Today Congressman David Wu introduced an amendment to a major appropriations bill that would cut federal spending to the regulatory agency that prevents state governments from approving new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
"Landowners in Oregon deserve a say in determining whether LNG terminals and pipelines are welcome in their backyards," said Wu. "My constituents are frustrated by intrusive projects and unclear timelines, and their voices are not being heard on decisions that impact their livelihoods."
State governments used to have final authority on decisions regarding LNG facilities, but in 2005, the Bush administration and a Republican Congress crafted an energy bill that made the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the final decision-making body on the siting and construction of any facility that exports, imports, or processes LNG.
"This is a states' rights issue. FERC's overbearing and overbroad regulatory authority is preventing states and communities from having any meaningful input--let alone decision-making authority--over local land use."
Wu's amendment to the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, H.R. 1, would prevent federal funds from being used to implement Section 3 (e) of the Natural Gas Act.
Last year, Wu introduced the Local Control for Energy and Environment Act of 2010, H.R. 6124, which would nullify FERC's exclusive authority to approve LNG project siting. Wu plans to reintroduce the legislation in the 112th Congress.