NEW YORK A bill aimed at
expediting the approval process of natural gas pipelines has
been introduced in Congress by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.).
The Natural Gas Pipeline
Permitting Reform Act, which has bipartisan support, would
force the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) to issue
a decision on a natural gas pipeline project "not later than 12
months after providing public notice of the application,"
according to the bill.
Any other agency also required
to issue a "license, permit or approval" for a pipeline would
have 90 days to make a decision after the Ferc issues its
environmental review, with a possible 30-day extension
If no decision is made at that
point, "approval shall go into effect," the bill states.
The bill comes as "several
regions of the country are facing a shortage of pipeline
capacity to support ... increased gas-electric generation," the
House Energy and Commerce Committee said.
The Interstate Natural Gas
Association of America (INGAA) applauded the measure.
"The Pompeo bill is consistent
with the principal recommendation from an INGAA foundation
report on permitting released in December. ... The report found
that, while the Ferc does an effective job of reviewing
applications for authority to build new pipelines, the
commission currently lacks the authority to enforce permitting
deadlines for other federal and state agencies," INGAA
president and chief executive officer Donald F. Santa Jr.