FERC today voted to seek comments on two policy statements it issued last month that provide guidance regarding the certification of interstate natural gas pipelines and consideration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in natural gas project reviews. In February, the Commission issued an update to its 1999 Certificate Policy Statement and also issued an interim policy statement focused on the Commission’s assessment of the impact of a project’s GHG emissions.
After further consideration, the Commission today designated both documents as draft policy statements on which the Commission is seeking further public comment. The two draft policy statements will not apply to pending project applications or filed applications before the Commission issues any final guidance in these dockets.
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has on several occasions, including as recently as March 11th, cast significant doubt about the approach the Commission has been taking to site natural gas pipelines and LNG facilities. The policy statements were intended to provide a more legally durable framework for the Commission to consider proposed natural gas projects,” Chairman Rich Glick said.
“However, in light of concerns that the policy statements created further confusion about the Commission’s approach to the siting of natural gas projects, the Commission decided it would be helpful to gather additional comments from all interested stakeholders, including suggestions for creating greater certainty, before implementing the new policy statements,” Glick added.
Comments on the draft policy statements are due by April 25th, with reply comments due May 25th.