The missing link: pipeline bill will speed delivery of energy to manufacturers

Legislation approved this week by the House Energy and Power Subcommittee will help get American energy from where it is produced to manufacturers who will use it to create jobs, the American Chemistry Council said in a July 10 statement urging swift passage by the House. ACC added:

Dozens of chemical companies want to invest in the United States, and many of their projects will require infrastructure linking natural gas production to facilities elsewhere. This legislation will streamline the pipeline permitting process and accelerate the national economic benefits of shale gas.

The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900), introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a decision on pipeline certificates no later than one year after notice of the application is delivered to the public.

A 2012 study by the Interstate National Gas Association of America found that pipeline permitting delays for more than 90 days have risen 28 percent nationwide since 2005, while delays of more than 180 days have risen 20 percent.

Supporters of the legislation said the change to speed up the permitting process is needed to keep up with substantial growth of America’s natural gas production, which, in turn, has fostered lower energy prices that have enabled a manufacturing renaissance in the United States.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said:

Natural gas is going to be a big part of our energy future, but only if we cut the red tape from the past. We are a nation of builders, not a nation of bottlenecks.

The legislation “would promote investment in pipelines thereby increasing access to affordable and reliable gas,” Rep. Joe Barton, (R-Texas), said in a statement.

Pipelines are a critical component in moving supplies of abundant and inexpensive supplies of natural gas from shale to chemical manufacturers around the nation. A recent ACC report demonstrated how natural gas is fueling a chemical industry growth spurt. It examined 97 announced chemical and plastics projects announced as of March 2013, totaling $71.7 billion in potential new U.S. investment.

By 2020, the projects could create 46,000 chemical industry jobs, another 264,000 jobs in supplier industries and 226,000 ‘payroll induced’ jobs in communities where workers spend their wages, generating $20 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. Nearly 1.2 million additional, temporary jobs will be created during the capital investment phase that occurs from 2010 and 2020.

 

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