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Driftwood LNG Among Gas Projects Subject to New Climate Policy


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These translations are done via Google Translate
(Bloomberg) Tellurian Inc.’s Driftwood LNG facility and Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s contentious Mountain Valley Pipeline are among dozens of proposed natural gas projects set to face new scrutiny after U.S. regulators tightened their criteria for approvals.

Nearly 13 billion cubic feet of new gas capacity may be subject to the policy changes by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will now put more emphasis on the environmental impacts of proposed projects, as well as examine the demand for and intended uses of the gas being shipped.

The new standards will apply to pending and future projects, including the $6.2 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Spire STL Pipeline, both of which have faced considerable legal challenges. Also affected: Gas pipelines attached to Tellurian’s proposed Driftwood LNG terminal, Kinder Morgan’s $262 million expansion of the Evangeline Pass pipeline, expected to supply an extra 2 billion cubic feet a day of gas from Louisiana, and Williams Co.’s Regional Energy Access Project, which aims to increase Northeast flows by 1 billion cubic feet a day. Expansions by Enbridge Inc. and TC Energy Corp. would also be affected.

The policy changes come as intensifying concerns about climate change clash with winter fuel shortages in the Northeast and record liquefied natural exports on the Gulf Coast. In recent years, previous pipeline approvals have been overturned due to climate concerns, resulting in the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, PennEast Pipeline, Constitution Pipeline, and the Pacific Connector Pipeline.

The Natural Gas Supply Association warned that the changes would have an “immediate chilling effect” on development. Subjecting project applications that have been pending for years to the new policies could mean “significant delays for much-needed infrastructure,” Amy Andryszak, Chief Executive Officer of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, said in a statement.

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“Enbridge will evaluate how these new policy statements may affect how we plan for and execute new projects,” said company representative Andrea D. Grover. Equitrans spokesperson Natalie A. Cox said the company would “thoroughly review the new standards to understand any potential effects to our existing projects.”

Kinder Morgan and Spire declined to comment. Williams and Tellurian didn’t immediately respond requests for comment.

Near-term decisions could be made in at least eight projects, said Sarah Ladin, an attorney with the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. The agency said Friday it had 40 total pending applications as of September 2021.



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