Legislation that would expedite the approval of cross-border
oil and natural gas pipelines will be considered next week by
the House Energy and Power Subcommittee.
The bill would require
agencies to make decisions on cross-border pipelines within 120
days of submission. Oil pipelines would be approved by the
Commerce Department and natural gas pipelines by the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission.
Under the bill,
environmental review would remain a requirement but would no
longer be a prerequisite for approval.
Corp.s proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta oil
sands to Cushing, Okla., has been mired in the cross-border
approval process for five years. Pipe industry sources have
said approval of the line could boost long-term orders
(amm.com, Sept. 30).
Under the proposed
legislation, existing pipelines would not need further approval
for modifications such as the reversal of flow direction,
volume expansion or adjustments to maintain flow.