(a) Proceedings: suspension, vacation or removal of suspension; issuance of certificate of convenience and necessity
(1) Notwithstanding any provision of the Natural Gas Act or any other provision of law, the Commission shall suspend all proceedings pending before the Commission on October 22, 1976, relating to a system for the transportation of Alaska natural gas as soon as the Commission determines to be practicable after such date, and the Commission may refuse to act on any application, amendment thereto, or other requests for action under the Natural Gas Act relating to a system for the transportation of Alaska natural gas until such time as (A) a decision of the President designating such a system for approval takes effect pursuant to section 719f of this title, (B) no such decision takes effect pursuant to section 719f of this title, or (C) the President decides not to designate such a system for approval under section 719f of this title and so advises the Congress pursuant to section 719e of this title.
(2) In the event a decision of the President designating such a system takes effect pursuant to this chapter, the Commission shall forthwith vacate proceedings suspended under paragraph (1) and, pursuant to section 719g of this title and in accordance with the President’s decision, issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity respecting such system.
(3) In the event such a decision of the President does not take effect pursuant to this chapter or the President decides not to designate such a system and so advises the Congress pursuant to section 719e of this title, the suspension provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be removed.
(b) Recommendation; submittal to President; rule for presentation of data, views, and arguments; Federal agency cooperation
(1) The Commission shall review all applications for the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity relating to the transportation of Alaska natural gas pending on October 22, 1976, and any amendments thereto which are timely made, and after consideration of any alternative transportation system which the Commission determines to be reasonable, submit to the President not later than May 1, 1977, a recommendation concerning the selection of such a transportation system. Such recommendation may be in the form of a proposed certificate of public convenience and necessity, or in such other form as the Commission determines to be appropriate, or may recommend that no decision respecting the selection of such a transportation system be made at this time or pursuant to this chapter. Any recommendation that the President approve a particular transportation system shall (A) include a description of the nature and route of the system, (B) designate a person to construct and operate the system, which person shall be the applicant, if any, which filed for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate such system, (C) if such recommendation is for an all-land pipeline transportation system, or a transportation system involving water transportation, include provision for new facilities to the extent necessary to assure direct pipeline delivery of Alaska natural gas contemporaneously to points both east and west of the Rocky Mountains in the lower continental United States.
(2) The Commission may, by rule, provide for the presentation of data, views, and arguments before the Commission or a delegate of the Commission pursuant to such procedures as the Commission determines to be appropriate to carry out its responsibilities under paragraph (1) of this subsection. Such a rule shall, to the extent determined by the Commission, apply, notwithstanding any provision of law that would otherwise have applied to the presentation of data, views, and arguments.
(3) The Commission may request such information and assistance from any Federal agency as the Commission determines to be necessary or appropriate to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter. Any Federal agency requested to submit information or provide assistance shall submit such information to the Commission at the earliest practicable time after receipt of a Commission request.
(c) Report; public availability; factors to be discussed
The Commission shall accompany any recommendation under subsection (b)(1) with a report, which shall be available to the public, explaining the basis for such recommendation and including for each transportation system reviewed or considered a discussion of the following:
(1) for each year of the 20-year period which begins with the first year following October 22, 1976, the estimated—
(A) volumes of Alaska natural gas which would be available to each region of the United States directly, or indirectly by displacement or otherwise, and
(B) transportation costs and delivered prices of any such volumes of gas by region;
(2) the effects of each of the factors described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) on the projected natural gas supply and demand for each region of the United States and on the projected supplies of alternative fuels available by region to offset shortages of natural gas occurring in such region for each such year;
(3) the impact upon competition;
(4) the extent to which the system provides a means for the transportation to United States markets of natural resources or other commodities from sources in addition to the Prudhoe Bay Reserve;
(5) environmental impacts;
(6) safety and efficiency in design and operation and potential for interruption in deliveries of Alaska natural gas;
(7) construction schedules and possibilities for delay in such schedules or for delay occurring as a result of other factors;
(8) feasibility of financing;
(9) extent of reserves, both proven and probable and their deliverability by year for each year of the 20-year period which begins with the first year following October 22, 1976;
(10) the estimate of the total delivered cost to users of the natural gas to be transported by the system by year for each year of the 20-year period which begins with the first year following October 22, 1976;
(11) capability and cost of expanding the system to transport additional volumes of natural gas in excess of initial system capacity;
(12) an estimate of the capital and operating costs, including an analysis of the reliability of such estimates and the risk of cost overruns; and
(13) such other factors as the Commission determines to be appropriate.
(d) Recommendation not based upon Canadian pipeline system decision
The recommendation by the Commission pursuant to this section shall not be based upon the fact that the Government of Canada or agencies thereof have not, by then rendered a decision as to authorization of a pipeline system to transport Alaska natural gas through Canada.
(e) Transportation system: recommendation, submittal to President; environmental impact statement: submittal to President
If the Commission recommends the approval of a particular transportation system, it shall submit to the President with such recommendation (1) an identification of those facilities and operations which are proposed to be encompassed within the term "construction and initial operation" in order to define the scope of directions contained in section 719g of this title and (2) the terms and conditions permitted under the Natural Gas Act [15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.], which the Commission determines to be appropriate for inclusion in a certificate of public convenience and necessity to be issued respecting such system. The Commission shall submit to the President contemporaneously with its’ report an environmental impact statement prepared respecting the recommended system, if any, and each environmental impact statement which may have been prepared respecting any other system reported on under this section.
REFERENCES IN TEXT The Natural Gas Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (e), is act June 21, 1938, ch. 556, 52 Stat. 821, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 15B (§717 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 717w of this title and Tables.TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS Enforcement functions authorized by, and supplemental enforcement authority created by this chapter with respect to pre-construction, construction, and initial operation of transportation system for Canadian and Alaskan natural gas transferred to Federal Inspector, Office of Federal Inspector for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, until first anniversary of date of initial operation of Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, see Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1979, §§102(h)(1), 203(a), 44 F.R. 33663, 33666, 93 Stat. 1373, 1376, effective July 1, 1979, set out under section 719e of this title. Office of Federal Inspector for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System abolished and functions and authority vested in Inspector transferred to Secretary of Energy by section 3012(b) of Pub. L. 102–486, set out as an Abolition of Office of Federal Inspector note under section 719e of this title. Functions and authority vested in Secretary of Energy subsequently transferred to Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects by section 720d(f) of this title. Federal Power Commission terminated and functions, personnel, property, funds, etc., transferred to Secretary of Energy (except for certain functions transferred to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) by sections 7151(b), 7171(a), 7172(a)(1), 7291, and 7293 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.
15 U.S.C. § 719c (2018)