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FERC chair unfazed by vacant seat; agency to decide on pipeline policy update


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FERC chair unfazed by vacant seat; agency to decide on pipeline policy update

FERC chairman says commission can 'get things done' despite vacant seat

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission needs to work to speed up its U.S. LNG export terminal project approvals, FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said recently, rejecting the idea that a commission vacancy might first have to be filled to break any partisan logjams. "I'm confident the current complement of us, the four of us, can get things done," Chatterjee said. He added that he considers the notion "that we are split and divided" to be an unfair description.

Budget request: FERC to decide soon on next steps for pipeline policy review

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will decide before October what steps to take to update its natural gas pipeline certification process, according to the agency's budget request for fiscal-year 2020. In the annual budget request, FERC said it will determine sometime in the fiscal year that runs through September "what, if any, actions are appropriate" to revise its 1999 gas certificate policy after the commission launched a review of the policy in April 2018.

Senators bring back bill to advance small LNG export approvals at DOE

U.S. Republican senators reintroduced a bill to speed up the U.S. Department of Energy's approval of export licenses for small volumes of LNG. The bill is backed by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., John Kennedy, R-La., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Energy. It would help expedite DOE reviews of LNG export activity in volumes equal to or less than 51.1 Bcf per year. Under the arrangement, the DOE would view such LNG exports as in the public interest and grant authorization "without modification or delay," according to a March 14 statement.

On anniversary of MLP tax shakeup, pipelines still wrestling with uncertainty

One year after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rocked pipeline sector stocks by moving away from a tax benefit for midstream master limited partnerships, the impact continues to shake the industry. What looked like a big blow to pipelines, and a possible boon for customers, has emerged as a more complex picture over the year. Uncertainty continues to affect some in the industry, as FERC is still filling in the details on how its altered policy will apply to various pass-through ownership structures.