Docket No. CP21-29-000

I concur with this order and write separately to clarify why I agree with the decision not to characterize the significance of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the proposed Coyote Springs Compressor Station.[1] 

As I have explained at greater length in my concurrences in other recent certificate orders,[2] so long as the Commission meets its substantive obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), it is appropriate to decline to label GHG emissions as significant or insignificant while we are considering comments on our Draft GHG Policy Statement and deciding on a final policy.[3] 

The Commission has met its substantive NEPA obligations here. To begin with, NEPA requires us to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a project with impacts that might significantly affect the quality of the human environment.[4]  In this case, the Commission prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (EA), which concluded that the construction and operation of the Coyote Springs Compressor Station would not significantly affect the environment.[5]  The EA describes the climate impacts caused by GHG emissions,[6] as the courts have said agencies should do.[7]  The courts have further determined that quantifying emissions and comparing them to national and state emissions levels is a “reasonable proxy” for assessing climate impacts from GHG emissions.[8]  The Commission’s order does this as well.[9]

After carefully weighing the Coyote Springs Compression Station’s benefits and adverse impacts, including its potential effects on climate change, I have concluded that the project meets the public convenience and necessity standard under NGA section 7(e).[10]

For these reasons, I respectfully concur.


[1] Gas Transmission Northwest LLC, 180 FERC ¶ 61,056, at P 59 (2022) (Order). 

[2] See, e.g., Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC, 178 FERC ¶ 61,198 (2022) (Clements, Comm’r, concurring); Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co., 178 FERC ¶ 61,199 (2022) (Clements, Comm’r, concurring); Iroquois Gas Transmission Sys., L.P., 178 FERC ¶ 61,200 (2022) (Clements, Comm’r, concurring); Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, 178 FERC ¶ 61,201 (2022) (Clements, Comm’r, concurring).

[3] See Order on Draft Policy Statements, 178 FERC ¶ 61,197, at P 2 (2022); Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Nat. Gas Infrastructure Project Reviews, 178 FERC ¶ 61,108 (2022).

[4] See 42 U.S.C. § 4332(C); 40 C.F.R. § 1502.3 (2012); Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 985 F.3d 1032, 1039 (D.C. Cir. 2021), cert. denied, 2022 WL 516382 (Feb. 22, 2022). 

[5] Coyote Springs Compressor Station Project Supplemental Environmental Assessment, Docket No. CP21-29-000 (Mar. 2022).  The Commission also prepared an environmental assessment report.  See Environmental Assessment Report for Gas Transmission Northwest, LLC, Docket No. CP21-29-000 (Mar. 15, 2021).

[6] Id. at pp. 35-38.       

[7] See, e.g., WildEarth Guardians v. Jewell, 738 F.3d 298, 308-311 (D.C. Cir. 2013). 

[8] Id. at 309; Sierra Club v. FERC, 867 F.3d 1357, 1374 (D.C. Cir. 2017). 

[9] Order, 180 FERC ¶ 61,056 at PP 59-60.

[10] 15 U.S.C. § 717f(e).

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