Several requests for rehearing of the decision to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline were made to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday, November 13. ABRA Update readers were advised of the ACP filing in a special mailing on Monday. Additional information on the rehearing petitions are available on the websites of the Southern Environmental Law Center (ACP petition) and Appalachian Mountain Advocates (MVP petition).
The ACP petition makes the following requests of FERC:
- Grant Intervenors’ request for rehearing;
- Grant Intervenors’ motion for a stay and immediately stay applicants and their contractors from taking any action authorized by the Certificate Order including, but not limited to, construction of the projects (including tree clearing) and any attempt to use the power of eminent domain pending final action on the request for rehearing;
- Upon completion of the rehearing process, rescind the Certificate Order;
- Grant Intervenors’ request for an evidentiary hearing concerning the market demand for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline;
- Before making any new certificate ruling, conduct an analysis of whether the projects are required by the public convenience and necessity, as required under the NGA, that complies with the Commission’s Certificate Policy Statement;
- Before making any new certificate ruling, conduct a NEPA analysis that addresses the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the projects; provides a robust analysis of alternatives, including the existing infrastructure alternatives; and addresses the other NEPA-specific issues set forth in this request and Intervenors’ previous comments in these dockets.
- Grant any and all other relief to which Intervenors are entitled.
Among many other petitions for rehearing filed with FERC were requests from Friends of Nelson and several Nelson County groups and the North Carolina Public Utilities Commission (NCPUC). In the NCPUC petition, the agency cited two errors it found in FERC’s decision-making process:
- It was error, and not the product of reasoned decision-making, for the Commission to approve ACP’s proposed recourse rates, which used an unsupported and overstated 14 percent ROE.
- It was error, and not the product of reasoned decision-making, for the Commission to allow ACP to enter into negotiated rate agreements without ensuring at the time those negotiated rates were entered into that the market power of the pipeline was checked via recourse rates that are not overstated.