Senior Advisor Susan Tierney Testifies Before House Energy Subcommittee on Modernizing the National Gas Act

March 12, 2020

On February 5, 2020, Analysis Group Senior Advisor Susan Tierney testified before the US House Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce on modernizing the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Her testimony centered on whether the NGA should be updated in light of how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has implemented the act in recent years.

In particular, Dr. Tierney focused on the dramatic expansion of natural gas pipeline capacity that has taken place since 1999. That expansion has led to the question of whether FERC should change its approach to the certification of pipeline projects, taking into account the NGA’s directive that this certification must be, in the Act’s words, “necessary in the public interest.” While acknowledging that opinion is divided over whether such a change is necessary, Dr. Tierney opined in favor of such a change, and detailed a number of specific factors that should be modernized.

“For the sake of assuring the public’s confidence in its decisions, FERC should conduct considerably more thorough reviews of new pipeline proposals,” she concluded. “Stronger instructions from Congress may be required to get it to do so.”