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House Gets Earful On Pipeline Legislation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) — A pipeline bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives would serve as a “rubber stamp” for oil sands projects, the National Wildlife Federation said.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee heard testimony Tuesday on the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. The bipartisan legislation would cut the time it takes for a federal review of cross-border pipelines.

“If passed, [the bill] would create a near rubber stamp approval process for massive tar sands pipelines like Keystone XL and deny public participation,” the NWF said in a statement.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the committee’s chairman, is a supporter of Keystone XL. He said Tuesday the measure was needed because of increased oil and natural gas production in the United States. New pipeline projects, he said, “can get delayed for years on end.”

Keystone XL was proposed more than five years ago. TransCanada wants to build the project to carry oil sands from Alberta, Canada, to southern U.S. refineries.

The proposed legislation would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve new pipeline projects within 120 days. FERC Director Jeff Wright testified the legislation would ostensibly strip his agency of its authority.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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