Congress Considers Expanding FERC Authority to Fix Pipe Approvals

The U.S. The House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Wednesday to hear testimony on a proposed plan to grant the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) more authority to speed up the pipeline approval process. Up for discuss is an amendment to the Natural Gas Act to grant FERC more authority in coordinating what is, admittedly, a complex review process. A more powerful FERC would, for example, likely be able to override states like New York that refuse to grant water crossing permits (permits that are issued under a federal law!). Don Santa, executive director of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, was one of the people testifying before the assembled Congressmen. He said things have gotten pretty bad over the past two years–yes with FERC, but also with other federal and state agencies. Here’s some of what was said at the hearing…

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