NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on the following bills that would reduce regulatory burdens and promote economic growth.
- H.R. 806, “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017”: This legislation would extend the timeframe for compliance with the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards and put in place process reforms going forward. The bungled 2008/2015 revisions have created an implementation headache for many states, now tasked with simultaneously working to enact dual standards. The costs are high for states - and localities - regardless of whether they achieve attainment. Nonattainment means lost funds for highways and other essential infrastructure projects. On the other hand, reaching attainment could require limits on new construction and manufacturing production, expensive retrofitting, and oppressive new rules. Either way, jobs and investment will go elsewhere without the more feasible, predictable reforms in H.R. 806.
- H.R. 2883, “Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act”: This legislation would streamline the archaic cross-border permitting process for energy facilities that stretch across the borders we share with Mexico and Canada. The current Presidential Permit regime is far from clear and can leave projects in regulatory limbo for years on end. Creating a consolidated and standardized approval process would increase the Congressional accountability provided for in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, granting Congress the authority to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,” while eliminating costly regulatory hurdles that stand between consumers and low-cost energy options.
- H.R. 2910, “Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act”: This legislation would facilitate the timely review of natural gas pipeline permitting by clearly designating the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead agency responsible for interstate natural gas pipeline site permitting. This, along with other measures to increase efficiency such as providing for concurrent reviews and commonsense timetables, would help avoid duplication and other unnecessary delays. In addition, H.R. 2910 would increase transparency in the permitting process through more public disclosure, as well as create new opportunities for public input.
In general, markets crave certainty in order to anticipate where resources should be allocated. This is doubly true for the giant infrastructure and manufacturing projects these bills address. Planning, personnel, and capital all depend on a transparent, predictable, consistent regulatory process. Together, these reforms would result in increased investment in our energy infrastructure, spurring job-growth in an essential and lucrative sector of our economy, and enhancing low-cost energy options for consumers.
Roll call votes on H.R. 806, H.R. 2883, and H.R. 2910 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.