Subcommittee Advances Bipartisan Legislation to Modernize Cross-Border Permitting

November 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), today advanced H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. Authored by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), the bipartisan bill would modernize the cross-boundary permitting process for oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines, replacing the current Presidential Permit process created by a series of executive orders. H.R. 3301 is a critical component of the architecture of abundance and will facilitate the construction of new job-creating energy infrastructure projects needed to transport North America’s increasing energy supplies. The subcommittee approved the measure by a vote of 19 to 10 and it now moves to the full committee for consideration.

“Achieving our common goal of North American energy independence requires a hard look at the current system for approving cross-border energy projects. This is exactly what H.R. 3301 does. The bill recognizes that building the energy delivery system of the future cannot rely on the permitting processes of the past,” said Whitfield.

“We need to wring political interference out of the energy permitting process and look to the future,” added Upton. “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 U.S. Such a project would no longer be subject to unlimited additional delays simply because of the border crossing.”

Upton committed to continuing to work with his colleagues to garner broad support for the bill and is working with Green on an amendment to address some of the concerns raised at the legislative hearing. “I welcome additional input from any members of this committee as we work toward introducing a revised amendment at full committee. It is my hope that we can find additional mutual support for HR 3301 to bring certainty and much-needed reform to the process currently plaguing these projects,” said Upton.