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Briefs -- Columbia Gas Transmission, FERC Order No. 809, Elba Liquefaction

FERC has turned back a challenge to its approval of Columbia Gas Transmission LLC's East Side Expansion Project by the Clean Air Council and the Allegheny Defense Project. Among the groups' objections to the project was the assertion that the pipeline capacity would induce more natural gas production upstream, causing harm to the environment. As it has in the past, FERC rejected this argument. "...[T]he environmental effects resulting from natural gas production are generally neither caused by a proposed pipeline (or other natural gas infrastructure) project nor are they reasonably foreseeable consequences of our approval of an infrastructure project, as contemplated by the [Council on Environmental Quality] regulations," FERC said [CP14-17]. The East Side Expansion entered service in early October (see Daily GPIOct. 2).

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request for clarification of Order No. 809. The order established default interpretations to apply to natural gas capacity release transactions that span the transition from the existing standard to the revised standards -- i.e., from two to three intraday nomination cycles under the new nomination timeline adopted in Order No. 809. The order came in response to a request for clarification filed in May by the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, who proposed default interpretations of recall rights to be applied to capacity release contracts that span the transition period between existing and revised standards.

FERC staff has scheduled an environmental assessment (EA) of the Elba Liquefaction Co. LLC, Southern LNG Co. LLC and Elba Express Co. LLC proposal to add natural gas liquefaction and export capability to the existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Chatham County, GA [CP14-103; CP14-115]. The Elba Liquefaction Project would enable the companies to export up to 350 MMcf/d of LNG (2.5 million tonnes per year). Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) recently bought out Shell's equity interest in Elba Liquefaction Co. (see Daily GPIJuly 16). Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff said the EA would be issued on Feb. 5, and the 90-day federal authorization deadline would be May 5. 

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