NEW YORK The House Energy
and Power subcommittee will hold a hearing April 10 on
legislation that would expedite the approval process for
TransCanada Corp.s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The Northern Route Approval Act
would "eliminate the need for a presidential permit, address
all other necessary federal permits and limit litigation that
could doom the $7-billion jobs and energy infrastructure
project," according to the House Committee on Energy and
The legislation, authored by
Rep. Lee Terry (R., Neb.), would prohibit the Environmental
Protection Agency from intervening in permitting under the
Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act, according to a
summary on the committees website.
Subcommittee chairman Rep. Ed
Whitfield (R., Ky.) cited congressional involvement in the
approval process for the Trans-Alaska pipeline, built in 1973,
as the blueprint for the act. "The game-changing Trans-Alaska
pipeline needed congressional involvement to clear the way for
its construction ... and our thoughtful legislative solution
builds upon the lessons of the past," he said.
The U.S. State Department
recently published a draft supplemental environmental impact
statement on a proposed reroute of the Keystone XL pipeline
after President Obama rejected the Calgary, Alberta-based
companys original route due to environmental concerns (
amm.com, March 4).