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1 From Fracking to FERC to Finland, Part I : The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Application Process for Natural Gas Pipelines A Case Study of the Rover Pipeline I. Introduction and Overview Jenna R. DiFrancesco Burns White LLC Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1 Due to recent technological developments, the production of natural gas in the United States has grown exponentially, as producers ability to extract natural gas from shale formations increases. With the increased production of shale gas comes the need for natural gas pipeline infrastructure to not only locally extract and gather gas, but to also transport natural gas from producing regions, like the Appalachian Basin, to consumers across the country and internationally. 2 Upon completion, the seven hundred and thirteen (713) mile Rover Pipeline will be capable of transporting over three billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (BCF\day) from the Marcellus and Utica Shale Basins across the United States and into the Canadian Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada. The Rover Pipeline will enable transportation of domestically produced natural gas to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, East Coast, and the Gulf Coast, with direct deliveries to Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Canada. The Rover Pipeline, currently under construction with an approximate cost of four billion two hundred million dollars ($4,200,000,000.00), will deliver up to sixty-eight (68) percent of transported gas for distribution to markets throughout the United States. The remaining natural gas will be delivered via an interconnect with the existing Vector Pipeline in Livingston County, Michigan, which will distribute the natural gas to local distribution companies, Michigan storage fields and 1 The opinions expressed in this article are the author s alone and should not be attributed to Burns White LLC. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice. 2 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). Paper 10A 1

2 on to the Dawn Hub in Canada, which has a broader network of distribution points back into the United States, the Northeast and into the Canadian market. 3 In addition to the extensive pipeline, which will transport natural gas through twenty-four (24) inch, thirty-six (36) inch and forty-two (42) inch pipeline, the Rover Pipeline will consist of four mainline compressor stations, six supply lateral compressor stations, and other ancillary facilities along the pipeline route. 4 The Rover Pipeline is slated to be placed into service in the first quarter of 2018, with Phase 1 of the project estimated to be in service by the end of this year. 5 Phase 1a of the project, running from Cadiz, Ohio to Defiance, Ohio, has already been completed as of August 31, 2017, when this portion of the Rover Pipeline was successfully put into service. 6 Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938 authorizes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (hereinafter also referred to as FERC and the Commission ) to formally issue certificates of public convenience and necessity (hereinafter also referred to as Certificate or Certificates ) for construction of interstate pipeline facilities. Prior to constructing the Rover Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas based company primarily overseeing the project through ET Rover Pipeline Company LLC (hereinafter also referred to ET Rover ), was required to obtain a certificate from FERC, a process that took over a year and a half. While the process for obtaining certificates is lengthy and subject to detailed statutory requirements, including periods of public comment and an environmental review process, the process can oftentimes be expedited by utilizing the Commission s pre-filing procedures which were 3 The Facts on Rover Pipeline Project, Rover Pipeline Website, (September 19, 2017), 4 Ibid. 5 Press Release, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., Energy Transfer Receives FERC Approval to Resume Horizontal Directional Drilling Operations on the Rover Pipeline Project (September 19, 2017), available at 6 Ibid. Paper 10A 2

3 established to encourage the certificate applicant to perform early project development and begin communicating with the community and other necessary governmental agencies well in advance of filing the certificate application. 7 Even after utilizing pre-filing procedures, it still took almost three (3) years for ET Rover to obtain the necessary approval for the Rover Pipeline from FERC. The statutory pre-filing process for interstate natural gas pipeline facilities allows the prospective certificate applicant to address certain community and environmental concerns prior to filing an application for a certificate. It also enables the certificate applicant to obtain the Commission s help in resolving issues prior to filing the formal application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. In May of 2014, ET Rover formally undertook FERC s prefiling process in order to expedite the Certificate process for the Rover Pipeline. 8 Upon obtaining the required approval from FERC to utilize the pre-application procedure, ET Rover began implementation of community outreach programs and environmental analysis regarding the impact of the construction of the Rover Pipeline, as detailed in their formal Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process. 9 Utilizing pre-filing procedures, ET Rover was not only able to resolve certain environmental issues prior to the application process, thus expediting the pipeline through the FERC approval network, but they were also able to begin an early dialogue with members of the community who would be affected by construction of the Rover Pipeline. 10 Thus, the Rover Pipeline was able to enjoy the benefits of an expedited certificate application process, allowing ET Rover to move through the FERC regulatory network and obtain the certificate necessary to construct the Rover Pipeline. 7 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). 8 Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process, FERC Docket No. PF (June 25, 2014). 9 Ibid. 10 Interested parties or affected parties are commonly referred to as stakeholders, and will be referred to throughout this paper as the same. Paper 10A 3

4 II. Rover Pipeline: Utilization of Pre-filing Procedures with FERC Before embarking on utilization of any pre-filing or application procedures, the company who intends to build an interstate natural gas pipeline must first plan. The initial step in planning is identifying market issues, including market needs, and ensuring the ability to connect with other interstate pipelines, LNG-facilities, or natural gas processing plants. 11 The Rover Pipeline originated as a result of discussions with natural gas producers in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio seeking to move their production to markets in the Midwest and Canada. 12 If market conditions support construction of an interstate natural gas pipeline, a pipeline route is then selected. Upon selecting a route, the surface owners owning the property along the route are contacted and easement negotiations are commenced. 13 Surveys are prepared, as are formal environmental resource reports that are eventually filed with the certificate application. 14 When utilizing FERC s pre-application procedure, several of the aforementioned planning steps will take place as part of the pre-filing process. The Commission allows applicants for interstate pipelines to utilize a pre-filing procedure that provides multiple benefits during the application process and encourages the pipeline applicant to engage in early project development with the community and other relevant government agencies. The goal of the Commission s pre-filing process is to notify all interested parties of the project, including potentially affected property owners, so that the pipeline company and the Commission can provide a forum to hear all relevant issues. Identifying and 11 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). 12 Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process, FERC Docket No. PF (June 25, 2014). 13 See Pre-filing for Natural Gas Pipelines, (Accessed September 9, 2017).. 14 Ibid. Paper 10A 4

5 addressing issues prior to the application process allows the incorporation of proposed mitigation measures into the project design, rather than having to address problems and potentially redesign a project during the application process. 15 Companies not involved in the pre-filing process forfeit the opportunity to address the concerns of interested parties prior to filing their Certificate Applications. While it is statutorily mandated that applicants for LNG facilities utilize the prefiling procedure, applicants for interstate natural gas pipelines are not required to use the prefiling process. 16 Prior to filing the necessary Request to Initiate the FERC Pre-Filing Review Process with the Commission, requesting FERC s approval for the prospective applicant to use the pre-filing process, prospective applicants must first meet to consult with FERC on the nature of the project, the content of the pre-filing request, and the status of the prospective applicant's progress toward obtaining the information required for the initial pre-filing request. This consultation will also include discussion of whether a third-party contractor is likely to be needed for the project and any prior solicitation by the applicant for prospective third-party contractors to prepare the environmental documentation for the project. 17 Representatives of ET Rover met with the Commission Staff on May 28, 2014 to discuss the Rover Pipeline Project and their intent to file a Request to Initiate the FERC Pre-Filing Review Process. 18 On June 25, 2014, ET Rover submitted a request to the Commission s Director Office of Energy Projects to issue a notice approving the use of the FERC Pre-Filing Review Process for the Rover Pipeline Project. 19 ET Rover specifically sought to use the pre-filing process to provide environmental records and assistance to FERC, so the Commission could conduct an 15 Ibid CFR (a), 18 CFR (b) CFR (d). 18 Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process, FERC Docket No. PF (June 25, 2014). 19 Ibid. Paper 10A 5

6 early review of environmental documentation and participate in ET Rover s public participation plan, thus facilitating the timely development of a complete record to support the conclusion that the Rover Pipeline Project was in the public convenience and necessity. 20 In their request to use pre-filing procedures, ET Rover stated that the pre-filing process would be beneficial in the following ways: assisting ET Rover in developing initial information about the proposal and identifying affected parties; facilitating issue identification, study needs, and issue resolution; conducting site visits, examining alternatives, meeting with agencies and stakeholders and participating in public information meetings (Open Houses); and, reviewing and commenting on the draft Resource Reports for the Certificate application. 21 In addition to stating the reason the applicant is requesting to use the pre-filing procedure, the request must also meet the statutory requirements as set forth in 18 CFR (d). The request to use pre-filing procedures must contain certain information, including the following: a description of the proposed schedule for the project, including the expected application filing date and the desired date for Commission approval; a detailed description of the project, including location maps and plot plans to scale for review of interested parties; a list of the relevant federal and state agencies with permitting requirements; a list and description of the interest of persons and organizations who have been contacted about the project; a description of what work has already been done, e.g., contacting stakeholders, route planning, or environmental surveys/studies; identification of any third parties under contract to develop the project; proposals for at least three prospective third-party contractors to assist in the preparation of the requisite environmental documentation; acknowledgement that a complete Environmental Report and complete application are required at the time of filing; and, a description of a Public 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. Paper 10A 6

7 Participation Plan which identifies specific tools and actions to facilitate stakeholder communications and public information, including a project website and a single point of contact. 22 Once the Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process has been reviewed, FERC issues a notice approving or disapproving use of the pre-filing procedures, determining whether the prospective applicant has adequately addressed the statutory application requirements of 18 CFR The pre-filing process is deemed to have commenced on the date of FERC s notice, and the date of such notice is used in determining whether the date an application is filed is at least one hundred eighty (180) days after commencement of the pre-filing process. 23 Upon approval, the prospective applicant must then be prepared to meet the time sensitive requirements of 18 CFR (f), including the following: (1) Within seven (7) days and after consultation with Commission staff, the prospective applicant must establish the dates and locations for open houses and meetings with stakeholders (including agencies) and Commission staff; (2) Within fourteen (14) days, the prospective applicant must contract with the selected third-party contractor and contact all stakeholders not already informed about the project; and, (3) Within thirty (30) days, the prospective applicant must submit a stakeholder mailing list to Commission staff and file a draft of Resource Report 1, CFR (d) CFR (e)(3). Paper 10A 7

8 in accordance with (c) 24, and a summary of the alternatives considered or under consideration. In addition to the above requirements, the potential applicant must file status reports on a monthly basis detailing the applicant's project activities including surveys, stakeholder communications, and agency meetings. The potential applicant must also be prepared to attend site visits and other stakeholder and agency meetings arranged by the Commission staff. 25 One of the primary benefits of utilizing FERC s pre-application process is to initiate contact with stakeholders as early as possible, so their concerns can be addressed early in FERC s pipeline approval process. To facilitate communication with stakeholders, open houses and scoping meetings are held during the pre-application process. Open houses are sponsored by the pipeline company, and scoping meetings are sponsored by FERC. The applicant is able to share information about the project with the public at open houses, as well as listen to the concerns of affected stakeholders. These will often be attended by Commission staff to answer questions, discuss the pre-filing process, and invite individuals to participate in certain portions of the application proceedings. 26 ET Rover held thirteen (13) open houses throughout West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan during July and September of 2014 as required by the pre-application process. 27 FERC sponsored scoping meetings are utilized to identify relevant environmental issues pursuant to NEPA 28. Scoping, the process of defining and shaping the extent of an environmental impact statement (hereinafter referred to as the EIS ) or environmental assessment (hereinafter 24 This report is required for all applications under the Natural Gas Act. It must describe facilities associated with the project, special construction and operation procedures, construction timetables, future plans for related construction, compliance with regulations and codes, and permits that must be obtained CFR (f)(7). 26 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). 27 Request to Initiate FERC Pre-Filing Review Process, FERC Docket No. PF (June 25, 2014) U.S.C et seq. Paper 10A 8

9 referred to as the EA ), is a major opportunity for public involvement. Information gathered at scoping meetings assists the company in preparing environmental mitigation measures to present in its environmental resource reports filed with the Commission in its certificate application. This information also assists FERC in issuing more comprehensive environmental documentation to the public. 29 Not only are prospective applicants required to attend scoping meetings, it is statutorily mandated that they are prepared to provide a description of the proposed project and to answer questions from the public at scoping meetings. 30 Throughout November and December of 2014, ten (10) different scoping meetings were held by FERC, in Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan. 31 FERC s involvement in the pre-application process is not simply limited to review of filings and scoping meetings. Depending on the scope of the project, the Commission will also assist the prospective applicant in developing initial information about the proposal and identifying affected parties; issuing an environmental scoping notice and conducting such scoping necessary for the proposal; reviewing draft Resource Reports; conducting site visits; and, initiating the preparation of a preliminary Environmental Assessment or Draft Environmental Impact Statement. 32 Once the scoping comment period ends, the prospective applicant has fourteen (14) days to respond to issues raised during scoping. The scoping period for the Rover Pipeline closed on December 18, 2014, although comment letters continued to be posted on the Pre-filing Docket. Within sixty (60) days of the end of the scoping comment period, the prospective applicant must 29 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015) CFR (f)(7). 31 Resource Report 1, FERC Docket No. CP (February 22, 2015) CFR (g) Paper 10A 9

10 file Resource Reports One (1) through Twelve (12) 33 (hereinafter also referred to as Resource Reports ) with the Commission. 34 In addition to requiring that the prospective applicant wait a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from receiving the Director s notice approving the use of the pre-filing process, the prospective applicant must also file revised drafts of any Resource Reports, if requested by Commission staff, at least sixty (60) days prior to filing an application 35. Once the requisite one hundred eighty (180) day period has passed, and at least sixty (60) days has gone by since original or revised Resource Reports have been filed, the prospective applicant may then begin the application process for a certificate for an interstate natural gas pipeline. III. FERC Application Process Federal statute bestows broad approval powers upon the Commission in overseeing the construction of interstate pipelines, beginning with the application process for the same. The application process for a certificate of public convenience and necessity is somewhat dependent on whether or not a voluntary pre-filing process was utilized by the pipeline applicant prior to submitting a formal application for a certificate with the Commission. Federal law mandates that construction or extension of natural gas facilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of FERC cannot be undertaken unless there is a certificate of public 33 The Resource Reports are as follows: Resource Report 1 - General Project Description; Resource Report 2 - Water Use and Quality; Resource Report 3 - Fish, Wildlife, and Vegetation; Resource Report 4 - Cultural Resources; Resource Report 5 Socioeconomics; Resource Report 6 - Geological Resources; Resource Report 7 Soils; Resource Report 8 - Land Use, Recreation, and Aesthetics; Resource Report 9 - Air Quality and Noise; Resource Report 10 Alternatives; Resource Report 11 - Reliability and Safety; and, Resource Report 12 - PCB Contamination. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Office of Energy Projects. Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation for Applications Filed Under the Natural Gas Act. Volume I. December CFR (f) CFR (f)(11). Paper 10A 10

11 convenience and necessity issued by FERC authorizing such acts or operations. 36 Applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity must be made in writing to the Commission, verified under oath, and served upon interested parties. 37 The Commission is granted the regulatory discretion to designate the form, necessary information, and notice requirements, including interested parties and manner of service, for the application. 38 FERC may also issue temporary certificates of public convenience and necessity in cases of emergency, without notice or hearing, in order to maintain adequate service or to serve particular customers, pending the determination of an application for a certificate. 39 The formal application for a certificate must meet certain requirements regarding the contents of the same. The application must include a description of the proposed pipeline, route maps, construction plans, schedules, and a list of other statutory and regulatory requirements, including permits needed from other agencies. Environmental information must also be included in the application, including environmental reports analyzing route alternatives, studies of potential environmental impacts, cultural resources, soils, geology, aesthetic resources, and land use. 40 Much of the information that is part of the application for a certificate has already been presented to the Commission when pre-filing procedures are used. When the pipeline applicant has utilized the pre-application filing process, as Rover Pipeline did, the application for the certificate must be submitted at least one hundred eighty (180) days after FERC issues a notice approving use of the pre-filing procedures. 36 Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717f]; 18 C.F.R See also 18 C.F.R , U.S. Code 717f(d). 38 Ibid U.S. Code 717f(c)(1)(B) 40 Congressional Research Service article. Paper 10A 11

12 The application for the Rover Pipeline was submitted on February 20, The docket for the Rover Pipeline, as is typical in projects of this magnitude, is voluminous and contains records from not only the Commission and the applicant, but from all interested parties. While FERC accepts and reviews all public comments during its application process, the filing of a public comment does not make the commenter party to the Certificate proceedings; only intervenors to the proceeding have the right to file briefs, attend hearings, and appeal the Commission s decision regarding the Certificate. 42 Once an application has been submitted to the Commission, a notice is issued to all interested parties. If the pre-application process has been utilized, the application is immediately reviewed and if necessary, data requests are issued upon completion of the review. In the event the pre-application process was not utilized, scoping is conducted to identify environmental issues. After reviewing the application, the Commission may issue a preliminary determination of need upon non-environmental factors. The environmental review process for Certificate Applications largely requires examination of the environmental impacts that construction of an interstate pipeline to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (hereinafter referred to as NEPA, 42 U.S.C et seq.) and regulations promulgated by the Council of Environmental Quality (hereinafter referred to as CEQ, 40 C.F.R ). Under NEPA, federal agencies are required to consider not only the potential impacts of pipeline construction, but also to inform the public of those potential impacts prior to construction. The Energy Act of 2005 has appointed 41 Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessary, FERC Docket No. CP (February 22, 2015). 42 Intervenors are also able to challenge final Commission actions in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A motion to intervene must be filed must be filed pursuant to the Commission s rules as set forth in 18 C.F.R An intervening party will receive the applicant s filings, FERC filed documents, as well as materials filed by other interested parties, and are required to mail their own filings to all other parties to the proceeding. Paper 10A 12

13 FERC as the lead agency coordinating all NEPA compliance and all necessary Federal authorizations in conjunction with Certificate approval. 43 During the environmental review process, an environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental assessment (EA) are both drafted and circulated to cooperating agencies for review, formal drafts are issued, and a comment period commences allowing for public comment on both documents. a hearing is set and all interested parties are noticed of the same. 44 Cooperating agencies for a pipeline project often include the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Transportation s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; the Department of the Interior s Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Park Service; and the Army Corps of Engineers, among others. A Commission order is rendered regarding the EA and the applicant is given the opportunity to respond to the same. Unlike the EA, the opportunity to respond to comments and revise the EIS is given prior to the issuance of an order. Once a final EIS has been issued, the Commission makes the final decision whether to approve or deny the project A Certificate will be issued to any qualified applicant, if it is found that the applicant is able and willing properly to do the acts and to perform the service proposed and to conform to the Natural Gas Act and the requirements, rules, and regulations of the Commission thereunder, and if the proposed service, sale, operation, construction, extension, or acquisition, is or will be required by the present or future public convenience and necessity. 47 Ultimately, FERC s decision whether to grant or deny a pipeline Certificate is based upon a determination whether the pipeline project would in the best interest of the public. The primary factors FERC reviews in 43 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). 44 Ibid. 45 Ibid. 46 Please see the accompanying Part II of this presentation by Jennifer Beresky for a more detailed explanation of environmental requirements of the application process, as many requirements for LNG facilities also apply to interstate pipelines U.S. Code 717f(e). Paper 10A 13

14 determining whether the proposed pipeline is in the public interest include the following: the possibility of overbuilding; the subsidization by existing customers; potential environmental impacts; and, avoiding the unnecessary use of eminent domain. Of the aforementioned factors, the majority of FERC s review is encompassed by environmental review. 48 On February 2, 2017, FERC issued the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the construction of the Rover Pipeline. The Certificate not only grants the approval to construct an interstate pipeline, but also dictates the terms and conditions upon which approval is being granted, including the authorized pipeline routes, and any construction or environmental mitigations measures required for the project. 49 The FERC issued Certificate also confers eminent domain authority on the developer by the authority granted in 15 U.S. Code 717f(h), which provides, When any holder of a Certificate of public convenience and necessity cannot acquire by contract, or is unable to agree with the owner of property to the compensation to be paid for, the necessary right-of-way to construct, operate, and maintain a pipe line or pipe lines for the transportation of natural gas, and the necessary land or other property, in addition to right-of-way, for the location of compressor stations, pressure apparatus, or other stations or equipment necessary to the proper operation of such pipe line or pipe lines, it may acquire the same by the exercise of the right of eminent domain in the district court of the United States for the district in which such property may be located, or in the State courts. 48 Paul W. Paromak, Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review, (Cong. Research Serv., CRS Report for Congress Order Code R43138, January 16, 2015). 49 Ibid. Paper 10A 14

15 In the event that an application is denied, the applicant (and the public) has the option to overturn the decision within FERC, or by using the federal court system. If pursuing the matter through the FERC system, the applicant may either ask FERC to rehear the case, or have the case referred to a FERC Administrative Law Judge. 50 Receiving a certificate of public convenience and necessity is not the final hurdle to clear prior to beginning construction on the pipeline. The company will also need to obtain Clean Water Act, Coastal Zone Management Act and Clean Air Act permits before any earth can be moved. Furthermore, the pipeline developer should always be cognizant of state and local regulations that must be complied with. The Rover Pipeline has also had some challenges and setbacks during both the approval process and the construction phase. Once a Certificate is obtained, FERC still retains the power to oversee the construction of the project. The Commission is granted broad powers to oversee environmental matters related to natural gas projects and was recently involved in regulating environmental issues that arose during Phase I of construction, when multiple pipeline related environmental incidents occurred. 51 IV. Current Status of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC is an independent federal agency in charge of regulating the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. The Commission is headed by five Commissioners, although it was not until recently that a quorum of Commissioners were seated on the board. Commissioners serve five-year terms and have an equal vote on regulatory matters. 50 Ibid. 51 Steven Mufson, U.S. Blocks Major Pipeline After 18 Leaks and a 2 Million Gallon Spill of Drilling Mud, The Washington Post, May 10, at Paper 10A 15

16 On August 3, 2017, FERC achieved a quorum of commissioners when the Senate approved two Republicans to serve on the commission. Upon approval, Neil Chatterjee 52 and Robert F. Powelson 53 joined Democrat Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur. Furthermore, Neil Chatterjee was confirmed as the FERC Chairman on August 10, 2017, replacing Cheryl A. LaFleur, who had been the acting chairman since January 25, Ms. LaFleur was acting Chairman when Rover Pipeline was issued its certificate on February 2, Two additional nominees to serve on the Commission are Kevin McIntyre 55 and Rich Glick 56. Both nominees received unanimous votes from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and are awaiting a vote before the full Senate. It is the hope of many natural gas producers that with five Commissioners in place, the rate of application review and issuance of certificates will increase. In addition to regulating interstate pipelines and LNG-facilities, FERC handles a vast number of other matters in the electric, hydropower, and oil industries. Other duties include: regulating the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce; reviewing certain mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions by electricity companies; regulating the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce; monitoring and investigating energy markets; and, licensing and inspecting private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects. 52 Prior to joining FERC, Neil Chatterjee, of Kentucky, was an energy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 53 Prior to joining FERC, Robert F. Powelson served on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioners and as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. 54 See (Accessed September 19, 2017). 55 Kevin McIntyre is a Republican former energy industry advisor with the global firm Jones Day. It is believed he will replace Neil Chatterjee as the FERC Chairman upon appointment. 56 Rich Glick currently serves as the Democratic General Counsel for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Paper 10A 16

17 V. Conclusion The Rover Pipeline will be a major mode of transporting natural gas upon completion, capable of delivering billions of cubic feet of gas daily to markets across the United States and Canada. There are numerous agencies to deal with when constructing and operating a pipeline of the caliber as the Rover Pipeline and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission played a major role in the ensuring the pipeline was built in a way that was environmentally acceptable under NEPA and DOT standards, but also in a way that comported with the communities that the pipeline affects. Without a Certificate from FERC, the Rover Pipeline would not be a reality and recent challenges to the pipeline continue to keep FERC involved in oversight of the Rover Pipeline. With a recently achieved quorum and the prospect of filling all five Commissioner seats on the horizon, it would appear that many more pipelines like the Rover Pipeline will work their way through the pre-application and application process in the future. Jenna R. DiFrancesco Burns White LLC th Street Pittsburgh, PA Paper 10A 17

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