Tell FERC to fix its broken pipeline permitting process

FERC is currently accepting online comment to inform how it should change its harmful pipeline policy. The comment period is open until July 25, 2018. 

Re: Docket # PL18-1-000 - FERC’s request for information and stakeholder perspective to help the Commission explore how it should revise certification of new natural gas transportation facilities.

The current process is extremely outdated and does not appropriately or adequately evaluate whether a proposed natural gas project is or will be required by the present or future public convenience and necessity.

The current policy does not give robust consideration to the determinations of public necessity and convenience and factors such as environmental impacts, including climate impacts, and private property rights. Economic factors have a far greater weight than environmental factors in considerations by FERC. The result is a benefit for a relatively small number of gas and pipeline companies at the expense of the American people’s access to clean water, clean air and a safe and secure future in the face of climate change. Little consideration to these factors come at the expense of millions of Americans who depend on a clean and safe environment in which to thrive. FERC must end this rubber stamping of pipeline projects that benefit only pipeline companies and damage the American people’s rights to clean air, clean water and a safe and clean future.

Issuing conditional certificates of public convenience and necessary, allowing pipeline companies to condemn private property through eminent domain, is outrageous and must be stopped. And then FERC uses “tolling orders” to avoid timely ruling on requests for reheating, unfairly preventing landowners from their right to due process to protect their private property from condemnation by for-profit companies. Property rights are protected under the Constitution. FERC must uphold the rights of landowners over for-profit companies.

As a RIVERKEEPER® organization advocating for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all communities, we have been fighting the risky and unnecessary Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ACP will have immeasurable impacts on the Lumber River watershed, its wetlands, its streams, its habitat and its communities, both natural and human. The impacted Robeson County through which the ACP will travel will realize few to no benefits from this fracked gas pipeline. This is documented in publicly available documents submitted to the NC Department of Environmental Quality as part of the 404 Water Quality Certification permitting process. What is clear from the proponent is that there will be a very positive economic benefit to the companies involved. The current policy implemented by FERC apparently condones this approach, supporting the ACP pipeline companies rather than the environment and the communities that rely on clean water and clean air.  It’s time to make a change and we are requesting that you revise your policy in favor of the latter…clean water, clean air for the communities that rely on these birthrights.

Note: Navigating the FERC commenting process is overly burdensome for the vast majority of the interested public. Submitting public comments should be a user-friendly process and FERC should make it easy for the public to be involved. 

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