FERC Should Not Fast Track Pending Pipeline Decisions Under Newly Confirmed Leadership
Confirmations are Opportunity to Reverse Dangerous Legacy, Hear the Concerns of Local Constituents
Charlottesville, VA - The Southern Environmental Law Center released the following statement on the Senate’s confirmation today of Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Today’s confirmations restores the agency’s quorum, increasing the likelihood that FERC will move forward with several pipelines currently under consideration.
"We urge FERC to take the appropriate and careful measures necessary to protect the public interest when considering projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This administration's lack of organization has caused a backlog of projects waiting for FERC review, but the American people should not have to pay for this mismanagement with hastily approved pipelines," said Southern Environmental Law Center Senior Attorney Greg Buppert. "FERC now has a quorum and if it wants to move forward on considering the Atlantic Coast Pipeline it should first grant our request for a hearing on whether that pipeline is even needed in our region."
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline currently being considered by FERC is set to cut across Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, including sections of the George Washington, and Monongahela national forests. Despite new research showing there’s no demand for the project, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, and their partners are rushing forward, even as local communities reject the plan. If built, the project would cause deforestation, water problems, and ultimately leave customers on the hook for the cost of its construction. Unless the questions concerning need are addressed, FERC risks approval of an unnecessary project that will cause irreparable damage to our natural environment and put undue burdens on ratepayers and landowners in Virginia and North Carolina.
SELC recently filed a motion calling for a hearing to assess whether there is even a need for the pipeline. This hearing has yet to be granted by FERC.
About The Southern Environmental Law Center:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org