Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

RELEASE: Oil Change International responds to Senate Committee vote on FERC nominees


June 6, 2017

David Turnbull, david@priceofoil.org, 202-316-3499
Janet Redman, janet@priceofoil.org, 508-340-0464

Oil Change International responds to Senate Committee vote on FERC nominees

In wake of Trump’s Paris pullout, Senators abdicate leadership

Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted 20 to 3 to advance the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to be commissioners at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, and Ron Wyden were the only “no” votes. In response, David Turnbull, Campaigns Director at Oil Change International, released the following statement:

“With today’s committee vote, Senators handed another gift to the fossil fuel industry, missing a crucial opportunity to resist Trump’s reckless agenda. In the wake of Trump’s destructive withdrawal from the Paris Accord, there’s no excuse for Senators to sit on the sidelines, let alone greenlight two more fossil fuel industry allies to serve on FERC. Concerned citizens thrown out of today’s committee vote in protest were standing up for a just future, and Senators voting for these nominees are on the wrong side of history.

“FERC is an agency in serious need of reform, and these nominees will do nothing to provide it. If Chatterjee and Powelson are confirmed, FERC is sure to go right back to approving pipelines, ignoring the safety concerns of communities, and turning a blind eye to climate destruction.  Each new pipeline approved by FERC locks in more climate pollution and obstructs the transition we need to renewable energy solutions.

“Senators serious about standing up to Trump on climate should vote ‘no’ when these nominations come to the floor of the Senate.”


Notes to editors:

  • Robert Powelson has used his position as a Pennsylvania regulator to advance the spread of fracking, and joked during the confirmation hearing that he’d “love to use all five trillion cubic feet of natural gas” under the Marcellus Shale.
  • Neil Chatterjee, a long-time aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has led GOP efforts to cripple climate policies, including the Paris accord, for years.
  • For an overview of key pipeline issues Senators should have considered when voting on these nominees, see: http://priceofoil.org/2017/05/24/3-key-questions-trumps-fossil-friendly-ferc-nominees-must-answer/
  • For more details on why the natural gas pipeline buildout is incompatible with a stable climate, see: http://priceofoil.org/2016/07/22/a-bridge-too-far-report/


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