Class Year



Political Science


Michael Fotos


The FERC’s history of approving nearly 100% of pipelines and divisive pipeline cases like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline have driven landowners’ long-standing claims of regulatory agency capture of the FERC. The present research substantiates the claim of capture with a case study of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and uncovers that the FERC is both culturally and corrosively captured. This research also suggests that the capture of the FERC began at its conception during the natural gas crisis and subsequent natural gas bubble, which caused the FERC to follow the industry’s lead. These findings indicate that the FERC’s policies and procedures must be modified to distance it from the natural gas industry and further incorporate the public’s voices into its decision-making process.