For Whom the FERC Tolls: Federal Court Rejects Agency 'Tolling Orders' [September 8, 2020] [open pdf - 677KB]
From the Document: "In 'Allegheny Defense Project v. FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]', the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) addressed the legitimacy of 'tolling orders,' a long-standing procedural tool utilized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to administer the Natural Gas Act (NGA). FERC's use of tolling orders, which is not expressly authorized by statute, has long been a source of controversy, drawing criticism from environmental groups, state attorneys general, and FERC Commissioners, among others. Nonetheless, until this year, the practice had been widely used and generally accepted. However, in 'Allegheny Defense Project', the D.C. Circuit rejected FERC's use of a tolling order, and in so doing created uncertainty about the regulatory process for pipeline certification and construction as well as other administrative efforts to prolong deadlines through the use of tolling orders. After an overview of the NGA and FERC's use of tolling orders, this post analyzes the D.C. Circuit's 'Allegheny Defense Project' decision and examines its potential impact."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10535
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/