Positions on Reckless Gas Development Should Disqualify Chatterjee and Powelson
June 19, 2017
Contact: Gabby Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — Last month, Donald Trump announced two nominees for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson. Both were voted out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and floor votes on their nominations are expected to be held soon.
Neil Chatterjee has a long track record of advocating on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. In his time working for Senator Mitch McConnell, he spearheaded the push for Senate approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, sought to undermine U.S. leadership on the Paris Climate Accord, led McConnell’s campaign to convince states to oppose the Clean Power Plan, and worked to lift the ban on crude oil exports.
As a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, Rob Powelson has at times been supportive of clean energy policies. However, he has shown a deep allegiance to the gas industry throughout his tenure, and has recently compared anti-gas activists to terrorists.
Lena Moffitt, Senior Director of the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America Campaign, released the following statement:
“FERC’s responsibility to regulate the gas industry is too important to be put in the hands of people who have led the charge for massive expansion of fracked gas projects and displayed total contempt for communities who fight to keep pipelines from going through family farms and pristine waters.
“America needs FERC Commissioners who will put the health and safety of the public and our climate first, not rubber stamp any project the fossil fuel industry puts in front of them. Based on their records, we believe that Donald Trump’s nominees will continue FERC’s status quo, approving unneeded fracked gas pipelines that take private land for corporate gain and lock Americans into higher electricity rates while increasing our dependency on fossil fuels for decades to come. We cannot allow this; the stakes for our communities and our climate are too high.”