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Alliance to Protect the Quoddy Region
from LNG Development

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"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
                                           — US Senator Susan Collins, 2012 Jun 21


Latest News

2015 November 24

United States

FERC’s Flawed Permitting Process — Fix FERC!

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent agency within the US Department of Energy (DOE). Being independent means it cannot be directed by the President or the DOE. To force any changes in FERC’s conduct requires either court action (and $millions in costs) or, literally, an act of Congress.

Problem 1: FERC Contract Staff & EIS Preparation

Problem 2: Who Reads the EIS?
Each of the Commissioners has one or more FERC lawyer. Those lawyers read the FEIS. (An FEIS can consist of hundreds or even thousands of pages.) It is unlikely [and, perhaps, impossible] that each Commissioner thoroughly studies each projects’ FEIS.

Problem 3: How the Permitting Decision is Made
The Commissioners’ lawyers prepare two permitting decisions based on their reading: 1) In favor of issuing a permit, and 2) opposed to issuing a permit.

The Commissioners read their lawyers’ written decisions, and vote.

[T]he Commissioners’ decisions are insulated by at least two generations from most of the actual Docket information.

[I]t opens plenty of opportunity for abuse by staff along the way, and abuse is evident.

FERC approval is almost certain in cases of natural gas pipelines and LNG terminals (see:

Alarm bells are ringing. They are ringing at fixFERCfirst. They should also be ringing in the US Senate and Department of Justice. FERC desperately needs fixing.

Webmaster's comment: This is a blog entry by Save Passamaquoddy Bay's webmaster and researcher.


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