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Congressmen introduce bill to fund US-Mexico bank to help boost gas exports

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Congressmen introduce bill to fund US-Mexico bank to help boost gas exports

U.S. congressmen from Texas are pushing to provide more money to the North American Development Bank and give it the authority to fund natural gas pipelines and gas-fired power plants that could boost demand for American natural gas supplies in Mexico.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, filed House Resolution 132, along with Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, and Filemon Vela Jr., D-Texas. The bill, referred to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, would provide a general capital increase for gas pipelines and combined cycle power plants "with major emphasis on cross-border energy distribution and consumption and the energy security of the United States and Mexico." It would also support financing of projects to facilitate the flow of goods and people across the international border and projects to control pollution and waste.

The U.S. and Mexico both fund the development bank, which was created soon after the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. A spokeswoman said on Jan. 15 that the congressmen were holding off on an official release, but she provided a statement from Cuellar. Cuellar noted support from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

"The North American Development Bank has been a cost-effective investment for American taxpayers and provides essential services on our southern border," Cuellar said. "Clean drinking water, sewage and waste treatment are the kinds of basic projects we can't afford to under-fund."

Mexico has placed more pipelines in service as U.S. gas exports to the country increase. Two recent lines boosted gas transportation capacity by 1,174 MMcf/d, and exports to Mexico are expected to increase in the near term, according to a July 2018 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.