WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) criticized the passage of partisan legislation H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, after offering an amendment to strengthen it. The bill proposes to replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) existing natural gas permitting process with an unworkable and dangerous approach. Speier’s amendment to the bill would have required FERC to consider the concerns of state and local communities during the permitting process.

“State and local communities have a fundamental stake in decisions on whether to permit a potentially dangerous natural gas pipeline project in their densely-populated neighborhoods. Their issues must be taken into account in a permit approval process that weighs heavily in favor of the pipeline industry,” Speier said. “The fact the House could not pass a common-sense amendment is just another sign of how bad this legislation is.”

Speier said that the San Bruno pipeline disaster in 2010 that killed eight people was a wake-up call to all of the communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. First responders were unaware that a major natural gas pipeline ran through the neighborhood.
“The objections of state and local officials must be adequately considered and taken into account in the decision-making process on where to place potentially dangerous natural gas transmission pipelines,” Speier said.