Reforming Gas Pipeline Policies

FERC plays a critical role in the development of gas infrastructure. Under federal law, FERC is charged with ensuring that new gas pipelines are required by the public convenience and necessity and that new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are consistent with the public interest. FERC approves almost all of these proposals, in large part due to outdated policies that reflect last century’s energy landscape. These policies pose serious climate and other environmental and economic risks to consumers and markets. Our advocacy focuses on reforming FERC’s gas infrastructure reviews such that FERC accurately assesses a project’s market need, as well as the climate, equity, and landowner impacts it may cause.

Priority: Ensure FERC conducts a thorough review of gas project proposals

The Sustainable FERC Project focuses on ensuring that FERC identifies and evaluates all factors relevant to whether a proposed project is required by the public convenience and necessity or consistent with the public interest.

We support goals like:

  • Reforming FERC’s review framework to meaningfully charge its more than 20-year-old policy for approving new pipelines, to incorporate a fulsome consideration of a project’s economic, environmental, and climate impacts.
    • In April 2018 FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry to reassess its 1999 policy, but the Commission has taken no action on it since then, despite compelling evidence from the Sustainable FERC Project and others demonstrating the numerous problems with the current policy.
  • Accurately assessing a project’s climate impacts and factoring that information into decisionmaking.
  • Considering projects on a regional basis – just as we do for transmission project planning – instead of on a piecemeal project-by-project basis.

Priority: Democratize the FERC process

The Sustainable FERC Project is committed to ensuring that the public has a voice at FERC.

We support goals like:

  • Ensuring meaningful opportunities for public participation in the FERC process.
  • Facilitating timely opportunities for judicial review of FERC decisions.
  • Elevating the voices of underrepresented or marginalized communities.