CEQ Draft Guidance Will Help Facilitate Environmentally Responsible Construction of Natural Gas Pipelines
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) is pleased with the balanced, fresh perspective taken in the draft guidance released today by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The new draft guidance will help clarify how federal agencies should consider the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of major project permitting decisions when conducting environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.
“The draft guidance from the White House Council on Environmental Quality will help facilitate the environmentally-responsible construction of natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure that our customers want and need,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “Streamlining and clarifying the permitting process helps the natural gas industry provide timely, safe, reliable and affordable service to the 178 million Americans that enjoy the benefits of natural gas and the millions more that want it, but do not yet have access.”
In particular, the draft guidance would help focus agency resources on evaluating the reasonably foreseeable greenhouse gas impacts of agency permitting decisions, rather than expending resources on evaluating remote or speculative matters that do not have a sufficiently close causal relationship with an agency’s permitting decision.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 73 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 69 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.