We Are Greater Than The Fracked Gas Lobby

June 23, 2015 - storage organizer


All photos by Lee Stewart

Washington, DC – The architecture was encased in a firm web of scaffolding as we rushed by. Looking adult during it on my approach to a dilemma of Independence Avenue and New Jersey Avenue SE, we saw a nation perplexing to censor a deadly illness. It’s over repair, we mumbled to myself, meditative about a low underlying debase we see everywhere we look.

Walking in a shade of a Capitol Building in a day’s rising heat, my ears were still ringing. Made nervous by a unsound nonetheless heightening open inspection faced by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a serf supervision group that receives a appropriation from a really attention it purports to regulate, a rule-makers there no longer concede a outspoken critics inside a room where monthly open meetings are held. Instead, we’re relegated to an crawl room where we have to watch a meeting’s record on a screen. That’s where I’d usually come from.

I wasn’t disheartened to be in a crawl room, though, since we already knew such meetings meant small anyway. Not usually is open criticism not allowed, though matters are motionless on by a FERC commissioners in formidable to discern code. From a shade inside a crawl room, we listened a secretary review what would be voted on.

“E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6, E7….,” she droned on, usually those with special discernment means to follow.

The usually sensical sound that could be listened during FERC that morning was a sound of 3 screeching whistles that Ted Glick, Steve Norris, and we sounded in criticism as we walked by a run and out of a building, effect managed, though change left as nonetheless unmade.

6-18 pic 1

I suspicion about a fracking pipeline, compressor station, and trade depot permits that are rolling in like waves during a storm, all thanks, in part, to FERC’s rubber-stamp. What will it take to stop this onslaught, we wondered. Those during a levers of this predicament seem blind to reality.

Arriving during a dilemma of Independence and New Jersey, and fasten roughly dual dozen others who were collected with signs and banners destined during members of a House of Representatives, we schooled a House was usually an hour divided from voting on a check that would assistance corporate energy grabs like a personally negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pass by Congress. Known as Fast Track, this square of legislation would make it so Congress could usually opinion such “free-trade laws” adult or down with no amendments, no filibuster, and small time for debate.

“Vote no on quick track,” a crony shouted to a flitting Representative on his approach to a debate.


Watching a Representatives travel behind and onward from a Capitol Building and a House offices, it struck me how insulated they were, surrounded by donors and lobbyists, saying small of a approach impacts of a decisions they made. What about communities that stood to be harm by fracking? Why would their Representatives give corporate interests supremacy over their own? Perhaps it’s since they’ve been blinded. That’s positively a box with FERC and their blatant insulation from a public. The large doubt for me is how to mangle by those blinders?

Before a Fast Track opinion came, 5 of us, all members of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE), a bloc of adults and associated village groups fighting to stop new fracked gas permits during FERC, headed over to a Rayburn House Office Building where we had sealed adult to attend a Natural Gas Roundtable Luncheon. Congressman Tom Reed (R- NY), Congressman Jim Costa (D- CA), Congressman Gene Greene (D- TX), and Congressman Glen Thompson (R- PA) were slated to speak, all co-chairs of a Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, a congress focused on compelling fracked gas in a House and among members of a public. We were going to accumulate comprehension on what was being pronounced on a inside, though also to speak out and make a antithesis to fracked gas infrastructure known.

6-18 pic 2It was inside a party room, sitting during a list examination a lobbyist record in, that we perceived a content about Fast Track from someone following a votes outside. “In box we haven’t listened yet, we’re doomed,” it said. Fast Track was going to pass in a House. My heart dropped. we suspicion of a dome, a construction, a rot, and a whistles.

I glanced around a room, reading some of a name tags. A deputy from FERC. Someone from Spectra Energy, a Fortune 500 Company that builds and operates gas pipelines and storage comforts all around a country. ANGA, American’s Natural Gas Alliance. And many others.

No consternation Fast Track was going to pass, we thought. This was a kind of universe a ostensible Representatives lived in. Just like FERC, these people were insulated from a outside, surrounded by a industry, and effectively hold serf to it.

Congressman Green spoke first, and Ted Glick of BXE delivered his uninvited debate directly afterwards. Ted’s concentration was a recover of a Pope’s encyclical about a realities of human-induced meridian change and a dignified needed to act on it. The room seemed worried though dynamic to brush off his words. Ted sat down and a luncheon continued.

Congressman Reed spoke second. He spoke of a plantation family he knew in Pennsylvania. The farmer’s daughter was against to fracking, Reed said. The rancher motionless to have a fracking good built on his skill anyway. He did it, Reed explained, because he would be means to use a income he warranted from fracking to compensate for his daughter’s college education. It was a comfortless story that highlighted a grave stupidity to a realities of a meridian crisis, not to discuss a other disastrous health impacts of fracking.

When Reed told a throng that fracking helps destiny generations, we felt difference involuntarily shun from my lips.

“Fracking kills destiny generations,” we shouted, most to a room’s displeasure.

Before we knew it, a military officer was by my side, pulling my arm to mislay me from a room. Once again, a insulation of those during a levers of drop was being protected. Knowing it wouldn’t do most good to travel out quietly, we let my physique go baggy and shouted to a room as 3 officers carried me out. At one point, we remember job those in a room criminals, since that’s what we trust they are.

I was unhappy not to hear a hard-hitting questions asked of a speakers by associate Beyond Extreme Energy members after my removal.  I after listened their questions about drought and meridian change were not answered in a candid way.

As we sat in a holding dungeon an hour after and thoughts of a day raced by my mind, we was reminded that it’s going to take a whole lot some-more than a few particular disruptions to stop permits during FERC, or to stop corporate energy grabs like a TPP, or to vacate a energy and change of a fracked gas run on a ostensible representatives. Such disruptions and appeals seem to do zero when a complement is set adult to be non-responsive. Nor do we consider any one of these endeavors, a few among many, can be achieved alone in removed campaigns. Each one rests on a rotting complement that if not distant and transposed as a whole, will leave us with a threatened existence.

If FERC stops arising permits, for example, what of a energy of a fracked gas lobby? And what good is delivering a summary to Congress, however disruptive, if Congress is set adult to work in a interests of a industry? The same can be asked of FERC.

The time has come to arise adult and excommunicate a damaging appurtenance that grinds on around us.  I can’t see how that can be finished if a whole lot some-more of us aren’t peaceful to scapegoat a leisure in a process, and maybe even a lives. Perhaps a nonchalant institutions around us make us feel alone. Maybe if that apparition is cracked, some-more will be peaceful to take action.

Lee Stewart is an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and Popular Resistance.


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