Natural Gas Council urges U.S. Senate to enact permitting reform

May 03, 2023

The American Petroleum Institute (API) joined with other members of the Natural Gas Council in sending a letter to U.S. Senate leadership urging them to advance policies that would expedite the permitting process by creating clear timelines, clarifying the scope of agency review, and reducing the uncertainty around judicial review. Permitting reform is critical to a reliable, secure, and affordable clean energy future.

“Clear, predictable infrastructure permitting processes remain instrumental to achieving our shared energy, economic, security, and climate-related goals,” the Natural Gas Council writes.

Increased natural gas use is the leading cause of reductions in U.S. power sector emissions, and natural gas plays a critical role in maintaining grid reliability while complementing rising renewable energy generation. Between 2005-2021, about 60% of power-related CO2 emissions reductions came from fuel switching to natural gas.

“Unfortunately, the current processes to site and approve new and expanded infrastructure remain cumbersome, often stalling projects for years with duplicative reviews, unnecessarily burdensome approvals, and unending legal challenges. These inefficiencies hamper access to domestic natural gas resources, creating reliance on imports, raising energy costs in certain regions, and, in the worst cases, limiting access to energy during periods of extreme weather,” the letter says.

The Natural Gas Council outlines actions Congress can take to reform the Clean Water Act (CWA) certification process, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews and judicial reviews to clarify the permitting process.

The letter concludes, “To fulfill America’s energy, economic, security, and climate-related goals, the Natural Gas Council and the companies we represent stand ready to work in a bipartisan manner to enact durable permitting provisions that enable development of the energy infrastructure needed to continue delivering the benefits of natural gas to the American people.”

In addition to API, the Natural Gas Council includes the American Gas Association, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, and the Natural Gas Supply Association.

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