House Passes Energy Legislation

By Frank Vlossak

On December 3, the House of Representatives approved the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015” (H.R. 8) by a 249-174 vote. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the legislation on September 30. As described in the Committee’s report (H.Rept. 114-347), the legislation includes provisions that would:

  • Enhance the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) “role as the lead agency to coordinate concurrent [interstate natural gas pipeline] permit reviews, establish timelines, and require transparency in the process.”
  • Establish “an interagency task force to coordinate with Canada and Mexico on mutually-beneficial energy policy decisions affecting North America…”
  • Direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to “streamline the regulatory process for authorizing U.S. LNG exports by establishing a thirty day deadline for DOE to act on applications at the conclusion of the review required by the National Environmental Policy Act” (NEPA).
  • Direct “FERC to establish an Office of Compliance Assistance and Public Participation to be responsible for promoting improved compliance with Commission regulations, make recommendations on energy market behavior and enforcement, and perform outreach to the regulated community.”

 

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