CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, February 6, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2606, the New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. H.R. 2606 was introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) on July 21, 2011, and was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill, as amended, by unanimous consent on November 17, 2011.
H.R. 2606 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for the construction, operation, and maintenance of natural gas pipeline facilities within the Gateway National Recreation Area located in New York and New Jersey. In addition, the bill would authorize the Secretary to collect rent from leases of any National Park Service (NPS) land or buildings associated with the pipeline.
Under the legislation, permits issued for the natural gas pipeline facilities under this section shall be consistent with the laws and regulations generally applicable to utility rights-of-way within units of the National Park System. In addition, any permits issued under this section for the natural gas pipeline facilities shall be subject to such terms and conditions the Secretary deems appropriate. The Secretary would be required to charge a fee for any permits and permits would be issued for a term of 10 years.
According to Committee Report 112-373, due to increased demand for natural gas in New York City, New York, additional pipeline capacity is needed. To remedy this problem, New York City is working to place a pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area. H.R. 2606 provides the National Park Service (NPS) with the authority to approve a pipeline through its jurisdiction. As part of an agreement reached with NPS, in exchange for permitting the pipeline, the Williams Company will restore and maintain abandoned aircraft hangers in Floyd Bennett Field which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. One hanger will house the pipeline meter station and the others will be for park purposes.
According to CBO, any offsetting receipts from leasing NPS land or buildings associated with a pipeline in the Gateway National Recreation Area would total less than $150,000 a year. These receipts would be deposited in the U.S. Treasury as offsetting receipts and would go toward deficit reduction.