San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Energy Partner Jennifer Brough shared insight with Law360 on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) updated natural gas pipeline certificate and GHG policies. Brough notes these policies are intended to bolster the “legal durability” of the approval process for future natural gas projects and these changes will likely mean pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and other projects will face more stringent environmental reviews.
Under the interim GHG policy statement, FERC will gauge foreseeable GHG emissions that can be reasonably linked to a proposed gas infrastructure project, including pipelines and LNG terminals. “They have set this at a level that is going to capture any new pipeline project, any compression project," Brough said.
Brough also noted FERC will consider proposals by developers to offset emissions and mitigate GHG impacts on a project-by-project basis and will not broadly mandate mitigation measures. "Without clear guidance from FERC about what exactly they need to do, it's hard to know," Brough said. "And it's hard to justify to shareholders this kind of spend when ... does that mean you're going to get a FERC certificate for a project? Maybe not."
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