Upton and Green Introduce Legislation to Modernize and Reform Cross-Border Energy Project Approvals

October 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) today formally introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and reform the approval process for energy infrastructure projects that cross the borders of the United States. At the time of introduction, H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, had 15 cosponsors, including 7 Republicans and 8 Democrats. The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will hold a hearing to examine the legislation next Tuesday, October 29, 2013.

The North American Energy Infrastructure Act will create a clear regulatory approval process for U.S. cross-border oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and electric transmission lines, replacing the current system set forth in a series of Executive Orders created in an ad hoc fashion over multiple administrations. It will bring much-needed certainty to the process for constructing or modifying cross-border projects and help encourage investment in new job-creating energy infrastructure projects needed to transport North America’s growing energy supplies. The bill introduced today specifically addresses how currently pending applications shall be handled and creates an effective date for the legislation of July 1, 2015.

“This commonsense, bipartisan legislation is an important step in our overall effort to build the United States’ new architecture of abundance. In the past, it has taken years to get cross-border approvals and this regulatory uncertainty has stymied the development and expansion of important energy infrastructure projects. As America’s energy production continues to increase, a more modern and efficient approval process is becoming increasingly necessary. Moving forward, this bill will restore certainty and help eliminate barriers to investment and construction, encouraging job growth and bringing us closer to North American energy independence,” said Upton.

“This bill strikes the right balance in that it ensures a timely review of the approval to cross our national boundary but does not affect any of the important environmental reviewing and permitting that is needed to actually construct or site the project,” added Green.

To view a copy of H.R. 3301, click HERE.

To view of summary of the legislation, click HERE.

A Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony for next week’s hearing will be available here as they are posted.

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