Posts by: Gillian Giannetti

Three Strikes, You’re Out: The Unneeded Jordan Cove Project

July 11, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Developers who wish to build new interstate gas pipelines or liquefied natural gas (LNG) export or import terminals must get approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). While the standards of review are different (see here for more), in both cases, FERC looks at the public interest, which includes a review…

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After Broad Run, FERC’s GHG policy is on thin ice

 June 7, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The DC Circuit fired a warning shot this week at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with gas pipeline projects. The court rejected the core legal arguments that underpin the agency’s policy and admonished FERC for its “less-than-dogged” efforts to build a robust record regarding these emissions.…

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FERC Should Reconsider Staff Delegation for Key Orders

September 4, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week lifted its order halting work on the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline located in Virginia and West Virginia. Wait. That’s wrong. Let’s try that again. FERC staff, relying on its delegation authority, lifted a FERC staff order halting construction on Mountain Valley. The FERC commissioners…

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The Coal/Nuke Plant Bailout: We Must Remain Vigilant

October 16, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Recent media reports suggest that the White House has tabled its plan to bail out costly coal and nuclear plants. While this would be an encouraging development for consumers and the nation’s energy markets, it is far too soon to let down our guard. This is already round three in this saga.…

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McNamee Should Recuse Himself in FERC Resilience Dockets

December 18, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney The Natural Resources Defense Council today joined with other organizations in formally asking new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner Bernard McNamee to recuse himself from two pending proceedings related to the Department of Energy’s proposal to bail out coal and nuclear power plants, which McNamee signed while at DOE. We joined…

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FERC Can’t Just Check the Climate Box

February 26, 2019 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney Federal law requires that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) take a “hard look” at a proposed energy’s project’s effect on climate change. In last week’s order approving the Calcasieu Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, FERC adopted what it called a “new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse…

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Trump Officials Pressured National Lab to Help Coal Agenda

August 9, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project, Climate & Clean Energy Program    Trump administration officials pressured the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to write their March 2018 resilience study to benefit coal producers, according to a Bloomberg story posted today based on documents obtained by Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). That study has…

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The Coal/Nuke Bailout, or DOE’s Game of Whack-A-Mole

June 21, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project, Climate & Clean Energy Program  If it feels like you’ve been reading about a potential federal bailout for America’s aging and uneconomic coal and nuclear plants for a long time, you’re not wrong. In fact, the Sustainable FERC Project team at NRDC has blogged about this issue over 14 times since…

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FERC Takes a Step Backward on Environmental Impacts

 May 21, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney A 3-2 majority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unveiled a new policy last Friday that limits FERC’s analysis and disclosure of the environmental impacts of natural gas pipeline projects. The decision is a step backward for FERC, right when it is soliciting public comment on how to improve its pipeline project reviews.…

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Worried About Grid Resilience? Don’t—You Can Sleep Well

May 9, 2018 by Gillian Giannetti, Staff Attorney, Sustainable FERC Project  Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has warned of an energy nightmare in which coal and nuclear power plant retirements threaten the resilience of the power grid and risk widespread blackouts. But as the Sustainable FERC Project (housed within NRDC) and 16 other organizations explain in comments filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today, Perry’s…

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