While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission typically approves pipeline construction projects at a steady and predictable clip, the group has been unable to do much of anything since a former commissioner resigned in February. With another commissioner's term expiring just last week, FERC is down to one member, chair Cheryl LaFleur.
With no voting quorum, there's no action on the horizon for Nexus' Ohio-Michigan pipeline plans. (In all, $50 billion in infrastructure projects around the U.S. hangs in limbo.) Nexus, the 255-mile natural gas pipeline has been the subject of much controversy
, including an ongoing civil lawsuit
and protests across Northeast Ohio. Part of the lawsuit requests an injunction against Nexus obtaining a certificate from FERC.
"Every day that goes by there's another variable that influences the pipeline," Guilford Township resident Jon Strong told Scene
earlier this year. "The whole premise is falling apart." (The premise has always been that Nexus is good for Ohio energy consumers, which, by almost any account, it isn't. He was speaking at the time about how this FERC limbo allowed a consumers to watch competitor pipeline drop its prices, showing how market forces are already moving on without Nexus.)
President Donald Trump this week nominated another FERC commissioner: Richard Glick, the general counsel of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He joins
two other commissioner nominees awaiting approval. A looming Senate vote promises a major showdown on U.S. energy policy.