Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, today lauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of Representative Mike Pompeo’s legislation to improve the natural gas transmission pipeline permitting process. The bill was approved 252 to 165:
“We applaud the House for approving this legislation, which will improve the permitting process for interstate natural gas pipelines. Pipelines are the key to America’s natural gas revolution because they are the indispensable link from the supply source to the ultimate gas consumer.
“The Pompeo bill is consistent with the principal recommendation of an INGAA Foundation report on permitting released in December of 2012. The report found that, while FERC does an effective job of reviewing applications to build new pipelines, it lacks the authority to enforce permitting deadlines for other federal and state agencies. This deficiency increasingly is causing pipeline project delays. Providing clear permitting deadline authority will add certainty to the process and encourage timely decision-making.
“Under this legislation, the deadline to approve a project permit would not start until after completion of the NEPA (environmental) review. By that point, a pipeline project developer would have been in consultation with both FERC and the permitting agencies for 12 to 18 months, and sometimes longer. Consequently, it is entirely reasonable to expect a permitting agency to be able to make a final decision within 90 days of the NEPA process completion.
“We hope the Senate takes prompt action on this legislation that will facilitate the responsible and orderly development of infrastructure that will enable consumers to realize more fully the benefits of the shale revolution.”