LOCE: News & Updates

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804, 2019

New: Upcoming Oral Argument April 11, 2019 – Challenging FERC Order That Ignores Climate Change Impacts & Would Allow Companies to Put Compressor Stations Not Just Somewhere But Anywhere

On April 11, 2019, the D.C. Circuit will hear two seemingly small cases but that have big consequences for how applicants choose project sites and the extent to which FERC must disclose project’s climate change impacts. In  Birckhead v. FERC where I represent petitioners, we challenged the Commission’s irrational reliance on site control as a determinative factor in choosing between two sites – one which would have indisputably reduced project emissions by 40 percent and reduced the footprint of the project by half, thus decreasing the impacts on the ground. FERC found these changes insignificant. FERC also failed to quantify and evaluate the project’s upstream and downstream emissions and their impact on climate change – a sharp departure from its earlier policy.  This same issue is also the central focus of the first case that day,  Otsego 2000 v. FERC.

In addition to representing the petitioners in the Birckhead case, I also assisted the Otsego2000 group with its rehearing petition and in filing a petition for review at the D.C. Circuit before transferring the case to the current attorney Michael Sussman.

You can view the briefs from my case here:

Petitioner’s Opening Brief,

Petitioner’s Reply Brief,

FERC Brief,

Tennessee Gas Brief

Documents from the Otsego case can be found here.

1401, 2019

Carolyn Elefant to speak at ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation

Carolyn Elefant has been invited to speak at the prestigious and wildly popular ALI-CLE Conference on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, to be held in Palm Springs, California, January 24-26, 2019. Carolyn will present on the panel entitled Pipelines I – Where You Haven’t Gone Before: New Approaches to Challenging the Take scheduled for January 25, 2019.  You may download a copy of Carolyn’s summary of emerging challenges to eminent domain takings for FERC pipelines here:

Download Summary of New Challenges to FERC Interstate Pipelines
1308, 2018

What’s Happened to the Hollerans?

The firm represents Catherine Holleran and her family who made headlines a few years back when Constitution Pipeline agents, accompanied by armed marshals stormed the property to fell 558 trees for a pipeline that was ultimately denied a key permit by New York regulators. Here are the papers that we’ve filed seeking a return of the property and payment for full restoration of the property, compensation for lost business and other damages.

Petition to Rescind Certificate  (June 2018)

Motion to Dissolve Injunction  (July 2018)

Holleran Declaration (July 2018)

Constitution Response (July 2018)

Holleran Reply  (Aug 2018)

2707, 2018

Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant Comments on FERC Notice of Inquiry

Today, the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant submitted these comments in response to the FERC Notice of Inquiry on the Certificate Policy Statement. The Firm’s comments are based on Ms. Elefant’s former experience as a FERC attorney advisor along with eight years of work as a landowner rights attorney in the FERC pipeline arena. The comments may be viewed here.

3103, 2016

Carolyn Elefant featured in two industry stories on pipeline growth

This past week, LOCE principal, Carolyn Elefant was featured in an article at SNL  an energy industry publication which covered Carolyn’s work on pipeline expansion and eminent domain. Carolyn was also quoted in this Utility Dive  article.

2803, 2016

STOP Filing Receives Additional Newspaper Coverage

Massachusetts newspaper the Recorder, ran an article Sunday, March 27th, 2016 mentioning STOP and their opposition to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline project.  Some key excerpts from the article:

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking for assurances from Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. as it considers allowing the company to begin clearing trees for the Connecticut Expansion Project.”

“Meanwhile a group of project opponents in the Berkshire County town of Sandisfield, which would be affected by the pipeline looping project, have formally asked FERC to deny TGP’s request to begin cutting, saying it hasn’t obtained a permit required under the federal Clean Waters [sic] Act.”

“Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline… in its filing with [FERC] on Friday, writes, ‘At the outset, Tennessee admits in its request that it has not, in fact, obtained all of the federal authorizations which it requires in order to proceed. Despite this, it attempts to gloss over its lack of authorization by focusing on the authorizations it has received. For example, Tennessee states in its Request that it will not require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 … for its proposed tree clearing activities. Under normal circumstances, tree clearing with hand-held equipment during March and April might not “rut soil or cause damage to the root systems.” However, this premise assumes that the ground will be frozen during the times allotted. Tennessee ignores the fact that this past winter has been anything but “usual.”’

2503, 2016

Carolyn Elefant Speaks at IEEFA Conference

On March 22, 2016, Carolyn Elefant presented a talk on FERC and Pipeline Overbuild at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Energy Finance Training  Program held at Columbia Law School. Here’s the slide deck from the presentation.

2403, 2016

Attorney Alexander English Quoted in Berkshire Eagle & New Haven Register

LOCE attorney Alexander English was recently quoted in two New England newspapers, The Berkshire Eagle and the New Haven Register regarding the recent filing of Notice of Intent to sue the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Tennessee Gas on behalf of The Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the  Pipeline (STOP).

Attorney English is quoted in the following excerpt from the article:

“The Sandisfield Taxpayers Opposing the Pipeline (STOP), has filed a ‘notice of intent’ to [FERC] and [Tennessee Gas Pipeline, LLC], a first step toward lawsuits to be filed at U.S. District Court in Springfield, according to Washington, D.C., attorney Alexander English….

‘In our view, if they undertake any work, including placement of construction equipment, without getting certification from Mass DEP under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, they would be acting illegally,’ English said.”

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