House approves bill to fast track natural gas pipelines

AP News
Posted: Jan 21, 2015 3:54 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House has easily passed a bill designed to expedite the approval of natural gas pipelines.

The House on Wednesday cleared legislation setting a one-year deadline for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve new applications to build gas pipelines.

The 253-169 House vote comes as the Senate continues debate on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The House has already passed a bill to approve that pipeline's construction.

Republicans say the gas pipeline bill was needed to ensure that the gas being produced gets to market.

The Electoral College Debate
Walter E. Williams

Democrats say the bill short-circuits a well-established process. A federal report issued in February 2013 found that on average it took less than a year to a year-and-a-half for pipelines to get approved.