Proposed House legislation could avoid cost overruns for
natural gas pipeline projects by cutting permitting time, the
House Subcommittee on Energy and Power heard July 9.
"For one interstate
pipeline company trying to replace a small, older interstate
pipeline that extended across a reservoir owned and operated by
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a one-year, entirely
avoidable delay resulted in a 6-percent cost escalation for the
project," Donald Santa, president and chief executive officer
of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), a
lobby group representing interstate pipeline companies, said
during a hearing on the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting
Reform Act, which would set stricter deadlines for the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) and other regulating
agencies to make decisions on natural gas pipeline projects (
amm.com, May 10).
Opponents of the bill
were concerned that its expedited deadlines could undermine
necessary regulatory efforts.
"At a very fundamental
level, (the House bill) undermines the power preserved and
granted to the states to ensure protection of the health,
safety and economies of their people," Maya van Rossum,
Delaware Riverkeeper for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network,
However, an energy
company representative disputed that the approval process would
be less rigorous if the bill was passed.
will no doubt produce rejections as well as approvals. ...
However, often in infrastructure development, a timely
no is much preferable to an interminable
maybe, " David Markarian, vice president of
government affairs at Juno Beach, Fla.-based, NextEra Energy
Inc., said during the hearing.