Congress looks to raise salaries to attract more engineers to work at FERC co clear up backlog of energy infrastructure deals
A backlog in permitting new LNG terminals at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has drawn the attention of two Texas Congressmen.This gives an idea of how hot the energy job market is today and will continue to be as theUS seeks to attain energy dominance in the marketplace. Trump's deal with the European Union on LNG makes adds to the urgency of getting the approval of the terminals and pipelines. It should be a good time to be graduating with a petroleum engineering degree.
Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, and Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, have introduced legislation that would raise staff salaries at the commission to try and attract more of the engineers needed to review the permit applications.
"Our energy can't be properly utilized sitting in storage instead of being shipped to markets that need it. We must address this fundamental backlog in a smart way," Olson said in a statement.
The move follows a report by Bloomberg last week that FERC was experiencing 12 to 18 months delays in permit applications and was looking to hire outside contractors to help review a dozen projects waiting approval.
Right now the United States has two operational LNG export terminals, on the Louisiana Gulf Coast and the Chesapeake Bay, with four more slated to open before 2020.
Green said FERC's recruiting efforts were struggling "due to the severe limits of the government pay scale when compared to the private sector."