Reed Smith News Flashes

On March 24, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order stating that it will treat two policy statements affecting applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity to construct pipeline infrastructure projects under Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) as drafts. FERC invited interested entities to submit comments and reply comments on the draft policy statements.

FERC issued the two new policy statements on February 18, 2022 in Docket Nos. PL18-1 and PL21-3. We described the policy statements in our client alert dated February 22, 2022. In short, the policy statements modify the standards FERC uses to evaluate applications to construct natural gas pipeline infrastructure and made certain proposals with respect to the greenhouse gas (“GHG”) effects associated with pipeline infrastructure projects. The policy statements made clear that the new standards would apply to pending infrastructure applications. FERC received a number of communications raising concerns about the new policy statements. In addition, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on March 8 to discuss the policy statements.

In response to the communications it received, FERC issued the March 24 order. The March 24 order states that FERC is making the two policy statements “draft policy statements.” FERC established April 25, 2022 as the deadline for initial comments on the draft policy statements and May 25, 2022 as the deadline for reply comments. The March 24 order also states that FERC will not apply the policy statements to pending applications or applications filed prior to the issuance of final guidance in these dockets.

Newsflash 2022-096