Vol. 1, No. 2 – October 13, 2017
Welcome to this Friday the 13th edition of the Friday Fossil Fuel Runoff at Eyes on the Ties! The Runoff highlights the power politics driving each week’s developments in the oil and gas industry with links to reporting from around the web. It also contains links from PAI and the research community using LittleSis to map the fossil fuel industry’s networks of power. If you have any feedback or tips, or would like to subscribe to an email version of these posts, please send us an email at [email protected]!
Environmental Protection Agency ends “war” against polluting fossil fuel
EPA administrator Scott Pruitt declared on Monday that he was signing a proposed rule killing the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulation forcing electric utilities to reduce carbon emissions – which contribute to the greenhouse effect exacerbating climate change – outside their facilities. “The war against coal is over,” Pruitt announced in an event with Senator Mitch McConnell.
Pruitt, who sued the the EPA more than a dozen times to overturn environmental regulations as Oklahoma Attorney General, has deep, long-standing ties to fossil fuel interests, including coal and oil and gas companies. Researchers at DeSmog Blog have documented these ties on LittleSis in the map embedded below.
Activists ask for new review of CPV natural gas plant in Orange County, NY
Competitive Power Ventures, the private equity-backed firm building a natural gas power plant in downstate New York, changed their plan for the plant without approval or environmental review according to residents opposed to the plant.
The company is also embroiled in criminal litigation over alleged bribes paid to Todd Howe, an associate of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to secure permits for the plant.
We wrote about the CPV plant and it’s private equity backers from Credit Suisse and General Electric in 2016 in CPV: A Private Equity Fracking Play
A Pipeline Named ‘Pilgrim’ and the Indigenous People Standing in its Way
The Indypendent reports on the Ramapough Lenape Nation and its resistance to the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline:
The Ramapough-Lenape people have inhabited the New York region going back well before Europeans arrived. However, thanks, in part, to a campaign launched by a young Donald Trump, the Ramapough have never been granted federal tribal recognition. Now, a behemoth piece of oil infrastructure, planned to stretch for 178 miles from Albany, New York to Linden, New Jersey, threatens to destroy what’s left of Ramapough land — and potentially contaminate 90 percent New York City’s water supply.
FERC Allows Conflicted Contractor to Supervise Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge Gas Project
DeSmog Blog’s Itai Vardi reports that FERC is allowing a contractor to supervise the Atlantic Bridge Gas Project who also works for Enbridge. Spectra Energy had promoted Atlantic Bridge; Spectra was subsequently bought up by Enbridge. Read all about the conflict at DeSmog Blog:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is permitting a contractor with a known conflict of interest to monitor Enbridge’s Atlantic Bride natural gas project. This decision joins a growing list of apparent conflicts of interest involved in the project, as DeSmog has extensively reported.
Louisiana activists demand an environmental impact statement for Energy Transfer Partners Bayou Bridge Pipeline
Resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline — which, if built, will be at the end of a pipeline network carrying oil from North Dakota down to Louisiana — continues to heat up. Courthouse News reports that:
“Opponents of the pipeline, now that it has received the go-ahead from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, are urging the state to require the company building it to conduct an environmental impact statement for the land it traverses.”
See the full story: https://www.courthousenews.com/louisianans-fight-oil-pipeline-cancer-alley/
North Carolina rejects Atlantic Coast environmental permit
The North Carolina DEQ has rejected the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s environmental application, saying it “does not meet the state’s standards for erosion and sediment control.” The companies behind the pipeline have 15 days to resubmit their application or 60 days to file their disapproval and request a hearing. Read about it at the News Observer:
One of the opponents of the project characterized the agency’s decision as more than a routine matter. “At the very least, it represents a significant hurdle the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will have to overcome,” said Doug Jackson, spokesman for the Sierra Club.
See our report on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline here and see the map here:
Nuclear energy lobbying group wants to keep elected officials out of setting utility rates
The New York Alliance for Reliable and Affordable Energy (NY AREA) – a trade organization with strong ties to nuclear power producer Entergy and the corporate lobbying group the Business Council of New York State – published an op-ed urging New York lawmakers not to interfere in utility rate cases.
“We must take utilities seriously when they contend, as National Grid does, that without increased funding they won’t be able provide the power we depend on — risking shortages and all the harms that come with them,” said Arthur Kremer, the lobbyist who directs NY AREA. National Grid was recently awarded a 28% rate hike in the New York City area and is seeking a 17.5% hike in Western New York.
The map embedded below show’s NY AREA’s ties to the power producer Entergy and to the Business Council of New York State, whose history of lobbying for fossil fuel interests we detailed in this report.
Get ready for the People vs. Oil & Gas Summit!
Organizers are preparing to amp up the resistance to the oil and gas industry’s plans to expand under a friendly Trump regime. The People vs. Oil and Gas Summit announces: “From November 17th to the 20th, join us in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for one of the largest gathering of communities fighting back against fossil fuels. Let’s share stories, strategy, skills and plans to collaborate.”
Check it out at: http://peoplevsoilgas.org