If you want to challenge a natural gas energy project, one option is to file a motion to intervene at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A motion to intervene is a submission seeking legal standing in a FERC proceeding based on an interest that may be directly affected by the outcome of the proceeding. Unlike filing a comment on a project, which anyone can do and has no special rights, becoming an intervenor indicates that a party has an ongoing connection with a project and allows it to request a rehearing by FERC and ultimately to sue through the federal court of appeals system if it disagrees with FERC’s decision-making. All motions to intervene should be submitted to FERC pursuant to 18 C.F.R. § 385.214.
While intervening in a project preserves a party’s right to take FERC to court following a commission decision, many contend that it is an aggressive tactic to increase the costs of and ultimately stall or defeat projects. Additionally, there has been a growing concern that many regulatory filings that don’t follow FERC’s guidelines represent a new strategy to obstruct energy projects.