Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, today released the following statement commending the House Energy and Commerce Committee for reporting H.R. 3301, the North America Energy Infrastructure Act, sponsored by Committee Chairman Fred Upton (Republican-Michigan) and Rep. Gene Green (Democrat-Texas) to modernize and reform the approval process for energy infrastructure projects that cross the borders of the United States. The bill would update the permitting process to reflect the free trade agreement the U.S. has shared with Canada and Mexico since 1994. If the bill were enacted, a proposed natural gas pipeline crossing the border with one of these nations would require two, not the current three, major approvals. It would remove the redundant requirement that the Department of Energy approve the import or export of natural gas to and from Canada and Mexico.
“We commend the committee for reporting this bill, which would modernizes and reform the approval process for pipelines and other energy projects that cross the U.S. border with Canada and Mexico. The legislation, if enacted, will provide a clear regulatory path for approving cross-border projects and replace an ad-hoc approval system that was developed through Executive Orders over a series of admirations.
“A cross-border natural gas pipeline project will still require the same certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under current law, including a thorough National Environmental Policy Act analysis and all environmental and land-use permits, as well as separate FERC approval for export or import.
“We hope the full House, and the Senate, take prompt action on this legislation and other legislation that will improve pipeline permitting and help the nation realize more completely the benefits of the natural gas revolution.”