Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on federal regulators to eliminate new requirements to consider greenhouse gas emissions from gas pipelines before approving construction, saying the rule hampers gas exports to Europe when European allies need it most.
The top Senate Republican wants the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to roll back rules it just issued in February that require reviews of pipeline projects to assess direct and indirect impacts of gas emissions greenhouse gases and consider their impact on vulnerable communities living near the proposed construction. . Pipeline companies, including Kinder Morgan Inc and Boardwalk Pipeline, have asked FERC not to apply the new review to projects on hold. Environmental groups have urged President Joe Biden’s administration not to abandon plans to tackle climate change in light of energy supply disruptions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Erecting new barriers to affordable and abundant energy makes no sense, especially in these tenuous times,” McConnell wrote in a letter to Democratic FERC Chairman Richard Glick. Biden and his European counterparts are set to announce plans to direct liquefied natural gas shipments to Europe as the continent struggles to wean itself off Russian natural gas quickly.
In recent weeks, U.S. lawmakers and energy trade groups have called on the Biden administration to increase natural gas and oil exports to Europe. However, White House efforts to boost U.S. LNG exports were progressing slowly amid concerns about the climate change impact of projects that could last decades, government and industry sources said this month.
Last week, the Department of Energy said it was “committed to finding ways to help our allies and trading partners with the energy supplies they need while continuing to work to mitigate the impact of global change. climatic”. McConnell said FERC should focus on streamlining and speeding up licensing and review.
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