Support Builds for Congress to Reign in States Blocking Pipes

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing this Thursday to consider the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3303). Two weeks ago we told you about S. 3303, a bill that will “fix” the issue of states like New York using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which allows states to have a say in where interstate pipeline routes can pass through a state, from abusing their authority by blocking pipeline projects (see US Senate Bill Fixes States Blocking Pipelines via Water Permits). New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo (tinhorn dictator) has weaponized Section 401 and now routinely uses it to block any and all new natural gas pipelines in the state. That was not the intent of the Clean Water Act when delegating some (small, minor) authority to the individual states. Section 401 is meant to allow states to steer the pipeline in a new direction to avoid sensitive environmental areas–not block it completely. S. 3303 will fix the issue of state abuse. In advance of Thursday’s session, a coalition of twenty-four national organizations representing workers and businesses in the energy supply chain wrote a letter (copy below) urging the Senate committee to approve the legislation. The letter is evidence that there’s a building head of steam, a consensus, of support on this issue. Finally, someone is addressing the out-of-control abuses of power Cuomo and others are engaged in…

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