by Eleanor Goldfield
Today, activists launched two separate actions against the fracking industry. First, protestors stood up at the monthly FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) meeting to protest the Commission’s blatant rubber stamping of big oil and gas projects, specifically new pipelines and the export terminal at Cove Point . Protestors were taken out of the meeting after voicing their opinions and I gotta say – that was by far the most important thing that’s been said in those rooms in a very long time.
The meeting began with a circle-jerk style ceremony including a congratulatory plaque awarded to some guy for doing something completely unrelated to the day’s proceedings. Then, the members of the Commission, including Chairman Norman C. Bay, took turns congratulating each other on being awesome, informing the room that they like football, just got a twitter account and isn’t the work we do just so awesome!?
It sounded like the sort of banal conversation you might hear made fun of in an episode of The Office, but these people were supposedly here to discuss the FUCKING ENERGY CONCERNS OF OUR NATION! Pardon me, but I don’t give a flying fuck whether or not you’re on twitter (although now that I know, I’ll be sending you some tweets @CHonorableFERC ). I don’t think that the people whose homes have been destroyed by exploding pipelines give two shits whether you’re interested in football. In fact, I’m sure of it. Sitting in on one of those meetings make you appreciate how horribly run Congress is.
Also worth noting: the Constitution does NOT apply inside of FERC, a federal building. Not only was I told that I could not take pictures inside precisely BECAUSE it’s a federal building (riddle me that one) but also, a news crew with the highest accreditation of press pass was not allowed to enter the building – just because. The security guards gave them some bullshit story of how they have to talk to someone before they can gain access to the PUBLIC MONTHLY MEETINGS. Soooo – the meetings are open to the public but the constitution applies to neither press nor persons AND you have to sit quietly while these titans of dumbshitedness congratulate each other on destroying people’s homes and discovering twitter. Ain’t freedom grand?
After this morning’s action, activists headed to the Bank of America located across the street from the US Treasury and diagonally across from the White House, strategically situated so as to allow a line of sight to their investment. Blatant corruption aside, the activists’ goal is simple: starve oil and gas giant Dominion by draining their funds. Bank of America has given them a $4 billion line of credit in order to complete the export terminal at Cove Point. If they lose that, the project is fucked. Activists attempted to deliver a letter to the BofA manager but he refused and summarily kicked them out of the bank. Once outside again, protestors picketed outside the bank, chanting, carrying signs and handing out informational pamphlets. Even the grim reaper joined in – signifying, as I understood it, the loss of life caused by climate change, which practices such as fracking promotes, and indeed the loss of soul caused by being a piece of shit who gives money to fund planet and people-killing projects.
Some images from the second protest are below. Please feel free to share – credit Eleanor Goldfield and Art Killing Apathy.