Re: Oppose H.R. 2910 and H.R.2883, Dangerous Handouts to the Oil and Gas Industry

Ariana Valderrama, Ariana_valderrama@lcv.org, 202-454-4554

Dear Representative,

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities. Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation. The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.

LCV urges you to vote NO on H.R. 2910, the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act, and H.R.2883, the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act.

H.R. 2910 sacrifices public input and thorough environmental review in favor of giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) more power to fast-track approval of interstate natural gas pipelines. FERC has no accountability to the public or the environment, yet this bill would allow it to limit the participation and input of other state and federal agencies with relevant expertise in reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Additionally, H.R. 2910 would allow FERC to establish the scope of the environmental review and conditionally approve projects with incomplete environmental impact analysis, which could result in irreversible harm to our environment and public health. Given FERC’s history of rash approval of pipelines, H.R. 2910 is unnecessary, dangerous, and nothing more than a handout to the oil and gas industry at the expense of the health and safety of our communities.

H.R. 2883 would greenlight permitting of new, potentially harmful cross-border oil and gas pipelines and electric transmission lines without meaningful and thorough review and oversight. It eliminates many important longstanding procedures, undermining critical environmental and economic review by abolishing the requirement that a project obtain a presidential permit and be affirmatively determined to be in the public interest. H.R. 2883 also narrows the scope of environmental review under NEPA, exempting certain projects altogether and severely limiting the review of these massive, expensive, long-lasting infrastructure projects to only the section that crosses the border, ignoring the potential damaging impacts from the project as a whole. By only reviewing a small portion of these projects and essentially erasing the national interest requirement, this bill would make it almost impossible for an agency to ever deny a permit and could result in irreversible damage to our health, public safety, climate, environment, and economy.

Again, we urge you to REJECT H.R. 2910 and H.R.2883, and will consider including votes on these bills in the 2017 Scorecard. If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.

 

Sincerely,

Gene Karpinski, President

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