FERC’s Vital Role as Referee in Building NatGas Pipelines

The current cold snap and resulting high prices for natural gas in New York City and Boston are happening for one simple reason: lack of pipelines. In particular, as we pointed out yesterday, much of the blame can be laid at the feet of New York’s corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo (see New England Can “Thank” NY Gov. Cuomo for Sky High NatGas Prices). Cuomo, using his lackeys at the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation, has blocked numerous important pipeline projects from entering NY from PA. Those pipelines can/would provide more natural gas for New Yorkers, AND provide more gas to other states, the New England states. Instead of paying $10-$15/thousand cubic feet (Mcf) for natural gas, New York and Boston are paying up to $175/Mcf and $105/Mcf respectively. It’s insane! The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was created to oversee authorization and construction of pipelines that cross state lines–specifically to prevent a single state (like NY) from blocking a pipeline that will benefit other states (like the New England states). We often read the flat-out lie that FERC is a rubber stamp for pipeline companies because in all of its history it’s only reject two pipeline projects. That’s just not true. Pipeline projects are submitted and FERC will tell the builder “make this change or that change, or you don’t get a permit”–and the changes get made. Or the pipeline company simply withdraws the project from consideration. A proper understanding of FERC and its role is crucial to the ongoing debate about whether states like NY can/should be allowed to destroy opportunities for other states. Writing in the Houston Chronicle, the president of the Iroquois Pipeline, Jeff Bruner, gives us a proper understanding of FERC and its vital role…

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