Hoeven: FERC to Pause Harmful Certification Policies for Natural Gas Pipelines

Senator Pressing FERC to Provide Certainty to Natural Gas Projects, Help Lower Costs for Consumers & Strengthen U.S. Energy Independence

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced that it would pause implementation and take public comment on two natural gas pipeline certification policy statements the agency issued last month. The senator has been pushing back on the policies, which impose new standards and considerations on the approval of natural gas projects, including pipelines. The policy changes stand to impact both future projects and those that have already completed the required environment impact statements (EIS). The deadline for public comment is April 25, 2022. 

Today’s announcement follows a recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, where Hoeven pressed the members of FERC to provide certainty for natural gas project developers. The senator stressed the need to advance such projects to help consumers see lower costs, as well as to strengthen U.S. energy independence and counter adversaries like Russia.

“Americans are facing skyrocketing energy prices and record inflation. That’s why we need pipelines and other facilities in order to get more natural gas to market, bring down energy prices and counter the reliance of our allies on Russian natural gas,” said Hoeven. “In order for these projects to be built, developers need certainty that the goal posts won’t change mid-process, leading to wasted effort, time and money. The two policy statements advanced by FERC threaten our ability to continue utilizing America’s vast natural gas reserves, and I encourage our energy producers in North Dakota to provide FERC with feedback and urge the agency to roll back these harmful policies.” 

Hoeven has been working to provide regulatory relief for, and help ensure the timely approval of, critically-needed energy infrastructure, including pipelines and transmission lines. To this end, the senator worked to secure federal approval of the North Bakken Expansion Pipeline, which recently entered into service and will help to reduce flaring in the region by providing nearly 250 million cubic feet of natural gas takeaway capacity.

As part of this effort, Hoeven last year led a bipartisan group of 25 senators in calling on FERC to act and review the North Bakken Expansion project and 13 other natural gas pipeline projects pending before the Commission. While this resulted in the approval of the project in the Bakken, FERC continues to stall multiple other projects referenced in the senators’ letter.