One Year After Roundtable, FERC Has Made No Progress on Environmental Justice


Washington, DC - Today marks one year since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hosted an environmental justice and equity roundtable intended to explore ways FERC Commissioners could better uphold these important values in their decisions. 

The impact of FERC’s decisions around pipeline permitting and liquefied methane gas export facility approvals have historically had an outsized impact on low-income communities and communities of color. These communities often bear the burden of industrial pollution that destroys local ecosystems and leads to serious health harms, like increased cancer rates, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and preterm births. Moreover, the location of many of these communities also means they are on the frontlines of the worst impacts of climate change. 

Following the roundtable, FERC held a comment period for the docket and over 110 community leaders and grassroots organizations submitted comments in favor of strong environmental justice guidance. At that time, Sierra Club signed onto a letter led by impacted communities to FERC calling out the lack of commitment to environmental justice following the roundtable. 

Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous participated in last year’s roundtable and released the following statement: 

“Last year I said the environmental justice work done by FERC could not end with a roundtable, but unfortunately, it looks like that is just what happened. We still have not seen FERC issue any clear environmental justice guidance or spell out ways to better engage local communities in its decision making process. Communities across the country are counting on FERC to take action based on what they heard from frontline and fenceline community leaders during and after last year’s roundtable.

“As prospective new commissioners to FERC move through the confirmation process, it is imperative that Congress ensure those nominees will consider the people living near dirty energy infrastructure in its decisions and prioritize clean, renewable energy. And we will keep up that pressure once they take their seat at the commission.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit