Originally posted on http://ift.tt/13mgxE0 :
ATTENTION . . .FERC Has F&*^ED Mother Earth AGAIN!
Abraham Lincoln told us, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
IT'S ABOUT TO GET INTERESTING . . .
¡Viva la Revolución! Ironically it is Cinco de Mayo!
LNG: FERC will not reconsider approval of contentious Md. export terminal
Hannah Northey, E&E reporter
Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday denied requests to reconsider its approval of an export terminal in Maryland that's become a rallying cry for climate activists opposed to hydraulic fracturing.
FERC Chairman Norman Bay and four commissioners unanimously rejected a rehearing request from BP Energy Co. and a host of green groups, including the Allegheny Defense Project, Wild Virginia, Shenandoah Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club and Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna Inc., for the commission to reconsider its approval.
FERC approved Dominion Resources Inc.'s $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas export facility for Cove Point, Md., last year — the first for the East Coast — after what foes of the project contended was a scant review of the terminal's implications for global warming (Greenwire, Oct. 16, 2014).
Dominion will still need final approval from the Energy Department when the project is completed in late 2017 to export more than 5 million tons of LNG to countries that lack free-trade agreements with the United States. DOE has already granted conditional approval for Dominion to ship gas to Japan and India beginning in 2017.
Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for Dominion, said the commission reaffirmed its approval of the project and that it will have minimal effects on the environment while bringing significant economic benefits.
But opponents of the terminal and proliferating gas infrastructure — pipelines and compressor stations — have been showing up at FERC commission meetings and are planning large sit-ins at the agency's doorstep in Washington, D.C., later this month. The groups are calling on the agency to stop approving new projects and take a closer look at the effects on climate.
When asking FERC for a rehearing on Cove Point, green groups argued that FERC's approval of the terminal last year failed to analyze the indirect and cumulative effects of induced natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations and alleged subsequent damage to the environment. In the past, the same groups pushed for a more in-depth environmental impact statement for Cove Point and threatened legal action.
But FERC reiterated its position that there's not a clear enough link between the effects of shale production and the Cove Point project to warrant detailed analysis and that gas production in the Marcellus play would have continued regardless.
"Assessing where the gas processed by the project will originate, much less where the wells and gathering lines will be located, and where the potential associated environmental impacts occur, would require significant speculation," the commission wrote in the order. "Engaging in speculative analysis would not provide meaningful information to inform our decision."
FERC in the past has also stated that there is "no standard methodology" for gauging how a project's incremental contribution to emissions would result in physical environmental effects. The agency has also rejected calls to review emissions from upstream and downstream production, saying "the future development of upstream production is speculative and not reasonably foreseeable."
FERC also rejected the argument of importer BP Energy, which has a long-term off-take agreement at Cove Point but has, like other companies, been unable to sell that contracted gas due to lower domestic prices (EnergyWire, June 11, 2013).
BP and the other two long-term buyers, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Norway's Statoil ASA, pay Dominion regardless of whether they use their leased capacity at the terminal. As it redeveloped Cove Point to support exports, Dominion offered Statoil an option to "turn back," or decline, its contracted import capacity at the plant, an offer not extended to BP and Shell.
BP protested that offer, arguing that Dominion's treatment was unfair and discriminatory. Statoil has said the offer was not discriminatory because the two companies' contracts are regulated under different provisions and therefore not due the same treatment.
FERC reiterated that although BP and Statoil face the same market risks for imported gas, BP has protections not afforded to Statoil and the two companies are "not similarly situated." BP, for example, can release all or part of its terminal service to another shipper and can retain capacity after its initial service agreement expires.