Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sierra Club Contends Federal Court’s Sabal Trail Ruling Bars FERC Short Cut on Pipeline Approvals

Sierra Club Contends Federal Court’s Sabal Trail Ruling Bars FERC Short Cut on Pipeline Approvals

Court Decision Means Fracked Gas Can’t be Fast-Tracked
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Contact: 
Jonathon Berman, jonathon.berman@sierraclub.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, the Sierra Club filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a challenge to Florida Southeast Connection’s (FSC) request for fast-track authorization to extend  the fracked gas Sabal Trail Pipeline, in what is called the Okeechobee lateral project. The project would supply a massive new gas-burning power plant that FSC’s affiliate, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), wants to put into service in 2019. The Sierra Club contends that the D.C. Circuit’s decision in the momentus Sabal Trail case effectively bars the use of FERC’s fast-tracking procedures. The procedures only apply to extensions of pipelines with valid certificates. But the court invalidated the certificates for Sabal Trail and FSC’s connected pipelines, instructing FERC to evaluate the climate effects of burning the gas via pipelines when determining if they were necessary and appropriate projects. The Sierra Club therefore argues that FERC should consider together the greenhouse gas emissions and climate effects of FPL’s new gas plant, the Okeechobee lateral,Sabal Trail ,and other connected pipelines.
In response, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Kelly Martin released the following statement:
"The courts have ruled that FERC’s days as a rubber stamp for the fracked gas pipeline industry are over and that means finally putting an end to the fast-track approval process. Now, the agency must fulfill it’s duty and evaluate these dirty and dangerous pipelines for what they are: a threat to our clean air and our communities. FERC’s responsibility is to protect people, not polluters, and ending fast-track approvals for fracked gas pipelines puts them one step closer to actually fulfilling their mission.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.
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