In the pursuit of North American energy independence, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders recently unveiled draft legislation to reform the approval process for constructing or modifying job-creating energy infrastructure projects that cross U.S. borders. The North American Energy Infrastructure Act, co-sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), would consolidate and modernize the cross-boundary permitting process for oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines, replacing and superseding the current processes that have been created in an ad hoc fashion by multiple Executive Orders.
On Tuesday, the Beaumont Enterprise editorial board praised the legislative effort, saying it is “needed” to prevent these job-creating infrastructure projects from being “bogged down in red tape.” The legislation is part of the committee’s efforts to expedite and expand the United States’ architecture of abundance to fulfill the opportunity created by newfound energy resources which will, in turn, help create jobs, power our economy, and lower prices to consumers.
October 8, 2013
Editorial: Cross-border pipelines need better pathway
The messy five-year fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has produced at least one positive thing: An understanding that the country needs a better way to regulate pipelines and power transmission lines that cross U.S. borders.
The issue has even prompted a rarity in Washington these days – a joint bill introduced by a Democrat, U.S. Rep. Gene Green of Houston, and a Republican, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan.
Their bill wouldn’t affect the Keystone pipeline, but it seeks to streamline a confusing patchwork of executive orders and overlapping oversight by several agencies that has evolved over the years.
It’s needed. Analysts expect more cross-border energy and power projects involving the three nations of North America. These projects should be carefully reviewed, but they shouldn’t be bogged down in red tape. If they can help both parties, they should be greenlighted as soon as practical.
Read the editorial online here.