Regulators in U.S. Delay Consideration of Climate Impact of New Gas Projects

Published on: 29 March 2022 04:16 PM
by KnowESG

The U.S. regulators have recently delayed conditions to consider greenhouse gas emissions before giving a green signal to gas projects, following lawmakers' opinion that the policy would harm the industry, particularly when European allies require gas due to conflict in Ukraine.

Chairman Richard Glick of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said two recommendations established last month to consider greenhouse gas, environmental justice, and landowner problems before authorising LNG terminals and other gas projects would now be considered "drafts."

The proposed project rules will not apply to pending projects under the new classification until FERC releases final guidance, according to the panel.

Glick, a Democrat, has long said that the rules will provide natural gas projects more legal certainty by allowing FERC to conduct extensive environmental studies. Several courts have recently returned projects to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for further consideration of their climate consequences.

Glick said FERC chose to solicit comments from all interested parties recently, "in light of concerns that the policy statements caused further uncertainty regarding the Commission's approach to natural gas projects.

Europe relies on Russia for almost 40% of its natural gas but is working to reduce that reliance following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

US politicians and energy sector trade organisations urged the Biden administration to increase natural gas and oil shipments to Europe. The LNG business in the United States has already boosted shipments, but it is already at capacity as FERC reviews new projects.

Several senators from natural gas-producing states, notably Democrat Joe Manchin and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to repeal the rule.