Why we need an Environmental Justice champion at FERC
By Tobili Hatcher
The time to have an Environmental Justice Champion at the helm of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has long been overdue. FERC regulators and regulations have a monumental impact on the environment and environmental justice. For these reasons and more, Ohio Citizen Action recently signed a letter addressed to President Joseph R. Biden to consider three Environmental Justice champions, Mr. Daniel Blackman, Ms. Marquita Bradshaw, and Ms. Nidhi Thakar to take the lead on this committee. This effort, spearheaded by WE ACT for Environmental Justice and the Center for Biological Diversity, hopes to encourage the Biden administration to act quickly and appoint an Environmental and Energy Justice champion to FERC.
Ohio Citizen Action joined 493 environmental and energy justice, faith, social justice, and conservation organizations across 42 states and Washington D.C. to appoint at EJ champion that will stay focused and committed to three main goals. We are asking that the appointed champion prioritize “(1) opposing new and phasing out existing fossil fuels and false solutions like gas and carbon capture and sequestration; (2) championing and integrating renewable energy onto the grid, particularly decentralized systems like rooftop and community solar and storage that advance energy democracy and climate resilience; and (3) ensuring that issues of environmental, energy and ecological justice pervade all of the Commission’s decision-making, including open and transparent public processes led by a fully staffed and funded Office of Public Participation.”
It is our hope that the Biden administration will see the urgency of the current climate crisis and act swiftly to ensure that the next FERC commissioner is appointed in a timely manner. By signing onto this letter, Ohio Citizen Action also recognizes the urgency behind needing a FERC commissioner that will take action and put the people first.