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:
Documents from the Otsego case can be found here.