U.S. Senators Capito (WV), Burr (NC), Tills (NC) and Strange (AL) wrote the FERC Commissioners on September 20, 2017, urging FERC to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in time for tree clearing to occur in November. Their letter ignores the fact that the NC Department of Environmental Quality has delayed any decision on 401 water permits and the WV Department of Environmental Protection has rescinded their previous decision on permits, with both departments saying they need further study. The state environmental agencies recognize the potential problems even if their senators are pushing a “hurry up” agenda.
The Senators’ letter echoes a similar request made to FERC on September 7 by the CEOs of the three partner companies of the ACP. One of the September 20 signatories, Sen. Luther Strange of Alabama, was appointed to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions; he represents a state that is not along the path of the ACP. He is, however, a candidate in a September 26 Alabama Republican primary to elect someone to the seat to which he was appointed. It is not clear if or how his endorsement of an expedited ACP approval will impact his chances in the primary. However, Sen. Strange is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over FERC. Senators Capito, Burr and Tillis are not committee members.
Read the Senators’ letter here.