Congressman Randy Weber of Friendswood applauded the House approval of the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act last month and said it would streamline permits for LNG export facilities and gas pipelines.
“The legislation would also strengthen the Department of Energy’s role in protecting electric grid infrastructure and encourages cooperation between federal, state, and local entities,” he said. “For us to have a safe America, we need a strong America. A robust and homegrown energy sector will do just that.”
His accolades were echoed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which released a statement much earlier when H.R. 8 was working its way through committee. In September, the organization said “H.R. 8 represents an important first step in addressing natural gas by ensuring prompt decisions from the Department of Energy on license applications for the exportation of LNG.”
Obama, however, has said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk and said disputed Republican claims, such as Weber’s, that it helps the DOE. Obama’s administration said H.R. 8 actually limits the DOE’s ability to “fully consider whether natural gas export projects are consistent with the public interest.”
In addition, Obama’s policy statement, released in November, said H.R. 8 includes new, unnecessary provisions that would broaden FERC’s authority to impose deadlines on other Federal agencies reviewing the environmental implications of natural gas pipeline applications.