Description: Challenge to FERC authorization of natural gas infrastructure project in New York.
Otsego 2000, Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/09/2019 Judgment Download Petition for review dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. D.C. Circuit Said Organization Lacked Standing to Challenge FERC Authorization of Natural Gas Compression Facilities. In an unpublished judgment, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) authorization of compression facilities for an existing natural gas pipeline network. The court did not reach the merits of the challenge—which included assertions that FERC failed to consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions—because the organizational petitioner failed to demonstrate Article III standing and the individual plaintiffs had not timely submitted a rehearing request to FERC. The D.C. Circuit noted that the organizational petitioner had acknowledged that it was not a membership organization and had not argued that it had associational standing. The D.C. Circuit found that the petitioner also did not have organizational standing since its affidavits had not identified any injury other that expenditure of time and money related to the litigation. The D.C. Circuit said the “information[al] injury” that the organization mentioned at oral argument was not properly before the court. 04/18/2019 Letter Download Letter filed by petitioners requesting that court reject FERC's April 15, 2019 letter. 04/15/2019 Letter Download Letter filed by FERC to clarify counsel's responses at oral argument in a related case. 04/03/2019 Order Download Order issued directing parties to be prepared to address Otsego 2000's Article III standing at oral argument on April 11, 2019. 02/15/2019 Reply Download Reply brief filed by petitioners. 02/01/2019 Amicus Brief Download Corrected brief of amici curiae American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers et al. filed in support of FERC and denial of petition for review. 02/01/2019 Amicus Brief Download Brief of amicus curiae Interstate Natural Gas Association of America filed in support of respondents. 02/01/2019 Brief Download Initial brief filed by intervenor Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc. 01/25/2019 Brief Download Response brief filed by FERC. FERC Defended Decision Not to Consider Upstream and Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Environmental Review for Compressor Station Project. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filed its response brief in a proceeding challenging its environmental review of a project involving construction and modification of natural gas compression facilities and other natural gas infrastructure in New York. FERC argued that it had properly concluded that greenhouse gas emissions from upstream natural gas production activities and from downstream end use of gas were not indirect effects of the project that it was required to consider under the National Environmental Policy Act. FERC contended that the petitioners were incorrect that the D.C. Circuit’s 2017 decision in Sierra Club v. FERC established that such emissions must be considered as indirect effects of natural gas projects in all circumstances. FERC distinguished the 2017 case from this case because the 2017 case involved a pipeline that would connect to specific power plants. In this case, FERC argued that the proposed infrastructure facilities were not the legally relevant cause of upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions and that such emissions were not reasonably foreseeable. FERC also argued that it had acted reasonably when it announced in its rehearing order in this proceeding that it would end "its temporary practice of providing generic emissions estimates when the upstream production and downstream use of natural gas are not cumulative or indirect impacts of the proposed natural gas transportation project." 12/03/2018 Amicus Brief Download Amicus brief supporting petitioners filed by Sierra Club. 12/03/2018 Amicus Brief Download Amicus brief supporting petitioners filed by six states and the District of Columbia. 11/26/2018 Brief Download Petitioners' brief filed. Opening Brief in Challenge to Natural Gas Facilities in New York Argued That Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Impacts Was Inadequate. Petitioners challenging Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizations for construction, modification, and expansion of natural gas facilities associated with a transmission pipeline in New York filed an opening brief in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that FERC had improperly limited the scope of its evaluation of the project’s greenhouse gas emissions. The petitioners argued that FERC, in a split decision, failed to properly evaluate indirect and cumulative impacts of upstream and downstream activities. The petitioners also argued that FERC had failed to disclose the climate change impacts of the project’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the petitioners contended that FERC had improperly announced, in its denial of a petition for rehearing, a new policy of not providing upper-bound estimates of downstream and upstream impacts in environmental reviews. 09/06/2018 Order Download Dominion Energy Transmission, Inc.'s motion for leave to intervene granted. 07/16/2018 Petition for Review Download Petition for review filed. Lawsuit Filed to Challenge FERC Approval for Natural Gas Infrastructure Project in New York. A local environmental organization and a married couple filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for review of FERC’s order authorizing the New Market Project, which includes expansion of an existing natural gas compressor station on a site abutting the married couple’s farm and home in New York. The petitioners asserted that FERC arbitrarily and capriciously departed from D.C. Circuit precedent requiring FERC to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production and transportation projects.