Regulators just removed a barrier to exporting more US natural gas

LaFleur, who voted to approve the project, said the greenhouse gas disclosure and comparison “provided important context” but said it was only a “first step.”

She criticized the commission’s “failure” to disclose how the project would contribute to the combined effects of LNG infrastructure development. She also said FERC should have made a determination on the significance of the project’s greenhouse gas emissions, an endeavor she called challenging but achievable.

“Indeed, the Commission makes challenging determinations on quantitative and qualitative issues in many other areas of our work, but has simply chosen not to attempt a significance determination in this context,” she wrote on Thursday.

Glick, the sole dissenting member, said FERC failed to embrace “reasoned” decision-making while determining whether Calcasieu Pass is in the public interest. He said it failed to meet FERC’s requirements under the Natural Gas Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Neither the NGA nor NEPA permit the Commission to assume away the climate change implications of constructing and operating an LNG facility that will directly emit large volumes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” he wrote in his dissent. “Yet that is precisely what is happening today.”

Since FERC is a quasi-judicial body that sets precedent, Chatterjee says he is confident the commission has a way to address the climate question in future applications, now that a majority has determined FERC’s approach is legally viable and durable.

“The reason for my sense of optimism on the pipeline of projects going forward is that from a macro level the biggest sticking point seemed to be how to address this question of considering GHG emissions,” he said.

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