Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has teamed with 11 state attorneys general to demand the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enact a moratorium on approving infrastructure projects for natural gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas export facilities and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects until the COVID-19 crisis is over.
The attorneys general argued that these projects often spark public debate and can have profound environmental impacts on the communities where private land is seized through eminent domain to enable construction.
Once the projects are approved, it is often impossible to stop them from moving forward. This is complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the attorneys general added, because social distancing mandates limit the public’s ability to participate in FERC decision-making process and organize community opposition.
“Once these pipelines are approved, there is little that can be done to stop the irreversible impact they have on carbon emissions, habitat destruction, and property rights,” Tong said. “Now is not the time to rush these projects. FERC must impose an immediate moratorium until all stakeholders can safely and fully be heard.”
The coalition is led by Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, who is joined by Tong and his fellow attorneys general in Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.