White House questions gas pipeline legislation

Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:13 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The White House said a bill meant to accelerate the approval of natural gas pipelines would force regulators to make decisions based on incomplete information.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., introduced legislation that would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make decisions on natural gas pipelines within a year of a permit application. Other federal regulators would then have 90 days to follow FERC with decisions on environmental policies like the Clean Water Act.

The White House issued a statement saying the bill likely wouldn't make it to President Obama's desk, the Platts energy news website reported Tuesday.

"The bill's requirements could force agencies to make decisions based on incomplete information or information that may not be available within the stringent deadlines, and to deny applications that otherwise would have been approved, but for lack of sufficient review time," the White House said.

Platts reports Pompeo's legislation doesn't have a companion bill to pass through the Senate.

Republican legislators have complained Obama's energy policies are thwarting domestic energy production. Similar legislative efforts have been geared toward accelerating the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, submitted for approval more than five years ago.

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