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Congressmen push to speed up Keystone OK

Keywords: Tags  Keystone XL pipeline, Northern Route Approval Act, TransCanada, Trans-Alaska pipeline, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Energy and Power subcommittee, Rep. Lee Terry, Rep. Ed Whitfield Thorsten Schier

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 Commerce.

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 committee’s 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 company’s original route due to environmental concerns (, March 4).

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