Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
Otsego 2000 is yet another fake, phony, fraud fractivist outfit funded by gentry class special interests, with no real stake in anything but their ideology.
Monday of this week probably marked the end of the road for Otsego 2000 in its quest to fight a couple of Dominion Energy pipeline compressor stations. The full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (most important Federal court below the Supreme Court) turned back the request of Otsego 2000 for a full court reconsideration of a decision from May of this year that went against it. Unless there is an appeal to the Supreme Court itself, it’s done. Therefore, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the decision reveal about Otsego 2000.
The opinion delivered in May was a short one but, nonetheless, one packed with insights. Here it is in its entirety (emphasis and some paragraph breaks added):
This appeal was considered on the record from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) and on the briefs of the parties and oral arguments of counsel. The court has accorded the issues full consideration and has determined that they do not warrant a published opinion. See D.C. CIR. R. 36(d). For the reasons stated below, it is
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the petition for review be DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner Otsego 2000, Inc. (“Otsego”) asks this Court to set aside a FERC order granting a certificate to Intervenor Dominion Transmission Inc. (“Dominion”) to construct and operate compression facilities for its New Market Project (“Project”), which will provide 112,000 dekatherms per day of additional firm transportation service on Dominion’s existing natural gas pipeline network.
Otsego contends that, under NEPA, the Commission was required to include an evaluation of upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions in its environmental review of the Project.
Petitioners further claim that FERC improperly announced a new policy without notice and an opportunity for public comment when, in its Order Denying Rehearing, the Commission announced it would no longer go beyond the requirements of NEPA and provide information regarding the environmental effects of upstream natural gas production and downstream combustion where it determines such impacts do not qualify as direct or indirect effects of a given project.
We do not reach the merits of Petitioner’s challenge because it failed to demonstrate Article III standing to petition this Court. Otsego acknowledged at oral argument that it is not a membership organization, see Oral Arg. Recording at 1:12, and it does not suggest that it has associational standing. Its standing in this matter therefore turns on whether it has organizational standing. We find that it does not. Otsego’s affidavits do not identify any injury other than the organization’s expenditure of time and money related to this litigation. “Our precedent makes clear that an organization’s use of resources for litigation, investigation in anticipation of litigation, or advocacy is not sufficient to give rise to an Article III injury.” Food & Water Watch, Inc. v. Vilsack, 808 F.3d 905, 919 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
Although Otsego suggested at oral argument that it has suffered an “information[al] injury,” see Oral. Arg. Recording at 8:26-9:32, Otsego does not allege informational injury in its standing affidavits or briefs, and therefore that theory of injury is not properly before this court, see Sierra Club v. EPA, 292 F.3d 895, 901 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (“Requiring the petitioner to establish its standing at the outset of its case is the most fair and orderly process by which to determine whether the petitioner has standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the court.”).
Pursuant to D.C. Circuit Rule 36, this disposition will not be published. The Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate herein until seven days after resolution of any timely petition for rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc. See FED. R. APP. P. 41(b); D.C. CIR. R. 41.
Significantly, there was also this footnote:
In addition to Otsego, the Petition for Review included John and Mary Valentine as petitioners. However, as FERC correctly noted, John and Mary Valentine are jurisdictionally-barred from seeking review of the underlying orders because the only timely request for rehearing of the Certificate Order was filed by Otsego. See 15 U.S.C. § 717r(a) (“No proceeding to review any order of the Commission shall be brought by any person unless such person shall have made application to the Commission for a rehearing thereon.”). Indeed, at oral argument, Otsego conceded that the Valentines are not properly before this Court as petitioners. See Oral Arg. Recording at 10:50-10:54.
The D.C. Court of Appeals recognized Otsego 2000 for what it is; an empty suit entity simply set up to sue with no real public behind it. It’s phony. It’s fake. And, from 2011 through 2015, according to 990 returns filed with the IRS, it took in $310,000 from an even more phony group, the Civil Society Institute, which I wrote about here and here. It is a non-profit run by ex-nun named Pam Solo who has done exceedingly well grabbing the money from a trust-funder artist, paying herself a huge salary for dispensing money to radical groups such as the RDA, the Clean Air Council, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and Otsego 2000, all very uncivil and, frankly, “nasty” outfits (follow the links to find why I use that specific term).
This is the network in which Otsego 2000 has operated. It told the IRS this in its 2017 return:
Read that again and then consider the fact Otsego 2000 was before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to oppose two compressor stations and their supposed impact on the climate. One of them was located in Chemung County, roughly 100 miles from Cooperstown (the Otsego County seat and gentry class enclave of Otsego 2000) and the other was in Madison County. The latter does adjoin Otsego County but is hardly part of the “Otsego Lake region.”
See what I mean about fake and phony? Otsego 2000 is simply a non-profit corporation created and funded to pursue an ideological war against oil and gas wherever it occurs under the guise of protecting the NIMBY interests of Cooperstown residents. We should all thank the court for revealing what it really is.