Congressional Committee Votes on
Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act
On July 10, 2013, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee approved the federal Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900 – Pompeo [R – Kansas]). The Act would provide that the federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must approve or deny the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any natural gas pipeline project within 12 months of an application.
Of particular interest to cities, the bill would impose a 90-day period in which a state or city must act on a gas pipeline project. The 90 days begins when FERC approves the project, and isn’t tied to when an application is made to the state or city. If the state or city fails to act within the 90-day period, the project is automatically approved.
Every city official knows that the oil and gas industry is vital to the Texas economy. But stripping away the ability of cities to reasonably deal with the proliferation of pipelines may not be the best way to promote it.
If you are concerned about H.R. 1900, please contact your congressional delegation.