FERC is 100% funded by the industries it “regulates”, but apparently there’s at least one independent judge left, and FERC loses for persecuting the public it’s supposed to represent.
BXE, 30 August 2015, Judge Faults FERC, Acquits Beyond Extreme Energy Activist,
A member of Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) who was arrested inside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission building in May and charged with illegal entry was declared not guilty last week (Aug. 20) in a bench trial before Judge John F. McCabe Jr. in D.C. Superior Court.
In acquitting Laura Gubisch, a resident of the District, Judge McCabe chastised the government for how it handled the situation of people wanting to access the main room where commissioners meet, which in the past has been the site of verbal disruptions by members of BXE opposed to FERC’s approval of virtually every gas infrastructure project that comes before it, including interstate pipelines, compressor stations and LNG facilities.
As people filed through security, security personnel put blue dots on the identity cards of those FERC believed would be disruptive — peremptorily excluding many individuals who had never been inside the building before.
This was the 14 May 2015 meeting that FERC moved a week earlier than originally scheduled to try to avoid protesters. Unsuccessfully, since BXE got people from states all around DC to attend anyway.
The judge said the government could have handled the situation better, and that people should be given an opportunity to observe without disruption. If they are disruptive security could ask them to leave. But there was no evidence that Gubisch had gone to a place where she was told she couldn’t go, or that she refused to leave.
After the judge’s ruling, her attorney, Mark Goldstone, said, “All citizens should be given an opportunity under the First Amendment to observe their government at a public hearing. They should not be preemptively deemed to be disruptive and shunted off to an overflow room to watch a public hearing on a TV screen. Laura Gubisch and other climate change activists were able to illustrate the anti-democratic response by FERC, which supports their charge that that agency is a captive of the oil and gas industry and is tone deaf in considering the views of citizens deeply concerned by the hazards of hydraulic fracking on the air and water in communities across the United States.”
For those agencies such as FERC that seem to have forgotten, this is the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Back to BXE:
Gubisch released the following statement: “The urgency of the terrible devastation created by our human actions require every citizen to take corresponding actions of integrity; everyone must step outside their comfort zone to salvage Mother Earth. The problem is not just FERC but a raft of undemocratic and destructive practices like fracking, eminent domain, government overreach to quell dissent, illegal surveillance and abuse — all are unnecessary and can be ended now. The good news is that we have clean ways to operate in this world, abundant sources of energy are all around us and each person has the capacity and responsibility to turn in this direction.”
Gubisch said she plans to file a civil suit against FERC.
Go, Gubisch and BXE!
Boo, FERC! Instead of Homeland Security lurking in the FERC Commission to suppress the public, DHS should be protecting the public against FERC and pipeline companies invading their homes.
No new pipelines.
Let the sun of solar power rise on the U.S. and the world.
You can help by commenting to GA-EPD about the proposed Sabal Trail Albany compressor station and calling Georgia Gov. Deal, as well as helping WWALS oppose a FL-DEP intent to issue a permit for Sabal Trail to drill under the Suwannee and other Florida rivers. Or oppose Sabal Trail, Spectra, other pipelines companies, or FERC’s rubberstamp in any of many other ways.
22 thoughts on “FERC loses: Judge acquits Beyond Extreme activist”
John, I read your article. It seams you forgot to mention why she was arrested. I have attended meetings of this kind and never saw any one get arrested unless they were disruptive, and then they are usually asked to leave, its only when they refuse and maybe do something stupid they get arrested. waiting for your response on this one.
John, after reading all your articles it appears you leave out some important facts. If your going to tell a story include all the facts. Have ever heard, there is always 2 sides to a story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Oops, left out the you and should have put a ? at the end, my bad.
You’re really stretching when you fall back on the fallacy of the middle ground.
You weren’t there, yet you assume someone exercising her First Amendment right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” was somehow in the wrong, despite a judge saying FERC was in the wrong.
In other comments, you’ve claimed landowners not taking Spectra’s offer are somehow attacking Spectra, when in fact it’s that company from Houston that is invading our lands.
Thank you for illustrating the fact-averse, fantasizing, ends-justifies-the-means, bullying attitude of Spectra and FERC.
John, you are correct I wasn’t their. My question is what did she do when she exercised her first amendment right? Was she just sitting their peacefully or did she cause a disturbance and was maybe asked to not disrupt the meeting? The first comment my wife made was she had to have done something dumb to have gotten arrested in the first place. I never said that exercising her first amendment was wrong. Where did you read in my comments that I said that land owners not taking Spectra offers was attacking Spectra? All I ever said was, that those that try to hold out will lose when they get taken to court. When this happens a judge will issue a stop interference order to allow the pipeline to proceed. Hasn’t this already happened? where a judge ordered the land owners to allow the pipeline to continue surveying and any thing else they need to do. You seem to pick out words and add meaning the way you see it and not the way it was written. I am sure that any one else reading our posts will come to the same conclusion. I have had a couple of calls from pipeline friends of mine who read the posts and wondered if they were from me, alas I had to confess the were from me.
What a convenient memory you have!
What someone has done that deserves being arrested is trying to force a pipeline through people’s lands for no benefit to them, only for profit for companies from somewhere else, and for their minions such as yourself.
John, you still have not answered my question. What did she do to cause the police or who ever to arrest her? Just answer the question. No matter what she thinks her reasons are, she does not have the right to be verbally or physically disruptive. I am sure she did one or the other or both. I would think she was asked to stop disrupting, when she didn’t stop, she may have been asked to leave and when she refused, at that point she was arrested. How close did I come to being right? AS to calling me a minion, LOL, sounds like you are being a little childish. When my sons were young ( 6-7-8) some where in that age range they used to get into arguments, and the loser would try and say some thing childish to the other like you do. That was understandable they were kids.
You seem sure of many things that are not true.
What I’m sure of is that Sabal Trail and FERC are disrupting a lot of things around here for their profit and no local benefit.
It’s good a judge slapped FERC down for its plainly unconstitutional activities.
John, I am only sure of two things, I am going to pay taxes for the rest of my life and I am going to die some day, not to soon I hope. I can’t argue about the disruption it does happen. I have seen peoples walls cracked from vibrations from equipment running up an down the R.O.W. I have seen cellar wall collapse from the vibration. Some of these houses over 100 old or more (I lived in one) had cellar walls laid up with rocks. (Part of mine was) is it right? NO. I don’t want to see any ones lives disrupted no matter what I do for a living. Let me say this and I hope you beleave me. I do support you in solar and wind but it won’t happen tomorrow, Its going to take time. In the mean time I am not willing to give up my creature comforts until it happens and I don’ think you would either. Lets talk about the solar finance law, it is needed here in FL. but we have Rick Scott he is fighting it. You are lucky it got passed in GA. maybe some day it will happen here but it is going to be an up hill battle all the way. John my fingers are sore from all this typing, I am not much on typing, but I am pretty good on a bulldozer. Got to take a break and drink a beer. I will be back and talk some more on solar.
John, I don’t know how any one can sit in front of a computer and type all day. My finger tips are sore from just this short time. I want to ask you a question, I read you have a 15 KW solar array, I have a 5.7 KW. Does yours 0 out your electric bill? Mine only does a couple times a year when the weather is just right, not to hot and don’t have the air con. on. the rest of the year not bad, average $50.00 a month. My house is total elec. Planning on adding on to my system one of these days. I would like to make a suggestion about your campaign against pipelines. Try going about it in a different way. I think you would get more mileage out of it. Instead of making up signs that say no pipelines with a big circle and a line thru it, make signs that say switch to solar in big letters add, lowers or eliminates your elec. bill, saves the environment . lowers our dependence on fossel fuel. That is a positive sign that no one can argue about. One thing I have done is carry an elec. bill that shows a minus, You would be surprised how much attention I get from that. Like I said before I do promote solar. The other sign gets a lot of negative attention. I would put appositive sign in my yard if lived where some one could see it. (live in the woods). I mentioned in an earlier post about more solar systems in up state NY. I wasn’t kidding you see signs to switch to solar all over the place. That’s where I got the Idea for the positive sign, and people do talk about the message. Like to hear back from about your system.
I look forward to you making a sign such as you suggest.
John, That may very well happen. I hope you don’t think I was throwing a jab at you about the sign, I just think you would present a positive rather than a negative from the other sign (just my opinion). I have been on some jobs where protester carried negative signs. They were just ignored and asked to leave the R.O.W. saw some being dragged off by the police. That usually ends up in an arrest. That doesn’t usually end up well. But a positive sign, no one would dispute that and you would get your message out ( my opinion) some pipeliner might even ask about home solar. Win win win.
Maybe some pipeliner such as yourself will quite claiming he supports solar power while pushing pipelines.
Invading other people’s property for profit is pretty negative, and people are tired of it.
John, I do support home solar, but you can put any spin on it you care to. The word invading, that’s another spin you put on the land buying process. You mention the land owners who are against the pipeline going across there land but you never mention the ones for it. My question, why don’t you count up the land owners against it and the ones for it and lets see which number is higher? That word profit you use every once in a while. Do you get this up set when a wealthy investor comes in to an area, buys up hundreds of acres and builds hundreds of homes for profit. It happens all the time hear in FL. that is why yours or any one else’s theory about wind and solar won’t hold up now or 100 years from now, but it looks good on paper. Home solar, do you or any one else think that when some one installs a solar system at there home they are doing it for the environment, or are they doing it for the savings? Isn’t saving money something like making money? (profit) that’s why I installed my system The environment that’s just a side effect. What’s your reason for putting in your solar system?
Why doesn’t Spectra release the landowner lists?
Invasion for the profit of somebody somewhere else is what Spectra is doing.
Resolutions by counties and cities representing the vast majority of the people in Georgia show this pipeline is not needed or wanted.
As long as you’re pushing pipelines, you’re not supporting solar power.
John, Can’t answer first question, thought you might have this info. since you keep mentioning the land owners opposing it. There you go again, throwing out the invasion word. Resolutions are only formal expressions of opinions, will or intent
voted by an official body or assembled group, not an official law passed by Georgia or any other state. The pipeline falls under the interstate commerce law. Therefore, Georgia cannot pass a law preventing pipelines, roads or anything else that falls under the interstate commerce law. FERC or the DEP are the only ones that make the final decision as to the “yea” or “nay” of this pipeline. The demand for the gas pipelines is needed now because the wind and solar options are not available now, nor in the NEAR future. Power plants cannot keep up with the demand for power at the present. I support solar, I have a solar system, you can put any spin on that one.
Yeah, nobody at Spectra seems able to answer why they won’t release the landowner lists.
And FERC’s only excuse is Spectra asked them not to release those lists.
Now convenient that nobody can use them to check on Spectra’s claims of landowner support!
Nobody knows of any landowners supporting the pipeline. Even GA-EPD couldn’t find a single person in the state of Georgia who wants it.
Some landowners have fallen for Spectra’s propaganda such as you keep spouting and taken the money. Hardly the same as supporting it.
Invasion is what pretty much everybody calls it.
FERC requires a long list of state and local permits. Spectra used to make that bogus claim that only FERC decides, but even they have backed off of that.
For solar and wind, you might try looking at FERC’s own figures. That’s what I did, and former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff did, before we each independently predicted that more U.S. power will come from solar power than any other source within ten years from 2013. And recent FERC and eia numbers show solar power right on track.
John, do you think that maybe FERC won’t release the names so as to keep you and the rest of your followers from harassing them, (invasion of privacy). Permits are required such as boring under roads, water bodies, rail roads etc. These permits are required by the states, counties and cities. Any one can make predictions, its the same as a guess. Its like some one predicting an asteroid is going to hit the earth, its just a wild guess.
John, one more thing if the GA – EPD can’t any one in support they didn’t ask the right people.
Once again thanks for illustrating the pipeline company attitude:
invading people’s land and threatening them with eminent domain
you think is OK, but releasing a landowner list to back up the invaders’
claims of support: that you don’t like.
Invader go home to Houston.
John, I don’t care who supports who. I think Houston is here to stay what do you think?
Spectra saw massive opposition and county resolutions against it in Virginia, and packet up and went back to Houston.