The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is one of the most destructive agencies in our government. In Pennsylvania, the Holleran family’s North Hartford Maple Syrup Farm in New Milford was destroyed. FERC allowed Williams logging to obliterate their sugar bush trees which were outfitted with lines for maple sugar production. How? The right of eminent domain was cited and approved by FERC. Thus, a maple forest and a family’s livelihood were lost. So, too, another small family business has been destroyed in the name of big profit.
Holleran’s loss, however, resulted in a public outcry against corporate greed and what the public needs and wants. We here in New York State are listening and are lucky so far that Governor Andrew Cuomo is responding to our needs. In the last year he vetoed the Port Ambrose LNG Facility, and finalized the high volume fracking ban. He helped delay the Spectra Lake gas storage facility. This pipeline is 150 feet away from the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, which is replete with violations, not fixed nor addressed. Indian Point is an accident waiting to happen. Finally, Gov. Cuomo recently rejected the Constitution Pipeline.
The Constitution Pipeline would’ve covered 124 miles and connected the fracking fields of Susquehanna County, PA, with this planned natural gas export infrastructure starting in Schoharie, NY. This would have maimed the Catskills, so that the trees, wetlands, streams and mountain slopes would be devastated/or polluted. No more hiking and smelling the fresh air there.
The point is that the FERC is the enemy of the people. All it does is hand corporations a gift like the permission to give companies such as Williams the logging rights over people’s rights. We, the people of New York and everywhere else, must halt this chainsaw destruction and halt unnecessary pipelines when the renewable industry of solar and wind is at our fingertips. And they keep our energy at home! To do better, we must fight the oil and gas companies, tell FERC that enough is enough and stop this mismanagement. The pathway to progress should not enrich the few, but help the many.