades. This is a violation of the 5th amendment. The FERC, the Federal Government, and the courts have been in bed with the oil and gas companies for decades allowing illegal underground natural gas storage on private land with little or no compensation to private landowners and Native Americans.

    Gas companies are illegally making millions of dollars annually off of private land, and have been for decades. This is an issue that affects thousands of landowners across 31 states in the United States. Landowners are the rightful owners of the extremely valuable underground caverns on their property. The 410 underground storage caverns on private land across the United States are very valuable and scarce resources to gas and pipeline companies. The underground caverns are illegally being used by gas companies. Gas companies need to be forced to retroactively pay private landowners from the date they started illegally using these privately owned caverns for underground natural gas storage. The courts need to be forced to reverse decisions on eminent domain, and illegal perpetual leases. Courts need to be forced to reverse decisions using diminution of surface land value as paradigm for compensation. The correct paradigm is the value of the scarce underground storage caverns to gas companies.

    Gas and Pipeline companies are sharecroppers that aren’t sharing:
    No illegal eminent domain for underground natural gas storage!
    No illegal perpetual leases!
    No diminution of surface land value as paradigm for compensation!
    No illegal FERC permits for underground storage!

    • Fascinating response from someone who goes by the initials cb only. What level of accountability do you think any of the signers or the organizations of the letter are held to themselves for anything really?

  4. The letter is as absurd as the idea is of taking a pipeline 101 course with Maya van rossum and Delaware riverkeeper. Apparently the CEO of publishing empire rodale Inc wouldn’t think so as Maria rodale appears to be quite friendly with Maya letting Maya post under her own name on huffpo. Someone should make a list of just what rodale publishes these days. I know in the past this was mutliple magazines and also books.

    One should look not just at the names of the orgs themselves but also the individual names of signers as well. How many right off the bat would you trust for information or have you seen misinformation put out by.

    A short list from me of groups and signers that misinform the public are, 350 nyc and signed, food and water watch and the signed is the big dog in charge , deleware riverkeeper, the Sierra club Atlantic chapter, Catskill mountainkeeper, both singers from the same energy project who alternately represent other groups like resist aim and are touring with a you are here map of all infrackstructure to fight either existing or proposed. Patti wood and grassroots environmental education, sape and susan van Dolsen. That is just for starters though.

  5. I think this is a time when liberal elites and progressives are looking to take control by creating false narratives, providing misinformation, preventing debate, saying science is settled when it has not been, and providing misdirection. The Govt does not own the means of production in the United States. The biggest problems in our communities and environment are the urban communities and corridors. Economic stagnation, combined sewer overflows, urban runoff, economic deserts, inefficiency water and energy, and excessive taxation that prevents the individual from doing this for themselves. Now if they wrote this letter about some of our elected officials in Washington and the kingdoms that have been created by Congress – I would probably agree. To cb – my guess is that the storage of the gas is based on a contract that someone signed. Maybe not the current surface owner. I do agree with the need for Surface Owners Rights, but I would not think that the Delaware River Keepers would be ok with supporting a Surface Owners Rights Regulation or Organization because that might interfere with other plans.

    • brian,
      i don’t have a dog in the river keeper’s fight – i do in the FERC fight. i was only pointing out that i agree that the FERC is severely abusing their power. as i pointed out, the 1938 gas act was written for pipelines only NOT underground natural gas storage. by the way regarding your statement on “surface owners’ rights” i will remind you, we own the caverns too.

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