After 7:00 p.m. on Friday October 13, 2017, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted certificates of public convenience and necessity to both the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. Recently appointed FERC Commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson voted in favor of certification, Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur dissented.
In its 157-page approval statement for the ACP, the Commission said:
“As explained herein, we find that the benefits that the ACP Project, Supply Header Project, and Capacity Lease will provide to the market outweigh any adverse effects on existing shippers, other pipelines and their captive customers, and on landowners and surrounding communities. Further, as set forth in the environmental discussion below, we agree with Commission staff’s conclusion in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that, if constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and with the implementation of the applications’ proposed mitigation and staff’s recommendations, now adopted as conditions in the attached Appendix A of this order, the projects will result in some adverse and significant environmental impacts, but that these impacts will be reduced to acceptable levels. Therefore, we grant the requested authorizations, subject to conditions.”
In her 5-page dissent, Ms. LaFleur said, “I recognize that the Commission’s actions today are the culmination of years of work in the pre-filing, application, and review processes, and I take seriously my decision to dissent. I acknowledge that if the applicants were to adopt an alternative solution, it would require considerable additional work and time. However, the decision before the Commission is simply whether to approve or reject these projects, which will be in place for decades. Given the environmental impacts and possible superior alternatives, approving these two pipeline projects on this record is not a decision I can support. For these reasons, I respectfully dissent.”
Read the approval statement for the ACP here. Ms. LaFleur’s dissent begins on page 151
Read the approval statement for the MVP here. Ms. LaFleur’s dissent begins on page 136.