States express outrage at LNG provision hidden in omnibus spending bill

Deep in the 3,016-page, $388-billion omnibus spending bill recently approved by Congress, tucked away in a section on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission salaries and expenses, is a provision stating that the feds — not individual states — get to decide where liquid natural gas facilities will be sited. Not surprisingly, many congressfolk say they had no idea it was there, since few, if any, read the gargantuan bill before it came up for a vote. State regulators, who would prefer to decide for themselves whether proposed LNG sites are environmental or security risks, are fightin’ mad, calling the provision a “usurping of a sovereign state’s rights and ability to control its own destiny,” as Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch (D) put it. The provision does not have the force of law, but it is being seen as a clear signal of Congress’ intent. In particular it seems directed at California, which is currently suing FERC over a proposed LNG site in Long Beach.