On October 16th, in Keene, New Hampshire, at a public town hall meeting attended by hundreds, Hillary Clinton had this to say about the notorious Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC:
“If we’re going to have a national commitment to do something about climate change, FERC needs to be part of that commitment. And that’s my view on how we have to alter a lot of parts of the Federal Government. Ya know, it’s not just the EPA that needs to be focused on combating climate change, every part of the Federal Government needs to be focused. I want to have, by the end of my first term, a half a billion more solar panels installed and by the end of my second term enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America. And if those are our goals, then it’s important that we don’t have the right hand doing something different than the left hand.”
Whoa, what’s going on here?!? I could see Bernie Sanders, or maybe Martin O’Malley, saying this, but Clinton?
It’s not that I have great faith that Clinton, if elected, would follow through on this in the ways and with the urgency needed. I don’t. But her saying this now, over a year before the election, can be of great value. It can lead to other candidates also addressing the issue of FERC, including at upcoming debates. It can lead to growing press coverage about the wide, deep and determined grassroots movement fighting FERC as it continues to rubber stamp every proposal for the expansion of fracked gas infrastructure that comes before it.
When FERC holds public meetings in localities which are facing new pipelines, compressors, storage and export terminals, Clinton’s words should be printed up and distributed to everyone there and written in large, bold letters on signs and banners.
When Beyond Extreme Energy takes action at FERC Commissioners’ monthly public meetings in DC, something it has been doing for a year, the same thing should happen, as much as possible.
When Clinton or other Presidential, Senate or House candidates, and not just Democrats–hey Republicans, do you support the federal government taking people’s land to benefit private corporations?–are answering questions at town hall meetings in Iowa, other New Hampshire towns, Nevada, South Carolina or other states, we must make sure questions about FERC and fracking are brought forward.
Seemingly from out of nowhere, thanks to the courage and persistence of local New Hampshire activists, a light can be seen at the end of the long tunnel that so many of us fighting FERC have been in for years. When Hillary Clinton is publicly saying what so many of us have been saying, when FERC is going to be even more on the defensive than they already are, when our up-from-below pressures just keep building, there is reason to believe that, yes, we can win in our battle against FERC and its fossil fuel industry partners.