The progressives are actively adding language and restrictions to existing laws and policies in their pursuit to deconstruct the Unites States economic system.
Using climate change and social justice objectives, everything the government and businesses who have entered into private/public partnerships with “Uncle Sam” are doing, is being scrutinized and modified regardless of the effect it has on the American citizenry overall.
In January 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Glick to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In September, the president selected former Washington, D.C., Public Service Commission Chairman Willie Phillips to join FERC, giving Democrats majority control of the five-person commission.
As a result of the left now having control of the FERC, the Biden administration just altered the official federal policy on approving new interstate natural gas facilities and pipelines, requiring climate and social justice considerations.
The FERC announced that it will begin to “undertake a robust consideration” of the environmental justice impacts of such fossil fuel projects before granting approval, according to a fact sheet published Thursday.
The EPA defines Environmental Justice
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys:
Impacts on Environmental Justice Communities
“In evaluating a project’s impact on the surrounding community, the Commission will undertake a robust consideration of impacts to any environmental justice communities. The Commission will continue to evaluate and incorporate, as appropriate, any subsequently issued guidance by other authoritative sources when considering how to identify environmental justice communities affected by a proposed project. The Commission encourages project developers to do the same.”
The agency, which is the top regulator of domestic natural gas infrastructure, said its new policy will presume projects that cause 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year will have a significant impact on the environment.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Threshold
A project’s reasonably foreseeable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be based on a projection of the amount of capacity that actually will be used, the projected utilization rate and any other factors impacting the quantification of project emissions.
The Commission is establishing a rebuttable presumption that proposed projects with 100,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emissions will be deemed to have a significant impact on climate change
In a major departure from its past policy, the FERC may also consider the eventual emissions caused by both upstream production and eventual burning of gas transported in a pipeline requiring approval.
“I believe today’s long overdue policy statements are essential to ensuring the Commission’s natural gas siting decisions are reflective of all stakeholder concerns and interests,” FERC Chairman Rich Glick said in a statement. “We have witnessed the impact on pipeline projects when federal agencies, including the Commission, fail to fulfill their statutory responsibilities assessing the potential effects of a project on the environment, landowners and communities.”
The announcement Thursday marked the first time the commission updated its natural gas policy since 1999. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the policy change, saying it was “necessary and long overdue.”
“For far too long, FERC has allowed private pipeline developers to call the shots while cutting those affected by the projects out of the process,” Gillian Giannetti, Natural Resources Defense Council senior attorney, said in a statement. “Communities and landowners will now have a say before new pipelines cut across their land or new compressor stations are built near their homes.”
“FERC will now need to follow through and permanently establish a meaningful climate test for pipelines,” she added.
But the new policy also attracted criticism from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from energy-producing states.
“Today’s reckless decision by FERC’s Democratic Commissioners puts the security of our nation at risk,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. “The Commission went too far by prioritizing a political agenda over their main mission—ensuring our nation’s energy reliability and security.”
“The only thing they accomplished today was constructing additional roadblocks that further delay building out the energy infrastructure our country desperately needs,” he added.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the committee’s ranking member, added that the FERC decision proved the administration was “determined to make it nearly impossible” for Americans to access affordable natural gas.
By adding these new roadblocks in the approval process of new traditional energy production, the possibility of any getting approved under the Biden or any subsequent democratic administration is getting close to zero, with each passing day.
Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
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