Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted 3-1 to authorize theVenture Global Calcasieu Pass project in Cameron Parish, La., a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. FERC also voted to authorize the accompanying TransCameron pipeline.
The vote was significant because it was preceded by an agreement among three of the four sitting FERC commissioners on how to address greenhouse gas (GHG) and climate impacts in FERC’s analysis of potential LNG projects. The White House Council on Environmental Quality issued guidance in August 2016 on how to consider GHGs in environmental permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); President Trump withdrew this guidance in March 2017 as part of Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.”
The NAM supported President Trump’s decision to withdraw the guidance and has pressed for a revised policy that addresses how to evaluate GHG emissions for projects subject to NEPA. FERC’s handling of GHGs on the Venture Global project is a major breakthrough that, carried forward, will provide the certainty manufacturers need for LNG permitting and hopefully other infrastructure projects before the Commission.
Manufacturers are committed to action on climate change. We need reasonable rules of the road that allow us to reduce emissions while remaining competitive. We commend FERC for stepping up and taking a bipartisan approach to this issue, one we hope will provide certainty for future infrastructure permits before the Commission.
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