Thursday, January 19, 2006

FERC Upholds Earlier LNG Rulings

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today denied rehearing requests from both Keyspan and Weaver’s Cove LNG and opponents of the proposed projects, leaving the decisions made at the July 15th FERC meeting to stand.

FERC Chair Joseph T. Kelliher explained that the Weaver’s Cove project, in Fall River, meets current federal safety standards as proposed. The Keyspan project, proposed for Providence, does not. He further explained that the removal of the Brightman Street Bridge is not a FERC condition for the approval of the Weaver’s Cove Project and therefore should not prohibit authorization of the project.

Commissioner Suedeen Kelly dissented, voting against Weaver’s Cove. Kelly argued that other planned LNG facilities in the region and in Canada are expected to come on-line soon and make Weaver’s Cove unnecessary. She also explained that the environmental impacts to the Taunton River would be significant, particularly the dredging and dredge disposal issues.

Chairman Kelliher explained that safety issues are the primary focus of the FERC review, and that FERC is ruling narrowly on issues of safety.

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