Trump considering effort to stop states from blocking pipelines

The Trump administration is considering taking steps to limit the ability of states to block interstate gas pipelines and other energy projects, according to three people familiar with the deliberations.

The effort, possibly done through an executive order, is aimed chiefly at states in the Northeast U.S., where opposition to pipeline projects has helped prevent abundant shale gas in Pennsylvania and Ohio from reaching consumers in New York and other cities.

New York used a Clean Water Act provision to effectively block the construction of a natural gas pipeline being developed by Williams Partners LP to carry Marcellus shale gas 124 miles (200 km) to New England. The project got the green light from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionbut ran into obstacles in New York, where regulators denied a water quality permit.

While mostly targeted toward boosting limited pipeline capacity in the Northeast, the initiative could help drive permitting and construction of other energy projects, including coal export terminals. For instance, Lighthouse Resources’ proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington, was ensnared when the state’s Department of Ecology denied a critical Clean Water Act permit, citing concerns about air quality and increased railroad traffic to serve the site.

Earlier: Trump Pins Keystone, Dakota Pipeline Fate on Renegotiation

The new initiative dovetails with expectations that President Donald Trump would use his State of the Union address to tout efforts to accelerate permitting and construction of oil and gas pipelines, though he’s postponed the speech and the exact timing of any announcement remains unclear.
The combination of the ridiculous blocking of pipelines and the Jones Act means some in the Northeast are importing LNG from Russia.  It would make much more sense to use US natural gas delivered by pipelines.  The anti-energy left is exploiting the Clean Water Act to drive up the cost of energy wherever they can.  They do this to try to make less efficient alternative energy look more competitive.  However, in the Northeast, neither wind or solar are significant alternatives.  Blocking pipelines makes part of the country dependent on imports.  Blocking the Keystone XL gives more leverage to Venezuela and OPEC which also helps Russia.


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