FERC Wants More Info, Route Tweaks from Atlantic Coast Pipeline

One of the oft-repeated lies we hear from anti-fossil fuelers against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is that the agency “never” rejects a pipeline proposal, and “hasn’t in 20 years.” The conclusion, according to liemeisters like THE Delaware Riverkeeper, is that FERC is simply a “rubber stamp” for “big oil and gas”–not to be trusted and (preferably) shut down. That’s the kindergartenish meme they pedal to unthinking, left-leaning enviro lapdogs (their followers), who believe them. But you and I know the truth. This is that truth: FERC picks over pipeline projects with a fine-tooth comb. When FERC finds something they don’t like, they respond back to the project builder with “suggestions” about route changes, construction guidelines, request for more information, etc. If the project builder decides to disregard FERC’s “suggestions,” the builder runs the risk of having the project rejected. So they change it. It is an ongoing negotiation. What if FERC demands something really wacky? The project builder will push back, but in the end, what FERC wants, FERC gets. Period. And so it is with Dominion’s $5 billion, 594-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline–a natural gas pipeline that will stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina. Atlantic Coast is winding its way through the FERC regulatory process. Last week was the deadline for filing comments on FERC’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project. On Tuesday, FERC sent Dominion a 36-page letter (full copy below) regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, identifying 100 areas of concern with the “suggestion” that minor route changes and workspace reductions would button up most issues. You can bet your bottom dollar Atlantic Coast Pipeline will bend over backwards to make those adjustments. This is how adults handle things…

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