Antis Find Solace in Bay’s Final Pot Shot at FERC

Norman Bay, formerly of FERC

Anti-fossil fuel groups adamantly opposed to new pipeline projects are finding solace, and perhaps legal assistance, in the remarks made by former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Norman Bay. There were three FERC Commissioners, the minimum required to vote on projects, until Bay left. Why did he leave? When Bay (a Democrat) joined FERC, he was promoted by Barack H. Obama to be the Chairman of the Commission, displacing Cheryl LaFleur (another Democrat) from her role as Chairman. LaFleur didn’t let Obama’s decision affect her–she stuck around and kept working. When Donald Trump took office, he decided, which is his prerogative, to elevate LaFleur to be Chairman once again, “demoting” Bay to regular old Commissioner. Bay immediately resigned in a huff. Thing is, Bay’s resignation was calculated to do maximum damage to current pipeline projects under review, most of them in the Marcellus/Utica. On his last day in office, along with a flurry of FERC approvals, Bay issued a statement as part of one of the approvals that FERC should “analyze the environmental effects of increased regional gas production from the Marcellus and Utica” shale regions (see FERC Commissioner Norm Bay Targets M-U on Way Out the Door). Now, anti-fossil fuel lawyers are using his words to help make their case against authorizing pipeline projects…

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