March 4, 2024

Contact: Kendall Witmer |

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, President Biden announced three new nominations for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Judy W. Chang, David Rosner, and Lindsay S. See. A full FERC Commission should fulfill its responsibilities to Americans, to lead the transition to clean energy, and to deliver on its promises of environmental justice in coordination and consultation with frontline communities.

The following are statements from Gulf Coast and Permian Basin community leaders who are directly impacted by the approval and construction of new oil and gas facilities.

John Allaire, retired BP and Amoco Environmental Engineer and Cameron Parish, LA Resident: “With the most recent nomination of three new Commissioners for the FERC, I would hope that all of the nominees will agree to adhere to the Commission’s mission statement which reads as follows: “FERC’s Mission Statement: Assist consumers in obtaining reliable, safe, secure, and economically efficient energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means, and collaborative efforts.” The nominees should state unequally that they will agree that it will be U.S. consumers and domestic industries that they will assist in obtaining reliable, safe, secure, and economically efficient energy services at a reasonable cost.”

James Hiatt, For A Better Bayou, Lake Charles, Louisiana: “We need the FERC to truly center communities in its decision-making process – especially around climate, environmental, and intergenerational justice. The FERC cannot continue to quickly approve gas export facilities while also dragging their feet with renewable energy and transmission. The FERC’s stated mission is to assist customers with reliable, “economically” efficient energy services – a mission that can not be achieved with the massive amounts of exports already approved by FERC.”

Melanie Oldham, Director of Better Brazoria, Freeport, Texas: “Given the recent FERC Commissioner nominations, the Senate must select a Commissioner that supports a positive, common sense, comprehensive change to how FERC evaluates a proposed LNG Facility. There must be an integration of NEW FERC policies that looks closely at an LNG facility’s negative Health, Safety and risky Explosion/gas release impacts on our EJ/ low income communities on the Texas Gulf Coast. In addition, any FERC Commissioner appointed must seriously consider how a proposed LNG facility would add Cumulative Impacts to an Environmental Justice community, as well as the serious, negative climate impacts of  approving any new LNG Facilities.”

Cyndi Valdes, Executive Director, Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association:

“The increase in ship traffic over the past few years on the La Quinta Ship Channel is causing significant personal property damage to residences, coastal erosion, seawall damage, depletion of seagrass, unsafe boating and swimming conditions, along with air, noise, light, and water pollution. FERC is reviewing an additional permit for even more LNG ships per year when the already approved permitted ships have not been seen or effects realized.”

Charlie Boone, Treasurer, Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association:

“The communities that border the La Quinta Channel are witnessing, up close, the destruction of their homes to be replaced by a high volume industrial zone. This change is coming without regard to people, but only for profits to venture capitalists and foreign companies.”

Roishetta Ozane, Vessel Project, Lake Charles, Louisiana: “It is high time for a change at FERC not just with the appointments of new commissioners but also with the integration of new policy.

“In order to improve the health and safety of those living in frontline communities, particularly Black and Brown communities overburdened by pollution, FERC must foster a strong relationship with the communities it serves. This means taking into account current pollution from existing facilities, cumulative impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental justice concerns when reviewing natural gas projects. FERC should also evaluate and incorporate guidance from other authoritative sources in identifying environmental justice communities affected by proposed projects.

“Furthermore, FERC should require close consultation and collaboration between the project developer, the communities in question, and FERC itself. This collaboration is crucial in tailoring mitigation options that address the specific needs of environmental justice communities.

“Additionally, FERC should involve frontline community members in the permitting process. By including us, FERC can gain valuable insights and ensure that our voices are heard and considered.

“Lastly, FERC needs to ask critical questions about the necessity of new projects. This includes assessing the cumulative impacts on the environment and health. By thoroughly evaluating these factors, FERC can make more informed decisions that prioritize the well-being of communities.

“The new commissioners will have a long road ahead of them as we enter a new era of phasing out fossil fuels, so along with meeting the criteria for their appointments new commissioners also need to be grounded in justice: environmental justice and climate justice.”

Zulene Mayfield, Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living, Chester, Pennsylvania:

“As the Biden Administration nominates three new FERC members contingent upon their placements should be to keep People over Profits. FERC needs to ensure that before they keep rubber stamping projects that are committing environmental genocide in environmental justice communities to keep the residents lives First. These new members have to commit to being transparent with our communities. They must express that frontline community people have the same access and weigh our concerns more than the polluting poisoning corporations and businesses. They must incorporate into their decisions the overall cumulative effects these LNG’s have on communities. They must take into account health statistics of the community before issuing a permit.” 

Debra Sullivan Ramirez, Mossville Environmental Action Network, Mossville, LA “FERC needs to start being more accountable and responsible for its actions when it comes to fence line communities who are surrounded by oil and gas industries. We are not your stepping stones. We are citizens of the United States and we want FERC to take on its responsibility and do what your lawsactions. We didn’t inherit the earth from the Government nor Industries who pollute our only home earth, we inherited it from our Creator GOD. FERC we the people want you to take quicker action on laws that involve the world we share. Our Earth is a living world and we must preserve and protect it at all times at all costs.”

Travis Dardar, Commercial Fisherman, FISH, Cameron, Louisiana: 

“FERC needs to start considering the people’s lives, livelihoods, and health before making these big executive decisions and rubber-stamping everything that comes across their desk. FERC also needs to question Venture Global about all the damage that has been done already, what was done to the commercial fishing industry in Cameron is constitutionally wrong and morally wrong as well. It is obvious to me that the laws that were made to govern the USA only apply to certain people and that makes me sad and disappointed in the people that are supposed to protect us. By permitting these facilities you will erase the very root of South Louisiana, and that is its people, culture and heritage, and that is simply unacceptable. FERC, I ask that you would also take into consideration the people’s health and all the toxins released into the air on a daily basis. By permitting these plants y’all are already killing people. FERC wake up!!!!! We need help NOW!!! Tomorrow may be too late.”