Court tosses FERC gas export fight

By Niina H. Farah | 02/20/2024 06:35 AM EST

A ruling in Public Citizen’s favor could have expanded the agency’s oversight over inland facilities that are not directly loading gas via pipeline onto tankers.

FERC headquarters.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/E&E News

An appeals court is declining to weigh in — at least for now — on whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s oversight of some onshore liquefied natural gas facilities should be expanded.

In an opinion Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said an advocacy group’s lawsuit to clarify the commission’s jurisdiction over the proposed Nopetro LNG facility in Port. St. Joe, Florida, was moot since the project was canceled last summer.

Public Citizen sued FERC in 2022 after the commission issued a declaratory order that year stating it did not have jurisdiction over the project under the Natural Gas Act. A ruling in the group’s favor could have expanded FERC’s oversight to include inland facilities that are not directly loading gas via pipeline onto tankers for export to foreign markets.


Public Citizen sought a ruling “addressing the Commission’s underlying interpretation of its jurisdiction so that our [court decision] might be applied to other currently hypothetical projects,” said Judge Brad Garcia, penning the opinion for the court. “We may not oblige.”
the opinion for the court