The rules have changed from a year ago. Between court orders and election-induced policy changes at the White House and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, natural gas pipelines and liquefaction plants will need to pass stricter regulatory reviews of their greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s still uncertain how FERC will determine which projects pass and which fail.
The Department of Energy will do much the same for liquefied natural gas exports.
In a victory for opponents of two proposed LNG export terminals at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, a federal appeals court on Aug. 3 ruled that FERC must further analyze each project’s potential impacts on climate change.
The panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was unanimous in its ruling that FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, with “deficient” environmental analyses.
The court did not vacate FERC’s authorization of either project, but did direct the commission to try again and do a better job.