The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission began the first examination of its process for reviewing and authorizing interstate natural gas pipelines under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act since it was adopted in September 1999.
It made the move in response to changes in the gas industry and increased stakeholder interest in how it reviews gas pipeline proposals since FERC adopted its current pipeline certification policy, the commission said.
The notice of inquiry poses a range of questions that reflect concerns that were raised in numerous public comments, court proceedings, and other forums, FERC said. “The commission also is seeking feedback on the transparency, timing, and predictability of its certification process,” it said. “FERC is encouraging commenters to specifically identify any perceived issues with the current analytical and procedural approaches, and to provide detailed recommendations to address these issues.”
Comments will be accepted for 60 days following the notice’s publication in the Federal Register in the next few days, FERC said.
Responding to FERC’s announcement, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Pres. Donald F. Santa said, “It is understandable that FERC wishes to take a fresh look at its 1999 certificate policy statement. Natural gas now plays a more prominent role in our energy economy and the public policy landscape surrounding energy and the environment has evolved considerably over the intervening years.”
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