The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that raise issues about the request submitted by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC for an extension of the deadline to construct its proposed MVP Southgate Extension pipeline.
FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the MVP Southgate Extension Project in 2020, and it required completion of the project by June 18, 2023. The requested extension to June 18, 2026 would allow the project to be built and launched more than six years after the environmental impact statement (EIS) was completed. Conditions for the project have changed significantly since the original certificate was granted.
“The information on which FERC relied in granting the certificate for the project has grown stale and should be reevaluated,” said Suzanne Mattei, IEEFA energy policy analyst and author of the comments. “The MVP Southgate Extension Project relies on the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and that project’s fate is still uncertain. The extension request should be given closer scrutiny.”
IEEFA comments raises questions about a potential design change to the project, which could affect the pipeline’s costs and environmental impact. IEEFA also points out the need for a new evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions from the pipeline and the upstream gas supply, since new research finds natural gas has similar greenhouse gas emissions impacts to coal, and estimates of methane gas leakage from pipeline systems may significantly understate the risk. Finally, the comments note that the substantial increase in exports of liquified natural gas (LNG) appear to have placed upward pressure on domestic gas prices, and prices are likely to rise as more LNG export facilities come online.