Building the LNG Infrastructure We Need

Americans depend on natural gas to go about our daily lives.  Over half the homes in the U.S. are heated by natural gas.  When companies require high temperatures for manufacturing processes, they turn to natural gas in order to reduce air pollution emissions.  Common household products such as paper, trash bags, even medicines all employ the use of natural gas in their production.

America is undergoing an energy renaissance due to our natural gas supply.  The United States is on track to be the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.  But across the U.S., there is a critical shortage of natural gas pipeline capacity, both in areas where it is being produced and where there is demand.  Building the infrastructure to transport that natural gas has become an arduous task, as federal regulators have little incentive to meet clear deadlines.

The challenges that exist for permitting new interstate natural gas pipeline projects have created needless scarcity leading to higher utility costs for households and factories alike.  H.R. 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, reforms this process and would ensure that pipeline construction could have a clear timeline, preventing projects from waiting in limbo.

According to a recent article by the Energy & Commerce Committee, households in the New England area “will see an electric bill that is 37 percent higher than last winter for the same amount of electricity used.”  This legislation would provide millions of American families access to affordable and reliable energy by modernizing the application review process for natural gas pipeline projects.  It would require the various agencies charged with reviewing these projects to complete their work within a firm timeline, providing greater certainty for interstate natural gas pipeline projects.

We are calling on regulators to meet their deadlines so pipelines can get built.  Pipeline operators have reported numerous delays in the permitting process.  A December 2012 study conducted by the INGAA Foundation found that delays of more than 90 days have risen 28 percent, while delays of 180 days or more have risen 20 percent.  Ongoing delays because of a complex permitting process must not get in the way of people affordably heating their homes in the winter and cooling them in the summer.

We are looking forward, establishing firm timelines and modernizing the review process of natural gas pipeline permit applications as natural gas becomes more prevalent as a source of electricity generation.  This bill ensures that America’s revolution in energy production reaches more households and factories across the country, keeping homes warm, factories humming, and utility bills low, all the while cutting needless red tape.

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