EDF Filing Demonstrates There is No Basis for Supreme Court Action Addressing U.S. Court of Appeals’ Ruling in Spire Pipeline Matter

Move Rebuts Spire’s Request Last Week to Stay DC Circuit Mandate

October 12, 2021
Lauren Whittenberg, (512) 691-3437, lwhittenberg@edf.org
Colin Rowan, (512) 799-6400, crowan@rowcom.com

(WASHINGTON) Yesterday, Environmental Defense Fund forcefully rebutted last week’s application to the Supreme Court by Spire to stay the mandate of a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The EDF filing demonstrated that Supreme Court action on the Spire STL pipeline proceeding is unnecessary because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will ensure reliable service to St. Louis customers. 

EDF also explained that Spire failed to demonstrate that the Supreme Court will grant certiorari on its yet-to-be filed petition for writ of certiorari, as the D.C. Circuit’s decision was clearly correct and there are no legal questions meriting Supreme Court review.  

“Spire’s petition asking the Supreme Court to act is unwarranted and would disrupt the ongoing public process before the expert agency Congress entrusted to address these issues anchored in complex fact-finding and law. Spire currently holds a temporary certificate to operate its pipeline, and FERC is poised to issue another temporary certificate to keep the pipeline operational through the winter to ensure reliable service to St. Louis customers.”

In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its unanimous decision in EDF v. FERC, vacating FERC’s orders approving the Spire STL pipeline and remanding the matter to FERC for further proceedings. The D.C. Circuit subsequently denied Spire’s petition for rehearing and motion to stay issuance of the mandate, both of which EDF opposed and FERC took no position. Spire now asks the Supreme Court to recall the D.C. Circuit’s mandate; it has not yet filed a petition for writ of certiorari.

FERC granted Spire a 90-day temporary emergency certificate on September 14, 2021. This temporary certificate ensures continuity of service on the pipeline until FERC’s anticipated ruling on Spire’s pending temporary certificate application, including a determination on the appropriate conditions for such a certificate.

On October 5, Spire asked the Supreme Court to stay the issuance of the D.C. Circuit’s mandate vacating the certificate of public convenience and necessity FERC had granted to the Spire STL Pipeline. The mandate of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued on October 8. For additional background, see EDF’s blog post here.

# # #

One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 2.5 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund