February 21 Update
FERC filed a response February 21 to Rep. Morgan Griffith’s (R-VA) request for rehearing and clarification of the tolling order process, which he submitted to the FERC docket January 19.
In his letter, Griffith attached a letter previously filed by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) January 5, in which the senator expressed that “it is important for the public to have confidence in the integrity of FERC’s process” and a request that “every step of that process be followed to the fullest extent of the law.”
In their response, FERC informed Griffith that his comments were noted in the docket, and included the response to Kaine’s original letter.
The response concludes with an explanation that the company itself bears the risk that a change will occur to their Certificate if they begin construction before the merits of rehearing requests are heard by FERC. Notably ignored by Chairman McIntyre is any mention of the damages that could be caused to communities if construction begins prematurely and the approval of the project is either changed or revoked.
A recent article in StateImpact Pennsylvania regarding the tolling order issued for the Certificate of the PennEast Pipeline indicated that “FERC has used a tolling order for 99 percent of requests for rehearing over the last eight years, and that it dismisses the requests after an average of 175 days.”
You can find the full article from StateImpact Pennsylvania here.
March 21 Update
On March 21, FERC filed response letters in their MVP docket addressed to Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA) and Congressman A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), both of whom filed comments with FERC February 8 regarding the rehearing process for both the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. The letters are almost identical to the responses sent to Sen. Kaine and Rep. Griffith earlier in the year.
March 28 Update
FERC filed a response letter March 28 in their MVP docket addressed to Congressman Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-VA). Congressman Beyer had originally filed comments with FERC February 28 regarding the rehearing process for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines.
In his original letter, Rep. Beyer expressed specific concerns about the impacts the Mountain Valley Pipeline would have on the Appalachian Trail, as well as a lack of future demand for natural gas in Virginia through 2030, shown by the Energy Information Administration and regional grid manager.
In his repsonse, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre indicated that, while FERC’s ruling on MVP and ACP was not unanimous, it was still lawful. Additionally, he declined to comment on rehearing requests as “this matter is pending before the Commission.”
Note: This post will continue to be updated as FERC files the same response addressed to different Congressmen and Senators.