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Climate Change Brings Natural Gas Pipeline To A Halt

Climate Change has been on the forefront of news for a long time. Catastrophes have been ongoing all over the earth. Certain industries have been accused of playing a major role in it’s effects.

There have been an increasing number of typhoons in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Climate change has even affected the way businesses operate.

Federal Judges recently halted work on a gas pipeline to bring fuel to Florida power plants.

High carbon emissions concerns caused the Judges to halt work. Carbon emissions are believed to be the leading culprit in global warming.

Global warming is what is believed to be causing changes in weather patterns. Pipeline approvals have been blocked because of this.

Judge Ruling

Judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against FERC. (FERC) is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

FERC is the organization which approves the building of natural gas pipelines. They are being sued by the Sierra Club.

Judge Thomas Griffith gave comments regarding his decision.

He said FERC “should have either given a quantitative estimate of the downstream greenhouse emissions that will result from burning the natural gas.

“That the pipelines will transport or explained more specifically why it could not have done so, “he continued.

He also wrote “it is just as foreseeable, and FERC does not dispute, that burning natural gas will release into the atmosphere.  The sorts of carbon compounds that contribute to climate change.”

The problem facing the FERC is their inability to prove that the pipelines won’t be harmful.

Griffith also wrote “as we have noted, greenhouse-gas emissions are an indirect effect of authorizing this project. Which FERC could reasonably foresee, and which the agency has legal authority to mitigate.”

Another Judge, Janice Brown said that FERC was limited to approving pipelines. That they had no authority to approve who the pipelines went to.

She said “the truth is that FERC has no control over whether the power plants that will emit these greenhouse gases will come into existence or remain in operation.”


The lawsuit itself is considered strange since climate change is the reason. The coal industry has been considered a major player in carbon emissions.

Natural gas was the option to cut back on coal usage. Despite this being a fact, concerns still ran high about the use of natural gas.

Utility companies require more fuel to run efficiently. Their fuel of choice was natural gas to replace coal.

The pipeline is an estimated distance of 685 miles. The work on the pipeline began in December 2016.

Duke Energy, NextEra Energy and Spectra Energy are companies backing the project. They think it is a big setback for the project.

If the power plants cannot acquire more fuels, then they will continue to burn coal. Judge Brown said they need another alternative.

She said “the much more likely result is that they would simply choose another alternativE. Albeit a much more inconvenient, expensive, and possibly environmentally-harmful alternative—in response to a denial of a certificate by FERC.”

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