Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

In this list
Oil

US senators aim to ease pipeline permitting after latest Keystone XL setback

Agriculture | Biofuels | Energy | Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Metals | Steel | Shipping | Tankers | Coronavirus

Market Movers Americas, Nov 23-27: Markets watch coronavirus surge, progress on stimulus

Oil

Platts Market Data – Oil

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

Bunker Fuel | Oil | Refined Products | Fuel Oil | Shipping | Marine Fuels

Singapore HSFO bunker sales likely to stay robust after crossing 1 mil mt in Oct

Natural Gas | Oil

Fuel for Thought: Argentina puts fresh focus on developing Vaca Muerta, but concerns abound

US senators aim to ease pipeline permitting after latest Keystone XL setback

Highlights

Bill seen as short-term fix for program hit by court challenge

TC Energy pursuing 'other permitting means' during Montana suit

Washington — US Senate Republicans from energy-producing states are pushing for infrastructure permitting reforms after a fast-track program came under court challenge this year and became the latest roadblock for the Keystone XL heavy crude pipeline.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Senator John Cornyn of Texas introduced Aug. 4 a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act "to clarify certain activities that would have been authorized under Nationwide Permit 12 and other Nationwide Permits," according to the preliminary text of the bill.

Co-sponsors include senators from Alaska, Oklahoma, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Katie Bays, managing director of FiscalNote Markets, said the co-sponsors signal that the measure is likely aimed at the Northern Plains Resource Council lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In that case, a Montana judge in April vacated the Corps of Engineers' NWP12 program and prevented the Corps from using it to authorize construction across waterways. The US Supreme Court later allowed the permits to resume during the appeals process, except in the case of TC Energy's long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project from Alberta to Nebraska.

TC Energy said July 30 that it intends to pursue "other permitting means" to authorize waterway crossings and get the project back on track.

Bays said the bill's sponsors likely want to ensure that pipelines have access to NWP12 permitting even if a future administration makes a decision that pipelines should be permitted using the more onerous process of individual permitting.

The American Petroleum Institute said the bill would bring "an efficient, short-term solution to restore regulatory certainty and allow continued development of critical infrastructure projects affected by recent federal court decisions" by ensuring the Corps and project owners could continue to rely on NWP12.

Bays predicted the Cornyn bill may move through the Environment and Public Works Committee, but does not have a realistic chance of passage by the full Senate.

"It looks like political messaging to me, and certainly we've seen the White House use the pipeline industry and energy broadly as a political signal in recent weeks," she said.