Biden administration spurns environmentalists, approves Pacific Northwest pipeline

The pipeline expansion will increase the network's capacity to deliver natural gas by 150 million cubic feet per day.

Published: October 22, 2023 10:25pm

Despite objections from environmentalists, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  approved the expansion of a natural gas pipeline in the Pacific Northwest.

The $335 million Gas Transmission Northwest EPress Project, according to E&E News, will extend an existing pipeline from British Columbia through parts of Idaho, Washington and Oregon, increasing the ability of the network to meet growing natural gas demand by 150 million cubic feet per day.

The pipeline is owned by TC Energy of Calgary, Canada, according to the Associated Press. It is the same company that was developing the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. President Joe Biden canceled that project on the day he took office.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined other West Coast senators in urging FERC to reject the project over concerns it would undermine Biden’s climate goals.

“The West Coast is leading the race to transition to clean energy and combat the climate crisis, but TC Energy’s proposal is inconsistent with the state laws underpinning those efforts,” the senators stated in their letter to the four FERC commissioners.

The environmental nonprofit Columbia Riverkeeper said in a statement that the pipeline increased risks of explosions.
According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the number annual incidents on pipelines in the U.S. over the past 20 years has ranged between 256 and 336.

Based on data from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, a pipeline industry group, says that pipelines make up less than 0.01% of all transportation accidents in the U.S.

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