Spire asks SCOTUS to hit pause on Missouri STL pipeline shutdown

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  • Natural gasoline firm desires mandate stayed
  • Gibson Dunn’s Ted Olson says time wanted for justices to rule on forthcoming cert petition

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. pure gasoline firm Spire Inc on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to remain an order shutting down the corporate’s STL pure gasoline pipeline in Missouri, arguing the excessive court docket is more likely to take up a dispute over the pipeline’s destiny.

In June a federal appeals court docket in Washington, D.C. vacated a essential certificates issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2018 for St. Louis-based Spire to proceed working the Spire STL Pipeline. Spire obtained non permanent permission from FERC final month to function the 65-mile pipeline till Dec. 13 whereas regulators take into account the subsequent steps for the pipe.

The firm has warned that shutting off the pipeline will result in gasoline outages for as many as 400,000 in St. Louis when FERC’s non permanent permission expires this winter. However, the corporate on Friday failed to steer the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to not situation a proper shutdown mandate on Oct. 8.

In Monday’s submitting, Spire’s attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, led by Theodore Olson, urged the court docket to grant the keep as a result of there’s a “reasonable probability” the justices will choose their case for overview and reverse the decrease court docket’s resolution.

The case entails “a frequently recurring fundamental question of administrative law,” the corporate’s legal professionals wrote.

It “presents a substantial question as to whether remand without vacatur is the appropriate remedy where invalid agency action could plausibly be corrected on remand,” the submitting says. The legal professionals cite the fifth and third U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals as favoring the remand of company selections with out vacatur in related circumstances.

Spire has till Dec. 6 to petition the Supreme Court for a overview of the decrease court docket ruling, analysts at ClearView Energy Partners have mentioned in a notice to shoppers.

Non-profit Environmental Defense Fund, whose 2020 lawsuit prompted the ruling towards the road, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. It is represented by legal professionals at Duncan & Allen and by in-house counsel.

FERC didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

“A stay will ensure the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to rule on Spire STL Pipeline’s forthcoming petition for a writ of certiorari, Spire Missouri president Scott Carter and Spire STL Pipeline Scott Smith said in a statement.

The pipeline is designed to deliver up to 0.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. It began operating in November 2019.

The case is Spire Missouri Inc et al v. Environment Defense Fund et al, U.S. Supreme Court, No. N/A.

For Spire Missouri Inc et al: Theodore Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Read more:

Spire gets more time to operate Missouri STL natgas pipeline

Court denies Spire’s bid to rehear $285 mln pipeline permit vacatur

FERC’s rationale for pipeline cert weak, says D.C. Circuit

Sebastien Malo

Sebastien Malo reporters on environmental, climate and energy litigation. Reach him at sebastien.malo@thomsonreuters.com

REUTERS/Todd Korol