White House NEPA proposal seeks to speed up oil, gas pipeline reviews
The White House on Jan. 9 released a proposed rule to speed federal reviews of pipeline and other infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, delving into disputed areas of law and appearing to constrain federal agency consideration of climate change impact indirectly associated with oil and natural gas projects. The proposal is potentially consequential for interstate natural gas pipelines reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as oil pipelines, which are sited under state authority, but can require NEPA reviews as part of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting.
Resolution to halt South Jersey Gas pipeline project fails at NJ commission
A New Jersey commission voted down a resolution to prevent the Cape Atlantic Reliability pipeline from proceeding, while also rejecting calls from environmental groups to bar the project's developer from filing a new application. The Jan. 10 vote still leaves a question mark over the future of South Jersey Gas Co.'s long-delayed project to deliver gas through the Garden State's Pinelands National Reserve to coastal communities. The proposed 22-mile pipeline has been wrapped up in court challenges for years, culminating in a New Jersey Superior Court judge's decision in June 2019 to remand the matter to the Pinelands Commission.
Calif. regulators fear Ariz. pipe project could harm constrained SoCalGas market
California regulators filed a protest notice against North Baja Pipeline LLC , a TC Energy Corp. project that would add compression in La Paz County, Ariz., to send gas to an LNG export terminal planned for Mexico's Pacific Coast. "The North Baja XPress project, as conceived and justified, will export existing natural gas supplies away from a major and currently constrained major U.S. market" in Southern California, the California Public Utilities Commission contended in a recent FERC filing.
Court orders Coastal GasLink project opponents to clear construction site
Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Ltd. through a court order gave project opponents 72 hours to clear the way to a construction site of its C$6.6 billion natural gas pipeline project and prohibited them from blocking access to the area. The Jan. 7 order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia addressed people who have been "occupying, obstructing, blocking, physically impeding or delaying access" to the area in and around the Morice River Bridge.