We've been FERC'ed

Never underestimate the power of the fossil fuel industry. Now the feds say the Pacific Northwest will have to live with a private company's shooting a lot more natural gas through its aged pipeline from Canada to Calfornia, even though seemingly no one who lives in the region wants them to do it.

The pipeline's already been here for 80-some years, but the company's planning to juice up the compression system to deliver more gas through it. What could go wrong?

TC Energy plans to modify three compressor stations along the pipeline — in Kootenai County, Idaho; Walla Walla County, Washington; and Sherman County, Oregon. Compressor stations help maintain the pressure and flow of gas over long distances in a pipeline.

The company says the project is necessary to meet consumer demand.

The 1,377-mile (2,216-kilometer) pipeline runs from the Canadian border through a corner of Idaho and into Washington state and Oregon, connecting with a pipeline going into California.

This is the same company that was behind the Keystone XL pipeline, which was so bad an idea that it got shouted down a few years ago.  This time the gas boys got what they wanted from the federal regulator-bureaucrats, despite the howls of the politicians and environmental groups. As OPB capably explains:

The attorneys general of the three states, citing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft environmental impact statement for the project, said it would result in more than 3.47 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year for at least the next three decades. The agency’s final environmental assessment revised that number downward by roughly half in calculations contested by environmental groups....

In a joint letter to the federal agency the day before its vote, Democratic U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington described the project as “incompatible with our climate laws.”...

Audrey Leonard, staff attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental nonprofit,... said potential spills and explosions on the pipeline, which was built in the 1960s, would not only harm the environment but also present a heightened wildfire risk in the arid regions it passes through.

Next stop will be court, I suppose, but a win at FERC is a big victory for the frackers.


  1. I know that the other side of this issue will be published in the near future. Won’t be in one of the local mainstream publications. But, I know that if I keep looking, I’ll find it.

  2. We need to give the oil giants a royalty on all solar energy production. It's the only sure way to turn things around.

    1. You’re not wrong. When I worked at a utility commission, I realized that the bastards at the utilities have gamed the system so hard, by law getting such absurdly high returns on extraordinarily low risks that they will get rich no matter what, that our only hope was to make them richer for doing the right thing than the wrong thing. Our only hope is to basically pay the ransom for the planet to the shits currently destroying it, and make it more profitable for them to not destroy it than to destroy it. That’s a really tough sell — the average ratepayer has no idea how sociopathic the utilities are, and how they are totally aware of what they are doing, and totally unable to stop themselves.

    2. The utility commission must be proud of their members

    3. Like the railroads before them, utilities are pure regulatory capture artists since the days of the Insull trust. So public utility commissions are 99.99% from the world of the utilities. Utilities are like insurance companies -- these bland-seeming entities that have burrowed so deeply into the woodwork that people simply have no idea how much power they have and that they basically own the state regulatory apparatus that supposedly governs them. Maine has a ballot measure to convert to a statewide PUD and get rid of the investor-owned utilities. I hope it succeeds.

  3. After plundering the South, they gave General William Tecumseh Sherman a new 25-year assignment (and a lot of railroad shares) to clear the path for the railroads through the great plains. 45,000+ native peoples were slaughtered and they didn't "have time" to spare the women and children.

  4. I will say that well maintained pipelines are much safer than Warren Buffets' tanker cars (now hauling Keystone oil)- and don't think he isn't putting money into environmental groups to slant the discussion.


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