Saturday, February 14, 2015
Billy Long: I will back efforts to make U. S. energy independent
The House is once again making energy a priority in Congress. We need to harness our country’s abundant energy resources, like natural gas, which will lead to more jobs and cheaper energy prices for American families.
On January 21st, the House passed the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. Too often, construction to build and improve our nation’s energy infrastructure gets caught in Washington’s red tape. This legislation will help move our nation’s abundant supply of natural gas to market, creating jobs and lowering energy costs for hard-working taxpayers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is tasked with deciding whether a pipeline is in the public’s best interest. The agency approves or rejects natural gas pipeline construction on an average of 12 months, but other relevant regulatory agencies requiring additional permits, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, often lengthen the process and total project costs. There are currently no statutory time limits on the process. The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act would require FERC to approve or deny projects within one year of receiving applications. All other agencies involved in additional permits for pipeline construction would have a mandatory maximum 90-day review period. Any pending application after the one-year or 90-day time period without extension would be automatically approved.
On January 28th, the House passed the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act. America’s energy revolution has made our country a leader in natural gas production. We can harness natural gas not only here at home to help strengthen our economy and create thousands of jobs, but also export it to help our European allies and others reduce their energy dependence from adversarial nations that use energy as a weapon. This, for example, would help countries such as Ukraine be less dependent on an oppressive Russia to meet their energy needs, while creating jobs here at home, giving a much needed boost to our economy.
Natural gas is just one part of my support for an “all of the above” approach to energy. Our country has the resources to be a world leader in energy production, which translates into more jobs here at home. I will continue to back efforts that will help our country become energy independent.