trending Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/trending/HtJi--oDm7xaCZC6c72jHg2 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform

 /


Looking for more?

Contact Us

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

Thank you for your interest in S&P Global Market Intelligence! We noticed you've identified yourself as a student. Through existing partnerships with academic institutions around the globe, it's likely you already have access to our resources. Please contact your professors, library, or administrative staff to receive your student login.

At this time we are unable to offer free trials or product demonstrations directly to students. If you discover that our solutions are not available to you, we encourage you to advocate at your university for a best-in-class learning experience that will help you long after you've completed your degree. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In This List

FERC polarization, carbon tax biggest risks to gas development, experts say

Q2: U.S. Solar and Wind Power by the Numbers

Essential Energy Insights - September 17, 2020

Essential Energy Insights September 2020

Rate case activity slips, COVID-19 proceedings remain at the forefront in August


FERC polarization, carbon tax biggest risks to gas development, experts say

The greatest upcoming risk to energy infrastructure in the U.S. is likely to be increased polarization at the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the head of an energy-focused advisory firm said at a gas industry conference.

Chip Moldenhauer, CEO of the technology and analytics firm Law IQ, said midstream natural gas development could face more challenges than it already does if a Democrat is elected as U.S. president in 2020 and has three "anti-fossil fuel" commissioners on the five-member panel at FERC.

While that could leave companies that have completed gas pipelines and LNG terminals in a good position, it would make things more difficult for those trying to develop new infrastructure, Moldenhauer said. He spoke Oct. 22 at the North American Gas Forum in Washington, D.C., organized by Energy Dialogues.

His comments came as FERC grew more polarized on gas infrastructure decisions in 2019. When it had four commissioners, the commission split 2-2 on party lines in many reviews of gas infrastructure projects over the question of how far the agency should go in considering the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. The commission is now down to three members — one Democrat and two Republicans — with routine sparring over gas issues.

President Donald Trump's recent nomination of a Republican to fill an open slot without putting forward a Democrat for pairing in the Senate confirmation process could add to momentum to the partisan clashes at FERC, and potentially leave more slots open for a Democratic president to fill after 2020.

Kevin Book, managing director of consulting firm ClearView Energy Partners LLC, separately suggested that the gas industry may need even more lawyers going forward. He noted that 11 of the 12 candidates in a recent Democratic presidential primary debate favored ending oil and gas production on federal lands, a policy shift that could affect about 14% of 2018 U.S. gas production, according to Book.

While gas can be part of the solution to carbon reduction goals, building the infrastructure to get it to market might get harder, Book said. Even without a shift in politics in the U.S., there is the potential for the carbon policies of trading partners, for instance in Europe, to result in "non-zero odds" of a carbon tax in the U.S., he said.

"[Even with] the permitting challenges of the present, in many ways if we look back at this ... we might think these are the good times for construction," Book said.

Interstate gas transportation projects have faced increasing legal challenges from environmental groups and states in parts of the U.S., and some of these have sidelined major projects, or resulted in major delays. Book said such litigation is the new normal, and it will likely continue no matter what the political environment looks like.

When there are eminent domain challenges in Texas, "you can start to see opposition show up where it hasn't been," Book said.

To overcome the increase in resistance, some project developers have started to engage stakeholders upfront, as opposed to bringing in lawyers first, Book said. In addition, some companies are beginning to communicate to investors earlier than they once did about potential challenges to schedules, he said.

Moldenhauer said companies are also trying to be more proactive about preparing for potential permitting complications.

Maya Weber is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.