FERC Announces Steps to Prevent Approval of Unnecessary Natural Gas Pipelines and Improve Protections against Climate Change

Statement of EDF Senior Attorney Ted Kelly

February 18, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just approved two policy statements that will improve the review of proposed natural gas pipelines. Together, these policy statements will help ensure that unnecessary interstate natural gas pipelines are not approved and that reviews of proposed pipelines consider all adverse impacts those pipelines can cause - including increased climate pollution, damage to the environment, harms to landowners and communities near the pipeline, and increased costs to ratepayers.

“FERC’s actions come in the aftermath of a landmark ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In EDF v. FERC, the court held that FERC had not sufficiently considered whether a proposed natural gas pipeline was in fact needed, was the result of self-dealing between affiliated companies, and would create significant adverse impacts in excess of any demonstrated benefits.

“Today’s policy statements will better align future reviews with FERC’s obligation to only approve pipelines that are necessary and that have benefits that outweigh their potential harms. Overbuilding of the pipeline system results in unnecessary costs for the ratepayers who pay for the pipeline, increased climate pollution over the 50-year life of new infrastructure, and harm to communities and landowners whose land is seized or disturbed to build the pipeline. FERC’s actions today will help protect all those parties, and the environment itself.”           

- Ted Kelly, senior attorney for Environmental Defense Fund

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