NORTH AMERICAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 99
(House of Representatives - June 24, 2014)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages H5665-H5676]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                NORTH AMERICAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ACT


                             General Leave

  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include extraneous material on H.R. 3301.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Yoder). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 636 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3301.
  The Chair appoints the gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Black) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1443


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 3301) to require approval for the construction, connection, 
operation, or maintenance of oil or natural gas pipelines or electric 
transmission facilities at the national boundary of the United States 
for the import or export of oil, natural gas, or electricity to or from 
Canada or Mexico, and for other purposes, with Mrs. Black in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) and the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Waxman) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Upton), chairman of the full Energy and Commerce 
Committee.

                              {time}  1445

  Mr. UPTON. Madam Chair, it is a new era for North American energy,

[[Page H5666]]

and it is time for the continent's infrastructure to finally catch up. 
That is why I wrote H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure 
Act, with my friend and colleague Gene Green from Texas. With lessons 
learned from the Keystone XL pipeline debacle, we are creating a fair 
and transparent approval process for cross-border energy projects, 
putting them all on a level playing field, finally, for the benefit of 
North American energy security, lower energy prices, and, yes, plenty 
of jobs.
  North America's growing energy abundance has truly been a global game 
changer. Our continent, indeed, has the potential to become the world's 
leading energy-producing region, and the economic and geopolitical 
benefits are almost too good to believe. However, outdated or 
unnecessary Federal regs are standing in the way of this potential, 
including red tape surrounding energy infrastructure projects that 
cross the Canadian or the Mexican border. These job-creating projects 
are a critical part of the architecture of abundance, and, yes, they 
can provide a cheaper and more secure energy supply. Simply put, we 
cannot become an energy superpower without upgrading the energy 
infrastructure linking us with our neighbors.
  We all know about the Keystone XL--the oil pipeline that would bring 
enough Canadian oil into the U.S. to displace OPEC imports while 
supporting up to 42,000 jobs, according to the Obama administration's 
own estimates. Many of us also know that the project has been 
extensively studied and has been found to be environmentally safe. 
Nonetheless, for nearly 6 years, this administration has come up with 
one excuse after another for delaying its decision on the project.
  Keystone XL has yet to deliver any oil, but it has already delivered 
a message--that our process for approving such projects is, yes, badly 
broken. Yet the White House is threatening to veto the bill, claiming 
the bill would ``circumvent longstanding and proven processes.'' While 
H.R. 3301 does not address Keystone XL's permit--that is right; it does 
not address it--this House has already passed legislation that does 
exactly that. This bill would ensure that important projects would not 
be stuck in limbo once they were fully vetted. It would update and 
modernize the process for future cross-border energy infrastructure 
projects, eliminating the opportunities for delay and putting in place 
the same standards of review for oil pipelines, electrical transmission 
facilities, and natural gas lines.
  I should also emphasize that the pipeline and transmission line 
projects impacted by this bill would still be subjected to the same 
environmental and safety reviews as would a comparable project that 
stayed within the United States. Those safety measures have been an 
important priority for our committee and for the Congress, including 
through the tough new pipeline safety measure that we enacted 2 years 
ago, signed by President Obama, but these cross-border projects would 
no longer face additional red tape and open-ended delays simply because 
they would cross a national border, which is what this bill does.
  This commonsense bill enjoys bipartisan support, especially from 
border State Members who know full well the economic benefits to the 
U.S. of such projects. I urge all of us here this afternoon to join us 
in supporting the North American Energy Infrastructure Act. We need to 
stand together and say ``yes'' to American jobs and ``yes'' to energy.
  Madam Chair, I submit for the Record a series of letters between me 
and the chairmen of the Natural Resources Committee and of the 
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
                                         House of Representatives,


                               Committee on Natural Resources,

                                    Washington, DC, June 19, 2014.
     Hon. Fred Upton,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for the opportunity to review 
     the relevant provisions of the text of H.R. 3301, the North 
     American Energy Infrastructure Act. As you are aware, the 
     bill was primarily referred to the Committee on Energy and 
     Commerce, while the Committee on Natural Resources received 
     an additional referral.
       I recognize and appreciate your desire to bring this 
     legislation before the House in an expeditious manner, and, 
     accordingly, I agree to discharge H.R. 3301 from further 
     consideration by the Committee on Natural Resources. I do so 
     with the understanding that by discharging the bill, the 
     Committee on Natural Resources does not waive any future 
     jurisdictional claim on this or similar matters. Further, the 
     Committee on Natural Resources reserves the right to seek the 
     appointment of conferees, if it should become necessary.
       I ask that you insert a copy of our exchange of letters 
     into the Congressional Record during consideration of this 
     measure on the House floor.
       Thank you for your courtesy in this matter and I look 
     forward to continued cooperation between our respective 
     committees.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Doc Hastings,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                             Committee on Energy and Commerce,

                                    Washington, DC, June 20, 2014.
     Hon. Doc Hastings,
     Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Hastings, Thank you for your letter regarding 
     H.R. 3301, the ``North American Energy Infrastructure Act.'' 
     As you noted, H.R. 3301 was referred to both the Committee on 
     Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Natural Resources.
       I appreciate your willingness to discharge H.R. 3301 from 
     further consideration by the Committee on Natural Resources 
     so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House floor for 
     consideration.
       I agree that by discharging the bill, the Committee on 
     Natural Resources does not waive any future jurisdictional 
     claim on this or similar matters. Further, I agree that the 
     Committee on Natural Resources preserves its right to seek 
     the appointment of conferees, if it should become necessary.
       Finally, I would be pleased to insert a copy of our 
     exchange into the Congressional Record during consideration 
     of this measure on the House floor.
       Thank you again for your assistance with this matter.
           Sincerely,
                                                       Fred Upton,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

         House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and 
           Infrastructure,
                                    Washington, DC, June 19, 2014.
     Hon. Fred Upton,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: I write concerning H.R. 3301, the North 
     American Energy Infrastructure Act, as ordered reported by 
     the Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 8, 2014. As you 
     are aware, the bill was primarily referred to the Committee 
     on Energy and Commerce, while the Committee on Transportation 
     and Infrastructure received an additional referral.
       In order to expedite the House's consideration of H.R. 
     3301, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will 
     forgo action on this bill. However, this is conditional on 
     our mutual understanding that forgoing consideration of the 
     bill does not prejudice the Committee with respect to the 
     appointment of conferees or to any future jurisdictional 
     claim over the subject matters contained in the bill or 
     similar legislation that fall within the Committee's Rule X 
     jurisdiction. I request you urge the Speaker to name members 
     of the Committee to any conference committee named to 
     consider such provisions.
       I would appreciate your response to this letter, confirming 
     this understanding, and would request that you insert our 
     exchange of letters on this matter into the Congressional 
     Record during any consideration of this bill on the House 
     floor.
           Sincerely,
                                                     Bill Shuster,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                             Committee on Energy and Commerce,

                                    Washington, DC, June 20, 2014.
     Hon. Bill Shuster,
     Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Shuster, Thank you for your letter regarding 
     H.R. 3301, the ``North American Energy Infrastructure Act.'' 
     As you noted, H.R. 3301 was referred to both the Committee on 
     Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Transportation and 
     Infrastructure.
       I appreciate your willingness to forgo action on H.R. 3301 
     in order to expedite the House's consideration of the bill.
       I agree that forgoing consideration of H.R. 3301 does not 
     prejudice the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
     with respect to the appointment of conferees or to any future 
     jurisdictional claim over the subject matters contained in 
     the bill or similar legislation that fall within the 
     Committee's Rule X jurisdiction. Further, I will encourage 
     the Speaker to name members of the Committee to any 
     conference committee named to consider such provisions.
       Finally, I would be pleased to insert a copy of our 
     exchange on this matter into the Congressional Record during 
     consideration of this bill on the House floor.
       Thank you again for your assistance with this matter.
           Sincerely,
                                                       Fred Upton,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H5667]]

  Climate change is the biggest energy challenge we face, so before 
approving a multibillion-dollar energy infrastructure project that will 
last for decades, we need to evaluate its climate impacts. That is the 
standard the President rightly set last June, but this test is a 
significant obstacle for tar sands pipelines because they would carry 
the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Over the last few years, House 
Republicans have repeatedly tried to short-circuit the process and 
mandate the approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The bill we 
are considering today goes even further. It creates a new process to 
rubberstamp every pending and future tar sands pipeline.
  The bill makes an end run around the National Environmental Policy 
Act. Under this bill, instead of conducting an environmental review of 
a whole pipeline that crosses the border with Canada or Mexico, the 
NEPA review, which is the environmental review, would be limited to 
just the small segment of pipeline crossing the border. That eliminates 
any meaningful Federal review of the environmental impacts of oil 
pipelines.
  For example, under this bill, the environmental review of the 
Keystone XL pipeline would only examine the environmental impacts of 
that small piece of pipeline that crosses the border with Canada. The 
review could not look at the impacts on climate change of all of the 
other tar sands oil moved through the pipeline. It could not look at 
the impacts on the aquifers or landowners in Nebraska, for example, or 
at the public safety or oil spill concerns here in the United States. 
That dramatically narrowed scope of review is just another way to gut 
the Federal environmental review of tar sands pipelines.
  The bill doesn't stop there. It also creates a rebuttable presumption 
that the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines are in the public 
interest, which tips the scale in favor of their approval. That is a 
subtle but significant change that makes it much more likely that these 
projects will go forward; and if the President rejects the Keystone XL 
or another pipeline because it is not in the national interest, which 
is a requirement in the law today, the bill would allow the rejected 
project to rise from the grave and reapply under the new, much weaker 
process. That is why I call this bill the ``zombie pipeline'' bill.
  In the northeastern part of the United States, another controversial 
pipeline project would carry tar sands oil from Canada through New 
Hampshire and Vermont to Portland, Maine, where it would be loaded onto 
tankers. That project wouldn't require any approval at all under this 
bill's new permitting process because the bill exempts major expansions 
of existing pipelines and reversals of pipeline flows from even that 
minimal process. The bill would also allow for unlimited exports of 
liquified natural gas through Canada and Mexico with absolutely no 
controls or conditions. That is why domestic manufacturers like Dow, 
Alcoa, and Nucor have criticized this bill.
  The administration strongly opposes H.R. 3301, citing the 
unreasonable 120-day deadline imposed by the bill, which would curtail 
the thorough consideration of issues involved with these projects, 
noting that the bill's provisions on natural gas exports would raise 
serious trade implications. The Statement of Administration Policy says 
that, if H.R. 3301 is presented to the President, his senior advisers 
would recommend that he veto the bill.
  Faced with the threat of dangerous climate change, we have a 
responsibility to think through the impacts of proposed cross-border 
energy infrastructure projects. If Congress is going to establish a new 
permitting rule or rules through legislation, it should do so in a 
thoughtful and balanced way. Instead, this bill creates a process that 
rubberstamps projects and eliminates meaningful environmental review 
and public participation. This will undoubtedly benefit TransCanada and 
other multinational oil companies. It will undoubtedly help them, but 
it will harm the American people, whom we are here to represent.
  I oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Even if you support the XL 
pipeline, this is a bad bill, and I would urge all Members to vote 
against this legislation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I would like to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Terry), who is a member of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee.
  Mr. TERRY. Mr. Chairman, today marks the 2,104th day since the 
original Keystone XL pipeline application was filed at the U.S. State 
Department, as required by law. For 5 years, this administration has 
either just been completely incompetent or has, for political purposes, 
decided to placate its radical environmental political base--the very 
same folks who said that they would boycott the election if he signed 
this permit.
  Regardless, this administration's failure to make a decision on a 
single project in over 2,100 days should leave every one of our 
constituents shaking his head. I have led on this issue, and we have 
given this President numerous opportunities to get this process right, 
which he has not done to date.
  I introduced the first bill in May of 2011 to turn on the shock clock 
for the President's decision. The bill passed, and it was even signed 
into law, but, later, he went ahead and killed the permit instead of 
following through. Later that year, on December 1, we introduced a 
second bill to move the decision from the State Department to FERC. In 
June 2012, we introduced another bill, declaring no Presidential permit 
is needed for a border crossing. Then last year, in March, I introduced 
H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, which stated that no 
Presidential permit shall be required for the Keystone XL pipeline.
  We are doing this because we understand that, if we are energy 
independent, we are more secure. This is an issue of national security, 
and we are going to take as many whacks at trying to get this passed as 
it takes. The legislation we are considering today is almost 5 years in 
the making, and I am happy to join with Chairman Upton in supporting 
this bill that comes from our committee with bipartisan support.
  As our energy future and security go, so go our economy and our 
Nation. The President has failed in his leadership. He has hurt job 
creation, hurt our economy, has made us more dependent on OPEC and 
Venezuela, and has diminished our standing with our Nation's number one 
trading partner. His failure to lead on this issue shows that his 
process is clearly broken.
  Today, we consider a different process, and if signed into law, the 
Department of Commerce would be in charge of permitting oil pipelines 
that cross our border, which would be based on the same standard of 
whether it is in our national interest. FERC would be in charge of 
permitting natural gas pipelines that cross our border. The Department 
of Energy would be in charge of permitting electrical transmission 
lines that come over our border--again, under the same standard of: Is 
it in our national interest? Where I come from, that is called common 
sense. We need to take the election politics out of this and go with 
the experts, who will determine whether or not, based on the facts, it 
is in the national interest.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Stewart). The time of the gentleman has 
expired.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I yield the gentleman an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. TERRY. I appreciate all of that.
  Mr. Chairman, by the way, I would disagree with the last speaker on 
whether or not there would be no environmental oversight. The State 
Department has over 10,000 pages of environmental studies that were 
done.

                              {time}  1500

  Even under this process, where you let the experts in the respective 
areas do their job, if there is a Federal trigger in here, all of that 
has to occur, just like with any other project.
  Now, we also heard that there would be this tremendous amount of 
natural gas exporting without permitting. What was left out of that 
sentence is that, for there to be an export facility, it has to be 
permitted, and all of the environmental studies and all of the other 
studies that are required will be done on behalf of the export 
facility.
  So I think we need to put those in context because you just can't 
have half the facts laying out there. You need all the facts to make 
the decision.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, at this time, I am pleased to yield 5 
minutes to the gentlewoman from the State of Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky), 
a very important member of our committee.

[[Page H5668]]

  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3301.
  My Republican colleagues argue that we need more bills like H.R. 3301 
to transport oil and gas as quickly as possible, but building a modern 
energy infrastructure for the 21st century requires more than just 
drilling more wells, laying more pipelines, filling more rail cars with 
crude oil, and putting more tanker trucks on our highways.
  A modern 21st century infrastructure must address the threat of 
climate change, the biggest energy challenge we face as a country.
  Republicans can deny it all they want, but we can't have a meaningful 
conversation about America's energy infrastructure without also having 
a conversation about climate.
  We have a rapidly diminishing window to act to reduce our carbon 
pollution before the catastrophic impacts of climate change are 
irreversible. In fact, we are seeing, today, the devastating 
consequences in many parts of our country.
  The International Energy Agency has concluded that, if the world does 
not take action to reduce carbon pollution before 2017, then dangerous 
levels of carbon emissions will be locked in by the energy 
infrastructure existing at that time.
  The energy infrastructure decisions that we make today will have a 
real impact on whether we can mitigate climate change in the future or 
lock in carbon pollution for generations to come.
  My Republican colleagues don't like to hear this message, and that is 
reflected in the bill we are discussing today. If enacted into law, 
H.R. 3301 would move us backward in our fight to address climate 
change. It essentially pretends that climate change doesn't exist.
  H.R. 3301 would rubberstamp permits for pipelines to carry tar sands 
crude from Canada into the United States. Tar sands crude is the 
dirtiest fuel on the planet, from a climate perspective, but this bill 
creates a permitting process for cross-border pipelines that makes it 
difficult, if not impossible, for the Federal Government to say no.
  The bill even allows the oil industry to make major modifications to 
its pipelines without getting any approval at all. That means, if a 
company wants to increase its pipeline capacity or reverse an existing 
pipeline to carry more tar sands crude from Canada into the United 
States, the company can just do it, no questions asked.
  Building new tar sands pipelines or expanding existing ones could 
have a profound environmental impact, but the bill allows for no 
meaningful environmental review.
  For a cross-border pipeline, the bill says the Federal Government can 
only examine the environmental impact of the cross-border segment of 
the project. It is almost hard to believe that that is what the bill 
does, but it is true.
  For a pipeline spanning hundreds of miles, the environmental review 
will focus on only a tiny part that crosses the U.S. border. That 
eliminates the possibility of any meaningful examination of the carbon 
pollution impacts of these pipelines. That is irresponsible.
  We know, from our examination of the Keystone XL pipeline, that it 
will facilitate the production of tar sands crude which is, on average, 
17 percent more greenhouse gas intensive than the average crude refined 
in the United States. We should be examining the carbon impact of every 
pipeline before we approve it, not ignoring the problem altogether.
  That brings us back to Keystone XL. This bill gives TransCanada 
virtual assurance that Keystone XL will be approved. Even if President 
Obama finds that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the national 
interest and denies the national permit, this bill allows TransCanada 
to simply reapply and approve it under the new rubberstamp process, 
with no consideration of the profound environmental climate.
  I want to remind my colleagues that this debate and this vote are 
part of the permanent record. Don't betray your grandchildren and their 
grandchildren by condemning them to a planet where it is hard to 
breathe and agriculture is affected.
  The future will belong to the country that builds an energy 
infrastructure to support a cleaner, low-carbon economy. It is our 
responsibility to lead the country and even the world in that 
direction.
  This bill takes us backwards. I urge my colleagues to oppose H.R. 
3301.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, at this time, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Latta), a member of the Energy and Commerce 
Committee.
  Mr. LATTA. Mr. Chairman, I thank the subcommittee chairman, the 
gentleman from Kentucky, for yielding. I appreciate it.
  Mr. Chairman, American innovation in advanced drilling technologies 
has unleashed an abundance of domestic energy resources. For the 60,000 
manufacturing jobs I represent, the U.S. energy renaissance has 
increased our global competitiveness, resulting in expanded operations 
and new jobs.
  Ramped-up domestic energy production has also helped absorb recent 
crude oil price volatility amid the turmoil in the Middle East. When it 
comes to natural gas, we now have more than enough that surplus can be 
exported to other countries, without impacting the affordability of our 
domestic supply.
  For our allies looking to diversify their energy supply, especially 
in the European markets, American natural gas can provide secure 
access, while bolstering our geopolitical standing.
  While the energy industry has been a story of positive growth and 
American innovation at its best, it is also a source of unnecessary 
frustration. President Obama likes to take credit for this growth, but 
growth in the energy industry has occurred, despite his best efforts to 
lock up access and regulate producers out of business.
  Recent studies have made clear that virtually all the increases in 
production have occurred on State and privately-owned lands, while 
overall production on Federal lands has decreased.
  Beyond limiting access to domestic resources, the Obama 
administration has also been creating unnecessary obstacles for 
developing much-needed energy infrastructure.

  As previous speakers have already stated, we are aware of the 
unnecessary delays that the President has placed on the Keystone XL 
pipeline, the 830,000 barrels of oil it would bring into the United 
States each day, and the over 40,000 jobs it would create.
  We can't afford to have more pipelines delayed that would help 
America's energy security. This is why the North American Energy 
Infrastructure Act is an important and necessary piece of legislation.
  I thank Chairman Upton for his leadership on the issue. This bill 
embodies the type of good governance hardworking American taxpayers 
deserve, and I urge my colleagues' support.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to my colleague from 
California (Mrs. Capps), who is a senior member of our committee and a 
very respected Member as well.
  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague--my respected 
colleague--Mr. Waxman for yielding time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 3301. H.R. 3301 
would eliminate meaningful review of the environmental impacts of 
proposed cross-border energy projects.
  The bill dramatically narrows the scope of environmental review to 
only the cross-border segment of the energy project, that tiny portion 
that actually physically crosses the national boundary. Now, this makes 
no sense.
  These pipelines, these transmission lines, they are major 
infrastructure projects. They can span hundreds of miles. They cross 
through private property, water bodies, farms, and many other sensitive 
areas, and they carry substances that can catch fire or spill and 
pollute the environment.
  To understand the potential environmental impact of such an energy 
project, we need to look at the project as a whole. Ignoring the 
potential environmental or safety risks for every part of the project, 
except that tiny sliver of land at the national boundary, this defies 
common sense.
  Imagine going to the doctor if you are feeling sick and the doctor 
gives you a clean bill of health, but he has only looked at your elbow.
  That is exactly what this bill does. It green-lights these projects 
without any meaningful environmental review, and no meaningful review 
means no opportunity to mitigate potential harm to

[[Page H5669]]

public health, to public safety, or the environment. That is just 
reckless.
  The White House has threatened to veto this bill because it provides 
inadequate time for environmental reviews, and environmental 
organizations are universally opposed to it.
  Thirteen environmental groups, including the Natural Resources 
Defense Council and the Sierra Club, sent a letter emphasizing--and I 
quote from their letter: ``This legislation could severely limit 
environmental review and public input to a narrow cross-border segment 
of projects, thereby precluding review of the full project's impacts.''
  Then National Wildlife Federation says--and I quote from their 
statement--that this bill ``takes a hatchet to the National 
Environmental Policy Act.''
  The League of Conservation Voters warns that this dangerous bill 
would gut the review process and effectively exempt the projects from 
the National Environmental Policy Act.
  These environmental projects--these energy infrastructure projects 
will last for decades. We need to understand the impacts of these 
projects before they are constructed, so that we can protect public 
health and safety and the environment. Ignoring the impacts will not 
make them disappear.
  H.R. 3301 defies common sense, and I urge my colleagues to oppose 
this bill.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Cassidy), a member of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. Chairman, this act is important. It is important for 
Americans.
  Now, first, just to allay some fears, actually, this does not 
eliminate the need for Federal permitting for the entire process, but 
what it does is eliminate the President's ability to sit on a project, 
not allowing it to go forward, abusing the trust of the American 
people, that he is actually working in their interest, as opposed to 
pursuing his own narrow agenda.
  Now, let's make this very clear: the fact that the President is just 
reviewing this is beyond credibility, but what it does do--his kind of 
interminable delays eliminates 20,000 to 40,000 jobs just on the one 
project, Keystone XL pipeline--which the other side is speaking so much 
of--and 100,000 indirect jobs.
  By the way, when we buy products from Canada, 80 percent of the 
dollars that we spend there stay on the North American continent, 
improving the economy, not just in Canada, but also in the United 
States.
  If we buy oil from overseas--say the Middle East--only about 40 
percent of those dollars return. This is beyond the impact of building 
pipelines themselves, but also a global economy.
  Now, the State Department--this administration's State Department has 
said that this project, Keystone XL pipeline, will have negligible 
impact on the economy. Indeed, if we continue to truck or ship by rail, 
more people will die--Americans will die, Mr. Chairman--than if we 
build a pipeline in which they anticipate, of course, there is no 
deaths.
  One thing this will do is this will really--the opposition of the 
President and the other side, it will do wonders for China's economy.
  Canada has just announced they are going to build a pipeline to their 
west coast to send these oil sands to China, creating Chinese jobs, but 
also Chinese pollution that, once it is into the atmosphere, will blow 
over onto the United States. Talk about a fruitless policy of delay.
  Now, let me just finish by saying there is one more aspect of this. 
It helps create North American security. No longer are we buying oil 
from countries which hate us, financing their efforts to undermine our 
society; rather, we keep that money with our closest ally who, in turn, 
buys goods for us.
  We should approve this bill and this project in particular. We should 
build it for Americans. It is better for the environment. It is better 
for our economy. Most of all, it is better for our workers.

                              {time}  1515

  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, at this time I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from the State of New York (Mr. Tonko), our colleague who is 
an active leader in energy policy.
  Mr. TONKO. I appreciate the gentleman from California, our 
distinguished ranker on the committee and former chair, for yielding.
  Mr. Chairman, it is unfortunate that the energy bills before us this 
week do not lay out a roadmap for where we truly need to go; that is, 
to a future in which we have reduced our reliance on fossil fuels, 
greatly increased our focus on energy efficiency, and expanded our use 
of renewable energy.
  H.R. 3301 and H.R. 6 are all about keeping us dependent upon fossil 
fuels, especially oil and gas. H.R. 3301 establishes a new process for 
considering and approving cross-border energy projects--pipelines and 
certainly transmission lines. In fact, it would be good to have a 
defined and predictable process for evaluating these projects and 
either approving or rejecting them within a reasonable timeframe.
  Unfortunately, this bill is all about approving these projects 
quickly, with minimal consideration of their value to all sectors of 
our economy, the value to our consumers, and certainly the value to our 
environment.
  The advocates for this bill and this infrastructure approval process 
sound as if we have never approved cross-border projects. But, in fact, 
we have many cross-border pipelines and transmission lines. This 
infrastructure, once in place, operates for decades. And all projects 
are not all equal in their impacts and are certainly not all equal in 
their size.
  This bill does not require a sufficient analysis of the overall 
benefits of proposed projects. It is not enough to determine if any 
project is in our national security interests. Those are important 
interests, of course, but there are many others as well. The public, 
State and local governments, nonfossil fuel business interests, and 
others should be able to offer their views on a proposed project. This 
bill virtually cuts them out of that effort. You do not gain public 
support for infrastructure projects by cutting the public out of the 
decisionmaking.
  H.R. 3301 does not provide for sufficient public input or sufficient 
weighing of overall national benefits and costs of these projects. 
Supporters of H.R. 3301 claim that this bill is not about the Keystone 
XL pipeline.
  Well, H.R. 3301 is not a Keystone XL approval bill, per se, but that 
project would certainly be resurrected and approved if this bill were 
to become law.
  This bill should not become law. It does not provide the type of 
thoughtful, comprehensive, and certainly inclusive process that should 
guide decisions that impact energy resources for many decades to come. 
I urge defeat of this legislation.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. May I inquire how much time remains?
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky has 17\1/2\ minutes 
remaining, and the gentleman from California has 13\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. At this time, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would like to point out that H.R. 3301 
really, in a way, corrects the inequity. Today, natural gas pipelines 
are treated one way if they cross international boundaries, and oil 
pipelines and transmission lines are treated in a different way.
  For example, a natural gas pipeline crossing into Canada would not 
require a Presidential permit, but oil pipelines and transmission lines 
crossing international boundaries do require a Presidential permit. And 
I might add that Congress never passed legislation requiring a 
Presidential permit. That was a power that a President, by executive 
order, took even before President Obama did it.
  But here is the key factor. This law, H.R. 3301, would treat all 
pipelines the same, whether it is natural gas, whether it is oil, or 
whether it is a transmission line.
  Now, I know that arguments are being made here primarily based on 
Keystone, and a lot of arguments are being made about climate change.
  I would say to all of the American people that we have people coming 
into Congress on a regular basis from developing countries of the world 
who say that climate change is not their number one concern. They are 
more concerned about food. They are more concerned about sanitary 
living conditions. They are more concerned about

[[Page H5670]]

clean water. They are more concerned about jobs and the ability to 
provide income for their families. And, as a matter of fact, polls in 
America have shown that climate change is way down the list of primary 
concerns of people.
  Now, I know that for Tom Steyer--who I understand is at the White 
House today--it is his number one issue. And he has said that he is 
going to spend $100 million against Republican candidates or any 
candidate that does not recognize climate change as one of the most 
important issues facing mankind.
  So I simply wanted to make that comment. Sure, climate change is 
important. And I might add that emissions from energy-produced causes 
in America today are the lowest that they have been in 20 years. So 
America does not have to take a back seat to anyone on addressing 
emissions from greenhouse gases.
  And I will tell you that we are the only country in the world where, 
if natural gas prices go up, we won't even be able to build a new coal 
plant in America because the technology is not commercially available 
at a cost that any utility could afford.
  So even in Europe, natural gas prices went up. They mothballed 
natural gas plants. And last year in Europe, they imported 53 percent 
of all our coal exports.
  But yet this President, in the White House today, has such extreme 
views that if our gas prices go up, we don't have the option in an 
affordable way to build a new coal plant to help us meet our base 
loads. And if we are going to have an economy that is not sluggish--the 
way it has been consistently under President Obama--we have to have 
affordable, abundant, and reliable energy. And that is what this bill 
is about.
  Now people are saying, if you pass H.R. 3301, you are exempting oil 
and transmission lines from a NEPA review. But I want you to know, 
there are 33 other environmental laws--like the Endangered Species Act, 
Clean Water, Rivers and Harbors, National Historic Preservation, Clean 
Air Act--that would trigger. If Federal action is triggered, then it 
would be triggered even under H.R. 3301. That is, unless, of course, it 
is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle 
Protection Act, which this administration has granted windmills an 
exemptions from. So you can kill all the migratory birds you want and 
bald eagles. If you are a windmill company, you won't be prosecuted, 
but if you are an individual timber owner in North Carolina, you will 
be find $100,000 and convicted of a felony.
  So in conclusion of my remarks at this point, I would simply say that 
the bill is not designed to expedite the Keystone pipeline, because it 
can't be approved under H.R. 3301. It is under the Presidential permit 
process. But the Presidential permit process is arbitrary. Even the 
State Department has said that it would be of negligible environmental 
impact to approve the Keystone pipeline. But all H.R. 3301 does is it 
says, we are going to treat oil pipelines and transmission lines that 
cross international boundaries with Canada or Mexico exactly the way 
natural gas pipelines are treated today.

  So it is not anything extraordinary. It is not anything radical. It 
is the way natural gas pipelines are created today. And we believe that 
is the way to go, and that is what H.R. 3301 is all about.
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I listened carefully to the comments of the 
gentleman from Kentucky, and I couldn't really follow a lot of it.
  After all, if the price of natural gas goes up, that would perhaps 
help the coal industry because the coal industry is not able to compete 
economically when the price of natural gas is low because if you are 
building a utility, you might as well buy natural gas because it is 
cheaper. Of course the coal people say, it is the government that is 
doing it. But it is the marketplace that is doing it.
  And the other comment that I found peculiar was, we don't need to 
have the National Environmental Policy Act evaluation because we have 
got the Endangered Species Act evaluation.
  Well, the Endangered Species Act is looking at endangered species. 
But what about the rest of the environmental review that would be 
eliminated if this bill were adopted, especially when we are talking 
about the impact on climate change and all of the other environmental 
considerations?
  So I must say that, while I came here with a clear view, I am 
reaffirmed in my view. The gentleman from Kentucky did not even come 
close to persuading me.
  At this time, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from the State of 
Texas (Mr. Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. I thank the ranking member of the committee 
for yielding. Maybe in my 4 minutes, I can convince him.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today as a proud cosponsor and in support of 
H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act.
  Passing H.R. 3301 will help create the North American energy market. 
It will help make us energy-independent for North America, between our 
two free trading partners, Mexico and Canada.
  But I also need to correct the record. There is a lot of 
misinformation about this legislation, and I hope to make a few things 
clear.
  Commerce decisions are the responsibility of Congress. Today we can 
have 1,000 tank-car trains with crude oil come from Canada without a 
permit, but to build a pipeline, it has been delayed for years because 
it couldn't get a Presidential permit. We can bring the same substance 
from Canada in train cars, but we can't put it on a safer mode of 
pipelines.
  Congress has not acted on legislative cross-border infrastructure 
since 1850. I think it is time to change that.
  The Presidential permit process that my colleague is defending so 
vigorously is an executive order process that could be changed 
depending on who is in the White House. My colleague may support the 
process now but may oppose the process later.
  H.R. 3301 gives statutory certainty to build transmission lines, oil 
pipelines, or natural gas pipelines with our two free trade neighbors, 
Canada and Mexico. H.R. 3301 eliminates uncertainty that has crippled 
infrastructure development.
  These pipelines are not paid for by tax money. They are paid for by 
investors.
  H.R. 3301 does not eliminate or limit environmental reviews of cross-
border infrastructure. In fact, the bill cements environmental reviews 
by putting it into law. The bill does not eliminate the public 
interests or deem applications approved. The bill guarantees the public 
interest must be met but in a timely fashion.
  Finally, the bill does not apply to the current project applications, 
like Keystone XL. This bill doesn't go into effect if it is passed by 
the Senate until 2016. Keystone may or may not have their project 
approval or their plan approval by then, but they would have to get 
back in line with everyone else after this bill goes into effect. We 
have safeguarded against this by grandfathering current applications 
and delaying the effective date until mid-2016.
  There are more than 60 cross-border projects that have been built 
over the last few decades. But today, there are more than 10 
applications at the State Department awaiting action because political 
decisions have been bogged down in the process.
  Cross-border infrastructure is important in the public interest. The 
State Department has stated: ``Additional pipeline capacity will 
advance the strategic interests of the United States, send positive 
economic signals, and provide construction jobs for workers in the 
U.S.''
  We can build cross-border infrastructure while protecting the 
environment. Federal agencies are required to consider the 
environmental impacts of the actual infrastructure. Federal, State, and 
local agencies approve domestic projects every single day. All the 
opponents of H.R. 3301 want to talk about is Keystone XL and the 
environmental review.
  We have solved both of these issues, advanced the public interest of 
the United States, secured our domestic energy needs for decades to 
come, solidified our relationships with our two closest partners, 
Canada and Mexico; and made North America a new global powerhouse in 
the energy sector.
  H.R. 3301 is not about the past. H.R. 3301 is about securing the 
economic, security, and environmental needs of the future.

[[Page H5671]]

  Mr. WHITFIELD. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, at this time, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentleman from the State of Utah (Mr. Matheson).

                              {time}  1530

  Mr. MATHESON. I thank my ranking member for yielding the time.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the North American Energy 
Infrastructure Act, and I want to thank Mr. Green, my colleague, and 
also Mr. Upton who worked so much on this bill.
  Our country is on the cusp of not only becoming the world's leading 
energy producer, but we are also close to achieving North American 
energy independence with our allies to the north and south: Canada and 
Mexico. With this can come jobs and economic growth, greater energy 
security, and less uncertainty in our economy.
  However, unnecessarily complicated, outdated, and political 
roadblocks are currently in place that can encumber this progress. We 
should remember the current Presidential permitting process for cross-
border energy infrastructure projects was developed through a series of 
ad hoc executive orders, which has created a high level of uncertainty 
for everyone involved.
  This bill would work to modernize and streamline the process, 
providing producers and consumers with a greater degree of clarity 
about the process. This is a process that is in desperate need of 
reform, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased at this time to yield 2 
minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gallego).
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the chairman and the 
ranking member for the time as well.
  I am not much for hyperbole or finger-pointing. I want to talk about 
what it is that is important about this bill for me as the 
representative of much of the Eagle Ford area in Texas and the Permian 
Basin. It is not about Keystone or even the President because it 
doesn't go into effect until 2016.
  All my life, I grew up hearing about the Arab oil wars, and I 
remember well the Arab oil embargo as a kid growing up in west Texas. I 
think we can do something today that secures our energy future for our 
kids and our grandkids. We can do this carefully, making sure that we 
preserve the environment for future generations.
  Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act, which apply to the 
construction of facilities, still apply here. These facilities are 
still subject to NEPA review. They must still meet the same safety 
standards, which we all know are very important.
  As Mr. Matheson indicated, our neighbors to the north and south are 
increasingly vital partners as the rest of the world goes into the 
global economy. We need not constantly rely on oil from unstable parts 
of the world when we can get it here at home and get it safely--
underscore safely--and cleanly, and we can help our neighbors get it 
safely and cleanly, too.
  My hometown of Alpine is not located near oil or gas fields, but it 
is on the main line of a railroad, and in 2010, only 1 percent of U.S. 
oil production was moved by rail, and last year, it was up to 10 
percent, and I have personally seen several derailments. One year, many 
of us in town had soap for a year as a result of a railroad derailment.
  I want my son to play in the Big Bend and float the Devils River with 
his kids, just as I did, and I also want to be sure that, when he flips 
the switch, the lights come on, or when he and his kids cook or use 
their air conditioners or their heaters, the energy is there to do what 
they need.
  Again, I want to thank the ranking member for the use of the time and 
the Chair and the ranking member for their work, and thank you for 
letting me share my thoughts.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I would like to make an inquiry on the 
amount of time remaining on both sides.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky has 11\1/2\ minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from California has 5\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, we don't have any more speakers on our 
side, so I will reserve the balance of my time and let the gentleman 
from California proceed.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes just to say that 
the President has looked at this bill, and they just cited a number of 
concerns about it, and they very seldom come in with a Statement of 
Administration Policy, but they did say on this bill that they would be 
against it.
  They think that this bill raises serious trade implications by 
eliminating the current statutory requirement that the Department of 
Energy authorize orders for the natural gas exports. I don't think this 
bill is going anywhere because I think the Senate is unlikely to take 
it up.
  There are serious and urgent problems facing this Nation: 
unemployment, the need for immigration reform, climate change, gun 
violence in our children's schools, foreign policy challenges; but, 
once again, House Republicans are ignoring the real issues. Instead, 
they are wasting time on counterproductive legislation that has no 
prospect of enactment.
  Mr. Chairman, I believe we have better things to do. I would urge 
opposition to the bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I would say to the American people that, 
certainly, energy is vitally important, and that is why we have 
introduced this bill, and that is why we brought this bill to the 
floor.
  Because when you talk about creating jobs and stimulating the 
economy, you have to have low-cost, affordable, abundant, and reliable 
energy, or you cannot compete in the global marketplace.
  As I had said earlier, I just want to reiterate, once again, that 
this bill does nothing but make the decision that we are going to treat 
oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, and transmission lines all the 
same.
  Right now, a natural gas pipeline that crosses an international 
boundary does not require a Presidential permit, but an oil pipeline 
and a transmission line to bring electricity across the border does 
require a Presidential permit.
  As many speakers have said today, that Presidential permit or 
authority was not granted by the Congress; it was taken by executive 
orders. So all we are doing is saying that we are going to treat all of 
them the same.
  Now, some people are saying that: well, you are eliminating the need 
for NEPA, you are not allowing NEPA review.
  I had pointed out that there are 33 environmental laws that all of 
these pipelines or transmission lines would be subject to, and any 
Federal action, like crossing a stream that would create a necessity 
for a Clean Water Act permit, could very well generate a need for a 
NEPA review.
  Nothing in this bill would limit the application of NEPA to the rest 
of the project. It would certainly apply to the cross border, but it 
would not limit application to the rest of the project.
  So if a project required a right-of-way across Federal lands, the 
NEPA review would be initiated. Nothing in the bill would exempt the 
project from requiring applicable Clean Water Act permits, clean air 
permits, endangered species permits, or any other Federal permit.
  So I would respectfully request the Members to support this 
commonsense bill. It would bring certainty to entities that are trying 
to bring more energy to America by treating gas pipelines the same as 
oil pipelines, the same as a transmission line.
  In concluding, I would just like to say this: nothing in the bill 
creates a Federal right of eminent domain or supersedes a State's 
exercise of eminent domain authority.
  In concluding, I would just like to say that, while the gentleman 
from California and I are on opposite sides of this issue--and a lot of 
issues--he has been a real leader in the U.S. Congress.
  He announced earlier that he is not going to be seeking reelection, 
but the gentleman from California, Henry Waxman, has been a leader in 
the U.S. Congress and recognized so throughout the country.
  Even though he is going to be with us for 6 or 7 more months until 
the end of the year, I did want to acknowledge that he is recognized as 
a congressional leader, with great empathy and commitment to his views, 
although sometimes we disagree with his views.

[[Page H5672]]

  With that, I urge the adoption of H.R. 3301 and yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Chair, I rise today in support of H.R. 3301, the 
North American Energy Infrastructure Act, of which I am a cosponsor. 
This legislation will ensure that transnational pipeline construction 
permits are considered on their merits instead of politics. 
Importantly, it is a substantive step towards more affordable energy 
prices. People are hurting, Mr. Chair. According to the American 
Automobile Association's daily fuel guage report, today's average gas 
price in the Tampa Bay market: $3.64, well up from $2.35 per gallon in 
2009. Not only are gas prices up, but so too are the price of groceries 
and costs of heating and cooling your home or apartment. Domestic 
energy production helps Americans with their everyday costs. This is 
the bottom line. H.R. 3301 will aid in that effort. Support this bill 
and help lower energy costs for all Americans. I yield back.
  The Acting CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule.
  In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by 
the Committee on Energy and Commerce, printed in the bill, it shall be 
in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment 
under the 5-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-49. That amendment 
in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

                               H.R. 3301

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``North American Energy 
     Infrastructure Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDING.

       Congress finds that the United States should establish a 
     more uniform, transparent, and modern process for the 
     construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of oil 
     and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission 
     facilities for the import and export of oil and natural gas 
     and the transmission of electricity to and from Canada and 
     Mexico, in pursuit of a more secure and efficient North 
     American energy market.

     SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF CERTAIN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE 
                   PROJECTS AT THE NATIONAL BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED 
                   STATES.

       (a) Authorization.--Except as provided in subsection (c) 
     and section 7, no person may construct, connect, operate, or 
     maintain a cross-border segment of an oil pipeline or 
     electric transmission facility for the import or export of 
     oil or the transmission of electricity to or from Canada or 
     Mexico without obtaining a certificate of crossing for the 
     construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of the 
     cross-border segment under this section.
       (b) Certificate of Crossing.--
       (1) Requirement.--Not later than 120 days after final 
     action is taken under the National Environmental Policy Act 
     of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to a cross-
     border segment for which a request is received under this 
     section, the relevant official identified under paragraph 
     (2), in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies, shall 
     issue a certificate of crossing for the cross-border segment 
     unless the relevant official finds that the construction, 
     connection, operation, or maintenance of the cross-border 
     segment is not in the public interest of the United States.
       (2) Relevant official.--The relevant official referred to 
     in paragraph (1) is--
       (A) the Secretary of State with respect to oil pipelines; 
     and
       (B) the Secretary of Energy with respect to electric 
     transmission facilities.
       (3) Additional requirement for electric transmission 
     facilities.--In the case of a request for a certificate of 
     crossing for the construction, connection, operation, or 
     maintenance of a cross-border segment of an electric 
     transmission facility, the Secretary of Energy shall require, 
     as a condition of issuing the certificate of crossing for the 
     request under paragraph (1), that the cross-border segment of 
     the electric transmission facility be constructed, connected, 
     operated, or maintained consistent with all applicable 
     policies and standards of--
       (A) the Electric Reliability Organization and the 
     applicable regional entity; and
       (B) any Regional Transmission Organization or Independent 
     System Operator with operational or functional control over 
     the cross-border segment of the electric transmission 
     facility.
       (c) Exclusions.--This section shall not apply to any 
     construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of a 
     cross-border segment of an oil pipeline or electric 
     transmission facility for the import or export of oil or the 
     transmission of electricity to or from Canada or Mexico--
       (1) if the cross-border segment is operating for such 
     import, export, or transmission as of the date of enactment 
     of this Act;
       (2) if a permit described in section 6 for such 
     construction, connection, operation, or maintenance has been 
     issued;
       (3) if a certificate of crossing for such construction, 
     connection, operation, or maintenance has previously been 
     issued under this section; or
       (4) if an application for a permit described in section 6 
     for such construction, connection, operation, or maintenance 
     is pending on the date of enactment of this Act, until the 
     earlier of--
       (A) the date on which such application is denied; or
       (B) July 1, 2016.
       (d) Effect of Other Laws.--
       (1) Application to projects.--Nothing in this section or 
     section 7 shall affect the application of any other Federal 
     statute to a project for which a certificate of crossing for 
     the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of a 
     cross-border segment is sought under this section.
       (2) Natural gas act.--Nothing in this section or section 7 
     shall affect the requirement to obtain approval or 
     authorization under sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act 
     for the siting, construction, or operation of any facility to 
     import or export natural gas.
       (3) Energy policy and conservation act.--Nothing in this 
     section or section 7 shall affect the authority of the 
     President under section 103(a) of the Energy Policy and 
     Conservation Act.

     SEC. 4. IMPORTATION OR EXPORTATION OF NATURAL GAS TO CANADA 
                   AND MEXICO.

       Section 3(c) of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717b(c)) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following: ``No order is 
     required under subsection (a) to authorize the export or 
     import of any natural gas to or from Canada or Mexico.''.

     SEC. 5. TRANSMISSION OF ELECTRIC ENERGY TO CANADA AND MEXICO.

       (a) Repeal of Requirement To Secure Order.--Section 202(e) 
     of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)) is repealed.
       (b) Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) State regulations.--Section 202(f) of the Federal Power 
     Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(f)) is amended by striking ``insofar as 
     such State regulation does not conflict with the exercise of 
     the Commission's powers under or relating to subsection 
     202(e)''.
       (2) Seasonal diversity electricity exchange.--Section 
     602(b) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 
     (16 U.S.C. 824a-4(b)) is amended by striking ``the Commission 
     has conducted hearings and made the findings required under 
     section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act'' and all that 
     follows through the period at the end and inserting ``the 
     Secretary has conducted hearings and finds that the proposed 
     transmission facilities would not impair the sufficiency of 
     electric supply within the United States or would not impede 
     or tend to impede the coordination in the public interest of 
     facilities subject to the jurisdiction of the Secretary.''.

     SEC. 6. NO PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT REQUIRED.

       No Presidential permit (or similar permit) required under 
     Executive Order 13337 (3 U.S.C. 301 note), Executive Order 
     11423 (3 U.S.C. 301 note), section 301 of title 3, United 
     States Code, Executive Order 12038, Executive Order 10485, or 
     any other Executive Order shall be necessary for the 
     construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of an oil 
     or natural gas pipeline or electric transmission facility, or 
     any cross-border segment thereof.

     SEC. 7. MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING PROJECTS.

       No certificate of crossing under section 3, or permit 
     described in section 6, shall be required for a modification 
     to the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of 
     an oil or natural gas pipeline or electric transmission 
     facility--
       (1) that is operating for the import or export of oil or 
     natural gas or the transmission of electricity to or from 
     Canada or Mexico as of the date of enactment of the Act;
       (2) for which a permit described in section 6 for such 
     construction, connection, operation, or maintenance has been 
     issued; or
       (3) for which a certificate of crossing for the cross-
     border segment of the pipeline or facility has previously 
     been issued under section 3.

     SEC. 8. EFFECTIVE DATE; RULEMAKING DEADLINES.

       (a) Effective Date.--Sections 3 through 7, and the 
     amendments made by such sections, shall take effect on July 
     1, 2015.
       (b) Rulemaking Deadlines.--Each relevant official described 
     in section 3(b)(2) shall--
       (1) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, publish in the Federal Register notice of a 
     proposed rulemaking to carry out the applicable requirements 
     of section 3; and
       (2) not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, publish in the Federal Register a final rule to 
     carry out the applicable requirements of section 3.

     SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act--
       (1) the term ``cross-border segment'' means the portion of 
     an oil or natural gas pipeline or electric transmission 
     facility that is located at the national boundary of the 
     United States with either Canada or Mexico;
       (2) the term ``modification'' includes a reversal of flow 
     direction, change in ownership, volume expansion, downstream 
     or upstream interconnection, or adjustment to maintain flow 
     (such as a reduction or increase in the number of pump or 
     compressor stations);
       (3) the term ``natural gas'' has the meaning given that 
     term in section 2 of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717a);
       (4) the term ``oil'' means petroleum or a petroleum 
     product;
       (5) the terms ``Electric Reliability Organization'' and 
     ``regional entity'' have the meanings given those terms in 
     section 215 of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824o); and
       (6) the terms ``Independent System Operator'' and 
     ``Regional Transmission Organization'' have the meanings 
     given those terms in section 3 of the Federal Power Act (16 
     U.S.C. 796).


[[Page H5673]]


  The Acting CHAIR. No amendment to the amendment in the nature of a 
substitute shall be in order except those printed in part B of House 
Report 113-492. Each such amendment shall be considered only in the 
order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated 
in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the 
time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall 
not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Pallone

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 
printed in House Report 113-476.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, line 18, strike ``a cross-border segment of''.
       Page 2, beginning on line 3, strike ``a certificate of 
     crossing for'' and insert ``approval of''.
       Page 2, line 5, strike ``the cross-border segment'' and 
     insert ``the pipeline or facility''.
       Page 2, line 6, strike ``Certificate of Crossing'' and 
     insert ``Approval''.
       Page 2, line 10, strike ``cross-border segment'' and insert 
     ``project''.
        Page 2, beginning on line 14, strike ``issue a certificate 
     of crossing for the cross-border segment'' and insert 
     ``approve such project''.
       Page 2, line 17, strike ``of the cross-border segment''.
       Page 3, line 3, strike ``a certificate of crossing for'' 
     and insert ``approval of''.
       Page 3, beginning on line 4, strike ``a cross-border 
     segment of''.
       Page 3, line 7, strike ``issuing the certificate of 
     crossing for'' and insert ``approving''.
       Page 3, beginning on line 8, strike ``the cross-border 
     segment of''.
       Page 3, beginning on line 16, strike ``the cross-border 
     segment of''.
       Page 3, beginning on line 20, strike ``a cross-border 
     segment of''.
       Page 4, line 1, strike ``cross-border segment'' and insert 
     ``pipeline or facility''.
       Page 4, line 7, strike ``a certificate of crossing for'' 
     and insert ``approval of''.
       Page 4, line 21, strike ``a certificate of crossing for'' 
     and insert ``approval of''.
       Page 4, beginning on line 22, strike ``of a cross-border 
     segment''.
       Page 6, line 24, strike ``, or any cross-border segment 
     thereof''.
       Page 7, line 2, strike ``certificate of crossing'' and 
     insert ``approval''.
       Page 7, beginning on line 14, strike ``a certificate of 
     crossing for the cross-border segment'' and insert 
     ``approval''.
       Page 8, strike lines 7 through 11.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 629, the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  My amendment ensures that the complete length of cross-border 
projects would be subject to full environmental review under the 
National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.
  NEPA was created to provide transparency so people would know what 
the impact of a project will be on their communities. However, H.R. 
3301 will circumvent that transparency, making our lands vulnerable to 
spills, leaks, and other pipeline hazards, and this is why I have 
introduced this amendment, which will make certain proper diligence is 
given to protect the public's interests.
  By ensuring a Federal NEPA review is conducted for the entire length 
of all cross-border projects, we can guarantee all proposals will get 
the full scope of review necessary to preserve our tremendous natural 
resources.
  Unfortunately, H.R. 3301 makes an end run around NEPA. The bill 
redefines and significantly narrows the scope of NEPA's environmental 
review. While traditional NEPA review looks at the impacts of an entire 
project, this bill restricts NEPA review to only that portion of a 
project that physically crosses the border, and this restriction 
doesn't make any sense.
  These massive projects are more than just a border crossing. When we 
approve transboundary pipeline or transmission line, we are approving a 
multibillion dollar infrastructure that may stretch hundreds of miles 
and will last for decades.
  These projects pass through private property and sensitive lands and 
over aquifers. They transport hazardous substances that, if spilled or 
ignited, can cause serious damage.
  Before making decisions about whether to approve such projects, we 
need to carefully consider their potential impacts on environment and 
on communities along their routes. Simply put, we should be looking at 
the effects of projects as a whole.
  That is not what the bill before us does. Instead, it redefines the 
scope of NEPA's inquiry to only encompass the step across the border, 
and this is a nonsensical approach. It makes the process of 
environmental review essentially meaningless.
  When Congress passed NEPA, it never intended this law to provide such 
a narrow review. Congress intended NEPA to provide policymakers with a 
critical tool to understand a project's full environmental impacts and 
consider lower-impact alternatives.
  NEPA doesn't dictate the outcome or impose any constraint on 
projects. It simply requires the Federal Government to make some effort 
to understand the environmental impacts of major Federal actions and to 
inform the public of those impacts.
  We should not be carelessly narrowing or creating loopholes in this 
law. When the Federal Government makes a decision about a major 
project, it should understand what it is doing.
  As we have seen with Keystone XL, large energy projects often raise 
safety issues, economic implications, and environmental concerns, both 
for the local and global environments.
  These projects affect communities all along their routes. It is 
simply common sense that we should understand the broad scope of these 
impacts before deciding to approve a project.
  Unfortunately, the bill before us today prevents this review, which 
is why I urge all of my colleagues to support this important amendment 
that ensures that the complete length of cross-border projects would be 
subject to a full NEPA review.
  Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1545

  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  While I have a great deal of respect for the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone), his amendment would, in effect, codify the 
Presidential permit not only for oil pipelines and transmission lines, 
but also for natural gas pipelines, which are now exempt from the 
Presidential permit. So he is going in the wrong direction, and would 
make it even more difficult.
  As I said earlier, NEPA would apply anytime Federal action is 
triggered, and there are 33 different environmental laws that can 
trigger Federal action. So I am very much opposed to the gentleman's 
amendment.
  I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague for 
yielding to me. As ranking member on the Health Subcommittee, I, too, 
am hesitant to rise and oppose your amendment. What the amendment would 
do is it would ensure that the complete length of cross-border projects 
would be subject to full environmental review under the National 
Environmental Policy Act.
  The bill already guarantees that review at the national boundary 
based with the Department of Energy.
  Existing Federal and State law guarantees an environmental review on 
the complete length of the project.
  Current Federal laws that trigger NEPA reviews in addition to H.R. 
3301 include the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered 
Species Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the 
Fish and Wildlife Coordination for Fish and Wildlife Service 
consultation, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, 
the Wilderness Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
  The intent of this bill is not to eliminate any of the NEPA reviews 
within the continental United States. The problem we have right now is 
the Department of State is making a decision that really ought to be 
Federal agencies and even State governments who would need that.

[[Page H5674]]

  If this amendment was adopted, it would require a State Department or 
a Presidential permit, and then all of the other agencies, and so it 
would make it impossible.
  The argument for this bill, if you are opposed to Keystone, then you 
are allowing literally a thousand-car train of crude oil to come across 
the border now without any of these reviews. A pipeline is inherently 
safer. That is why we need to bring that crude oil by pipeline from 
Canada to the gulf coast, where our refining capacity is.
  The amendment would actually expand what is under current law. It 
would make it even harder. The goal of the legislation is to have this 
North American energy independence market, and we don't need to throw 
up more roadblocks to keep companies from importing or exporting to 
Canada or importing or exporting to Mexico, where we already have free 
trade agreements.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, this bill provides, if it is a cross 
boundary with Canada or Mexico, you cannot have a NEPA review, an 
environmental review, except right around there, right around where the 
boundary is. Now, if you built a pipeline in the United States and it 
went a thousand miles, you would have a review of it. But they are 
saying just because it goes across the boundary for a thousand miles, 
let's say, there would be no review. Even though it crosses streams and 
aquifers, it would not get a real environmental review that would be 
required if it were solely domestic. That makes no sense.
  I urge support for the Pallone amendment because it fixes a problem 
and preserves meaningful environmental reviews. That is what we need 
for these projects. It corrects that part of the bill which I think is 
a glaring, glaring loophole.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I would ask my colleagues to support the 
amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey 
will be postponed.


                 Amendment No. 2 Offered by Mr. Waxman

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 2 
printed in part B of House Report 113-492.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Strike section 3(c)(4) and insert the following:
       (4) if an application for a permit described in section 6 
     for such construction, connection, operation, or maintenance, 
     or for a substantially similar project, is pending on the 
     date of enactment of this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 636, the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Waxman) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, this bill's supporters claim that it is 
just about the approval process for cross-border energy projects. They 
say it is not about approving the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline 
because that is under review now. But, in fact, that is what this bill 
really does.
  If the President determines that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in 
the national interest, this bill would allow TransCanada to reapply 
under this new process designed to rubberstamp permits, and Keystone XL 
would almost certainly be approved under that process.
  This bill establishes a new permitting process which would ensure 
rapid approval, and not particularly a clear evaluation. The bill makes 
it very difficult for Federal agencies to do anything other than 
approve the proposed project for two reasons.
  First, the new permitting process narrows the approval and 
environmental review. And, secondly, the bill establishes this 
rebuttable presumption of approval, meaning the Federal agency must 
approve the project unless it finds that the cross-border segment of 
the project is not in the public interest.
  I think this bill, which I have called the ``Zombie Pipeline Act,'' 
is just for the Keystone XL pipeline. They keep on trying to push that 
thing and not let it go through the process by which it is still being 
evaluated. So I urge that we close this backdoor way to ensure Keystone 
XL itself is brought up again, and I would urge support for this 
amendment because this bill is not a proper way to deal with that 
particular project.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gene Green).
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend and 
colleague for yielding.
  Ranking Member Waxman's amendment excludes any project with a pending 
permit application from the new approval requirements in the bill. The 
bill does not deal with Keystone XL. The bill shall not apply if an 
application for a permit for construction, connection, operation, or 
maintenance is pending. That is what the bill does, H.R. 3301.
  The bill does not apply until after July 1, 2016. We are in 2014 now. 
Keystone XL has been at the State Department and White House for at 
least 5 years, and are they going to wait another 2 years? Now, if they 
want to wait until July 1, 2016, they would have to refile and start 
all over. But this bill has nothing to do with the Keystone permit. 
They could stand in line like anyone else after July 1, 2016, stand in 
line and get their permit. I would assume we would have a number of 
them.
  But let me first take some time, and I appreciate my colleague, 
Ranking Member Waxman. I have been on the Energy and Commerce Committee 
since 1997, and most of the time we agree, but we do represent 
individual districts. But I want to say that I appreciate Mr. Waxman's 
service. We have worked together on a lot of legislation in the 
committee and even on the floor, but, obviously, we have a disagreement 
on energy. That is why I think the amendment is not needed, because the 
bill already prohibits it from applying to any current permit in the 
law.
  Again, Mr. Waxman, I thank you for your service. I will miss you 
because I enjoy our discussions.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate all of the nice words, but 
let's recognize this amendment. We just heard the statement that this 
doesn't apply to the Keystone XL pipeline because that is pending, and 
the bill says it doesn't apply to any project with permit approval 
pending on the date of enactment. But that doesn't exclude them if they 
are denied from coming right back and getting rubberstamped under the 
easier process under this bill.
  So if this is not about the Keystone XL pipeline, adopt this 
amendment which says that the Keystone XL pipeline may not come back as 
a zombie for approval later if it doesn't get approved under the 
existing process.
  I am just trying to keep people honest. I still have got 6 months to 
do that, so don't say good-bye to me yet. While I am here, and even 
after I have left the Congress, I will continue to point out when 
things are said that just don't add up. It doesn't add up to say that 
this doesn't apply to the Keystone XL pipeline; it could, and in fact 
it is a backdoor way to do that. And one might suspect that that is the 
whole purpose of the legislation. I urge adoption of this amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I would just point out that if we pass 
H.R. 3301, the Keystone pipeline is still caught up in the Presidential 
permitting process. And if we adopt the Waxman amendment, the Keystone 
pipeline

[[Page H5675]]

would never, ever be able to come back with a new application.
  Since they filed an application in September of 2008, and despite the 
State Department saying that there is no negligible environmental 
impact by approving it, President Obama continues not to approve it. So 
if after 2016 the Keystone pipeline entity wants to submit a new 
application under the new law, they would certainly and should have a 
right to do that. That is the only reason we oppose the Waxman 
amendment. I urge that Members vote against the Waxman amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from California 
will be postponed.


                  Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Welch

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 
printed in part B of House Report 113-492.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 7, line 3, insert ``minor'' before ``modification''.
       Page 7, line 6, insert ``, such as a change in ownership'' 
     after ``fac

       Page 8, strike lines 12 through 17.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 636, the gentleman 
from Vermont (Mr. Welch) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Vermont.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in favor of the Welch-
Pingree-Michaud-Kuster-Shay-Porter amendment, and I want to thank my 
colleagues from northern New England for cosponsoring this amendment 
with me.
  H.R. 3301, as we have been hearing, exempts literally all 
modifications of cross-border pipelines from Federal approval and 
environmental review without any regard to the impacts on public 
health, safety, and the environment. My view: that is a terrible idea.
  Some pipeline modifications, in fact, are truly minor and are 
unlikely to affect the environment or put public safety at risk. For 
example, if the pipeline is sold to a new owner, there is no need for a 
Federal review. So there is a place here for no review.
  But many modifications could have just as much impact as a brand new 
pipeline, and there is no justification to exempt from consideration 
those issues that would be reviewed if it were a new pipeline.

                              {time}  1600

  The Portland Montreal Pipe Line reversal is an exact example of a 
pipeline modification that could have very significant impacts. 
Currently that pipeline carries light sweet crude from the U.S. to 
Canada, but a proposal in the works is to reverse that pipeline to 
carry tar sands oil from Canada, through New Hampshire, Vermont, and 
Maine, to ports of Casco Bay, where it would be loaded on the ships for 
export. That has raised a lot of concerns in these States.
  Any spill of tar sands crude is a very big deal, far worse than any 
other type of oil spill. Vermonters are concerned about reversing of 
the pipeline to transport those tar sands, that it would accelerate the 
development of the tar sands oil, which is the dirtiest and most carbon 
intensive in the universe.
  Forty-two towns and municipalities in the State of Vermont have 
passed resolutions opposing this project. Concerned citizens deserve to 
have their voices heard. Under H.R. 3301, the pipeline owners could 
completely skip the process. I oppose this.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chair, I might say I have a great deal of respect 
for the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch) on the committee, and he 
does great work in the area of efficiency and other areas relating to 
energy, but I do oppose this amendment.
  At this point, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Gene Green) for his comments on the amendment.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Chair, I thank my colleague for yielding 
me time.
  I, too, understand where my colleague on the committee and 
Congressman Welch--let me leave with you one of our examples. You 
include also pipeline name changes in here. I understand your issue is 
reversing the flow. I would be glad to work with you, but I have a 
company that has been waiting years. They bought a pipeline coming from 
Canada into the United States. They have waited years just for the 
State Department to change their name.
  What really bothered me--and I have contacted the State Department--
the State Department said: Oh, well, we are looking at it, but we know 
you are going to build a lateral from North Dakota into your U.S. part 
of the line, and we do evaluate that.
  The State Department has no right to evaluate those pipelines. It is 
on our property in the United States. They have the cross-border. What 
we are seeing is expansion of State Department authority.
  I agree that you have an issue and I would like to see if we could 
work with you on it, but it shouldn't take 3 years to change a name 
because another company bought it. And believe me, I think the State 
Department is trying to overreach by saying: By the way, we are going 
to evaluate what you are doing in the continental United States.
  We already have Federal agencies--the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission and a host of Federal agencies--that will evaluate that 
pipeline that is in our country. The State Department needs to take 
care of their business. That is what worries me about your amendment, 
so I ask for a ``no'' vote.
  I would love to work with you, because I think if there is a reverse 
flow, I think somebody needs to look at it. I appreciate it. I still 
request a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chair, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Maine, 
Representative Pingree.
  Ms. PINGREE of Maine. Thank you very much, Mr. Welch.
  Mr. Chair, I am very proud to sponsor this amendment, along with my 
colleagues from Vermont, New Hampshire, and my fellow Mainer, to exempt 
pipeline reversals from the provisions of this bill.
  In my opinion, the way this bill is currently written, it is 
extremely irresponsible because it basically exempts cross-border 
pipeline projects from the National Environmental Policy Act and would 
reduce not only critical Federal reviews, but also limit the vital 
public input that NEPA brings. That would raise great concerns for the 
constituents in my district who have a lot that they want to say in the 
public input process.
  The amendment scope is limited to pipeline reversals and would at 
least make it clear that the underlying bill's waivers do not apply to 
the so-called Portland Montreal Pipe Line and other pipeline reversals. 
The Portland Montreal Pipe Line proposal threatens the entire southern 
Maine watershed, where 15 percent of my State's population gets its 
drinking water.
  Oversight by NEPA is essential for this pipeline and any other, and I 
strongly oppose any attempts to waive NEPA or other reviews for this 
project. That is why I am here, to urge all my colleagues who care 
about ensuring that there is strong oversight and environmental review 
to support this amendment.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  I do rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. First of all, 
``minor'' is an undefined term that gives little certainty to agencies 
or industry. One of the things that we are trying to get away from is 
the uncertainty of a Presidential permit and be treated like natural 
gas pipelines. As I said, in H.R. 3301, we are trying to treat all of 
them exactly the same: transmission lines, oil pipelines, natural gas 
lines.

[[Page H5676]]

  I would also say that, under the gentleman's amendment, any 
modifications, such as volume expansion, downstream or upstream 
interconnections, or adjustments to maintain flow, would potentially be 
required to obtain a Presidential permit for the modification, even if 
the original project already has one. Then even operational changes may 
be subject to a Presidential permit, and ownership changes would be.
  So, for those reasons, as I said, I respectfully would oppose the 
gentleman's amendment and ask the Members to oppose it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WELCH. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chair, two things. I want to speak to the leader of our Energy 
and Commerce Committee, but also to the proponent of this bill, Mr. 
Green.
  We can have too much regulation or we can have too little regulation, 
and they both have problems. Mr. Green talks about the hassle his 
company is having getting a name change. That is ridiculous. That 
company should be able to change its name and not have to go through 
the hassle of a permit. Then when the agency holds back and doesn't 
even give them an answer for 3 years, we have a problem, and I agree 
with that. Under my amendment, those issues like a name change would 
not be at all subject to the permitting process.
  On the other hand, we in Vermont are concerned about a reversal of 
flow and having tar sands go through. It is a really big deal. Forty-
two towns in my State passed resolutions saying that they wanted to 
have a say in this. It is known that spills happen, and tar sands bills 
are a much bigger deal than other kinds.
  What we have in the legislation is not working together to find what 
is the balance or to try to move us towards a balance so there are not 
unnecessary burdens for a name change and simple things, but, on the 
other hand, we don't abolish the review process altogether.
  This legislation doesn't seek that balance. What this legislation 
does is, in effect, abolish the review process, and that is a problem, 
so our going from too much review on a name change to no review on tar 
sands coming through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
  Our legislation, I think, is the only thing that is being considered 
that, in fact, offers a balance. If it is a name change, a minor deal, 
no permit required. If it is significant, then, yes, you are going to 
have to go through the review.
  I want to thank the chairman and the Speaker and the body for its 
time.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Vermont (Mr. Welch).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Vermont will 
be postponed.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Chair, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Simpson) having assumed the chair, Mr. Harris, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3301) to 
require approval for the construction, connection, operation, or 
maintenance of oil or natural gas pipelines or electric transmission 
facilities at the national boundary of the United States for the import 
or export of oil, natural gas, or electricity to or from Canada or 
Mexico, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

                          ____________________