Week ending July 21, 2017
H.R.2910 – Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act
H.R. 2910 would specify timeframes and procedures for FERC and other affected agencies to follow in conducting environmental reviews related to natural gas pipelines.
“Under the Natural Gas Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency involved in approving and regulating interstate pipelines that carry natural gas. Such projects are subject to a variety of federal and nonfederal permits and authorizations related to a range of issues, particularly environmental matters. Under current law, FERC coordinates those efforts and is ultimately responsible for granting the certificate of public convenience and necessity required to construct or expand interstate natural gas pipelines.” – cbo
The Commission shall identify for an authorization under of the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public convenience and necessity under such Act, any Federal or State agency, local government, or Indian Tribe that may issue a Federal authorization or is required by Federal law to consult with the Commission in conjunction with the issuance of a Federal authorization required for such authorization or certificate.
Any agency that is not designated as a participating agency with respect to an application for an authorization under the Natural Gas Act or a certificate of public convenience and necessity under such Act may not request or conduct a NEPA review that is supplemental to the project-related NEPA review conducted by the Commission, unless the agency demonstrates that such review is legally necessary for the agency to carry out responsibilities in considering an aspect of an application for a Federal authorization; and requires information that could not have been obtained during the project-related NEPA review conducted by the Commission.
(Full text of H.R. 2910 at congress.gov)
Sponsor: Rep. Flores, Bill [R-TX-17] (Introduced 06/15/2017)
Status: Passed House /
VOTES and FLOOR ACTION
On Passage: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: (Roll no. 402)
An amendment, offered by Ms. Tsongas, numbered 1 printed in Part A of House Report 115-235 to prohibit the application of section 3 if any part of a pipeline facility that is a subject of the application is to be located on lands required under Federal, State, or local law to be managed for purposes of natural resource conservation or recreation. On agreeing to the Tsongas amendment; Failed by recorded vote: (Roll no. 399).
An amendment, offered by Mr. Lynch, numbered 2 printed in Part A of House Report 115-235 to direct FERC, in considering an application for an authorization or certificate covered by the bill, to consult with the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration regarding the extent of the applicant’s compliance with security guidance and best practice recommendations issued by TSA on pipeline infrastructure security, pipeline cybersecurity, pipeline personnel security, and other pipeline security measures designed to ensure the public safety. On agreeing to the Lynch amendment; Agreed to by voice vote
An amendment, offered by Mr. Beyer, numbered 3 printed in Part A of House Report 115-235 to improve FERC’s public comment and transparency process. On agreeing to the Beyer amendment; Failed by recorded vote: (Roll no. 400).
Motion to recommit: On motion to recommit with instructions Failed by recorded vote: (Roll no. 401).
Text of the motion:
The House proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Watson Coleman motion to recommit with instructions. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add at the end of the bill a section pertaining to no eminent domain authority under section 7(h) of such Act.
COST AND IMPACT
Cost to the taxpayers: CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant net effect on the federal budget. The bill would not affect the scope of federal agencies’ responsibilities in overseeing such pipelines, and CBO expects that meeting the timeframes specified in the bill would not require a significant change in the level of discretionary funding provided to those agencies. Further, because FERC recovers 100 percent of its costs through user fees, any change in that agency’s costs (which are controlled through annual appropriation acts) would be offset by an equal change in fees that the commission charges, resulting in no net change in federal spending.
Pay-as-you-go requirements: Enacting H.R. 2910 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
Regulatory and Other Impact: H.R. 2910 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments
Dynamic Scoring: CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2910 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028
Tax Complexity: Not applicable to this bill.
Earmark Certification: None
Duplication of programs: None
Direct Rule-Making: None
Advisory Committee Statement: None
Budget Authority: Data not available
Constitutional Authority: Assumed.
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