federal energy regulatory commission (FERC)

US Renewable Energy Capacity Beats Coal for the First Time

Read time: 3 mins
Newport Renewables installs solar panels on the Powers Building in the Rhode Island Capitol Hill complex on June 12, 2017

By Jordan Davidson, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

What's the future of coal? The answer may be blowing in the wind. Or running through our waters. Or, maybe it's at the end of a sunbeam.

Wherever the answer is found, the message is clear. Coal is on a downward trend in the U.S. and renewables are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

The report shows that renewable energies had slightly more installed capacity than coal, as CNN reported.

Energy Regulators May Reconsider Rules Critics Say Fueled America's Oil and Gas Pipeline Glut

Read time: 4 mins
pipeline construction

A little-noticed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announcement could have an outsized impact on the oil and gas pipeline industries — if the commission decides to snap shut loopholes that analysts say create financial incentives to build too many new pipelines in the U.S.

The way the rules are currently written can allow unusually high profit margins for new pipeline projects. Since 1997, FERC has allowed certain new pipelines to rake in 14 percent profits — a rate far higher than the returns presently generated by, say, corporate bonds — with little eye to how that compares to profits available from other investments.

As Oregon Sends Jordan Cove LNG Back to Drawing Board, Gulf Coast Projects Press Forward

Read time: 6 mins
LNG ship and terminal in Sweden

On Monday, Oregon state regulators dealt a blow to the proposed Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, refusing to issue a state water quality certificate required by the Army Corps of Engineers, citing unresolved concerns about water pollution and the company’s failure to answer information requests from the state in a timely manner.

This is a huge victory for clean water and healthy ecosystems in Oregon, and it will help protect our climate from dangerous fossil fuel projects,” Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “The state water quality standards are intended to protect people and species from harm, and it’s clear Jordan Cove would cause incredible damage to Oregon’s waterways.”

The state decision was made without prejudice, meaning that the company can reapply.

Exclusive: Rhode Island Governor Nixed Agency Critiques of LNG Facility, Silencing Health and Justice Concerns

Read time: 5 mins
two people holding a fabric banner outside of National Grid's facility in Providence, RI. Sign reads: "NATIONAL GRID DON'T KILL OUR KIDS!"

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, squashed a letter by her own state health agency, which raised serious concerns about a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in a densely populated Providence neighborhood. Documents obtained by DeSmog show that last summer Raimondo nixed a letter by the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) critical of National Grid’s Fields Point Liquefaction project right before it was to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC approved the project three months later.

'Conceivably the Worst': Groups, Lawmakers Blast Confirmation of Climate Denier to FERC

Read time: 4 mins
Bernard McNamee

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration's failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee's stance on climate change.

President Trump's nomination of the fossil fuel lawyer as one of the FERC's five commissioners was strongly opposed by environmentalists, public health groups and elected leaders.

Video Shows FERC Nominee Bernard McNamee’s Bias Against Renewable Energy

Read time: 7 mins

By Dave Anderson, Energy and Policy Institute

A newly resurfaced video further confirms Bernard McNamee is biased against renewable energy and favors fossil fuels, as the Senate considers his nomination by President Trump to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

FERC Allowed Chairman McIntyre to Participate in Decisions Concerning his Former Clients

Read time: 3 mins
FERC's McIntyre and Glick

Ethics officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — the agency responsible for approving energy infrastructure such as interstate oil and gas pipelines and overseeing utilities — recently gave the OK for its new chairman, Kevin McIntyre, to be involved in decisions concerning two of his former clients and previous firm, DeSmog has found.

FERC Revolving Door Continues as Top Lawyer Leaves for Fossil Fuel Lobbying Firm

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery

This is a guest post by  and originally appeared on Eyes on the Ties.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the main regulatory agency that oversees the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. Made up of five commissioners and a staff of lawyers and other officials, FERC holds significant power over the approval and regulation of — among other things — proposed oil and gas pipelines that cross state lines or that will transmit fossil fuels from out of state.

FERC has also been a regular stopping point in the revolving door between the fossil fuel industry and the regulatory apparatus that overseas that industry. This trend continues, now, with the appointment of a top FERC attorney to McGuireWoods, a major lobbying firm.

FERC Commissioner Rob Powelson Spent Much of His First Months in Office Meeting With the Fossil Fuel Industry

Read time: 6 mins
Rob Powelson

In his first few months at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), commissioner Rob Powelson scheduled the great majority of his meetings with fossil fuel energy companies and utilities, his work calendar shows. The calendar, obtained by DeSmog through an open records request, can be viewed below.

Nominated to FERC by President Trump, Powelson began serving on the commission last August. He previously served on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Government Contractor Monitoring Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge Gas Project Works Extensively for the Company

Read time: 5 mins
Enbridge building

A contractor working for the federal government to monitor construction of Enbridge’s Atlantic Bridge natural gas project works for the company in various other capacities, according to documents DeSmog obtained through an open records request.

Early last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project, which aims to upgrade Enbridge’s natural gas capacity in the Northeast U.S. The Atlantic Bridge project was originally initiated by Spectra Energy, which was purchased by Enbridge last February.

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