On Wednesday, the House will take up two energy bills that aim to modernize the Untied States’ energy infrastructure. Back in June, Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power began considering these bills. Named the “Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act,” and the “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act,” both bills focus on international cross-border pipelines which key players in the oil and natural gas industry are watching closely.
Earlier this year, the Senate drafted a letter requesting that any revisions of NAFTA consider the international movement oil and natural gas between the US, Canada, and Mexico. Born from that letter, the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act is designed to expedite the process of obtaining permission from the federal government to construct structures that traverse American jurisdictions. One major complaint of American or oil and natural gas producers has been the lengthy and tedious permitting process that they must endure to obtain permission to build across the border. Republican lawmakers believe that the arduous permitting process encumbers companies and the legislation would “establish a predictable and transparent process to construct of cross-border pipelines and electric facilities”.
The Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act similarly addresses FERC’s role in the permitting process. In addition to requiring that siting processes be publicly disclosed, the bill encourages coordination between FERC and other participating agencies in order to expedite environmental impact reviews on for natural gas pipeline construction. Rep. Bill Flores, the author of the legislation commented, “America is one of the world’s top oil and gas producers thanks to the shale revolution,” Flores said. “Our energy infrastructure and permitting process must be updated to reflect America’s abundance of domestic energy resources. Modernizing the permitting process for the nation’s pipeline infrastructure allows us to efficiently and safely bring those resources to our downstream assets, ultimately to consumers, to power our economy, and to give opportunities to our hard-working American families.”
Chairman Walden of the House Energy and Commerce Committee praised both bills as prudent steps to putting consumer interests over those of bureaucrats and activists. With energy increasingly becoming a major cost to family owned and operated businesses, Family Businesses For Affordable Energy is encouraged by the steps Congress is taking to eliminate the red tape that hinders America’s economic growth.