Reaffirming Property Rights Through Natural Gas Act Modernization Act

Last September, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 4673, “Reaffirming Property Rights Through The Natural Gas Act Modernization Act. 

This bill has a number of noteworthy provisions that provide needed protections for landowners  nationwide facing increased and unfair use of eminent domain for pipeline development. 

If you have not already reached out to your senators to encourage them to consider this bill, please do! The bill has been referred to the committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The best way to keep the bill moving forward is to encourage a hearing!

Please reach out to your Senators today, particularly if they are members of the Commerce Committee. 

Provisions included in the bill are outlined below; 

  • Sec 2 -Establishes that there is No Presumption of Public Interest in the export of Natural Gas.
  • Sec. 4 Ensures Notice to Landowners occurs in a clear and uniform way, and that all impacted
    persons have the information needed to intervene in the process. 
  • Sec. 5 Lays out Requirements for Exercise of Eminent Domain, stipulating that pipeline
    companies obtain all other required state and federal approvals and permits before construction
    proceeds.
  • Sec. 6 is a Requirement to Execute Project Only for Certain Purposes – that is, according to
    the plans provided to FERC with its application. This prevents a bait-and-switch. 
  • Sec. 7 ensures that companies cannot “sit” on undeveloped confiscated land for more than one year without proceeding, or if a project does not go ahead as planned, this provision also ensures that property reverts back to the previous property owner. 
  • Sec. 8 Ensures that in the event eminent domain is exercised, property owners are more fairly compensated
  • Sec. 9 eliminates FERC’s historic practice of using “tolling orders,”

Annual Meeting Invitation

Friends of Nelson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: FON Annual Meeting
Time: Jan 27, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89975331449?pwd=K1NGZHVlNTZLY3JVbkhVWUhoVXNSQT09

Meeting ID: 899 7533 1449
Passcode: 358043
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A New Era at FERC?

From Utility Dive. Glick named FERC chair, promises ‘significant progress’ on energy transition.
January 21, 2021


Commissioner Richard Glick was named chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Joe Biden Thursday morning.

Glick has said that on the electric side he would prioritize transmission reform, reassessing capacity markets, and continuing efforts to lower barriers to clean energy resources in regulated markets. On gas, he believes the commission should rethink how it assesses greenhouse gas emissions and more seriously review environmental justice impacts when approving gas infrastructure. “I’m eagerly anticipating the chance to work with my colleagues to forge compromises on issues like how the commission handles greenhouse gases when it evaluates certificates,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll be able to craft a path forward.”

FERC fails to approve request from MVP

From The Roanoke Times.  In a rare rebuke, FERC fails to approve Mountain Valley Pipeline’s proposal. January, 20, 2021.

Federal regulators deadlocked and reached no decision on Mountain Valley Pipeline’s proposal to bore under streams in a rushed meeting ahead of the Biden administration’s inauguration.


The pipeline company had hoped to skirt permitting issues for trenching through streams for a section of the pipe. Approval would have allowed the first 77 miles of the pipeline to be put into service while the rest of the project still lacks permits. Since work on the pipeline began in 2018, three sets of federal permits have been set aside by the courts.


Despite the latest setback, Mountain Valley still plans to have the $6 billion project completed by the end of the year. But with the stream crossing issue still unresolved, and other legal battles brewing, opponents say there is still a chance of stopping the pipeline.

Stop FERC From Rushing Twelve Gas Project Certificates Through!

For decades FERC has held meetings on the 3rd Thursday of every month, but FERC Chair James Danly has moved the FERC meeting to Tuesday January 19th. This move of the meeting was likely made in order for James Danly to push through Trump’s energy agenda, before Danly is removed from his position by incoming President Biden.

Danly’s last stand is marked by an agenda that includes approval of certificates for a dozen gas pipelines and gas export terminals around the country.

This includes: New Fortress Energy, Sabal Trail Transmission, Rio Grande LNG, Algonquin Gas Transmission, Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, Iroquois Gas Transmission, Penn East Pipeline, Mountain Valley Pipeline, Golden Pass LNG, Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, Jordan Cove Energy and Spire STL Pipeline.
According to an article by Arianna Skibell in Energy Wire on Friday, ‘the agenda also features a proposal to expand a contested capacity market rule, which opponents say harms renewable resources, to New York state.’ This is a transparent attempt to advance the regressive pro-fossil fuel agenda of the Trump administration. Help stop Danly from pushing through these last minute approvals! Call the FERC commissioners and demand they oppose this rushed effort by Chair Danly to do the bidding of twice-impeached President Donald Trump. We demand that the FERC meeting be rescheduled and that Commissioners take a stand against fossil fuel expansion.

Chair James Danly: (202)-502-8338
Commissioner Neil Chatterjee: 202-502-6477
Commissioner Richard Glick: 202-502-6530
Commissioner Allison Clements: 202-502-6300
Commissioner Mark Christie: 202-502-8110

E-mail: james.danly@ferc.gov

neil.chatterjee@ferc.gov
allison.clements@ferc.gov
mark.christie@ferc.gov

“Request a Meeting With Danly”
https://ferc.gov/about/commission-members/chairman-danly/meeting-and-speaking-requests
Twitter:
@RichGlickFERC
@FERC
@FERChatterjee
@ClementsFERC

 

from Beyond Extreme Energy 

Banks invested in the MVP and what you can do

According to a recent Oil Change International article, the following banks are invested in the MVPJP . Morgan Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank, PNC, Union Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and U.S. Bank.

If you have accounts with any of these banks please consider contacting them and urging them to divest from the MVP, which is already way over budget and far behind schedule. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if the MVP money dried up, and the MVP canceled the project!

A draft letter is below. Please feel free to copy, past, and edit it as you see fit. I think that a snail mail letter is most effective, but an e-mail may help as well. You may also want to send a copy to the manager of your local branch.

Some contact information for these banks follows:

JP Morgan Chase
270 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Attn: James Dimon, CEO

Bank of America
100 Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255
Attn: Brian T. Moynihan, Chairman and CEO

or e-mail Holly O’Neill, client care
hollyoneill.client care@bofa.com

TD Bank
1701 Marlton Pike East, 200
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Attn: Gregory T. Braca, CEO

or Same address Attn: Michelle Hickey, Head of Chairman’s Service Center

or Michelle.Hickey@td.com

PNC
The PNC Financial Services Group
One PNC Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Attn: William S. Demchak, CEO

or bill.demchak@pnc.com

Union Bank
1980 Saturn Street
Monterey Park, CA 91755
Attn: Steve Cummings, CEO

Wells Fargo
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Attn: Charles W. Scharf, CEO

or Wells Fargo and Company
P.O. Box 63750
San Francisco, CA 94163
Attn: Board of Directors

or boardcommunications@wellsfargo.com

Citigroup
388 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Attn: Michael Corbat, CEO

U.S. Bank
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402-7014
Attn: Jennifer Thompson, CFA

or jen.thompson@usbank.com


Dear (name of person)

I have an account with (name of bank) in (your location). I have been pleased with the services that I have received from (name of bank) and with the assistance I have received from (name of bank) staff.

Nevertheless, I am very disturbed to recently learn that (name of bank) is invested in the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which remains under construction, and faces numerous regulatory and legal challenges.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is an unjust fossil fuel project that is threatening thousands of rural property owners on, and along the proposed route. They are having their land forcibly taken from them by eminent domain for private gain, or compelled to sign a legal agreement to use their land for the pipeline. Their property values have plummeted. What was the biggest investment of their lives is now becoming the biggest loss of their lives, through no fault of their own.

Their personal safety, and the safety of their families will be placed at risk due to the extreme explosive potential of this dangerous pipeline. Their drinking water wells and springs will be seriously threatened by pollution from the pipeline. Their property will be forever defaced.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is also planning to bring thousands of pipeline workers into small rural communities during our Covid-19 national health emergency. This act of incredible selfishness could easily cause a superspreader event that could sicken and kill local residents, many of whom are elderly and low income, with few health services available.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline will contribute heavily to climate change, and lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come, while it is very likely that most of the gas will be exported, instead of being used by United States consumers.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is also way over budget, and way behind schedule, with ever increasing expenses continuing to mount up, while it continually fumbles its responsibility to obtain needed permits, and follow the law.

Their is nothing right about the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

I don’t want my hard earned money going to a project that is morally corrupt and financially precarious.

Please divest (name of bank) from the Mountain Valley Pipeline. I you do not do so I will look to divest from (name of bank).