FERC prevails in NEPA gas lawsuit

By Niina H. Farah | 06/17/2024 06:35 AM EDT

The D.C. Circuit ruled that regulators went “well beyond” the law in identifying the climate impacts of a Northeastern gas project.

The E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse.

The E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse is home to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. AFP via Getty Images

A three-judge panel has dealt a blow to advocates pushing federal energy regulators to more fully account for the climate risks of a project designed to deliver gas to New York customers.

In a ruling issued Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit roundly rejected claims that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to fully analyze the impact of additional fossil fuel production and use resulting from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project.

“Although we have criticized FERC for failing to demand more information about other pipeline projects, we have never set aside a certificate on that basis,” said Judge Gregory Katsas, writing the opinion for the court.


“Moreover, FERC here reasonably declined to seek more information from Tennessee Gas because no evidence suggests that a request would have produced useful information,” said Katsas, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump.