Biden nominees make it harder to build natural gas pipelines, with predictably bad consequences

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced new rules that will require the agency to jump through more hoops to permit building natural gas pipelines. The rules will make it more challenging to build new pipelines, making energy more scarce and more expensive for American families already struggling with huge heating bills.

According to E&E News:

“FERC updated a 23-year-old policy for assessing proposed natural gas pipelines, adding new considerations for landowners, environmental justice communities and other factors. In a separate but related decision, the commission also laid out a framework for evaluating projects’ greenhouse gas emissions.”

The commission’s three Democratic members approved both policies, while the two Republicans on the panel opposed them.

These new policies are a drastic change from the original mission of FERC, which is: “Economically Efficient, Safe, Reliable, and Secure Energy for Consumers. Assist consumers in obtaining economically efficient, safe, reliable, and secure energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means, and collaborative efforts.”

Natural gas opponents like the Natural Resources Defense Council applauded FERC’s decision, but the decision garnered a scathing rebuttal from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who called the move “reckless.” Manchin said:

“The Commission went too far by prioritizing a political agenda over their main mission — ensuring our nation’s energy reliability and security,” Manchin said in a statement. “The only thing they accomplished today was constructing additional road blocks that further delay building out the energy infrastructure our country desperately needs.”

Manchin could not have said it better.

Liberal lawmakers are undercutting American energy security to pursue pet projects that should be lower priorities than energy reliability and affordability. All other considerations must come after these two preconditions are satisfied.

Europe and New England states are learning a painful lesson that insecure energy sources are a hardship for economic prosperity. Europe, where many countries banned domestic gas production, is paying top dollar for liquefied natural gas, as is New England because they can’t build the natural gas pipelines needed to transport abundant and affordable natural gas from Pennsylvania to New England states.

Liberal lawmakers are taking energy reliability and affordability for granted. In doing so, they are putting millions of Americans at risk of huge energy bills and rising inflation. Unfortunately, the general public won’t understand the consequences of these mistaken policies until it shows up on their home heating bill.