The natural gas industry is angling for some favorable legislation from Congress that would ease the permitting of natural gas pipeline projects and throw obstacles in front of citizens seeking to challenge a gas drilling permit, according to a recent report by DeSmogBlog.com.
One legislative proposal, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900), would require that applications for interstate natural gas pipelines be automatically approved if federal regulators fail to meet arbitrary deadlines for their review. New England Fuel Institute (NEFI), a trade association for energy marketers, is opposing the measure and asking members to contact their Congressmen and urge them to oppose it.
The pipeline bill is just one of several pro-natural gas bills on the Congressional docket, according to DeSmogBlog. Another bill, sponsored by Texas Republican Bill Flores, would prevent the Interior Department from issuing any new regulations on the natural gas fracking industry. “This would effectively prevent the agency from being able to monitor the industry’s activities, and to gain access to information about the chemicals used in the fracking process,” the blog article states.
Another bill, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, would speed up the permitting process for gas drilling and impose a $5,000 fee on anyone looking to challenge a drilling permit. “If passed, it would prevent many environmentalists from challenging new drilling permits, as the $5,000 fee would be an unfair burden in the fight to protect our environment,” the article states.
With natural gas prices at historic lows, none of these federal initiatives are good news for the Oilheat Industry, especially on top of several individual state proposals to help utilities expand their distribution systems and their customer base. Contact NEFI or your State Oilheat Association if you want to learn how you can effectively speak out and have your voice heard.
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