Last month, on behalf of the City of Oberlin, Ohio I argued a boundary-pushing case at the D.C.Circuit which asks whether the Commission can justify a finding of convenience and necessity for a pipeline under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act when it will be used almost entirely to export gas. The issue is particularly important because under the Natural Gas Act, companies cannot use eminent domain authority for gas exports.  As you can hear in the oral argument, the panel had some concerns about the Commission’s certificate and grilled both FERC counsel and the panel on these issues.  Shortly after the argument, the pipeline moved to dismiss the case for lack of standing – claiming that easement agreements that the Petitioners were forced to execute in May 2019 (notwithstanding that the company had been using the property for two years) vitiated their standing to sue and mooted the case.  Below are some of the key documents:

City of Oberlin, Ohio et. al. v. FERC, Docket No. 18-1248 (D.C. Circuit 2018):

Oberlin Final Brief

FERC Brief

Oberlin Final Reply

Oral Argument

Oberlin Response to Motion to Dismiss