FERC cries wolf for Sabal Trail to DC Circuit Court 2018-01-06 2018-02-06

Update 2018-02-08: FERC cry of wolf delays mandate from DC Circuit Court 2018-01-07 2018-02-07.

Instead of answering Sabal Trail’s Friday cry of wolf by issuing new certificates yesterday, FERC instead took that cry to the DC Circuit Court, asking for a delay of today’s issue of a mandate.

FERC did not issue new certificates yesterday, and the Court did not issue a mandate today. Of course, today was merely the first day the Court could have issued a mandate, so we’ll see.

Don’t listen to FERC and Sabal Trail’s cries of wolf, Court! What’s really eating their pipelines is solar and wind power taking over the market.

Illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop's fable The Boy who Cried Wolf, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687
The illustration by Francis Barlow Aesop’s fable “The Boy who Cried Wolf”, called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687

For the fourth year running, renewable energy has produced more new U.S. energy than natural gas, according to FERC’s own Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update For December 2017. Four years means ever since the Sabal Trail pipeline was first announced in 2013. Those are the wolves after those poor pipeline Applicants: solar and wind power.

Gavin Bade, Utility Dive, Feb. 6, 2018, FERC asks DC Circuit to delay issuing order to halt Sabal Trail pipeline,

  • FERC asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to delay for 45 days issuing a formal mandate on a recent decision that invalidated the agency’s carbon accounting for the Southeast Market Pipelines Project. The court is expected to issue its mandate Wednesday, which would put the project on hold….

“The Commission intends, within 45 days, to issue an order on remand regarding the pipeline projects, in compliance with the Court’s mandate,” FERC wrote. “The Commission therefore requests that the mandate be stayed for this short period.”

If the D.C. Circuit denies the request, FERC warns it could threaten reliable electricity service to Florida, where the Sabal Trail pipeline would end.

“Immediate vacatur would revoke the certificates of public convenience and necessity for the projects at issue — pipelines that are currently providing natural gas to power plants in Florida,” FERC wrote. “Without such certificates, the pipelines would have to cease operating, at least temporarily.”

According to Sabal Trail’s own FERC-required Information postings, Sabal Trail shipped no gas the same day FERC said shutting it down would be bad.

No gas Tuesday, Graphs

Such a decision, FERC argues, would be at “odds with the Court’s affirmance of the Commission’s finding that there is a demonstrated need for these pipeline projects.”

The Court issued its initial decision back in August,

Now there is much evidence that there is NO need for these pipelines.

No gas much of past six weeks, Graphs
No gas much of past six weeks, Graphs

Erratic since started, Graphs
Erratic since started, Graphs

So, there is no need for this pipeline, and shutting it down can’t do much harm considering it has been shut down much of the past six weeks. That’s in addition to all the other reasons to shut it down providinged this week by WWALS, by Sierra Club, by landowners GBA Associates, and by FERC itself in admitting topsoil mixing.

Looking forward to that mandate, DC Circuit Court.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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