Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Actby Representative Ed Whitfield
Posted on 2015-01-21
WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 38, I call
up the bill (H.R. 161) to provide for the timely consideration of all
licenses, permits, and approvals required under Federal law with
respect to the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of any
natural gas pipeline projects, and ask for its immediate consideration
in the House.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 38, the bill is considered read.
The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 161 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act''.
SEC. 2. REGULATORY APPROVAL OF NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECTS.
Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717f) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: ``(i)(1) The Commission shall approve or deny an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a prefiled project not later than 12 months after receiving a complete application that is ready to be processed, as defined by the Commission by regulation.
``(2) The agency responsible for issuing any license, permit, or approval required under Federal law in connection with a prefiled project for which a certificate of public convenience and necessity is sought under this Act shall approve or deny the issuance of the license, permit, or approval not later than 90 days after the Commission issues its final environmental document relating to the project.
``(3) The Commission may extend the time period under paragraph (2) by 30 days if an agency demonstrates that it cannot otherwise complete the process required to approve or deny the license, permit, or approval, and therefor will be compelled to deny the license, permit, or approval. In granting an extension under this paragraph, the Commission may offer technical assistance to the agency as necessary to address conditions preventing the completion of the review of the application for the license, permit, or approval.
``(4) If an agency described in paragraph (2) does not approve or deny the issuance of the license, permit, or approval within the time period specified under paragraph (2) or (3), as applicable, such license, permit, or approval shall take effect upon the expiration of 30 days after the end of such period. The Commission shall incorporate into the terms of such license, permit, or approval any conditions proffered by the agency described in paragraph (2) that the Commission does not find are inconsistent with the final environmental document.
``(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term `prefiled project' means a project for the siting, construction, expansion, or operation of a natural gas pipeline with respect to which a prefiling docket number has been assigned by the Commission pursuant to a prefiling process established by the Commission for the purpose of facilitating the formal application process for obtaining a certificate of public convenience and necessity.''.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) each will control 30 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
General Leave Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on H.R. 161.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Kentucky? There was no objection.
Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Upton), the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.