Last week there was an explosion at a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Freeport, TX. The owners of the plant reported that nobody was injured, but there was a huge fireball in the sky and local authorities are not sharing much information about what happened or what chemicals and pollution might have been released as a result. All we know is that the facility would be closed for a few weeks to make repairs and safety inspections, and that they might not be “fully operational” for the rest of the year.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the permits for Freeport, and they were supposed to make sure the facility was safe. They and other agencies are supposedly investigating the case, but FERC didn’t announce any decisions or reviews for their monthly meeting tomorrow. Meanwhile, shutting this one gas export facility down for a few weeks has wreaked havoc on global gas prices and seriously threatened President Biden’s plan to export US gas to Europe in response to the war in Ukraine.
Can you join us – online or in DC – for two important events this week to push back on war and warming?
- The first is tomorrow night at 5 eastern / 4 central for Beyond Extreme Energy’s monthly FERC meet-up. It’s a zoom meeting where we’ll hear what, if anything, FERC says in response to the Freeport LNG explosion, and talk directly with community leaders in Texas about how to respond.
- The second is the Poor People’s Campaign Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls this Saturday, June 18. The main event will be in DC and there are hundreds of busses leaving from cities and towns all over the US. You can also watch online.
Since the war in Ukraine started, we’ve been highlighting how President Biden and others’ plans to rely on US exports of LNG to Europe are a short sighted and ineffective solution to our present energy crisis. We’ve joined activists from Ukraine to the Gulf south to demand President Biden and his Department of Energy (which oversees FERC) shut down short-sighted gas exports, and instead prioritize renewable energy and clean heating technologies.
Just before the Freeport explosion, Lt. General Russel Honore, a hero of hurricane Katrina response in Louisiana, called out FERC and the Biden administration for failing to consider the impacts of climate change and energy prices on the Gulf Coast. Honore was also a speaker at the recent Gulf Gathering for Climate Justice and Joy.
And today, Ukrainian climate activists re-iterated their call to fight fossil fuel war profiteers who are using the war to drive up energy prices and make record profits at the expense of working people in Europe, and here in the US. That connection between militarism and climate change has always been made best by the Poor People’s Campaign and their old (dating back to Dr King’s original Poor People’s Campaign) that we must fight “giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism.” Or, to update it succinctly via Tupac Shakur: “they have money for war but can’t feed the poor.”
The Freeport explosion has left us with a lot of questions. And the international implications on prices, inflation, and the shift away from fossil fuels are complex. But what is clear is that the only sustainable path for our communities and the climate is to fight war and warming with peace and clean energy.
Join us this week in DC, online, and however you are able to help us clarify, investigate, and take action to stop war and warming.