On July 27, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision to grant the Wilderness Society’s motions to stay of construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (“MVP”) pending that court’s review of the Forest Service’s amended Forest Management Plan. The Supreme Court’s order grants MVP’s emergency application to vacate the Fourth Circuit’s stay orders and permits MVP to resume construction on the pipeline.Continue Reading Mountain Valley Pipeline To Resume Construction After Supreme Court Vacates Fourth Circuit’s Order Halting Construction
On May 26, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in Sierra Club v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission largely denying challenges to several FERC orders authorizing the resumption of construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline (“MVP”) but remanded, without vacatur, all but one of the orders on review insofar as FERC failed to adequately explain its decision not to prepare a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for MVP. (See related article on the Court’s finding with regard to hearing appeals of FERC’s rehearing orders, here).Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Finds FERC Failed to Justify Not Preparing a Supplemental EIS for Mountain Valley Pipeline
On May 16, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) issued an opinion in Center for Biological Diversity v. Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, affirming FERC’s authorization for Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (“AGDC”) to construct and operate liquified natural gas (“LNG”) facilities in Alaska’s North Slope region (“Project”).Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s NEPA Review of Alaskan LNG Project
On March 3, 2023, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate Change, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter to Acting FERC Chairman Willie Phillips and Commissioners asking the Commission to respond to a series of questions related to FERC’s authority as it relates to two policy statements issued in February 2022 and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued in December 2022. The two policy statements concern Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions of natural gas infrastructure projects (see February 18, 2022 Troutman Pepper Insights; February 23, 2022 edition of the WER). The NOPR would require applicants proposing to build electric transmission infrastructure to prepare Environmental Justice Public Engagement Plans.Continue Reading House Republicans Press FERC on Environmental Review Issues
On remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”), FERC reaffirmed that Rio Grande LNG, LLC’s proposed liquified natural gas (“LNG”) terminal project (“Rio Grande LNG Terminal”) was not inconsistent with the public interest, and that the Rio Bravo Pipeline Company, LLC’s proposed pipeline project (“Rio Bravo Pipeline Project”), as amended, was required by the public convenience and necessity. In doing so, FERC addressed a variety of highly-contested issues, including whether it must apply the social cost of carbon and expand its prior environmental justice analysis. Chairman Phillips concurred, and Commissioner Clements dissented from FERC’s decision.Continue Reading FERC Addresses Social Cost of Carbon and Environmental Justice Analysis on Remand
On November 17, 2022, FERC approved an application authorizing Commonwealth LNG, LLC (“Commonwealth”) to site, construct, and operate a liquified natural gas (“LNG”) export terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The LNG facility’s authorization drew concurring opinions from four of the Commissioners.Continue Reading FERC Authorizes Commonwealth LNG Export Facility
On June 28, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) issued a decision in Sierra Club v. FERC upholding FERC’s approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC’s (“MVP”) Southgate Project.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC’s Approval of MVP’s Southgate Project
On July 8, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) issued its decision in City of Oberlin, Ohio v. FERC, a proceeding involving the issue of whether FERC properly granted NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC (“Nexus”) a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline that will facilitate exports into Canadian markets (“Project”). The Court upheld the certificate.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Allows Natural Gas Pipeline Certificate to Stand, Accepting Export Precedent Agreements as Probative of Need
On May 19, 2022, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) to establish a rule that would require natural gas pipelines to submit all supporting statements, schedules, and workpapers in native format, with all links and formulas intact, when filing a Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) section 4 rate case. FERC issued the NOPR in response to a petition from several national gas trade associations, which argued that FERC’s current policy of permitting certain supporting documents to be filed in non-native format does not ensure that FERC staff and stakeholders have access to all information required to perform routine rate analyses. Comments on the NOPR are due June 17, 2022.
Continue Reading FERC Proposes Changes to Filing and Reporting Requirements for NGA Section 4 Rate Cases
On March 25, 2022, FERC found that Nopetro LNG, LLC’s (“Nopetro”) proposed natural gas liquefaction and truck loading facility and proposed transloading operations in Port St. Joe, Florida, are not subject to FERC’s jurisdiction under sections 3 or 7 of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”).
Continue Reading FERC Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction Over Nopetro’s LNG Truck Loading Facility