July 24, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Two Infrastructure Bills

In our nation’s capital, Congress plays a critical role in the oversight of pipeline infrastructure, ensuring that the regulations regarding energy transportation remain productive, efficient, and supportive of access to oil and natural gas resources across the country.

To that end, last week the House of Representatives passed two bills aimed at reforming pipeline infrastructure approvals. As a press release by the House Energy and Commerce Committee relates:

“The House of Representatives today passed two energy bills that seek to advance the nation’s energy infrastructure through targeted reforms to the federal government’s permitting and siting policies for oil and natural gas pipelines.”

According to the release:

H.R. 2883, Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act, authored by committee members Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), would;

  • Replace the Presidential Permitting approval needed before constructing an oil and gas pipeline or electric transmission line that crosses a border with Canada or Mexico with a more transparent, efficient, and effective review process.
  • Reestablish Congress’ authority and promotes the value of trade between the U.S. and our North American allies which exceeded $140 billion in 2015.
  • H.R. 2883 passed the House by a vote of 254-175.

The second bill relates to the approval of natural gas infrastructure:

H.R. 2910, Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act, authored by committee member Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), would;

  • Address the critical need to expand and modernize the nation’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure by promoting more timely and efficient reviews.
  • Strengthen FERC’s lead agency role and bring greater certainty, accountability, and transparency to the siting process for interstate natural gas pipelines.
  • H.R. 2910 passed the House by a vote of 248-179.

According to Rep. Flores, author of H.R. 2910:

“Thanks to the shale energy revolution, America is one of the world’s top producers of natural gas. While our nation’s families and industrial and manufacturing bases rely on this abundant fuel source, some areas of the country lack necessary pipeline infrastructure. This lack of infrastructure leads to unnecessarily inflated costs for electricity for both consumers and job creators … The Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act will allow us to fully harness this environmentally friendly, affordable and abundant resource by bringing greater transparency and accountability to the natural gas permitting process for interstate pipelines. These improvements encourage a more robust and reliable pipeline infrastructure system, which in turn will deliver clean, affordable natural gas to hardworking American families.”

CEPI applauds the House for taking this decisive step toward improving the review process of pipeline infrastructure projects. These pieces of legislation would vastly improve their approval process, increasing the efficiency with which private companies are able to undertake the upgrading of our nation’s infrastructure.