Capito Directs Energy and Commerce Secretaries to Expedite Federal Permitting for Appalachian Regional Energy Hub
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced new legislation today to expedite federal permitting for an Appalachian natural gas energy hub. The Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act of 2017 directs the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, to designate an Appalachian regional energy hub as a “critical energy infrastructure” project, making it eligible for expedited federal permitting.
“The benefits of establishing a regional energy hub in Appalachia cannot be overstated,” Senator Capito said. “This important infrastructure project would help create much-needed jobs for West Virginians and grow our state’s economy in meaningful ways. By reducing regulatory burdens, the Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act will bring us one step closer to making the Appalachian energy hub a reality.”
A May 2017 study by the American Chemistry Council estimates that the project could create nearly $36 billion in capital investment and more than 100,000 permanent jobs in Appalachia by 2025. The unprecedented growth in natural gas production in the Marcellus, Utica and Rogersville shales has fundamentally changed the natural gas market in the United States and helped restore America’s place as an energy superpower. However, a lack of infrastructure has meant much of the gas being produced has been “locked in” to the region, depressing prices and limiting the potential use of associated natural gas liquids in manufacturing.
The Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act would increase coordination between federal regulators and prevent agencies with auxiliary roles in energy permitting to endlessly delay this job creating infrastructure project. The Secretaries will identify the liaisons of federal and state agencies with regulatory oversight of the different elements of the hub to encourage coordination and work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the approval process. The legislation also directs federal agencies overseeing federal grant and loan programs to expedite consideration of those applications to ensure no delays in development as a result of federal bureaucracy.
Click here for background on the Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act of 2017.
The Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act is supported by the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC) and the American Chemistry Council.
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