A LawFlash prepared by our energy lawyers discusses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Inquiry regarding the certification of new interstate natural gas transportation facilities and the potential addition of environmental justice as an additional area of examination.
FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
It’s been a difficult several days for the oil industry. First, the Biden administration revoked the border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL pipeline on January 20. Another executive order, among other things, directed the secretary of the US Department of the Interior to pause oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters pending a review of leasing practices.
The US Department of Energy (DOE or Department) finalized a rulemaking proceeding last week that revises its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing procedures pertaining to certain authorizations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). This update limits DOE’s review of environmental impacts associated with natural gas exports to certain countries; DOE’s review will only consider the environmental effects of marine transportation, which DOE has also determined as not creating a significant environmental impact.
A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled, “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act,” published today by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), is likely to have far-reaching effects for the energy and public infrastructure sectors, and could facilitate more efficient implementation of energy production/generation projects for all major energy sources (i.e., renewable, fossil, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources) as well as transportation projects.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published draft guidance on June 26 to address how agencies implementing environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The new guidance would replace the Obama administration’s 2016 guidance, which has been on hold since April 5, 2017, pending “further consideration” pursuant to Executive Order 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.
Recent developments over the last several weeks have intensified the ongoing struggle between the current administration of President Donald Trump and the federal judicial system concerning energy policy as it relates to the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)—the US federal agency responsible for coordinating and overseeing federal agency implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—moved one step closer on June 20 towards revising its longstanding NEPA-implementing regulations.