Bi-Coastal Clean Energy Coalitions Applaud Resignation of FERC Chair

A West Coast coalition of organizations opposed to dependence on foreign Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and an East Coast  coalition advocating for thoughtful national energy planning in light of
the glut of LNG proposals nation-wide, applauded the resignation of  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Joseph Kelliher.  Kelliher announced today he would step down from his chairman role, and  would “recuse himself” from FERC business.

The West Coast coalition, Ratepayers for Affordable Clean Energy (RACE),  opposes LNG projects on the West Coast including those that come under  the permitting authority of FERC. This authority was given to FERC under  the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which took away the rights of states and  local communities in siting decisions for LNG terminals proposed  on-shore and in state-owned waterbodies. President Bush appointed
Kelliher in part to oversee this process.  “Mr. Kelliher’s actions represent the worst aspects of corporate  influence over public policy,” said RACE Coordinator Rory Cox.

Sound Alliance, one of two East Coast coalitions opposing Shell Oil’s  Long Island Sound proposal Broadwater Energy LNG, hired national energy  experts Synapse Energy Economics to demonstrate that there are more
consumer friendly and energy independent ways of meeting regional need than the current mentality of over-building LNG facilities.

“Time after time, when the energy agency should have been inspiring  confidence in its processes and innovation in its method, Chairman  Kelliher was leading FERC’s first-come, first-served LNG siting debacle,
attempting to limit state’s rights and authority, and ignoring  environmental impacts and citizen input.” said Leah Schmalz, Staff  Attorney for Save the Sound, the Sound Alliance’s coordinating group.

According to Public Citizen, while at the Department of Energy, Kelliher  played a central role in soliciting advice from the energy industry for  inclusion in Vice President Cheney’s energy task force report. Many
“suggestions” regarding deregulation from the likes of Enron and others  in the oil and gas industry became U.S. energy policy.

As chair of FERC, Kelliher approved both the Bradwood Landing LNG  project in Oregon and the Broadwater Energy LNG project in New York  before the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean
Water Act were even taken into consideration.

“We are hopeful that the new commissioner will understand that energy  infrastructure doesn’t necessitate destroying our natural resources,”  said Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment in New
York State, “We need leadership that can plan our energy future while  protecting our natural world.”

“We look  forward to working with the Obama Administration to find a replacement who understands the energy and climate challenges that this country  faces. We also look forward to seeing the passage of the bill Obama  sponsored as Senator which would return LNG terminal siting authority to states and local communities. ” ” said RACE Coordinator Rory Cox.

For more information on LNG and the RACE Coalition, go to  www.RaceForCleanEne <http://www.raceforc leanenergy. org/> . For  more information on Save the Sound, visit www.savethesound. org.

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