FERC accused of failing to address pipelines’ impacts

South Texas faces the prospect of 3 of these offshore LNG terminals off its pristine, environmentally sensitive coast if FERC holds true to its history

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – is (supposedly) an independent tasked with regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. According to its own website, it reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects.

Among FERC’s responsibilities, it:

  • Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals and
  • Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters

However, according to a news report, “the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rejected only two pipelines over the last 30 years out of the hundreds proposed, according to an investigation that paints the regulatory body as particularly cozy with the industry it oversees.”

For anyone involved in managing statistics, the truth will out – numbers don’t lie.

“Between mid-2010 and 2016, large energy companies scheduled at least 93 meetings with FERC officials, compared with the 17 meetings scheduled with environmental and public-interest groups, according to emails and official calendars.”

Here in South Texas, we’re facing the possibility – more likely probability – of 3 offshore LNG terminals off the coast of Brownsville. FERC will be reviewing these applications & considering the public comments they’ve received before determining whether or not to approve these applications.

Approving them would spell disaster for pristine, environmentally sensitive ecosystems in the area and potentially put large numbers of people at risk, should there ever be a leak or explosion, which the industry is well-known for having.

But with such a dark, almost rubber stamping history to go by, it doesn’t seem like there’s much light at the end of this tunnel for the citizens of South Texas, or for the endangered species that call this area home.

Time will tell but we shouldn’t hold our breath, hoping that this self-proclaimed quasi judiciary agency will do the “right” thing. Do you suppose it would help to wish on a lucky star instead?

Advertisements

Gulf Coast marshes may be irreversibly damaged from Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Volunteers help plant and restore a salt marsh in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Volunteers help plant and restore a salt marsh in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

Much has been written about what’s called the worst oil spill in U.S. history – Deepwater Horizon. Now there’s even a major motion picture about it.

What has only received limited national press has been the devastating effect and impact on Louisiana’s marshes, home to over 5 million migratory waterfowl each year as well a large population of brown pelicans, terns, and other tropical birds and a variety of other endangered species. A 2014 pictorial view of the Louisiana coastline was one of the few and sobering accounts of the devastation long after the fact.

Now a study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, finds the oil spill caused widespread erosion in the salt marshes along the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. And researchers say there’s a chance these marshes might never completely grow back.

Continue reading

U.S. and Vietnam to partner to combat wildlife trafficking

Wildlife tracfficking, Gabon Ivory Classification

With the recent raid of Thailand’s so-called “Tiger Temple”, the world’s attention once again focused on wildlife trafficking. With the gruesome discovery of frozen tiger cubs and allegations of animal abuse and wildlife trafficking, it’s important to view encouraging news in this arena.

Continue reading

Help innovators save our oldest champion trees

Archangel-Ancient-Tree-Archive 1The world has lost over 90 percent of its old growth forests. And we’ve lost 95 percent of our magnificent redwoods. Those that remain are threatened by logging and climate change-related insect epidemics.

While a number of organizations and NGOs are working on reforestation projects around the globe, one group has been striving to save the remaining “champion” ancient trees and their genetics for future generations to appreciate.

Continue reading

BLM cancels wolf killing permit on public lands

WolvesA surprise victory for wolves in Idaho.

After a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, the Bureau of Land Management has cancelled a permit allowing an anti-wolf group to conduct a predator-killing contest on more than 3 million acres of public land.

Continue reading

We need to solve the rate of wildlife kill at solar panel farms

Large solar arrays are killing wildlife at an alarming rate, with no solution in sight

Large solar arrays are killing wildlife at an alarming rate, with no solution in sight

There’s an aphorism that’s played out over and over again these days.” Every solution brings new problems.”

For every new innovation, a whole array of issues pop up needing to be solved. Such is proving to be the case with the large solar arrays that exist and/or are on the drawing board.

Continue reading

USDA allows agency to indiscriminately kill thousands of animals in the U.S.

Mountain lion cubs

Mountain lion cubs are threatened by our federal agencies

Wildlife in America is under siege – not only by climate change but also, in a more sinister capacity, by an agency sanctioned by the USDA.

Continue reading