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FERC Slaps Down the Little Napoleon, Eric Schneiderman

NED Pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

NRDC lap dog Eric Schneiderman was given a dog’s breakfast by FERC last week when the agency dismissed his ridiculous request for a tree-cutting hearing.

No, I’m not talking about that Napoleon, the Emperor produced by the French Revolution, but the famous pig from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The character was seemingly created with Eric Schneiderman in mind, given his tactics. The Cliffs Notes description of the pig focuses on “his blatant lust for power…a ‘fierce-looking’ boar ‘with a reputation for getting his own way'” which involved “a combination of propaganda and terror that none of the animals can resist.” That is Eric Schneiderman, of course, and, in the 1999 film version, the pig self-destructs. Schneiderman, too, is self-destructing, with a little help from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Schneiderman - NapoleonEric Schneiderman, as we’ve noted here many times, is a NRDC lap dog when he’s not playing Napoleon the pig. He does whatever is asked of him by the gang, from hassling tiny rural municipalities for daring to welcome natural gas development, to promoting their programs and attacking the Constitution Pipeline. Perhaps his most ludicrous effort was going after Constitution Pipeline for allowing tree-cutting by private landowners along the right-of-way they’re proposing to use for the pipeline.

Readers will recall FERC permitted tree-cutting in Pennsylvania by Constitution Pipeline itself, but held off in New York, as the state was contending the whole project. Some of the landowners in New York, though, decided they would cut the trees themselves and get the revenue. Schneiderman demanded FERC make Constitution Pipeline stop them, as if that were possible. He tried to intimidate everyone involved by demanding an “investigation” by FERC and then rejecting the results. FERC answered him once and, now, they’re doing so again, only harder, and it’s fun reading as the nasty little pig is taught some manners.

FERC succinctly states the issue at hand with one its footnotes:

The NY Attorney General does not assert that Constitution engaged in any tree clearing. Nor does the NY Attorney General’s May 13 Filing state who engaged in the tree clearing and other construction-related activities; rather it only states that tree cutting activity occurred which Constitution was aware of and was obligated to stop.

The agency then proceeds with the etiquette lesson for the pig (emphasis added):

The NY Attorney General asserts, but provides no supporting evidence, that Constitution and the Commission were aware that “extensive clear-cutting and other activities have occurred on the project right-of-way” over which the Commission has jurisdiction and Constitution has control, and that Constitution did not act to stop those activities…

The Certificate Order’s environmental conditions apply to the certificate “applicant” and its agents. The Commission’s Upland Erosion Control Revegetation and Maintenance Plan and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures, which prescribe certain construction and restoration techniques for particular situations, apply to the “project sponsor” and its agents. The Commission’s jurisdiction and these legal requirements do not extend to private landowners or other third parties taking action in a project right-of-way

Even if we were to accept the NY Attorney General’s alleged facts, it cites no authority making Constitution vicariously liable for the ground-disturbing activities of third parties in the project right-of-way, and so fails to explain how Constitution’s inaction to stop third parties’ ground-disturbing activities “violates applicable statutory or regulatory requirements,” as required for a complaint by Rule 206 of our Rules of Practice and Procedure. Therefore we will reject the NY Attorney General’s argument…

We will exercise our discretion to deny the NY Attorney General’s requests both that the Commission issue an Order of Investigation and that the Commission require disclosure of investigative information to the NY Attorney General or other interested entities.

That should be pretty clear, even to a lap dog or a narcissistic pig with delusions of grandeur.

 

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17 thoughts on “FERC Slaps Down the Little Napoleon, Eric Schneiderman

  1. I wonder if the election of Donald Trump has given a backbone transplant to the members of FERC? I wonder how many more Federal agencies might now exercise their powers and perform their duties according to the actual law and regulations.

    • Please, FERC and the anti’s actions against it long predate Mr. Trump’s arrival on the scene. Remember also that Trump just put Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, in his cabinet. It seems that when anybody has to make nice with Big Coal’s paid for politician, his wife ends up in Washington again.

      Coal is an inferior competitor of natural gas. Trump’s support for coal will not help us at all and probably take years to undo the damage he and McConnell will do to protect coal.

      • But not nearly as long as the damage Clinton or Sanders would have done to natural gas. Trump’s lifeline to coal regions was a necessary compromise.

        • Necessary compromise, Keith….perhaps. When you’re the “Saudi Arabia of coal” seems more like a wise move rather than a compromise. Hillary wrote off the coal region with her typically stupid diatribe about turning miners into dinosaurs. An energy policy that embraces multiple sources/resources has been the wise play from the start. And to Mr. Dye’s post….please…the fact that Chao is McConnell’s wife is a pathetic strawman right from the Loser’s Playbook aka the Democrat strategy/platform. Chao is a very capable public servant with a long history in the cabinet in multiple departments in both Bush administrations. She came to the US at age eight on a freighter from Taiwan, has a BA from Mount Holyoke College & MBA from Harvard Business School , plus 36 honorary doctorates…. care to share your bonafides, Mr. Dye..?? Give her the credit she deserves instead of a cheap shot. She doesn’t need her husband’s coattails….a typically ignorant, sexist cheap shot only a pathetic liberal would stoop to.
          Same with coal….I reside very near what was Pennsylvania’s anthracite mining region. I’m quite old enough to remember the slag heaps & decaying breakers, the huge mine fires and epic culm banks……should I mention the massive Carbondale mine fire and the towering draglines which excavated a pit halfway to China right along US Route 6….a site now occupied by Carbondale Area High School & shopping plazas…????…..should I raise the specter of that towering, rotten smelling culm bank that sat along Interstate 81 & Olyphant Ave..the one that used to glow with blue flames at night and stink like rotten eggs???…you know, the one where Marywood University and a shiny, new Armed Forces Reserve Center sit today…???…nope, I didn’t think so. That doesn’t fit the narrative does it..?? The one that illustates we can learn new technologies, environmentally sensitive means of developing resources, valuable & necessary resources….and that we can also learn from mistakes and see that unwise practices were part of our past. How about the mantra that states that land was forever doomed to industrial wasteland….??? Tell that to all the Carbondale or Marywood grads from the past 40 something years…or to my 3 stepsons who serve/have served at that Reserve Center.
          History, since the dawn of the Industrial Age, is rife with nation states that have failed or suffered collapse due to their inability or unwillingness to avail their societies of abundant, affordable energy. Some have done so in horrific wars…Nazi Germany reached into North Africa & the Caucasus and Imperial Japan violated the Washington Naval Treaty with a subsequent hostile expansion into the Dutch West Indies. They weren’t in search of schnapps & sauerbraten or sake & sushi, were they..??? And neither gambit panned out well for either nation or some 60,000,000 million souls wordwide, did it….???
          Today, the economy in Spain is a trainwreck thanks to an excessive reliance on green, sustainable (see: contronym) energy. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the boondoggles of the “Fool @ 1600 Pennsylvania Ave….Solyndra/Bright Source/Solar Trust of America/LSP Energy/SunPower/Beacon Power/About Solar/Evergreen Solar….I could go on & on & on…all bought & paid for by only half of our society…the productive half….those paying taxes. The providers, not the takers.
          Finally, ask yourself why you live a comfortable existence with good food on the table, a warm home and a life expectancy that lets you look forward to your eighties. After you answer that one, form your drum circle and pound out a message to some poor fellow in Deep Green Africa. Ask him if he would appreciate some of that clean coal tech. Ask him if he would like clean running water and a sewer. Ask him if he’d appreciate 3 squares a day, or a farm tractor & fuel. Ask him if he would like electricity …..ask him he wants his wife to continue smacking the laundry on a rock @ river’s edge while a crocodile digests Junior. Ask him if he would like to have even a prayer of reaching age 40.
          Have I clarified the issue…???

          • You did go on and on. By the way the title of the blog is natural gas now not coal now.

          • Yes, you’ve clarified them. Here’s my take away:

            You don’t realize the name of the website is “Natural Gas Now” and that we have enough clean natural gas now to never need to burn another lump of coal. The human and monetary costs to mine it, burn it and dispose of its ash make coal obsolete and uneconomic. Natural gas was killing coal, not renewables. In economics it is called “creative destruction”.

            “Clean” coal will exist when it can burn cleaner than gas with no toxic ash, which will be never. Managing to put out the waste fires you describe in your comment, bulldoze the heaps roughly flat and cover them with clean fill to make space for buildings is not learning from the past, just papering it over.

            Spain’s economic woes are shared with Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Greece, (the “PIIGS” of the European Union). Spain’s, in particular, come from German banks creating a housing bubble like the one here in the US back in 2005-2008 period only with worse effects in a weaker economy, not from renewables.

            Lots of startups in industries, other than solar, go bankrupt, in spite of direct or indirect government aid. Look at Chesapeake’s near death experience in the gas industry. Solyndra failed, Tesla paid back its loan early. Evergreen’s assets were quickly bought by the Chinese, who were willing to continue the development of thin film solar. Now if you want solar shingles and siding, they own patents and a process.

            Your “Industrial Age/World War II” analogy is pointless. The US has ample energy from a variety of sources and the world is awash in oil. The recent attempt by OPEC to limit their production is likely to fail as similar attempts in the past have. Non-OPEC producers, like Russia, and poorer OPEC countries, like Nigeria and Iran, always look to temporary price increases to maximize their production and revenues, as opposed to their somber public statements.

            As for Ms. Chao, how she makes accusations, made is sworn congressional testimony, of illegal contributions to her husbands campaigns and Hatch Act violations while she was Secretary of Labor, just go away is not much of a mystery. Nor is why she would gut the Mine Health and Safety Administration, which cut mine inspections and led to a doubling of mine fatalities during her tenure. Chao may have some level of competence, but so do lots of other Republican MBA’s. The real reason to hire her is connections, not ideology or competence.

      • Well aware of the title of the blog, Karen……if you read the two posts above mine, you’ll see I’m not the reader raising the issue. There have been other discussions on this site that touched on energy sources other than nat gas. Perusing my post, I note a typo…I should have said Dutch East Indies rather than “West”…..otherwise I stand by every last word I printed. If you wish to disagree with my posit or correct an error, that’s fine. Otherwise, just what is your point…??? Inquiring minds really want to know.

        • Only what I said in response to the person who wondered if the “election of Donald Trump has given a backbone transplant to the members of FERC?” — which was that it doesn’t seem to me like FERC is acting any differently than they have recently.

          I can’t remember where I read that it’s not much of a political beast the FERC. Maybe LaFluer said this in a speech. And when you think about it that is actually a good thing.

  2. PA has a little, creepy, slimy, Schneiderman invertebrate-in-training already waiting in the wings (the Congress) in PA 17th District’s Matt Cartwright (D)….already an ambulance chaser of renown as anyone having seen his erstwhile law firm’s TV commercials can vouch. Anti fracking, anti fossil fuel, anti 2nd Amendment, anti you, anti me……that’s Matt the shyster. Aside from the absence of a spine and the inability to walk erect, there’s even an uncanny physical resemblance to Schneiderman.

  3. Barring some miracle for upstate, that rabid #&*! Schneiderman is going to be the next governor of NY. Cuomo has one foot in a jail cell but that doesn’t count for much in this state…

  4. News flash- Bharara is staying on under Trump! PB may have designs on the governorship but I don’t know what his positions might be on upstate issues like shale and guns.

    Either way, another good call by Trump, and Cuomo in orange is almost assured.

  5. Omg! Constitution pipeline charade still ongoing while the press snoozes????

    I guess they are too busy doing poor coverage of the Dakota pipeline charade???

  6. Robert Nolan- I take no pleasure in seeing people lose their jobs in coal. There is no gas line out where I live so I heat with PA anthracite. Nuclear and natural gas however are the best grid scale options available to us for the foreseeable future IMO.

    • Yep….Keith….I don’t think you’re looking to resign miners to the unemployment line…my point is more to illustrate Hillary’s stupidity and therefore, she created the wedge issue….a compromise wasn’t necessary, rather the SheDevil stuffing her foot squarely in her dumb, liberal mouth while preaching to the treehugger choir drove the coal industry and the UMW right into the Republican camp. The remainder of my post wasn’t germane to you and was directed elsewhere….hope this clarifies for you…!!! Have a great holiday sesson.

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