New Jersey’s Attorney General joined with 6 other Attorneys General in a 36-page submission to FERC when FERC asked for input about revising their policies and procedures. (on 7/25/18 on Docket No. PL18-1). In it, they detail and support their recommendations:
First, regarding project need, we recommend that the Commission assess need on a comprehensive, regional basis, and expand its analysis beyond the current dependence on precedent agreements, employing heightened scrutiny of precedent agreements with affiliates of project proponents.
Second, we urge the Commission to conduct a more thorough and robust NEPA analysis, comprehensively assessing on a regional basis the impacts of, and alternatives to, a proposed project, considering clean energy and other non-pipeline alternatives, thoroughly analyzing upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions, and considering state greenhouse gas emission-reduction policies.
Third, we recommend that the Commission consider environmental harm, including climate impacts quantified using the best available measure—the Social Cost of Carbon—and more heavily weigh the harm from use of eminent domain takings in its public interest assessment when balancing project benefits and harm in making a Certificate decision.
Fourth, we urge the Commission to better incorporate and consider state environmental and land use policies, no longer issue Certificates conditioned on later receipt of state certifications and permits under federal statutes, and to condition Certificates on obtaining and complying with state and local permits that do not unreasonably conflict with or delay approved projects.
Finally, we recommend that the Commission no longer issue partial notices to proceed with construction when Certificate rehearing requests are pending and limit the use and time of tolling periods for rehearing requests.