Media Statements & Speeches
Commission Initiates Notice of Inquiry into Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement
“First, I want to thank staff for their hard work on the NOI.
“I, like my colleagues, want to highlight the importance of the Certificate Policy Statement review that the Commission is initiating today.
“For nearly two decades, the Certificate Policy Statement has provided a flexible, effective framework for the Commission’s evaluation of natural gas pipeline projects. Our process, in conjunction with the shale gas revolution, has enabled the development of a robust interstate pipeline infrastructure that delivers natural gas to markets throughout the country and the world.
“And the benefits have been significant…
“Take the residential energy consumers who’ve seen their heat and electricity bills decline as a result of cheap natural gas;
“And the struggling communities across production areas in states like Pennsylvania and West Virginia who’ve finally seen economic growth;
“And the manufacturers from the East Coast to the West who, because of low energy costs, have been able to bring much-needed jobs back to the U.S. — jobs many had thought were permanently lost to foreign competitors.
“Adding to that, as I know staff will discuss further in the State of the Market Report, the United States is now a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since 1958. To give you some context for just how significant this is, consider the following: the last time this was true Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the White House.
“So clearly, the impacts of natural gas and the buildout of pipeline infrastructure have been noteworthy. But remember, none of this would be possible without a clearly defined, predictable process through which we review and permit these projects, which is where the Certificate Policy Statement comes into play.
“While this regulatory predictability has been crucial to stakeholders at every step of the process, I also agree with my colleagues that, given the changes in landscape since it was first put into place, reviewing our Certificate Policy Statement for any possible improvements is good regulatory practice. We should always be looking at ways in which we can do our jobs better. I think this review is a good example of the Commission doing just that.
“That said, reviewing our Certificate Policy Statement also gives us an opportunity to identify areas where the process is working well. In that vein, I am pleased that our current process establishes a regulatory framework in which companies, not consumers, bear the financial risks of pipeline development.
“Additionally, as my colleagues and I work through this review, I remain committed to ensuring that our process lays out clearly-defined rules of the road, offers the necessary tools to determine which pipeline projects are worth pursuing and provides opportunities for stakeholders — like landowners and local communities — to participate in the Commission’s process and understand our evaluation criteria.
“In closing, I would encourage all interested parties to weigh in as they see fit. In my view, robust participation from stakeholders who represent all sides and interests is essential to this review process. I look forward to reviewing the comments we receive and to working with my colleagues on this critical issue.”
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