Can you – tonight, if possible – call Senators Wyden and Merkley about Senate hearings tomorrow morning (east coast time) on two Trump nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)?
If need be, you can leave a voicemail message for them.
Wyden is on the Senate Energy Committee that is holding the hearings and will have a chance to ask the nominees for specific commitments. Merkley is not on the committee but, as a senator from an affected state, can speak out and influence the process.
Unfortunately, we can’t assume that either of our senators will demand commitments from the nominees that they will protect Oregonians from the proposed Jordan Cove fracked gas export terminal and pipeline. The project was rejected twice by FERC last year, but the company has re-filed for approval since the Trump administration took office.
Ask Wyden and Merkley to insist that any nominees to FERC make the following commitments:
1) Refuse to approve any application that could result in use of eminent domain to force landowners to let their property be used for a pipeline. Both Wyden and Merkley have defused tough questioning at town hall meetings about their support for the fracked gas project by claiming they oppose the use of eminent domain to benefit this Canadian company. But in a recent letter to Trump, they did not ask that FERC reject any proposal using eminent domain.
2) Refuse to approve any application that will make climate change worse so a private company can profit from fracked gas exports. FERC did not consider climate change impacts when reviewing Jordan Cove proposals in the past, nor did Wyden and Merkley mention it in their letter to Trump. The Jordan Cove project would create the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon.
3) Refuse to approve any application that jeopardizes Oregon’s rivers and fish. The proposed pipeline would threaten more than 400 waterways. FERC did not consider that in previous decisions, nor did Wyden and Merkley mention it in their letter.
Also ask Wyden and Merkley to vote “no” on these nominees. Rob Powelson is a public utility commissioner in Pennsylvania who has publicly compared anti-pipeline activists to jihadists. Powelson has since said he shouldn’t have used that word, but it is clear he should not be entrusted with protecting the public interest. Neil Chatterjee is chief energy policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and helped push for Senate approval of the Keystone Pipeline.
P.S. if you can make a donation to support the no pipeline campaign --- click here.