St. Louis Natural Gas Pipeline in Jeopardy After SCOTUS Rejection

By Mary Holcomb, Digital Editor

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition by Spire Inc. to overturn a lower court’s decision affecting the operation of the Spire STL Pipeline, a verdict that puts the pipeline's future in jeopardy, according to St. Louis, Missouri television station KSDK.

(Source: Spire Inc.)

Spire asked the court to recall the mandate that struck down the pipeline’s authorization, however the court rejected Spire’s appeal without comment.

The closure of the 65-mile (105-kilometer) pipeline —which has operated since 2019 — would impact the roughly 650,000 customers it delivers natural gas to in the the St. Louis region.

“Customers who rely on the Spire STL Pipeline need assurance that this critical infrastructure will continue to deliver a reliable and affordable energy supply,” Spire STL Pipeline president Scott Smith said in a statement.

In 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted approval for the pipeline that runs through parts of Illinois and Missouri. One year after becoming fully operational, the Environmental Defense Fund sued Spire citing that the pipeline was approved without adequate review.

The case was brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in June 2020, which ultimately decided to vacate the approval of the pipeline, agreeing that FERC failed to adequately prove a need for the pipeline.

The pipeline continues to operate under a temporary certificate granted by FERC that expires Dec. 13 while Spire pursues its plan B: an appeal to FERC for a new approval for the natural gas pipeline.

“We are confident that when people have an opportunity to review the proven benefits of the STL Pipeline, they will agree that there is a critical need to keep this infrastructure fully operational to ensure continued access to reliable, affordable energy for families and businesses in the greater St. Louis region,” Smith said.


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