INGAA’s Don Santa sends letter in support of H.R. 8 North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015

Dear Speaker Ryan and Chairman Upton,

With the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015” (H.R. 8) scheduled for debate in the House this week, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) wishes to express our support for the legislation, as well as our views on two of the amendments to be offered. As the title suggests, a major focus of the legislation is energy infrastructure development. INGAA represents the interstate natural gas transmission pipeline industry, which is a critical component of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Our nation’s new natural gas supplies are creating a brighter energy future for America by lowering consumer energy costs and reducing overall emissions. Pipelines make the benefits of abundant, domestic natural gas supplies possible by transporting energy to the markets that need it. New pipeline capacity goes hand in hand with new natural gas supplies.
H.R. 8 contains several provisions that would improve the permitting process for new natural gas transmission pipelines. The goal is to improve transparency and agency accountability, while continuing to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and other environmental laws. The Green amendment is consistent with that goal because it would create a more rational process for the review and approval of cross-border energy infrastructure. INGAA recommends support for the Green amendment.
The Tonko amendment, on the other hand, would strike a central element of the bill that would improve the permitting of natural gas transmission pipelines. Section 1101 of H.R. 8 would authorize concurrent permitting reviews, require greater transparency in the permitting process, and allow the use of new survey technology for permit applications. Striking the section, as proposed by the Tonko amendment, would undermine one of the key pillars of the legislation. INGAA recommends opposition to the Tonko amendment.
Once again, INGAA supports final passage of H.R. 8, and we thank you for your work on this legislation.