Environment

FERC to Add New Environmental Justice Position

The panel will renew its commitment to review equity concerns related to new energy projects.

Richard Glick
Richard Glick, FERC
Kyle Fuhrman

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) plans to create a new senior position designed to better incorporate environmental justice and equity concerns into the Commission’s decision-making process, including guidance of new energy projects, such as LNG facilities or pipelines, and their potential impact on communities.

“I believe that the Commission should more aggressively fulfill its responsibilities to ensure our decisions don’t unfairly impact historically marginalized communities,” FERC chairman Richard Glick said.

Glick said he will have more details about the new environmental justice position at a future date, but stressed it would be a cross-cutting position, and that the person who fills the job will be charged with working with the experts in all FERC program offices to integrate environmental justice and equity matters into Commission decisions.

“This position is not just a title,” said Glick. “I intend to do what it takes to empower this new position to ensure that environmental justice and equity concerns finally get the attention they deserve.”

Glick, a Democrat, was a recent appointee to lead the regulatory panel by President Joseph Biden. Biden recently signed executive orders that require the creation of a pair of councils to “increase Federal Government’s efforts to address current and historical environmental injustice.”

Glick told reporters via a teleconference this week that the panel’s requirement to consider green justice issues under the National Environmental Policy Act has historically not always been emphasized.