FERC Told to Stop Playing Politically Correct Games with Pipelines

RGGIJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

[Editor’s Note: Some 25 United States Senators, including three Democrats, have warned FERC and its politically correct chair to knock off the games.]

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) thinks it is going to change the rules for how it approves existing, already-filed applications for pipelines, it needs to think again. That’s according to a group of both Republican and Democrat U.S. Senators who sent a warning letter to FERC last week. The Senators say FERC has no right to change the rules part of the way through the game, which is exactly what FERC, under Chairman Richard “Dick” Glick, is threatening to do.


“Listen up, Dick Glick. We’re talking to you, buddy!”

In a letter to FERC sent last Thursday, a group of U.S. Senators called on FERC “to take action without further delay” on the natural gas infrastructure projects currently pending. The letter was signed by 25 senators. Some 22 were Republicans and three were Democrats. That’s what they call “bipartisan” in the swamp, so that’s what we’ll call it.

In February, FERC initiated a process to revisit its 1999 policy statement guiding its evaluation of the interstate natural gas infrastructure projects under its purview (see FERC Looks to Block Pipes Near Black, Brown & Poor Communities). It’s nothing more than an excuse for Glick and other leftist regulators to deny pipelines a permit to build.

The Senators urge FERC to act now on 14 existing projects that have already filed–especially those that filed more than a year ago.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) was one of the Senators signing the letter. Lankford’s office issued this press release:

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), both members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to lead a group of 25 senators to press the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to act on vital energy infrastructure projects by reviewing without further delay the 14 natural gas pipeline infrastructure projects that are currently pending before FERC.

In the letter to the FERC chairman and commissioners, the senators also outlined the importance of reviewing the projects using current FERC guidance under the Policy Statement in place and acting to advance projects that create jobs and bring other economic and environmental benefits to communities.

The 14 pipelines pending before FERC include projects in North Dakota, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“Many of the proposed projects before the Commission, some pending for more than a year, are critical to addressing supply issues and strengthening our energy infrastructure,” wrote the senators. “These projects represent substantial private sector investment in our nation’s economy and our workforce, and developers seeking approval are entitled to the Commission’s consideration through a clear, consistent, and timely process. Delaying and moving the regulatory goalposts on projects filed in good faith is contrary to the otherwise equitable application of the Policy Statement that all stakeholders expect. At a minimum, these projects should not be subject to newly contemplated considerations that fall outside the scope of the current Policy Statement or go beyond the Commission’s statutory authority.”

Editor’s Note: If you are wondering who the three Democrats to buck the Green New Deal brand of Marxism might be, they are Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana and Krysten Sinema of Arizona. Tester has never impressed and plays another sort of game with some regularity, that of talking one way and acting another, but Manchin and Sinema have actually voted against their party from time to time, so this letter is, indeed, a warning to FERC chair Dick Glick not to be a prig.

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