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July 23rd, 2013

Expansive Natural Gas Infrastructure Gets Push in House

By Liz Schuster 

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted in support of the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, a bill that would streamline the permitting process for natural gas pipelines by placing mandatory deadlines on the agencies in charge of approving infrastructure projects. Having passed out of committee, it may now make its way to the House floor for a vote.

It is obvious the oil and gas industry is looking to expand its market overseas. In pursuit of foreign markets, the industry needs to first create an expansive infrastructure to export liquefied natural gas. But these pipeline projects will ensure increased drilling and fracking across the country, bringing with them a host of health and environmental problems for nearby communities.

More specifically, the bill would place the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) under a mandatory 12-month deadline to approve or deny any natural gas infrastructure projects. This 12-month deadline starts ticking as soon as FERC receives a completed application. Other federal agencies would have 90 days after FERC releases its environmental review of the project to act. If they do not, or do not meet the requirements to demand 30 more days, the projects would automatically go into effect 30 days after the window for approval or denial runs out.  

In April groups protested FERC for “rubber stamping” natural gas infrastructure projects. By limiting FERC’s time for review, the bill almost ensures cut corners and less citizen participation.  

Building more natural gas pipelines only locks us into a future fueled by dirty fossil fuels. America’s sustainable, energy independent future depends on true renewables, like solar and wind power. The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act may have passed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, but it still has to survive a full House vote.  Please contact your House Member to tell them to vote against speeding up natural gas pipeline approvals.

5 Comments on Expansive Natural Gas Infrastructure Gets Push in House

  1. Sherry Staub says:

    Please use common sense and stop this destruction of our natural resources.

  2. William Sharfman, Ph.D. says:

    This is grossly ill-advised. It assures an unnecessary acceleration of destructive activities that put American lives and health, and water supply, at risk, as well as the environment more generally, including the climate, because it assures the production of gas that is not needed here to be sold for the benefit of a very few small special interests. Because this activity facilitates that, it means greater risks and destruction. It should be stopped and opposed.

  3. Marguerite Winkel says:

    This enables the destruction of our environment; poisoning our air, water and land with toxics and increasing earthquakes. We will all pay dearly for the greed and short sightedness of corporations and the politicians who serve them. Stop supporting environmental destruction and climate instability.

  4. Amy Hernandez says:

    Please stop “permitting ” the oil and gas corporations from further endangering our planet!

  5. Emily Hursh says:

    The more we learn about natural gas, the more clear it becomes that this is not the green energy of the future, nor the transitional energy of the present. Please don’t streamline the permit process! We don’t want more natural gas!

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