Statement from Gov. Jay Inslee regarding today’s decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizing the proposed GTN Xpress pipeline expansion to move forward:
“Today’s decision by FERC flies in the face of what is morally and economically necessary to protect our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change.
“The federal government has finally begun making tremendous climate investments under the Inflation Reduction Act, but this decision essentially digs the hole deeper and locks in long-term capital investments that prevent us from reaching our national and state goals.
“This is bad for the ability of Washingtonians to breathe and the ability to cost-effectively heat and cool their homes. It makes no sense to shackle ourselves to a source of energy whose cost will go up in the coming decades instead of the clean energy sources whose costs are coming down dramatically.
“This decision also runs contrary to Washington state laws that require our utilities to transition to 100% clean energy by 2045 and will leave consumers on the hook for a costly stranded asset. Our new building codes focus on increasing clean energy for homes and offices.
“Expanding this fossil fuel pipeline for 50 years—until 2073—saddles our children and their children with climate harm and fossil fuel costs. This fight isn’t over. I’m thankful for the aligned efforts of Gov. Kotek, our senators and our west coast attorneys general to make clear why this pipeline is a dangerous detour on our path away from fossil fuels. We are more resolved than ever to keep this pipeline from increasing fossil fuel use.”
Washington’s statutory greenhouse gas limits require Washington to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2050. The Clean Energy Transformation Act requires utilities to transition to 100% clean electricity by 2045. Increasing the capacity of a fracked gas pipeline runs counter to both state laws.
The GTN Xpress project will allow the pipeline to ship an additional 150,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day. This is roughly equivalent to the gas needed for 750,000 homes. The pipeline’s project life is at least 50 years.
GTN plans to recover costs for the pipeline expansion well beyond the 2045 timeframe, which would result in a stranded asset with potential cost impacts to consumers.
If GTN’s pipeline operates as proposed, in 2050 it would represent 48% of the region’s target greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.
The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is opposed to this project.
Additional letters expressing opposition: