Stop the Pipelines
February 5, 2020: Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum testified on at a Congressional hearing titled “Modernizing the Natural Gas Act to Ensure it Works for Everyone”, held by the Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has been documenting the abuses of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in a comprehensive Dossier and, with the VOICES (Victory Over InFRACKstructure, Clean Energy inStead) coalition, has been calling on Congress to hold investigative hearings into FERC and pass needed reforms to the Natural Gas Act for over four years. van Rossum called for reforms to the Natural Gas Act, written over 80 years ago, which has been used to proliferate natural gas pipelines and enable FERC’s abuses. Among these abuses are FERC’s use of tolling orders that place people in legal limbo, unable to meaningfully challenge a pipeline decision in court; its failure to consider climate change impacts when approving projects; approval of construction before states and other agencies have given needed approvals; and failure to demonstrate project need.
Maya’s testimony drew strong responses from the Congress members in the room. Many asked pointed questions intended to underscore the messages of her testimony, including Chairman Frank Pallone (NJ). Representative Nanette Barragan (CA) tweeted video clip of Maya’s testimony and echoed her concerns. Fossil fuel advocate Representative David McKinley (WV) confronted Maya, calling her “a threat to this economic development in West Virginia and maybe the country, for that matter,” because she is “so adamantly opposed to fracking.” He referenced EPA statements from 2011 and said “fracking’s been around 1860, 1840” in defense of the devastating extraction practice. Maya was joined in the room by members of VOICES who traveled from various states to stand in support and solidarity, holding up scarves reading “#FERCAbuses Communities & Environment”. DRN and VOICES continue urge Congress to enact need NGA reforms to remedy FERC’s abuses.
As shale gas extraction continues the infrastructure to advance and serve it is proliferating into communities throughout our watershed and beyond. Communities are eager for information, strategies, and collaborations they can use to help defeat the pipeline, compressor, LNG facility, process plant, cracker plant that threatens their community. We hope the below resources and actions are helpful.
And if you would like the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to come and talk to your community about how to challenge a pipeline, compressor or other infrastructure project email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the links provided be sure to take a look at the expert reports, policy documents and maps provided on the list below.
Get an overview of the impacts of pipelines for communities and the environment by reviewing the Delaware Riverkeeper Network Pipeline White Paper.
The irreparable harms pipelines inflict on wetlands is an important regulatory battleground. Learn more about those harms so you can be better informed for the debate. Wetlands report.
Learn more about how Pipelines inflict more harm than they have to. We don't want any of these pipelines cutting through our watershed and communities, but if the battle is lost, there is a way they can be constructed that makes them far less harmful. Learn more about the construction practices associated with Pipelines. Pipeline ROW report.
Gas drilling and pipelines are a major concern for bat populations, already being devastated by other threats and harms. Click the link to see a copy of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network commissioned report. Bat report.
Proliferation of pipelines is intimately connected to the shale gas extraction invasion taking place in communities across PA and beyond. Learn more.
Some background on pipelines and their safety record across the country in this video.
The Delaware Riverkeeper's presentation of the first pipeline petition to the DRBC on September 12, 2012 on video here.
How compressors associated with pipelines have impacted lives in this video.
Wetlands harms imposed by an Upper Delaware River pipeline and the callous disregard of the company and the agencies in this video.
More pipeline harms in this video.
To see what happened at a March 6, 2013 DRBC meeting where citizens demanded action on pipelines see this video.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network presents Pipeline Lessons video series: To help residents understand the damage caused by natural gas pipelines and provide guidance on the science, law and strategies Delaware Riverkeeper Network presents the Pipeline Lessons video series.
Among the experts interviewed:
- Accufacts Incorporated President Rich Kuprewicz discussing pipeline safety issues and the route selection process.
- Michelle Adams, a civil engineer with Meliora Associates is featured discussing the weaker regulatory standards shale gas operations face compared to other land developments.
- Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum talks about how citizens can organize and strategies to fight proposed pipelines.
- Environmental scientist Wilma Subra examines the environmental health effects associated with shale gas extraction and pipelines.
- Delaware Riverkeeper Network staff attorney Aaron Stemplewicz discusses the legal actions property owners can take whose land is targeted for pipeline installations.
- Leslie Sauer, ecological restoration expert, looks at the construction impacts of pipelines.
You can watch the Pipeline Lessons series on the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s YouTube Channel