The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently posted an Order Issuing Certificates for PennEast Pipeline Company LLC. Many people have found the order confusing and full of legal jargon, and have said that ultimately they don’t really understand what it all means.
To help fix that, I’ve translated the Order into plain English for the layman to understand. Hopefully this will help everyone have a better idea of what FERC is trying to tell us all.
“FERC said in the Final EIS that none of the environmental impacts people have been talking about are real. We, FERC, agree with what FERC said in the Final EIS. The FERC staffers who wrote the Final EIS are fabulous. We, the FERC commissioners, are also fabulous.
PennEast has made claims with no studies or information to back them up. We accept those claims cause they’re our buds. And hey, they’re fabulous too.
Landowners A, B, and C made numerous annoying claims. We couldn’t be bothered to read them or understand them. We disagree, and we FERC assert that FERC was correct in originally disagreeing with them all.
In-depth studies showing a complete lack of need for this project from multiple independent sources bother us and give us indigestion. FERC has said ‘precedent agreements are enough’, and if that’s good enough for FERC, that’s good enough for us here at FERC.
Multiple parties asserted that selling gas to yourself is like selling your house to your spouse for $1 and is not an indicator of market need. We disagree, it doesn’t matter who’s buying, if they’re your brother in law or your wife or your best friend, or a complete stranger. Somebody’s buying, and that’s all we, FERC care about. Also the folks at FERC said that ‘affiliates’ don’t matter. We, FERC, concur.
We have made an in-depth study of the entire universe of potential environmental, cultural, socioeconomic and financial impacts this pipeline could have on the region, and conclude that none of it is any big deal.
We further find that we actually don’t have most of the information we claim we have in the prior paragraph, and therefore we order PennEast to actually try to find some of it out. Eventually.
We further inform PennEast that we have neither the interest or man power to check they’re work, but please make sure it’s real and not faked or incomplete (wink wink).
Many parties have indicated that a bunch of words on an electronic docket is not appropriate for arguing matters of this magnitude, and have asked for a judicial-style hearing where witnesses may be called, cross examined, and discovery of documentation be initiated. We disagree as such a process would undermine our total phony baloney process, and as we value our phony baloney jobs, we hereby conclude as FERC that FERC was correct in not allowing such hearings to ever, ever happen. We further thereby plan on banning all judges within 100 square miles of our offices.
While it’s important everyone understand that FERC has done a thorough and complete analysis of the issues at hand on this proposed project, we are attaching the following 9,131 conditions to this Order. Most of these conditions are meaningless, but our lawyers told us we had better include them to cover our collective asses. As such we will skip most of them and highlight only those that mean anything.
Condition number 873 – PennEast CEO Tony Cox must wash all of the commissioner’s cars for the next 3 years for doing him this huge favor.
Condition number 120 – Please send Patricia Kornick to an island and throw away the map on how to find it. Even WE can’t stand her.
Condition 8,133 – Please get all permits from other agencies. If you can’t get them all, let us know and we’ll do what we can to force those agencies to give them up and admit FERC is the most awesomeness agency ever.
Condition 1 – under no condition are you to commence any construction until you have all permits and meet all conditions. Unless you ask us nicely. Then we’ll like totally let you get away with it.
Condition 2 – For the purposes of this certificate, we are hereby defining “non-mechanized” construction to include all equipment 500 tons and below. Equipment 501 tons and greater is strictly prohibited from being used until all permits have been obtained.
Condition 3 – You may commence non-mechanized construction next Tuesday so long as you submit a request to FERC using the same cool font they use for Game of Thrones.
Condition 9,131 – Try not to run anyone over in your rush to get this done.
Condition 5,000 – Commissioner LaFleur feels bad about all this and has said she would really, really like to see those HDD plans BEFORE you actually start drilling.
Condition 10 – In the event construction causes an unprecedented environmental disaster, please file a report with FERC in triplicate documenting that none of it is PennEast or FERC’s fault.
Finally, we apologize that 75% of the content of this Order is missing and the rest is incomplete. You see, the government was shutting down literally any minute, and Commissioners Chatterjee and Powelson said they were going to lose their club memberships and industry paid vacations if we don’t get this out the door pronto, so we had have Intern Kate rush this out as is literally as the janitor was turning the lights out in the building. We hope everyone is too distracted by the shutdown to notice this fact and take us to court.
Because we really, really hate court.
They are mean to us.