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

On March 24, 2022, FERC changed course and designated the two policy statements it issued last month regarding the certification of interstate natural gas pipelines (“Updated Policy Statement”) and consideration of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in natural gas project reviews (“Interim GHG Policy Statement”) as draft policy statements. The two draft policy statements will not apply to pending project applications or applications filed before FERC finalizes the policy statements. FERC also requested initial comments on the draft policy statements by April 25, 2022.
Continue Reading FERC Changes Policy Statements on Pipeline Certification and GHG Emissions to Draft Policy Statements, Seeks Comment on Draft Policy Statements

On February 18, 2022, FERC issued two new, significant policies governing how FERC will review proposals for new natural gas pipeline projects (see February 18, 2022, Troutman Pepper Insight). Headlining these policies is FERC’s new interim greenhouse gas (“GHG”) policy statement (“Interim GHG Policy Statement”), pursuant to which FERC will presume any gas project with 100,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalents (“CO2e”) emissions to have a significant impact on climate change, and thus any such project will trigger the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”). Notwithstanding the interim nature of FERC’s new Interim GHG Policy Statement – where FERC is accepting comments by April 4, 2022 – FERC clarified that it will apply both policies to all pending and new project applications, effective immediately. Both commissioners James Danly and Mark Christie issued lengthy dissents to both policy statements.
Continue Reading FERC Overhauls Existing Pipeline Project Analysis, Creates Separate Interim GHG Policy for Gas Infrastructure Projects.

On February 4, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”) issued a per curiam order granting NTE Connecticut, LLC’s (“NTE”) petition for issuance of a writ under the All Writs Act to stay a FERC order issued January 3, 2022 (“January 3 Order”). The January 3 Order terminated the Killingly Energy Center’s capacity commitments in the ISO-New England, Inc. (“ISO-NE”) capacity market. The DC Circuit’s order stays FERC’s January 3 Order until 30 days after FERC resolves NTE’s pending request for rehearing of the January 3 Order. The DC Circuit’s order also states that an opinion will follow in due course.  As a result of the DC Circuit’s order, ISO-NE ran its Forward Capacity Auction on February 7, 2022 as scheduled but after “unwind[ing] the actions it had taken to terminate Killingly.” ISO-NE has stated that it will update the auction results if FERC confirms Killingly’s termination. 
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Grants Emergency Petition for Stay of FERC’s Order Terminating Killingly Energy Center’s ISO-NE Capacity Commitments

On January 20, 2022, FERC granted Adelphia Gateway, LLC’s (“Adelphia”) request for an 18-month extension of time, until June 20, 2023, to construct and place into service the proposed Adelphia Gateway Project. The order also announces FERC’s new policy on interventions in extension of time proceedings for pipeline projects. The new policy allows interventions in extension of time proceedings regardless of intervenor status in the underlying certificate docket, but untimely motions to intervene in the extension of time proceedings will still be reviewed under the FERC’s criteria for late-filed interventions. Commissioners James Danly and Mark C. Christie issued separate partial dissents arguing against the change in policy for interventions in extension of time proceedings.
Continue Reading FERC Announces New Policy on Interventions in Extension of Time Proceedings for Gas Pipeline Certificates

On December 16, 2021, FERC ordered Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and its subsidiary Rover Pipeline, LLC (“Rover Pipeline”) to explain why it should not pay a $40 million civil penalty for alleged violations of the Natural Gas Act, and the pipeline’s certificate order, during construction of its 711 mile interstate natural gas pipeline.

FERC’s Office

On December 1, 2021, Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (the “Jordan Cove Developers” or “Developers”) notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the “Commission”) of their decision not to proceed with the Jordan Cove LNG project (“Jordan Cove Project” or “Project”) and requested that the Commission vacate the authorizations issued for the Project. The Jordan Cove Developers decided not to move forward because of concerns regarding their ability to obtain required state permits.
Continue Reading Applicants for Jordan Cove LNG Project Request FERC to Vacate Authorizations

On November 16, 2021, staff from FERC, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), and certain Regional Reliability Entities issued a final report on the 2021 winter storms that severely impacted the bulk electric systems in Texas and the South Central United States. The report recommended, among other things, strengthening regulations and the grid for cold weather preparedness and enhancing coordination between natural gas and electric systems to prevent winter blackouts.
Continue Reading FERC and NERC Issued Final Report on the 2021 Winter Freeze

On October 21, 2021, FERC denied multiple complaints against Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP (“Panhandle”) regarding its refusal to waive all penalties associated with Operational Flow Orders (“OFO”) issued during the extreme Storm Uri weather event in February 2021. In doing so, FERC upheld penalties levied against Panhandle customers who argued they were forced to use the pipeline contrary to the OFO order to ensure reliable service for their own end-use customers.
Continue Reading FERC Rejects Attempts to Waive $75 Million in Pipeline Penalties During Storm Uri

On June 29, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by FERC under section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) authorizes a private company to exercise eminent domain to condemn state-owned property.  In particular, the opinion holds that states cannot claim sovereign immunity from condemnation lawsuits filed by certificated pipelines against the state in order to take public land to construct, own, and operate an interstate gas pipeline project.    
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that PennEast, Gas Pipelines May Condemn State-Owned Land