Friday, August 8, 2014

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, FERC EIS scoping hearings, COMPLETE video coverage

Thanks to videographers Scott Cannon, Leland Snyder, Dean Marshall, and moi (BH),
we have complete coverage of FERC's EIS scoping hearings for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

I have created a master playlist (which will be complete after my 5 segments from Annville finish uploading)
I have limited contacts with the groups in PA fighting this pipeline,
so please help distribute this info the the appropriate people.

Hopefully this record will be helpful at stopping this pipeline
which will only further increase the massive environmental impacts
seen at the source, in the fracked gas fields NE PA.

Additional NOTES:
  • The Docket number is currently PF14-8, but this will change once the application is made.
    View the record so far:,%20issuance&dkt=pf14-8&ft=fulltext&dsc=description
  • DO NOT SIGN with the pipeline company! Do not allow them to enter your land.
  • If you have signed an agreement, or allowed survey access, send Williams / Transco a Letter Rescinding Access. Here is a sample letter. BE SURE TO CHANGE IT because this was designed for a different pipeline. Include the Docket #PF14-8 and send it certified mail.
  • Once Williams/Transco files the formal application, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT if you are affected by this pipeline in any way, that you register as an intervenor. Only intervenors will have rights to file a lawsuit later. Here are (example) instructions on how to intervene for a different pipeline. AGAIN: YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THE DOCKET NUMBER for the Atlantic Sunrise.
  • Learn the relevant law:


      1. Natural Gas Act
        • 15 USC § 717
        • e.g., 15 USC § 717f
      2. National Environmental Policy Act
        • 42 USC § 4321 
        • 42 USC § 4331
      3. Criminal Law
        • 18 USC § 201 
        • 18 USC § 1001
        • 18 USC § 2331

      • 18 CFR § 157.10(a)(1)
      • 18 CFR § 157.10(a)(2),
      • 18 CFR § 157.14
      • 18 CFR § 380.6
      • 18 CFR § 380.10(a)(1)(i)
      • 18 CFR § 385.211 
      • 18 CFR § 385.212 
      • 18 CFR § 385.214(a)(1)
      • 40 CFR § 1502.4

  • Delaware Riverkeeper Network won an important lawsuit concerning Project Segmentation and Cumulative Impacts analysis (Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. FERC, 13-1015, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit)

    Essentially, the courts have admonished FERC to consider the cumulative environmental impacts of the proposed project "as well as related past, present, and reasonably foreseeable projects, as required by NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • However, as a practical matter, this decision is diminished by the fact that the projects involved are mostly completed, in the ground and in-service.  The system is rigged, so that lawsuits can only be filed after the permits is issued, so at that point is is mostly TOO LATE, since lawsuits can proceed long after the project is completed.
  • Additionally, another recent decision from the same court (12-1470. No Gas Pipeline, et. al., v. FERC. U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit) ruled that FERC can violate the law (NEPA and the Natural Gas Act), and as long as there are no demonstrable "injury in fact", NO PERSON OR GROUP has the right to ask the Courts for review!! So the situation is rather bleak.

    One legal tactic which I have not seen tried yet is a lawsuit seeking INJUNCTIVE relief, meaning, asking the courts to BLOCK FERC from issuing a permit PRIOR to issuance, due to a clear and present danger. This is an opportunity for legal research.
  • FERC is organized as an "Independent Regulatory Agency", with little oversight from the President, or Congress (although ultimately they derive their authority from Congress).

  • FERC's budget in 2012 was $304.6 million dollars, and $0 was funded by Congressional appropriation. Huh? YES, FERC is 100% funded by fees which is paid by the very industries which it regulates!

  • The net result is that FERC is nearly 100% unaccountable to any branch of government, or the people. Here is a silly song about this very bleak truth:

  • Some people are very excited about CELDF's "Model Community Ordinances". I am a huge fan of Tom Linzey, and CELDF, and I am a CELDF Democracy School graduate (2004). However. I am unaware of any instance where such an ordinance has been used to block a project with federal jurisdiction (like an interstate pipeline).

    I DO encourage you to investigate this approach! We must try everything.

    Here is a great speech by Tom Linzey explaining how useless that participating in a permitting process (like this FERC process), because the game is rigged against us. MUST WATCH THIS. If you don't have much time, JUMP TO 12m:30s

  • So friends, realistically, the situation is bleak. The game is rigged.

    The ONLY thing that will defeat a project like this

    We have been able to slow down the Constitution Pipeline, and have delayed the project so far by at least a year. But this took a huge effort!

    You should try EVERY administrative remedy available to you, including letters to your Congressional reps, participating in the FERC public hearings, and even lawsuits.

  • But you should also be prepared for NVDA: Nonviolent Direct Action,
    blocking the bulldozers with your bodies, should these remedies fail.

    There are organizations like Ruckus Society (and others) which will come to your town and give you this training. There are also useful materials on the internet. Just search for "NVDA Nonviolent Direct Action"
I hope this is helpful,

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Don't forget to sign the
Pledge to Resist
the Constitution Pipeline:

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