Washington, D.C. – May 12, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to pass an amended version of H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act authored by Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) and Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). The bill will create a structural process for the approval of cross-border oil pipelines and electric transmission facilities while protecting the environment, creating jobs and providing businesses certainty.
“H.R. 3301 recognizes the energy revolution taking place on the North American continent and meets the new demands for trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States in an evolving, 21st Century economy,” Green said. “The United States is in a great position to lead a unified energy sector with its neighbors and allies that would benefit all three nations. The U.S. is already producing a surplus of oil and gas, Canada continues to develop huge amounts of domestic resources in addition to serving as our largest supplier of crude oil, meanwhile, Mexico, following recent reforms, is on the verge of receiving massive amounts of funding for future energy investments. Pipelines and electric transmission facilities would secure our energy needs, increase economic efficiencies that were created through NAFTA agreements, and build a new energy powerhouse in the Western Hemisphere.”
H.R. 3301 creates a specific timeline for the approval of cross-border facilities, while ensuring they are environmentally safe and protective of the public interest. Specifically, it codifies into law a review for cross-border oil pipelines and electric transmission facilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and charges the Department of State with conducting a full scale NEPA review at the national boundary before approving a pipeline or transmission line. Additionally, it would eliminate the ill-defined executive order process that has led to over five years of delay.
“This bill creates an effective and responsible process for approving cross-border facilities while removing political calculations,” Green said. “I’m hopeful that we can continue to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and gain bipartisan support for this important bill.”