Do you ever watch John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight”? I find his show both funny and informative—in my opinion, he’s the best of Jon Stewart’s protégés. He’s one of the last of the muckraking journalists, showcasing outrages not getting much attention elsewhere.
That’s why I was happy to sign a petition at the suggestion of Beyond Extreme Energy, asking him to do a show on FERC. FERC is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the body that (supposedly) regulates projects like interstate gas pipelines, power lines and gas importing or exporting facilities. In fact, they are more of a rubber stamp, almost never denying any permit. Regular readers of this blog know I went out to join BXE’s Rubberstamp Rebellion a couple months ago, in which we rallied outside the FERC offices, and outside the Commissioners’ homes, and also tied the fracking and pipeline issues to the TPP.
I tried googling FERC, looking for more information on this agency, but all that comes up are positive views. Some say FERC gets some or all of its funding from the companies it regulates, creating a conflict of interest. Is that true? I’m not sure, I couldn’t find that information. But Oliver’s researchers will, along with FERC’s record on approving permits and attitude toward issues like examining whether multiple proposed pipeline are really necessary, and whether they ever look at the cumulative impact of everything they’re permitting.