Marcia from Lambertville, NJ writes a heart felt submission to the FERC where she outlines how the public is losing faith in the FERC and their processes:
I humbly and earnestly request that the Commission appoint an impartial firm, instead of Tetra Tech, for the environmental assessment of the PennEast Project. Retaining Tetra Tech for this survey would be a grave mistake for the Commission and for the six partner companies for a number of reason. Tetra Tech, as part of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, has strong ties with companies who will profit from the extraction of gas from Marcellus Shale. Retaining Tetra Tech would be seen by thousands of people as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission having very serious conflict of interests. FERC should not have asked PennEast for a list of companies that PennEast would like to work with, this was illogical even though PennEast will be financially responsible. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has, at the core of its mission a responsibility to regulate. The Commission is seriously endangering their reputation with the public, who are now viewing FERC as a tool of the fossil fuel industry to facilitate construction rather than regulate based on need and infrastructure. The public’s perception related to the selection of Tetra Tech, is that the process has been corrupted and the framework in which the Commission works has been usurped by special interests.
Recently in the news the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been labeled a rogue commission. Given that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rarely, if ever, votes for no-action, perhaps their very existence should be questioned.
The portion of New Jersey that this pipeline would be crossing is among the most beautiful and unspoiled in the state. I am asking that you don’t just follow procedural protocols, but listen and read the many comments made in the scoping process. Please follow an honest and ethical course of action. I personally have lost all faith in this process and believe that FERC will simply ignore these comments.
We the People may be battered in this process, but are determined to persevere for an ethical and fair process.
I agree with Marcia. Regulation does not equate to a rubber stamp. FERC has an completely lopsided view of its own role in the industry. Jeffrey Wright, Director of the Office of Energy Projects at the FERC has been quoted repeatedly saying that FERC should “follow the markets” and give the market “options” to achieve their goals.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. A regulator is supposed to define the rules and ensure the players abide by them. FERC’s actions are akin to the SEC taking Bernie Madoff to the side and saying “So, you want to create a ponzi scheme to defaud tax payers? OK, let’s see how we can work together to achieve your goals!”.
Marcia’s comments are available below: