Before Edwards, Chief Judge, Wald and Randolph, Circuit Judges.
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT
Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge Wald.
Petitioner El Paso Natural Gas Company ("El Paso") seeks review of two orders of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holding that a proposal by two local distribution companies ("LDCs") located in California to extend their pipeline network into Mexico would not bring the network within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's ("FERC" or "Commission") jurisdiction under Section(s) 4 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act ("NGA" or "Act"). 15 U.S.C. Section(s) 717c, 717f (1988). El Paso argues that FERC's determination contravened both the terms of the NGA and Commission precedent. We hold that El Paso lacks standing because it has failed to demonstrate aggrievement or a likelihood of imminent injury under the challenged rulings, and we therefore dismiss the petition without reaching the merits.
The NGA regulates the transportation and sale of natural gas in interstate commerce. Three sections of the Act are particularly relevant to this case. Section 7 provides that "[n]o natural-gas company *fn1 or person which will be a natural-gas company upon completion of any proposed construction or extension shall engage in the transportation or sale of natural gas" without first obtaining a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Commission. Id. at Section(s) 717f(c)(1)(A). Section 4 requires that "natural-gas companies" must maintain their rates for transportation or sale of gas on file with the Commission. Id. at Section(s) 717c(c).
Section 3 of the NGA is broader in scope than Section(s) 4 and 7. It requires that the Commission must approve the exportation or importation of natural gas by any "person" unless it finds that the project "will not be consistent with the public interest." Id. at Section(s) 717b. Because this section addresses "person[s]," rather than "natural-gas companies," the need for compliance with Section(s) 3 extends to all importers or exporters of natural gas, regardless of whether they operate in interstate commerce. *fn2
The "Hinshaw Amendment," contained in Section(s) 1(c) of the NGA, exempts certain facilities that transport or sell "interstate" gas but that are located within a single state from many provisions of the NGA, including Section(s) 4 and 7:
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any person engaged in ... the transportation in interstate commerce or the sale in interstate commerce for resale, of natural gas received by such person from another person within ... a State if all the natural gas so received is ultimately consumed within such State, or to any facilities used by such person for such transportation or sale, provided that the rates and service of such person and facilities be subject to regulation by a State commission. The matters exempted from the provisions of this chapter by this subsection are declared to be matters primarily of local concern and subject to regulation by the several states.
15 U.S.C. Section(s) 717(c) (1988). Because the Hinshaw Amendment exempts "Hinshaw pipelines" only from aspects of the NGA "subject to regulation by a State Commission," and state commissions have no authority to approve exportation or importation of natural gas, the requirements of 3 apply even to Hinshaw pipelines. ...