FERC’s Climate Policy on Natgas Infrastructure Triggers Anger, Confusion

The latest move by FERC that would require permits for the construction of natural gas infrastructure to involve projections of emissions from construction, operation and users of transported gas, will likely be tested in the courts.

FERC’s Climate Policy on Natgas Infrastructure Triggers Anger, Confusion

The 3-2 vote by FERC commissioners, in which the three Democratic commissioners supported the policy and the two Republican commissioners opposed it, inserts a level of political uncertainty into the equation, as well. (Source: FERC headquarters by DCStockPhotography / Shutterstock.com)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) recent climate policy statement over natural gas infrastructure projects will likely prompt legal challenges to the agency’s authority and create uncertainty in the market, a former high-ranking official in the Department of Justice told Hart Energy.

Jonathan Brightbill, partner in Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C., office, questions whether the Natural Gas Act allows FERC to implement a policy that places much higher demands on developers of gas pipelines and facilities. 

Brightbill served as Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Trump administration. In that role, he was the government’s lead environmental civil and criminal enforcement official and litigator.

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Joseph Markman

Joseph Markman, senior editor for Hart Energy, covers markets and provides data analysis for all Hart Energy editorial products.