UnFrack FERC – join our spring campaign to un-F***k the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Wow that was an amazing week of action to UnFrack FERC! Longer recap below, but here’s the gist:

  • YOU sent more than 2400 pages of comments backing up at our friends in Ingleside on the Bay TX and their demand for a full FERC Environmental Impact statement. That docket is still open, so feel free to scroll down and keep sending more comments!
  • YOU sent dozens of comments backing up organic farmer and Mountain Valley Pipeline fighter Maury Johnson on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. We might have crashed FERC’s e-comment tool for a few hours as a result. But it also helped Maury get a meeting with FERC staff and Commissioners on Thursday. Direct Action gets the goods, again!
  • And YOU sent thousands of signatures and messages to the US Senate Energy Committee on Thursday telling them UnFrack Manchin’s FERC. The hearing to consider the nominees was Thursday, and several of the Senators clearly got your messages as they were asking questions about FERC, climate change, the Environmental Justice rules, LNG and more.

Thank you to everyone who took action, came to the FERC meeting, sent comments, and more. Check out the report back video below, click here (or scroll down) for a longer written recap, or visit out social media for more photos, videos and actions. If you’re able, consider chipping in $1.98 or more to support our work. We’re going back to FERC in April, and we’re already planning more and more-escalated actions soon.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has paused new permits for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports, pending a review of their impact on our climate, communities, and economy. But the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has gone on rubber-stamping fossil fuel permits, including for LNG export facilities – undermining the climate and economic benefit of DOE’s pause, and insulting every activist who’s fought to end the era of fossil fuels.

We’ve (still) got some work to do!

If you already know what you need to take action, here’s what to do!

  1. Click here to send a comment with our friends at Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch telling FERC that the Cheniere LNG is already too big, and they need to stop approving LNG exports, and all new fossil fuel infrastructure, NOW. We’ll deliver all the comments in time for the next FERC meeting this Thursday, March 21. Plus there’s additional resources on the page to connect with IOBCWA and all their work.
  2. Tell the Senate Energy Committee we need FERC reform, not more fossil-fueled Manchin pets! Again, sign before Thursday, March 21 and we’ll hand deliver the message to the Senate Energy Commitee when they hold their hearing to interview these nominees!
  3. Thanks to everyone who sent a comment supporting organic farmer and Mountain Valley Pipeline fighter Maury Johnson. Maury has been asking FERC to protect his farm from illegal activities like refueling and Port-a-Potty storage by the MVP developers. A lot of local WV and VA residents have been documenting pollution and illegal activity by the MVP, but FERC (and other agencies) refuses to do anything about it! We used FERC’s own e-comment system and Docket number CP16-10-000 to send notes backing Maury up. And it worked! See above.

Then stay tuned for more actions all this week challenging FERC. Need more info? Scroll down or watch and share these videos on our social media to spread the word:

Need more context first?

We’ve been fighting FERC for years, but we’re stepping up our efforts this spring because President Biden’s pause on LNG export licenses at DOE has given us an opportunity. But, as we’ve told you before, LNG exports aren’t only regulated by DOE. FERC issues the permits to build the facilities, while DOE issues the permits to sell the sell the gas to certain international partners.

Last month (February 2024), FERC approved the Driftwood LNG facility in Louisiana to construct and operate facilities a massive LNG terminal in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. This month (March 2024), FERC is considering allowing another expansion of the Cheniere LNG facility in TexasAnd FERC is still being pressured to approve the massive Calcasieu Pass 2 (CP2) LNG export facility that Bill McKibben called “Biden’s next big climate test” because it would generate twenty times the greenhouse gas emissions of the huge Willow Arctic oil project.

In other words, the LNG export building-boom is very much still happening. And fossil fueled fascists are hard at work this week trying to pass new legislation that will roll back or pre-empt President Biden’s limited, partial, pause on LNG exports – and mandate the construction of more fossil fuel infrastructure from coast to coast.

One of the most popular ways to pre-empt Biden’s LNG pause is to give more power to FERC, and to control the so-called independent Energy Regulatory Commission. Sen Manchin (Fossil-fascist, WV) has been especially adept at manipulating FERC in the past. He’s convinced them to scrap rules on climate change, environmental justice and more. And now, he’s trying to put his final stamp of approval and control on FERC before he leaves office.

FERC commissioners:

President Biden has nominated three new Commissioners to FERC. They are Judy Chang, David Rosner, and Lindsay See. While two of the three are Democrats (Rosner and Chang), and one of them (Chang) is actually pretty good, for a FERC nominee, none of them are committed to change at FERC.

FERC is a pivotal agency in the clean energy transition: in addition to reviewing new natural gas infrastructure, they oversee the rules for the US electric grid, including whether new interstate transmission lines get built, and whether electric markets treat rooftop solar and energy efficiency fairly.

If confirmed, those three new FERC nominees will represent a governing majority at FERC. So they’ll be able to make or break the rules of the clean energy transition.

Unfortunately, none of these nominees is a FERC reformer. Chang is the best of the group with a background in clean energy and environmental justice. Rosner has a history of backing fracked gas and has worked with Manchin since 2022 to roll back FERC rules on climate change and environmental justice, he’s Manchin’s personal pick. And See is the Solicitor General of West Virginia — Manchin’s home state — and is best known for suing the Biden Administration to protect coal and fossil fuels. She’ll definitely make FERC worse, not better.

Mostly, these nominees are all about Manchin. Two of the three have specific, personal and political ties to the coal baron Senator. And Manchin has shown before that he’s able to block FERC nominations and force the so-called independent agency to do his bidding. That’s what happened to the last nominee – Richard Glick: He was the one who’d proposed new rules on climate change and environmental justice at FERC. And even after Manchin screamed at him, and scared him and the other Democrats into withdrawing their proposed rules (so much for being an ‘independent’ agency, huh?), Manchin still refused to give Glick’s nomination a hearing, even though he’d already been approved to be not only a FERC commissioner but FERC’s chair, with Manchin voting for him!

Here’s our ~1 minute take on each of them:

Sign here and we’ll deliver you messages before the Committee votes on these FERC nominees! The hearing on these three nominees is also this Thursday, March 21, at 10am. Clearly, Manchin saw our protests last month telling him to keep his dirty hands off Biden’s LNG pause, and decided to schedule this hearing for a time he knows most FERC watchers will be occupied. What. A. Jerk.

The petition reads:

To the US Senate Energy Committee
We need to reform FERC so that it’s a Federal Renewable Energy Commission dedicated to the clean energy transition. Instead, the nominees Sen Manchin has hand-picked are more of the same – supporting fossil fuels and unwilling to change policy at the speed and scale demanded by the climate crisis. Please ask them the tough questions about climate change and environmental justice, and only vote to confirm the nominees who will commit to a 100% clean electric grid by 2035, and expanding President Biden’s pause on LNG exports to a full ban on fossil fuels.


Sadly, it appears that nothing — not Presidential orders, or US Senate Committee hearings, or courageous public debate — will stop FERC from rubber stamping fossil fuels. If we want to shut off the pipeline of permits that enable LNG exports and fossil fuel infrastructure of all kinds, we’re going to have to take action. If you’re ready to take action with us to turn off the flow of fossil fuel approvals in the weeks ahead: Sign up here.

March 21 recap

The day started early at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for BXE-ers Ted and Andy, who hung banners and distributed flyers so early-arriving FERC staff and Commissioners would know what we were doing. At about 9:15 we held a press conference, which was streamed live online and covered by a couple journalists.

At the press conference we heard from our old friend Maury Johnson about his ongoing struggles to get FERC to enforce protections for his organic farm. Maury’s experience is similar to what a lot of our friends in West Virginia and Virginia have been experiencing as construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) continues. The MVP has been fracking up local waterways, landscapes, and communities, and the environmental regulators including FERC, and the VA and WV departments of Environmental Quality, as well as the VA attorney General don’t seem to be doing much about it. One piece of good news: thanks in part to a last minute surge of FERC comments in support of his complaint, Maury was able to meet with several FERC staff and commissioners – proving once again that direct action at FERC gets the goods!

I also spoke about the problem of LNG export approvals at FERC, and in particular Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association and other TX partners who are fighting the expansion of a Cheniere LNG export facility. And we heard from Basav, who talked about the three new nominees to FERC and the problem of political corruption. Specifically, Joe Manchin is paid more money by the fossil fuel industry than any other member of congress,  in exchange for which he uses his position as chair of the Senate Energy Committee to dictate who serves on FERC and what policies they can and can’t consider. That’s why BXE has been calling it “Manchin’s FERC” since 2022 and why everyone who went in or out of the FERC building yesterday morning saw our “Manchin’s FERC” banner, as well as a new one that says “UnFrack FERC, LNG Kills.”

After the press conference, four friends went into the FERC monthly meeting and stood up to speak some climate truth to the commissioners – we got good videos of three of the speeches and you can see them at the social media links above. Each of their speeches was powerful and passionate – you should watch these videos! – but they all talked about climate change’s impacts. Some focussed on the impacts on our communities now, others on future generations, and some asked direct questions about FERC and fossil fuels. Speakers also called out FERC’s ongoing approval of fossil fuel projects like LNG exports, and called on them to stop LNG and all fossil fuel infrastructure.

Nobody was arrested, though all four of our friends who spoke out were escorted out of the room, and probably won’t be allowed back in to future FERC monthly meetings – so we need more people to volunteer next monthCommissioner Clements said she appreciated the comments, and even called those who spoke out “brave” for voicing their opinion. Maury and a couple friends also sat through the FERC meeting but did not disrupt – so that’s always an option if you’re thinking of coming to a future FERC meeting!

Finally, those of us who’ve taken action in the past were escorted to an “overflow” conference room down the hall from the main FERC meeting, and allowed to watch the meeting livestream on YouTube from there. Just before the end of the FERC meeting, in between the 3rd and 4th disruptions in the room, we marched out together loudly chanting “UnFrack FERC, LNG kills!” FERC Chairman Willie Phillips heard us, and briefly paused the meeting to comment that it was “March madness” at FERC that day – clearly our disruptions and protest made an impact!

After the FERC meeting

It was time to head to Capitol hill. I caught the last few minutes of the hearing on new FERC nominees. Color me un-impressed. After the hearing was over I stopped by the offices of Committee staff to deliver more than 4,000 petition signatures gathered just this week to tell the Senate to Unfrack Manchin’s FERC. Votes, in committee and then in the full Senate, are expected soon, but probably not before next week, on these nominees.

So stay tuned and we’ll likely have one more action (calls and emails to your Senators) backing up those petition signatures. And it’s not too late to sign, if you haven’t already: Tell the Senate Energy Committee we need FERC reform, not more fossil-fueled Manchin pets!


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  4. Fracking is a curse to our future. Our descendants will scream: What were they thinking as they deal with this toxic and climate-ending legacy — including the energy wasting lunacy of LNG. Stop appointing fracking promoters to FERC.

  5. Thanks for the information friend, we know that renewable powered electric heat pumps are the alternative to fracked unnatural gas and you are doing good work here to oppose this dirty fuel industry. Sometime in the future all of the gas lines will be ripped out and the polluting fuel sources will be switched over to clean renewables the question is only when and how soon so thank you and keep up the good work.