Washington, DC - Following the Environmental Protection Agency's release on August 22, 2019 of proposed new rules governing state permitting of natural gas pipelines, the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) is leading a campaign to mobilize letters to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging their adoption.
The new rules are aimed at correcting some states' misuse of ambiguous language to stop pipeline projects by denying construction permits needed to cross water bodies. The proposal follows President Trump's April Executive Order directing federal agencies to implement new policies removing roadblocks to development of needed energy infrastructure. EPA is accepting public comments on their proposal until October 22. EEIA has set up a special web page for submitting comments at www.eeia.org/action.
"There's no doubt that some states are using ambiguous provisions in the Clean Water Act to stop pipeline projects," according to EEIA President Toby Mack. "They've also taken liberties with requirements for expeditious permit processing by dragging out the application process. These new rules would tighten the process up considerably and keep it in line with the clear intent of the Act."
Mack added that new natural gas pipelines are essential to the ongoing transition to clean, low-carbon and renewable electric generation both here and abroad. "It makes no sense to limit access to the very thing - natural gas - that has done so much to reduce our carbon emissions while lowering consumers' and businesses' energy costs. We applaud the Administration's leadership in this area and look forward to a better regulatory process."
Mack and EEIA are also testifying in support of the new rules at an EPA hearing planned for September 5 in Salt Lake City, Utah.