In the Courts

StateImpact/NPR's Marie Cusick last week reported on two lawsuits that could put new light on pipeline construction:

 

"Federal court ruling could delay major natural gas pipeline projects"

"Sierra Club v. FERC

The decision forces the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to do a better job quantifying greenhouse gas emissions, which Sierra Club attorney Elly Benson says are a clear environmental impact of pipelines as they deliver natural gas to fuel power plants.

'FERC has been trying to ignore the full impacts of these decisions, while rubber stamping many of these massive pipelines,' says Benson. 'It was very gratifying for the D.C. Circuit to say, "No FERC, you actually need to look at the full consequences of this."’”

In the past 30 years, the commission has denied only two pipeline proposals."

Cusick also appeared on WITF's Smart Talk to discuss her report. You can listen to the segment here.

 

More:

Phil McKenna at Inside Climate News:

"'FERC's environmental impact statement did not contain enough information on the greenhouse gas emissions that will result from burning the gas that the pipelines will carry,' the judges wrote in a divided decision. 'FERC must either quantify and consider the project's downstream carbon emissions or explain in more detail why it cannot do so.'

The 2-1 ruling ordered the commission to redo its environmental review for the project, which includes the approximately 500-mile Sabal Trail pipeline and two shorter, adjoining pipelines. With its first phase complete, the project is already pumping fracked gas from the Marcellus-Utica shale basins of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia through Alabama, Georgia and Florida."