D.C. Circuit Rules that FERC, In Some Circumstances, Must Consider Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions Resulting from Projects It Approves

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Sierra Club, et al. v. FERC, No. 16-1329. The case primarily concerned the analyses of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental justice in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) Sabal Trail Project National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Writing for the majority, Judge Griffith announced an update to the Court’s black-letter NEPA jurisprudence:
“We conclude that at a minimum, FERC should have estimated the amount of power-plant carbon emissions that the pipelines will make possible.”

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