Otsego 2000 vs. FERC

Otsego 2000 Files Brief in DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Challenging FERC Decision to Ignore GHG Climate Impacts


On Monday, November 26th, Otsego 2000 filed an appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision permitting Dominion Transmission Inc.’s New Market Project to proceed. Otsego 2000 argues that in permitting this project, FERC violated the Natural Gas Act, NEPA, and binding legal precedent, when FERC refused to consider upstream or downstream GHG impacts, wrongfully deciding that these impacts were not foreseeable or quantifiable. FERC also announced a significant policy change stating that for the same reasons, it would no longer consider GHG impacts in future cases.

By announcing a significant policy change in a single docket, FERC also violated the Administrative Procedure Act which requires agencies to give notice of proposed policy changes and allow public comment. By its action, FERC denied due process to citizens and stakeholders across the nation who had no notice of FERC’s plan until it was too late to intervene.

“At a time of surging concern for climate change and growing scientific evidence of its causes, FERC’s announcement of a new ‘policy’ to refuse to even consider GHG emission impacts, in defiance of existing law, must be rejected,” said Nicole Dillingham, President of Otsego 2000’s Board of Directors. She added: “The fact that FERC attempts to announce such a policy in a single docket denies all others of their due process rights. Otsego 2000, as the only party with standing to appeal, simply cannot let this go unchallenged.”

Otsego 2000, a small environmental and preservation advocacy organization based in Cooperstown, NY, is represented pro bono by Michael Sussman, Esq., of Sussman & Associates, Goshen, NY.

Documents Related to the Case

Otsego 2000 Brief 11-26-18

Amicus Brief for the States of NY, MD, NJ, OR, WA, MA, and D.C., 12-3-18

Amicus Brief for Sierra Club, 12-3-18