In Last-Minute Rush, FERC Approves 3 Pipelines
February 7, 2017
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 approved the construction of three major pipelines to move natural gas out of the Marcellus Shale region: the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Project; the $455 million Northern Access project; and the $4.2 billion Rover pipeline. The pipelines were approved before FERC lost its voting member quorum with the departure of Commissioner Norman Bay on Feb. 3. FERC is now down to only two of its five members and President Donald Trump has yet to nominate anyone to fill any of the vacancies — meaning it could be months before additional pipelines receive FERC approval. In the order on the Northern Access line, Bay said FERC should consider analyzing the downstream impacts of the use of natural gas and performing a life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions study, both of which environmentalists have asked FERC to do. The Laborers International Union of North America welcomed the decision on the Rover pipeline saying that it will create 15,000 jobs.