FERC has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for Tallgrass Energy LP’s proposed Cheyenne Connector Pipeline, a 70-mile, 36 inch-diameter pipeline that would deliver gas into REX’s Cheyenne Hub, allowing access to markets in the Midwest, Midcontinent and Gulf Coast.

Tallgrass filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in March 2018 for the proposed pipeline and the related Cheyenne Hub Enhancement project, which would deliver about 600,000 Dth/d into Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) from processing plants in Weld County, CO [CP18-102]. The company had expected to begin commercial operations in October but, citing FERC inaction for more than a year, recently pushed back the expected startup to early 2020.

The estimated $213 million Cheyenne Connector and the $133 million Cheyenne Hub Enhancement, which would increase capacity at REX’s existing facility by around 1,000,000 Dth/d by adding 32,100 hp of compression via six booster units, each have 10-year commitments totaling 600,000 Dth/d from affiliates of Occidental Petroleum Corp. and DCP Midstream LP.

Tallgrass had “99.9%” of the materials on site and a contractor and equipment on hold, Tallgrass said in July.

FERC’s order also authorized Rockies Express to construct and operate compression and ancillary facilities at its existing Cheyenne Compressor Station at the Cheyenne Hub, enabling it to provide a new hub service allowing for firm receipts and deliveries between Rockies Express and other interconnected pipelines, including the Cheyenne Connector Pipeline Project, at the Cheyenne Hub [CP18-103].

FERC approved the order by a 2-1 vote, with Commissioner Richard Glick voting against. Glick has dissented on a series of project approvals during his tenure, decrying what he sees as FERC’s inability — or unwillingness — to address climate change impacts in its decision making. “I think the Commission now appears to have begun systematically scrubbing climate change language from our orders,” he said Thursday.

FERC should be addressing greenhouse gas emission mitigation, just as it does mitigation of other environmental impacts, when considering proposals, Glick said. “What I don’t understand is why we continue to treat greenhouse gas emissions completely differently than all other environmental impacts.”

Commissioner Bernard McNamee, who has been on the other side of Glick’s dissents, disagreed.

“We do consider the issue of greenhouse gases seriously, we do take our responsibility under the Natural Gas Act and NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] very seriously, and consider the issues. However, our consideration of those issues are clearly guided by our authority under the Natural Gas Act, not by what we would desire to have happen, not what our policy preferences are, but instead [by] what we are required to do,” McNamee said.