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Capitol Briefs: PSC backs Spire STL Pipeline’s emergency request

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) is calling on its federal counterpart to allow the Spire STL Pipeline to continue providing service in the St. Louis area for the time being. 

The pipeline applied for a temporary emergency certificate with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) this week, hoping to continue operations while the commission considers the future of the project. Though FERC approved the project’s construction in 2018, the order was stymied by a federal appeals court last month after a lawsuit. Spire’s filing argued its ability to provide natural gas service to the area would be heavily constrained if the pipeline were taken offline, a concern echoed by the PSC.

“If the STL Pipeline is shut down, Spire Missouri attests that its ability to provide safe and adequate natural gas service to Missouri customers will be impaired going into the winter 2021-22 heating season,” commissioners said in the filing with FERC. “This presents an emergency for Spire Missouri’s customers that rely on the utility for an essential service. Under these circumstances, expedited action is warranted in order to preserve safe and adequate service to Missouri customers.” 

  • Spire presented its case before the PSC earlier this month, warning of a lengthy service delay for 175,000-400,000 customers in the region if the pipeline were deactivated. 
  • Spire President Scott Carter pointed to February’s cold snap to demonstrate the pipeline’s necessity; Carter told The Missouri Times the pipeline mitigated the impact on St. Louis area customers’ bills by around 10 percent. 
  • The suit, leveled by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) alleged FERC failed to justify its initial approval of the project.