WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, issued the following statement after Cheniere Energy missed a deadline imposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to repair family farms along the Midship Pipeline. Cheniere Energy owns the Midship Pipeline in Oklahoma, which was put into service in April 2020. While Cheniere has been able to begin collecting revenue from its pipeline, the land along the pathway of the pipeline has not been fully restored or repaired, preventing the farmers who own that land from utilizing it:
“I am dismayed that Cheniere has missed yet another deadline to repair the extensive damage it caused to Oklahoma farmers’ land. Cheniere promised this Subcommittee that it would comply with FERC’s order by May 17. Despite Cheniere’s dubious claims that everything is completed, all landowners that have spoken with my office say that their property still has not been fully restored. FERC must follow through on its pledge to hold Cheniere accountable and consider sanctions for the company’s repeated noncompliance and disregard for the rights of the people it continues to trample.”
On May 5, 2021, the Subcommittee held a hearing on Cheniere’s failure to comply with requirements to restore farmland on 56 tracts of land in Oklahoma. Cheniere Senior Vice President for Policy, Government and Public Affairs Chris Smith admitted that the billion dollar company’s treatment of landowners is “not consistent” with proper standards, but assured the Subcommittee that Cheniere would “be fully complying with the FERC order and meeting the deadlines in that order.”
According to Cheniere’s own filing on May 17, 2021, 35 tracts are still awaiting FERC inspection, while negotiations are ongoing for seven of them. As of FERC’s last summary report, only one tract had proved to be “acceptable.” Cheniere has already had to return to eight tracts it had “completed” to do additional work, including one which it had claimed was fully resolved.
Tomorrow, May, 20, 2021, FERC is scheduled to hold a public meeting, which will include the Midship pipeline and Cheniere’s compliance. Cheniere missed the deadline set by FERC’s March Order on Environmental Compliance.