Supreme Court Dismisses St. Louis Pipeline Company’s Claim
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a request by a Missouri gas company to block a lower court ruling against the company.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who is responsible for emergency matters arising in Washington, DC, dismissed the request on Friday without comment, according to a spokesperson for the nation’s highest court.
Spire Inc., a natural gas utility headquartered in St. Louis, operates a 65-mile pipeline that transports gas through Missouri and Illinois. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) cleared the pipeline for operation in 2018, but a federal appeals court overturned the permit in June. FERC has since granted temporary permission to operate the pipeline until December 13.
In its petition earlier this month, Speyer urged the court to stay the lower court’s decision, writing that shutting down the pipeline “would create a serious risk that up to 400,000 homes and businesses in the St. Louis will lose gas service for long periods of time during the freezing temperatures of the coming winter.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), whose lawsuit in 2020 led to the lower court ruling, filed its own motion in opposition on Monday. Noting that the pipeline has been approved to operate in the meantime, lawyers for EDF argued that Spire had failed to demonstrate a âlikelihood of irreparable harmâ by not granting the suspension.
âSpire observes that if FERC does not issue a temporary certificate to Spire STL, or if it does not act before the expiration of the Spire STL emergency certificate, then Spire Missouri captive customers are likely to suffer a damage in the form of disrupted gas service this winter, âthe group said. the lawyers wrote.
âEDF does not dispute the damage that a disruption in gas service would entail for Speyer Missouri customers. But Spire is not eligible for suspension because any disruption of the Spire STL pipeline operating license is not simply unlikely; FERC’s actions to date show that the scenario is utterly fanciful.