Supreme Court Passes on Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Challenge

Supreme Court Passes on Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Challenge

  • The U.S. Supreme Court said Oct. 15 that it won’t hear a state agency’s challenge to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s approval of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline
  • The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) challenged the FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, which will carry natural gas from Pennsylvania and through North Carolina on its way to other southeastern states.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed the suit, holding that because the NCUC hadn’t shown that any North Carolina residents would use the gas, the commission lacked standing.

This denied the commission the “special solicitude” in the standing analysis that it is entitled to under Massachusetts v. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when representing its customers, it said.

The Atlantic Sunrise project is operated by the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Williams Companies Inc. Transco, which is an intervenor in the case, says NCUC hadn’t established any injury that would confer standing even when considering the “special solicitude” granted to states and their agencies.

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