Stop Manchin’s FERC – a report-back and a new report

Quick message in solidarity and action with our fierce allies at Beyond Extreme Energy – I joined BXE today at an action targeting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) monthly meeting – the first since Democratic Chair Richard Glick was ousted by Joe Manchin late last year.

I didn’t think much of Glick, as I’ve made clear, but I think even less of the corrupt, West Virginia Coal Baron Joe Manchin. Today’s action was called “stop Manchin’s FERC” and as I explain in the video (and post below for you readers) it’s very much a reaction to Manchin’s outsized, undeserved, and destructive influence on US Energy policy.

Click here to take a quick action from home echoing our demands.

What is Joe Manchin’s FERC?

The name of the action refers to (as long time readers will remember) the long, sordid history of FERC reform, and its many failures, since Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

BXE has a new report that lays this out in more detail, but the short version is that in early 2022, FERC – then lead by Democrat Rich Glick – was seriously looking at some reforms. Specifically, they were (finally) going to start to consider the climate and environmental justice impacts of projects they approve.

Then in March of 2022 Manchin used his position as chair of the Senate Energy Committee to summon all five FERC commissioners (including the brand new Democrat, Willie Phillips) to Congress, where he lambasted them for even considering climate change a problem.

Glick and Phillips were clearly shook by Manchin’s angry tirade, so they withdrew their new climate and environmental justice rules, and they’ve never denier a fossil fuel permit since.

BXE did the math (198 methods helped with layout design, and digital) and found that since that March 2022 hearing, FERC has approved more than 280 million tons of global warming pollution – as much as 76 new coal plants!

Even so, Manchin wasn’t happy and, as he’d promised and warned, he refused to let Glick continue to serve at FERC- which is why he had to step down as Chair last month, and why Democrats no longer have a majority on the commission.

So that’s why we went to FERC today with three demands:

  1. Congress needs to pass legislation to replace FERC with a Federal RENEWABLE Energy Commission, FREC.
  2. Senator Schumer and President Biden must remove Joe Manchin as chair of the Senate Energy Committee.
  3. Staff and employees at FERC must resist Manchin. It is these government workers we are speaking directly to today. Telling them not to approve new permits, or turn a blind eye to climate and environmental justice impacts.

Click here to send a message to FERC, President Biden, and Senator Schumer all at once with the three demands.

But before you go, one other request – this was day one of a two day action in DC, and it’s a good example of the kind of work 198 methods is uniquely able to provide: we do digital support for direct action climate campaigns. Can you chip in to fund this kind of organizing and direct action support?

More than one of you have asked “what does that mean,” and here’s an example: We helped BXE design the 3-infographics and fliers that explained the Manchin’s FERC Action. We built the web so with the research on it, and helped BXE develop and email and online action (the one linked above) that connects their demands to a wider audience. Instead of being a few activists speaking truth to power at the DC FERC meeting – we’re a few activists, with an audience of millions, backed up by more than 8,000 letters (so far) sent to powerful decision makers. Drew participated in the action, filmed some of it on his phone, and coordinated with other BXE activists to edit that footage into a short video, which BXE (and now we) have shared to spread the word about FERC, Manchin, and how we can take action together to resist fossil fuels.

Tomorrow, we’re doing something similar – we helped People vs Fossil Fuels promote the Spark Joy(e) Extinguish Fossil Fuels day of action, we recruited dozens of you to show up to the digital rally earlier this week, and to local events and rallies tomorrow from coast to coast to coast. Tomorrow, we’re bringing the posters to a wheat pasting event in DC that will literally attach Joye’s likeness and demands to the streets and walls around the White House. And, of course, we’ll post more videos on social media and make more shareable items for those of you looking to take action.

When we take action, and spend money to print materials, make art, or provide digital logistics to support an action we ask you to chip in and help us cover the costs – so far 198 methods donors have contributed about $100 to support these actions, and we’ve got a little money left over from our year end fundraising drive. But the cost of printing posters alone was more than $400. So if you can, please consider donating a few dollars to help us cover the costs of these actions, and to build up our nest-egg so we can invest in more digital support for direct action campaigns.