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September 20, 2017

Inhofe, King Introduce Bipartisan FERC Legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Coordinating Interagency Review of Natural Gas Infrastructure Act of 2017. This legislation seeks to streamline the permitting process for interstate projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):

“For too long, the natural gas pipeline permitting process has been crippled with inefficiencies that unnecessarily delay critical projects for interstate commerce,” Sen. Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said. “By streamlining the permitting process, we can get pipelines from planning to serving the public faster and more efficiently. This bill brings all federal, state and local regulatory agencies to the table early on to coordinate participation—resulting in a more collaborative and timely review process.

“This legislation demonstrates a clear, bipartisan commitment to working on broad infrastructure priorities and highlights key opportunities to use regulatory reform to leverage private sector investments. I am grateful to work with Senator King to spearhead this effort and look forward to its consideration in the Senate.”

“This bipartisan bill would help natural gas get delivered safely and efficiently to consumers in Maine, while ensuring environmental protections remain in place,” said Senator King, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “By establishing timelines for federal reviews, the legislation cuts through red tape in a way that can deliver relief for Maine families and businesses facing high energy costs while in no way compromising environmental standards."

This legislation was also supported by Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Natural Gas Supply Association, the Center for LNG and API.

Don Santa, president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America stated:

“We applaud Senators Inhofe and King for introducing this legislation, which will improve the permitting process for interstate natural gas pipelines. Pipelines are a key to realizing the benefits of America’s natural gas revolution because they are the indispensable link between the supply source to the ultimate gas consumer. 

“Despite the clear need for new pipelines, the permitting process has become more protracted and challenging. While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acts in a timely manner on most proposed applications, roadblocks and delays are becoming commonplace at other federal and state permitting agencies.

“We hope the Senate takes prompt action on this legislation that will facilitate the responsible and orderly development of infrastructure, enabling consumers to enjoy more fully the benefits of America’s abundant and affordable natural gas supply.”

Dena Wiggins, president and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association stated:

“We applaud Senators Inhofe and King for their commitment to interstate natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Natural gas pipelines are essential in order to allow consumers to reap the full benefits of the shale revolution. Further development of pipeline infrastructure provides greater access to abundant domestic natural gas, which helps lower emissions and supports renewable energy. This bill ensures that the environmental impacts of a pipeline project are carefully reviewed but in a manner that eliminates unnecessary delays in the process. We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors as well as our colleagues in the pipeline industry to support this important legislation.”

Charlie Riedl, Executive Director of the Center for LNG stated:

“The legislation proposed today offers solutions to a formidable challenge facing American consumers and countless industries. By improving the permitting process for critical infrastructure it will help to reduce cost and provide choices to millions of Americans. This legislation offers hope to those in the liquefied natural gas industry as it provides a more efficient path for gas to move from wellhead to export terminal. We look forward to this legislation and any future legislation aimed at removing unnecessary hurdles to energy infrastructure.”

Khary Cauthen, API Federal Relations Senior Director stated:

“Promoting certainty in the natural gas pipeline permitting process is a win for American workers, consumers, and the environment. Maintaining and expanding our natural gas pipeline infrastructure will help increase the use of clean natural gas that has supported millions of jobs, lowered energy costs for consumers, and driven carbon emissions throughout the U.S. economy down to levels not seen in nearly 25 years. While FERC’s review process is robust and thorough, it isn’t always timely or efficient. This important legislation will help promote infrastructure projects across the country by encouraging greater coordination, transparency, efficiency, and certainty in the permit review process.” 

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