FERC included an official assessment of a pipeline’s greenhouse gas pollution impacts in its evaluation of a proposed project on Thursday. Two Democrats, Chair Richard Glick and Allison Clements, along with former Chair (and former policy advisor to Mitch McConnell) Neil Chatterjee, voted over the objections of the two other Republican commissioners to approve a relatively minor 84-mile gas pipeline replacement project, finding the project would not cause significant new emissions. (FERC essentially never rejects pipeline projects.) The two Republicans opposed approving the project because they objected to the consideration of greenhouse gas impacts.
Both sides of the majority saw the determination as a strategic victory. Glick has pushed for greater consideration of climate change in FERC’s considerations, while Chatterjee saw an opportunity to get Glick on the record approving a gas pipeline project. “This is Biden and Glick’s FERC approving a natural gas project … This shows that. Now we’ve got him on the record.” Chatterjee told the Washington Examiner.
“This was essentially a pipeline project replacing another pipeline,” Glick told reporters. “There weren’t, in the commission’s analysis, any downstream emissions at all. [But, i]n the future, there could be projects with more significant impacts [and j]ust because we approved the project today, that doesn’t mean every project would be approved in the future. (Politico Pro $, AP, Washington Examiner)