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Biden admin OKs major Pacific Northwest gas pipeline in blow to environmentalists, Dems

The nation’s top energy regulator authorized a major energy developer to move forward with a natural gas expansion project in the Pacific Northwest.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a certificate Thursday for the so-called Gas Transmission Northwest XPress Project (GTNXP), which will upgrade three existing compressor stations and increase capacity on an existing system that has transported natural gas for decades. GTNXP developer TC Energy; GOP lawmakers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington; and labor unions have all called on FERC to issue the certificate.

“The GTN XPress project will play a critical role in keeping energy affordable and reliable for consumers in California and the Pacific Northwest,” TC Energy spokesperson Michael Tadeo told Fox News Digital. “We appreciate FERC’s bipartisan action today to approve the project and will work diligently to place it into service as soon as possible.”

According to TC Energy’s application filed with FERC in October 2021, the $75 million project will leverage existing infrastructure to increase GTN’s incremental mainline capacity by 150,000 dekatherms per day — enough to power roughly 500,000 additional homes in the region. The operational GTN pipeline travels through Idaho, Washington and Oregon and serves California customers.

“The Commission’s continued inaction has almost certainly exposed GTN’s customers, who serve residential and commercial natural gas and electricity users, to more expensive supply sources to meet their load demands this winter,” Stanley Chapman III, TC Energy’s executive vice president and chief operating officer of natural gas pipelines division, wrote in a letter to FERC commissioners after the September meeting.

“As experience in California and elsewhere shows, delaying natural gas infrastructure projects hurts energy reliability and affordability and burdens families, small businesses, and other energy users,” Chapman added. “These types of delays in Commission action also erode the kind of certainty and predictability that gas infrastructure developers rely on for planning, financing, and constructing projects that are in the public’s interest.”

Thomas Catenacci is a politics writer for Fox News Digital.

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