House Passes Pipeline Permitting Legislation

Keystone Pipeline
National Journal
Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Nov. 21, 2013, 7:22 a.m.

The House passed a bill to speed fed­er­al re­view of oil and nat­ur­al gas pipelines with a vote of 252-165 on Thursday.

The le­gis­la­tion, which was sponsored by Rep. Mike Pom­peo, R-Kan., would set an up­per-lim­it of 12-months for the Fed­er­al En­ergy Reg­u­lat­ory Com­mis­sion to ap­prove or re­ject pipeline pro­jects.

Pom­peo ap­plauded the pas­sage of the bill, say­ing: “Des­pite all the grid­lock in Wash­ing­ton, the House has found a real bi­par­tis­an solu­tion to en­sure that nat­ur­al gas en­ergy is more af­ford­able for Amer­ic­ans. This bill en­sures that Amer­ica’s re­volu­tion in en­ergy pro­duc­tion reaches more house­holds and factor­ies across the coun­try, keep­ing homes warm, factor­ies hum­ming, and util­ity bills low, all the while cut­ting need­less red tape.”

En­vir­on­ment­al­ists, however, slammed the meas­ure, along with two oth­er Re­pub­lic­an bills that passed the House this week to ex­pand oil and nat­ur­al gas drilling on fed­er­al lands and block In­teri­or De­part­ment reg­u­la­tions on hy­draul­ic frack­ing. None stand much chance in the Demo­crat-con­trolled Sen­ate.

“These ir­re­spons­ible meas­ures are part of a con­tinu­ing cam­paign by House Re­pub­lic­ans to sys­tem­at­ic­ally dis­mantle long-time, sens­ible safety pro­tec­tions the Amer­ic­an people de­pend on, and to de­lib­er­ately let the oil and gas in­dustry write its own rules. Even those who sup­port more oil and gas drilling should be ap­palled,” Dav­id Gold­ston, dir­ect­or of gov­ern­ment af­fairs for the Nat­ur­al Re­sources De­fense Coun­cil, said in a state­ment.

COR­REC­TION: An earli­er ver­sion of this art­icle stated that the bill which passed would ap­ply to cross-bor­der pipelines. 

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