PRESS RELEASE: “Stop the FERCus!” Protest Highlights Fossil Fuel Divestment as a Tool to Undercut Industry’s Harmful Business-as-Usual


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The fossil fuel divestment movement was featured today as part of Stop the FERCus!, a week of actions in D.C. led by a coalition of front-line community activists known as Beyond Extreme Energy. These actions are part of a large-scale protest against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s consistent approval of dangerous  fracked gas projects in spite of strong local opposition, like those proposed in Lusby, MD, Coos Bay, OR, Rio Grande Valley, TX, Port Ambrose, NY, Squamish, BC, and many more.

This morning, Stop the FERCus! participants teamed up with local group DC Divest for a photo petition campaign urging the District of Columbia to be a part of the solution to climate change by withdrawing its investments in fossil fuel companies. The shared message of Stop the FERCus! and the fossil fuel divestment movement is clear: political leadership at all levels of government, from local to national, must stop abetting the fossil fuel-induced health hazards and climate crisis.

Today’s divestment theme underscores the unjust power dynamics behind FERC’s decision-making process. Stop the FERCus! seeks to expose the financial revolving door between FERC and the industry it is charged with regulating. The enormous wealth and power that drives the constant approval of extreme fossil fuel projects are the same forces driving the continued extraction and production of dirty fossil fuels.

“FERC’s corrupt rubber-stamping of industry proposals is yet another example of how fossil fuel interests wield power over and at the expense of the public. That FERC is funded by the companies behind the projects it approves means that the industry can essentially pick and choose where it wants to place infrastructure — even if it means a natural gas compression facility will be placed less than a mile from an elementary school. Zoom out to the larger picture, and that same dirty money is keeping our political institutions from enacting the policies necessary to protect the long-term health and well-being of people around the world,” said Beyond Extreme Energy member Lee Stewart.

DC Divest is an all-volunteer local campaign working to get the District of Columbia to remove $30 million in investments in fossil fuel companies from the DC Retirement Funds ($6.4 billion) and the Health Annuity Trust ($800 million).

Beyond Extreme Energy is a nationwide coalition of front-line communities — and their allies — who are fighting proposed and existing fracked gas pipelines, wells, compressor stations, LNG export terminals, and storage facilities. Groups participating nationwide and in DC for this week of action include Marcellus Outreach Butler, Environmental Action, Sane Energy Project, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, 350 Loudoun, Flood Boston, No Fracked Gas in Mass, Rising Tide North America, Stop the Frack Attack, Southern Oregon Pipeline Awareness, Stop the Penn East Pipeline, Stop the Minisink Compressor Station, Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion, Bakken Pipeline Resistance, Friends of Nelson and more.

Learn more:
See Beyond Extreme Energy’s Stop the FERCus video and media advisory
Visit DC Divest’s website

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