By Tyson Slocum
Today, Public Citizen requests rehearing of the Commission’s March 25, 2022 Order granting Nopetro LNG’s Petition for Declaratory Order that its proposed liquefied natural gas export facility is not subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction (Docket No. CP21-179). The Commission’s Order committed two errors. First, the plain language of the Natural Gas Act, its legislative history and even the Commission’s three-pronged test provide the Commission no discretion to decline oversight of Nopetro’s proposed natural gas export facility. Congress has defined LNG terminals subject to the Commission’s exclusive authority so expansively the Commission has no choice but to regulate any onshore facility (that is, one on land) engaged in the export of natural gas, regardless of whether it is liquefied, processed, or transported in boxes of Cracker Jack.
Second, the Commission’s ruling that “onshore” as used in the Natural Gas Act is limited to a facility physically on the shoreline is contrary to the plain meaning of the statutory language, inconsistent with the statute’s structure and purpose, and patently unreasonable. Congress consistently uses the term “onshore,” particularly in statutes concerning oil and gas production and facilities, to refer “any land within the United States other than submerged land.” So a facility located 50 or 500 or 2,000 miles from the shoreline—let alone quarter mile, like the proposed Nopetro facility—and that is engaged in exporting natural gas is subject to the exclusive authority of the Commission.
Because the Nopetro LNG export facility will perform multiple functions that are all listed in the Natural Gas Act’s definition of “LNG terminal” (receive, load, transport and liquefy natural gas for export) and is located on land, it is unambiguously an onshore LNG terminal subject to the Commission’s exclusive jurisdiction.
Read the 10 page rehearing request here: NopetroRehearing