Media Statements & Speeches
Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur Statement
March 15, 2018
Docket Nos. CP17-409-000
Item No. C-1
Dissent in Part DTE Midstream Appalachia, LLC (Birdsboro)
“In today’s order, the Commission grants DTE Midstream Appalachia, LLC’s request for authorization to construct the Birdsboro Pipeline Project in Berks County, Pennsylvania, as well as certain blanket authorizations.1 But, in doing so, the Commission declines to use the Social Cost of Carbon to consider the significance of the project’s environmental impacts, relying on the Commission’s order on remand in Sabal Trail.2 Consistent with the views expressed in our respective dissents to Sabal Trail, we disagree with the Commission’s conclusion that the Social Cost of Carbon is not an appropriate and meaningful tool for estimating a specific project’s impacts or informing the Commission’s analysis of the Project. We are hopeful that the recently announced generic proceeding on pipeline review will allow the Commission and its stakeholders to consider these issues in a meaningful and comprehensive way.
“In addition, we have serious concerns with the Commission’s “new policy” approach towards motions to intervene out of time.3 In a recent order, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., L.L.C., the Commission indicated a renewed adherence to our regulations regarding late intervention, but the Commission’s statement that we will be “less lenient in the grant of late interventions” left room for intervenors to show good cause.4 However, today’s order suggests that good cause for late intervention does not exist where an entity seeking to participate as a party in the proceeding submits a motion on the same day it learned that the application had been submitted. Further, the order declares, “all other participants are on notice” of this new policy going forward.5 While we agree that late interventions should be limited to parties that demonstrate good cause, we are concerned by the potential consequences of the Commission’s pronouncement, particularly as it would apply to landowners and community organizations that lack sufficient resources to keep up with every docket. As we highlighted in our separate statements on Sable Trail, we are concerned about public confidence in the Commission’s pipeline siting process and increased efforts to limit interventions can only accelerate this trend.
“For these reasons, we respectfully dissent, in part.”
- 1 DTE Midstream Appalachia, LLC, 162 FERC ¶ 61,238, at P 2 (2018).
- 2 Florida Southeast Connection, LLC, 162 FERC ¶ 61,233 (2018) (Sabal Trail).
- 3 DTE Midstream Appalachia, LLC, 162 FERC ¶ 61,238 at P 11.
- 4 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., L.L.C., 162 FERC ¶ 61,167, at PP 49-50 (2018); see 18 C.F.R. § 385.214(d)(1)(i)-(v) (2017)
- 5 DTE Midstream Appalachia, LLC, 162 FERC ¶ 61,238 at P 11.
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