Thought Piece

[In the wake of the interview with NYU Professor Johnathon Haidt in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal and his discussion of recent examples of the “new religion that drives the intolerance and violence at places like Middlebury and Berkeley,” I can’t help noticing that these two pieces, one by the Duke University protestors and the other by a Marcellus news editor, about shutting down the Duke University planned meeting and a speech by FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur. More surprising, this successful mob protest didn’t draw any attention from the broader environmental and mainstream media at all.

Thanks to Jim Willis of the Marcellus Drilling News, I am able to report both the text from the Duke protesters and Mr. Willis’ response to their protest. While it could be said that Jim’s response was a little sarcastic, the protestor’s actions were downright reprehensible..

These two pieces highlight something so symptomatic and pervasive—protester intolerance and the new religion, especially on highly politicized and sensitive subject matters—that couldn’t be more evident.

When it comes to the matters of the freedom of expression, I would hope that the First Amendment could be something on which we all agree. I can’t help wondering if Duke University and its professors aren’t as horrified as the leaders of Milbury College and the University of California-Berkeley were? For that matter, I can’t help wondering where was the sense of outrage from the broader media? Steve]

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Protestors Shut Down FERC Chair’s Lecture at Duke University

*Nature-News-Network (Mar 30, 2017)

On Tuesday, March 28 activists with Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) and NC Alliance To Protect Our People And The Places We Live (NC APPPL) successfully shut down a lecture to be given by Cheryl LaFleur, the acting chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees permitting for pipelines. The activists wanted to send the message that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is not a done deal.

While security was busy restraining one protestor who attempted to get in, two others managed to sneak into the room and take the floor with a banner reading, “Rubber Stamp Rebellion.” Lee Stewart of Beyond Extreme Energy explained to the room of students from Duke’s Nicholas School For The Environment the meaning of “Rubber Stamp Rebellion”. Stewart said, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission does not operate independently of the gas industry it supposedly regulates. FERC has only rejected one permit application in the past thirty years. This is simply unacceptable and FERC’s rubber stamping of gas industry projects has to end.”

Rather than facing the pipeline protestors, LaFleur decided to hightail it out of the building and cancel her speech, allowing the ACP opponents to declare victory.

Greg Yost of NC APPPL elaborated, “Today is a chance to learn about the people and the communities that FERC would harm with an Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit: people like Barbara Exum of Wilson County, Francine Stephenson of Johnston County, and Marvin Winstead of Nash County. These are just a few of the thousands of North Carolinians who would be directly affected and have their lives endangered by the pipeline.”

If built the ACP would bring fracked gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields of West Virginia down through Virginia and into North Carolina. In addition to threatening thousands of acres of National Forest, wetlands, farms, and woodlands, the ACP would destroy burial grounds and other sacred sites belonging to the Lumbee and Tuscarora tribes. The amount of gas the pipeline will bring to market would equal the greenhouse gas emissions created by 20 new coal plants.

This action comes on the heels of a two week long march along the pipeline route in NC and builds off of a multiyear campaign by BXE activists against FERC’s complicity with the fossil fuel industry.*

*Nature-News-Network (Mar 30, 2017) – Atlantic Coast Pipeline Protestors (sic) Shut Down FERC Chair’s Lecture at Duke University


Enviros Shut Down Duke U Meeting Where FERC Chair to Speak

By Jim Willis, Marcellus Drilling News, March 30, 2017

Extremist environmental protesters who don’t want to hear any viewpoints other than their own (i.e., fascists who LOVE to suppress free speech), got a bit violent and ugly on Tuesday and shut down a meeting at Duke University (headquarters for insane environmentalism) where the Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Cheryl LaFleur, was scheduled to speak.

Beyond Extreme Energy was one of the groups behind the illegal action. They have dogged FERC Commissioners for years. Perhaps some in the crowd were the same Beyond Extreme Energy lunatics that Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commissioner Rob Powelson previously called “jihadists”–because they show up at FERC Commissioners’ homes and threaten them (see Potential FERC Com. Powleson Calls Anti-Fossil Fuelers “Jihadists”).

The lunatics at Duke forced their way into a meeting where LaFleur was going to speak, blathering on about FERC being a “rubber stamp” for the natural gas industry, which shows their complete and utter stupidity. The Beyond Extreme Energy extremists specifically object to bringing “fracked Marcellus and Utica gas” via Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to North Carolina.

After shutting down the meeting using banners made in part from fracked natural gas, wearing clothes that come from petrochemicals, sneakers made from petrochemicals, arriving at the meeting via fossil-fuel powered vehicles, they went back to their dorms and homes–heated with natural gas. Pretty extreme, wouldn’t you say? Welcome to Wonderland, Alice…