TITLE

Feds and Fossils: Meaningful State Participation in the Development of Liquefied Natural Gas

AUTHOR(S)
Zimmermann, Scott A.
PUB. DATE
August 2006
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2006, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p789
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Rising natural gas prices and flattening North American natural gas production have led many to conclude that liquefied natural gas (LNG) development is urgently needed to sustain near-term growth of energy capacity in California and across the United States. To streamline and accelerate this development, Congress granted exclusive jurisdiction over the siting, construction, and operation of LNG terminals to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), thereby transferring this aspect of intrastate natural gas regulatory authority from the state to the federal government. While this aspect of EPAct is wholly within Congress' constitutional power, this Comment describes why EPAct's preemption of state authority may not have been the best action to encourage LNG development and national energy independence. This issue is analyzed by examining the controversy between FERC and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) over jurisdiction of a proposed LNG terminal in Long Beach, California. The Comment argues that the states must play a prominent role in LNG development to properly address economic, environmental, and local safety concerns. Furthermore, innovative state energy policies that encourage renewable energy development and investments in energy efficiency could be less effective without state authority over energy development, to the detriment of national energy independence goals. The Comment concludes that in spite of EPAct. the states retain tools needed to obstruct LNG development, and that the federal government and industry developers should therefore work cooperatively with the states to accelerate responsible development of LNG facilities. In recognition of this, FERC should ensure that their LNG regulations reserve a central and meaningful role for state participation.
ACCESSION #
23498063

 

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