Daniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP
Andrew Cuomo has directly challenged FERC and is likely to lose on the legal front but, politically, he is aiming to have his cake and eat it, too. He may.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doubled down on his anti-pipeline stance when his Department of Environmental Conservation refused to grant Section 401 Clean Streams Permits for the Northern Access Pipeline, which would have carried natural gas into Western New York. This is the same stance that the New York DEC took regarding the Constitution Pipeline, which I have written about numerous times.
In doing so, Governor Cuomo issues a direct challenge to FERC. No longer will the Federal Agency tasked with passing on the necessity and routing of pipelines have the final say. Now, the Governor of each State, through the backdoor of the Section 401 process, can assert control over this element of interstate commerce.