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Bills to expedite oil and gas pipeline approvals advance

Keywords: Tags  oil pipelines, gas pipelines, Sucommittee on Energy and Power, Congress, Fred Upton, National Association of Manufacturers, Laborers’ International Union of North America, Global Insight Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — The House Energy and Power Subcommittee advanced a bill expediting the cross-border approval of oil and gas pipelines by a 19-10 vote Nov. 20.

"Under this bill, a 500-mile pipeline or a transmission line carrying new hydro from Canada or solar from Arizona that extends across the Canadian or Mexican border would be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as a similar project that remained within the boundaries of the United States," House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Frederick Upton (R., Mich.) said in a statement.

The bill was put forth in October (, Oct. 23).

Meanwhile, Congress passed a bill Nov. 21 that eases the approval process for interstate gas pipelines (, July 10) by a bipartisan vote of 252-165.

Several interest groups voiced support for the bill.

"The National Association of Manufacturers supports (the bill) because it will strengthen our energy infrastructure, encouraging the cost-effective use of natural gas as part of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy that will fuel a manufacturing resurgence," the group said.

"Between now and 2035, IHS Global Insight (Inc.) estimates that more than $3 trillion in investments in unconventional gas are expected to be developed. This investment would create upwards of 2.4 million jobs and generate roughly $1.5 trillion in federal, state and local tax revenue by 2015. ... The financial impact that natural gas pipeline projects have on our economy is too great to be held down by the current approval process" the Laborers’ International Union of North America said.

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