Support Grows for Bipartisan North American Energy Infrastructure Act
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today will vote on important job-creating energy legislation authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX). H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, modernizes the outdated approval process for energy infrastructure projects that cross borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This legislation establishes a clear and efficient approval process and eliminates Keystone-like delays for future cross-border pipelines and transmission lines that can deliver jobs and affordable energy. As a critical component of the Architecture of Abundance, H.R. 3301 will help unleash the benefits of North American energy and put us on the path toward energy independence.
Ahead of this week’s vote, the bill received overwhelming support from labor unions, manufacturers, job creators, and consumer groups. Below is a sample of the support for H.R. 3301:
"We must implement a fair and standardized approval process for energy projects that cross our borders. The cross-border permitting process currently in place has been established by a series of Executive Orders. H.R. 3301 consolidates and standardizes the process for all three energy sources. We applaud the legislation's commitment to protecting the environment and expediting the application process."
"As you know, the United States is in the midst of an energy revolution that has already put us on track to become the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer. With this newfound abundance comes economic growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in oil and gas production, refining, and other manufacturing sectors. The nation’s refineries and petrochemical facilities are among the most advanced in the world and now have an opportunity to continue supplying not only our U.S. needs, but also to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. Coupled with new supplies from our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, North American energy security is within our grasp. This evolving and important geo-political strategic advantage will help reshape our economy and foreign relations for decades to come. As our energy supplies grow, however, so does the need for safe and reliable infrastructure."
"At a time of economic distress, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has the potential to grow the economy, create well-paying jobs, and generate millions of dollars in new federal revenue. An efficient permitting process is vitally important to sustaining our industry, which supports more than 9.8 million jobs and delivers more than $85 million per day to the federal government through taxes, bonus bids, royalties, and other production fees."
"ATC believes that any legislation that would clarify and modernize the electric transmission siting process in a way that will increase grid reliability and enhance domestic energy security is a worthwhile legislative goal."
"Ongoing and future expansion of the physical linkages between the Canadian and U.S. segments of the grid will likewise yield significant benefits to consumers. … These projects attest to the enduring appeal of cross-border infrastructure as an advantageous option for pursuing benefits which are specific to economic needs, reliability demands and public policy interests of the local jurisdictions involved. And in broader context, the pursuit of these benefits is just one of many factors underscoring a much larger need for major investment in new infrastructure across North America."
"The Chamber commends the efforts of Chairman Upton and Representative Green to bring attention to permit streamlining and regulatory reform generally. The federal regulatory process in our country is broken and in need of meaningful and comprehensive reform, in order to create jobs and strengthen our economy."
"Providing certainty and consistency to the permitting process for cross-border projects is critical as North American countries are coordinating and enhancing efforts to meet energy demand and make the most of the abundant resources that modern technology and industry practices allow us to employ. As you know, the U.S. is already producing a surplus of natural gas and neighboring Canada continues to develop significant amounts of energy. Congress should do whatever possible to improve the review and permitting process, which often obstructs critical projects from getting off the ground."
"Timely decisions for the siting and permitting of energy infrastructure as essential if we are able to expand and upgrade the facilities necessary to assure all Americans a robust, reliable and affordable supply of electricity."
"Energy is a key and basic building block of a strong and growing economy and to job and income growth. This is something all Americans want and hope to return to. Reliable and affordable energy is also a strong factor in national security considerations. Reform that removes autocratic and burdensome barriers and moves us towards attaining the goal of North American energy independence is welcome news."
"The United States is a partner with Canada and Mexico in the North American Free Trade Agreement. This agreement has served our nation well, as reflected in the robust and dynamic cross-border trade of natural gas. The U.S has benefited from abundant Canadian supplies of natural gas over the past several decades, and we have exported modest volumes of U.S. natural gas to Mexico. The laws governing the approval of cross-border energy infrastructure should be updated to reflect the free trade arrangement we have shared with these nations since 1994."
"Today, the process for permitting this energy infrastructure lives only through Executive Order. North America’s energy future is simply too important to leave to the ambiguity and imprecision of administrative fiat. … Enactment of H.R. 3301 is one important but necessary step to help place the booming energy sector on a sound footing for the future."
"…ITC believes The National Energy Infrastructure Act is an important step in streamlining the process for facilitating the necessary review for cross border transmission facilities. Having a clear, predictable process and definitive timeline will help ensure utilities like ITC can place necessary facilities into service in a timely fashion."
"Bringing certainty to the permitting process for cross-border projects is essential as the continent more closely integrates its energy supplies. … Doubt and confusion constrain investment in the nation’s energy infrastructure, weakening the economy, job growth, and tax revenue. That confusion could be rectified by your legislation..."
"NECA believes this legislation will facilitate construction projects along the United States’ borders and encourage energy independence. … By establishing a more concrete process for the approval of construction projects to import oil, natural gas, and electricity, this legislation would create more jobs in the construction industry while working towards America’s energy independence."
"This legislation would streamline the archaic cross-border permitting process for energy facilities that stretch across the borders we share with Mexico and Canada. These reforms would result in increased investment in our energy infrastructure, bringing with it much-needed jobs and consumer choice."
"On behalf of WIRES, I am pleased to express our support for your bill (H.R. 3301), which would modernize and reform the approval process for energy infrastructure projects that extend across the U.S.-Canadian or U.S.-Mexican borders."
To view a full list of letters in support of H.R. 3301, click HERE.
To learn more about H.R. 3301, click HERE.