North American Energy Infrastructure Act

North American Energy Infrastructure Act

On the 25th of June, the House passed the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (Colorado, 4th District which includes Greeley, Lamar and Castle Rock) and was introduced on the 6th of March and has 62 co-sponsors. Only 3 amendments were submitted for this bill. This energy bill gives guidelines for any oil pipeline or electrical energy transmission to either Canada or Mexico. The bill passed by a vote of 266-150.

I have included the entire energy bill below, and have turned it into a plain English version.

 

To require approval for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of oil or natural gas pipelines or electric transmission facilities at the national boundary of the United States for the import or export of oil, natural gas, or electricity to or from Canada or Mexico.

Section 1. Can be cited as `North American Energy Infrastructure Act’

Section 2. Findings of Congress

Congress finds that the United States should establish a more uniform, transparent, and modern process for the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of oil and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission facilities for the import and export of oil and natural gas and the transmission of electricity to and from Canada and Mexico, in pursuit of a more secure and efficient North American energy market.

 

Section 3. Authorization of certain energy infrastructure projects at the national boundary of the United States

Except for those listed in the exceptions and section 7, no person may construct, connect, operate, or maintain a cross-border segment of an oil pipeline or electric transmission facility for the import or export of oil or the transmission of electricity to or from Canada or Mexico without obtaining a certificate of crossing for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the cross-border segment under this section.

Certificate of Crossing requirement is that no later than 120 days after final action is taken with respect to a cross-border segment for which a request is received, the relevant official will issue a certificate of crossing for the cross-border segment unless the relevant official finds that the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the cross-border segment is not in the public interest of the United States.

Relevant Officials- the Secretary of State for oil pipelines and the Secretary of Energy for electric transmission

In the case of a request for a certificate of crossing for an electric transmission facility, the Secretary of Energy will require, as a condition of issuing the certificate of crossing, that the cross-border segment of the electric transmission facility be constructed, connected, operated, or maintained consistent with all applicable policies and standards of the Electric Reliability Organization and the applicable regional entity and any Regional Transmission Organization or Independent System Operator with operational or functional control over the cross-border segment of the electric transmission facility.

Exclusions- if the cross-border segment is operating for such import, export, or transmission, has been issued a certificate, previously been issued certificate or is pending issue of a certificate on the date of enactment of this Act, until the earlier of either the date on which such application is denied, or July 1, 2016.

Effect of Other Laws are:

Application to projects- Nothing in this section or section 7 shall affect the application of any other Federal statute to a project for which a certificate of crossing is sought.

Natural Gas Act- Nothing in this section or section 7 shall affect the requirement to obtain approval or authorization of any facility to import or export natural gas.

Energy Policy and Conservation Act- Nothing in this section or section 7 shall affect the authority of the President under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

 

Section 4. Importation or exportation to and from Canada and Mexico

Expedited application and approval process says that any free trade agreement country will be granted application without modification or delay. No order is required authorize the export or import of any natural gas to or from Canada or Mexico.

 

Section 5. Transmission of electric energy to Canada or Mexico.

Repeal of the requirement to get an order to transmit electrical energy to a foreign country.

Regulation of wholesale electric energy that is either generated in a State, transmitted to a foreign country and not back to a State, or electric energy transmitted from a foreign country to a State that does not leave that State, will be done by that State.

The Secretary, whichever one has jurisdiction, cannot issue a permit until they have conducted hearings and find that the proposed transmission facilities would not impair the sufficiency of electric supply within the United States or would not impede or tend to impede the coordination in the public interest of facilities.

 

Section 6. No Presidential or similar permit required

No Presidential permit (or similar permit) is necessary for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of an oil or natural gas pipeline or electric transmission facility, or any cross-border segment.

 

Section 7. Modifications to existing projects

No certificate of crossing is required for a modification to the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of an oil or natural gas pipeline or electric transmission facility that is already operating, for which a permit has been issued or has previously been issued.

 

Section 8. Effective Date and Rulemaking Deadlines

Effective Date- for Sections 3-7 is July 1, 2015.

Rulemaking Deadlines-Proposed rules have to be published in the Federal Register no later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act and Final Rules have to be published no later than 1 year form the date of enactment