Press Release

Eight AGs Join Ongoing Case to Block Pipeline Expansion Project

States have a critical interest in reducing GHG pollution from natural gas.

New York, NY — Yesterday, a coalition of eight attorneys general (AGs) led by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed an amicus brief challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to approve the Regional Energy Access Expansion Project. The project would vastly expand the region’s gas infrastructure and capacity, and harm the residents of these states. In their brief, the AGs emphasize, “The Amici States have a critical interest in reducing greenhouse gas pollution from natural gas,” which harms their “residents, natural resources, infrastructure, and economies.” Additionally, the AGs explain that the decision to approve this project violates FERC’s duty under the Natural Gas Act and its own regulations to consider state climate and energy laws, before determining that a state needs more natural gas production and subsequent methane pollution.

The Regional Energy Access Expansion project, which has an estimated lifespan of 50 years, would account for almost 50% of New Jersey’s 2050 greenhouse gas emissions budget. The AGs further state that “FERC’s disregard of state law and policy…infringes on the Amici States’ sovereign interests in executing their laws, achieving their policy goals, and protecting public welfare.”

“FERC must seriously engage with the climate impacts of its decisions,” said Jessica Bell, Deputy Director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center.Authorizing new gas projects without fully analyzing the need for the gas is a risky proposition for climate and for customers.”

Background — On March 26, 2021, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a certificate of public convenience and necessity under the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate its Regional Energy Access Expansion pipeline project in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. In January 2023, FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project. Delaware Riverkeeper, Food & Water Watch and Sierra Club, and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation filed requests for rehearing, and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel filed comments supporting the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s request. In March 2023, FERC issued an order on rehearing, and multiple parties filed petitions for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The attorneys general of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Vermont joined AGs Platkin and Ferguson in filing yesterday’s amicus brief.


About the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center:

The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan academic center at NYU School of Law. The Center is dedicated to working towards a healthy and safe environment, guided by inclusive and equitable principles. The Center studies and supports the work of state attorneys general (AGs) in defending, enforcing, and promoting strong laws and policies in the areas of climate, environmental justice, environmental protection, and clean energy.