A Big Victory at FERC
One of Joe Biden’s very first appointments on January 21st, one of his least publicized but definitely one of his most important when it comes to the future of the earth’s ecosystems and human societies, was the appointment of Richard Glick to be chair of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Why was that appointment so important?
It is essential that we as a species urgently transition away from polluting fossil fuels and nukes to clean, jobs-creating, renewable energy sources — wind, sun, tides and currents and the relative heat, in winter, and the relative coolness, in summer, of the earth. Those non-polluting energy sources can then not just generate electricity for the world’s homes and businesses but to power electric cars, trucks, buses, and electric heat pump powered heating and cooling systems.
Electrification of power sources, transportation vehicles and heating and cooling systems is absolutely essential to make a clean energy revolution in enough time to prevent escalating and massive, worldwide climate catastrophe.
Richard Glick was nominated to be a FERC commissioner in 2017. Before his nomination he had a decades-long history of work in government and business in support of renewable energy. I learned this from him in person when we met about a week after I had been arrested during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on FERC in the summer of that year. Glick, who is no relation, was at that time the general counsel for the Democrats on that committee. He was in the room up at the front with all the Senators when I stood up as part of an organized nonviolent action and loudly said something like, “FERC is a rubber-stamp agency for the fossil fuel industry and a threat to the future of life on earth.” I was quickly removed by Capitol Police and ending up spending two days and one night in DC Central Cellblock before being released.
A couple of days later us two Glicks received an email from a staffer for one of the Democratic Senators on the Senate ENR committee. She suggested that the two of us might benefit from meeting and talking; I agreed to do so and a week later Rich and I met in the same room where I had been arrested.
By the end of 2017 he had been nominated and approved as a FERC commissioner, and since then I have watched with some amazement as Glick did something no other FERC commissioner has ever done: speak truth to power over and over again from within the corridors of power…