Hoeven Reintroduces North American Energy Infrastructure Act

Senator’s Legislation Would Streamline Approval, Prevent Delays of Cross-Border Infrastructure like Pipelines and Transmission Lines

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week reintroduced the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, legislation that would prevent unnecessary delays for important energy infrastructure projects, such as pipelines and electrical transmission lines, that cross national boundaries between the U.S. and Canada or Mexico.

“Our nation needs robust investment in its infrastructure, especially if we are to accomplish the goal of making North America energy secure,” said Hoeven. “Our legislation removes unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and would help to ensure projects are approved based on their merits. Doing so would promote regulatory certainty for the energy industry while also supporting the production of affordable energy and the creation of good jobs.”

Hoeven’s legislation would eliminate the Presidential Permit requirement for cross-border projects and puts the decision making into the hands of appropriate agencies. In addition, the bill:

  • Transfers the approval authority from the U.S. State Department to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for cross-border oil pipelines.
  • Retains FERC authority over cross-border natural gas pipelines as well as U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) authority over cross-border electrical transmission facilities.
  • Imposes a 90-day time limit on FERC and DOE to either issue a certificate of crossing or deny a project approval following completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
  • Focuses the federal review to the segment of an infrastructure project that crosses the border.
  • Clarifies that certain pipeline maintenance activities and modifications do not require a new certificate of crossing.
  • State laws and regulations over siting, land acquisition, design and construction of projects, as well as the environmental assessments conducted by other federal agencies, remain unchanged.