FERC allays climate change worries to approve pipeline to move natural gas from Pennsylvania to Northeast
by John Siciliano
May 03, 2019
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission managed to allay concerns about greenhouse gas emissions to issue a long-sought permit Friday to build a pipeline to move natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania to utilities in the Northeast.
The regulators issued a 3-1 majority decision with two Republicans and one Democrat voting in favor of Transco's pipeline project to connect New York and points north, furthering President Trump's "energy dominance" agenda.
The two Republicans, Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Bernard McNamee, voted in favor of the project’s certificate approval, which looked at a range of environmental factors, but didn't go far enough for Democrats. Yet, despite their differences on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, they managed to gain the vote of Democratic Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, who concurred in full with the pipeline’s approval.
The administration argues that the pipelines would help displace the use of oil and other dirtier fuels in the Northeast, as the region is one of the nation’s most geographically constrained when it comes to energy. The region resides on the end of the supply chain that feeds the rest of the nation natural gas and other energy commodities.
The president issued an executive order in recent weeks that seeks to override state decisions that use federal clean water permitting decisions to block pipelines. The administration recently proposed a rule to open the door to using rail cars to move natural gas into the region to bypass the pipeline approval process altogether.
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