Climate Change > Speaking Sustainability
08 Mar '21

On February 18, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking “new information and additional stakeholder perspectives” on potential revisions to its policy statement on the certification of natural gas facilities.1 The NOI invites comments on new and revised questions that “modify or add to” a 2018 notice of inquiry on the same topic (the “2018 NOI”), citing new developments such as President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (EO). The EO, among other things, directed agencies to embed environmental justice considerations into their missions and ensure that federal permitting decisions “consider the effects of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and climate change.” To that end, the NOI poses new questions on FERC’s consideration of potential adverse human health or environmental effects of its certificate process and decisions on minority and low-income populations, or “environmental justice communities.” Other notable new or revised questions concern FERC’s evaluation of a proposed project’s upstream and downstream GHG emissions and FERC’s potential use of the “Social Cost of Carbon,” a metric we discuss in more detail here.

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