Cassidy, Hoeven, colleagues press FERC to act on pending natural gas pipeline projects

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) joined U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and a group of 24 bipartisan senators in pressing the Federal Energy and 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.”

In addition to Cassidy and Hoeven, the letter was signed by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jon Tester (D-MT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Thune (R- SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Chairman Glick and Commissioners Chatterjee, Danly, Clements, and Christie:

We write regarding the status of filings for new natural gas infrastructure projects currently under consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission). We understand the Commission has reopened a review of its Policy Statement on the Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities, yet we urge the Commission to take action without further delay, consistent with its current Policy Statement, on the natural gas infrastructure projects that are currently pending before the Commission.

As you are aware, the Commission’s Policy Statement is critical to the advancement of important natural gas infrastructure projects because it describes how FERC will, in a consistent manner, balance the public benefits of proposed projects against potential adverse impacts. Especially during recent years, consumers have benefited from our nation’s abundant natural gas reserves through lower energy costs, reduced emissions, a domestic manufacturing resurgence, and strengthened geopolitical standing through natural gas exports.

Yet, pipeline capacity constraints still exist in numerous regions of our country, depriving consumers of the benefits that come with affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy. 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. 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.

Modernizing and expanding our nation’s pipeline infrastructure ensures critical natural gas resources are efficiently delivered from where they are produced to where they are consumed. That is why it is important that the Commission take action to advance projects that create jobs and bring other economic and environmental benefits to our communities.

Therefore, we urge the Commission to resume review and take timely action on pipeline projects pending consideration, in accordance with the guidance of the Commission’s current Policy Statement. Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your prompt reply.