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The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill this week that calls for the creation of 10 natural gas pipeline corridors through federal lands within 2 years of the bill’s passage.
The committee passed HR 2295, also known as the National Energy Security Corridors Act, on a vote of 21-15, essentially along party lines. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., sits on the Natural Resources Committee and voted for the bill. Rep. David McKinley, also R-W.Va., co-sponsored the bill.
HR 2295 would give the Secretary of the Department of the Interior the power to negotiate rights-of-way for gas pipelines through national park lands. If the bill becomes law, the secretary would have to identify at least 10 such corridors within 2 years.
A right-of-way application also would need to be approved within one year of the date of receipt.
The bill’s proponents say the legislation would streamline the gas pipeline permitting process and is vital in providing a more stable energy supply for the East Coast.
Opponents say the bill makes it too easy for companies to build pipelines through protected land without proper public input.
HR 2295 now goes to the full House for consideration.