On July 10, the U.S. House Commerce and Energy Committee's subcommittee on energy and power approved a bill that would change the way applications for natural gas pipelines are handled in Texas. According to The Texas Tribune, H.R. 1900 would give federal agencies 12 months to accept or deny a pipeline project proposal. After that time, if no decision has been made, the application will be automatically accepted.
The intent of this new measure is to help the approval process move more quickly and smoothly. Without it, there is currently no timeline for granting permits for natural gas pipelines in Texas.
"The legislation simply gives companies looking to invest in a gas pipeline infrastructure some degree of certainty regarding how long a permitting process will take," Congressman Mike Pompeo, author of the measure, told The Texas Tribune.
According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, most applications - about 90 percent - are processed in a timely manner. However, it can sometimes take the larger, more complicated pipeline projects more than two years to make their way through the approval process.
Now that the bill has passed the subcommittee, it still has to be approved by the full Energy and Commerce Committee.