House panel approves natural gas drilling bill, natural gas pipeline amendment

The House Natural Gas Committee on Thursday approved an amendment to a bill to regulate natural gas pipelines.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the amendment last week.

The Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, signed by President Donald Trump, requires the federal government to develop a regulation that prohibits new or expanded natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The legislation was intended to help ensure that natural gas infrastructure is safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly. 

The Natural Gas Safety Act requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a National Energy Board, a new agency that oversees pipeline safety, that meets the statutory requirements and includes all of the following: A National Energy Safety Advisory Committee to review, and recommend to the Secretary a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that is composed of three members appointed by the Secretary, two members appointed or appointed by Congress, and one member appointed by a Federal agency or an executive agency of the Federal Government.

A National Transportation Safety Board to be chaired by the Administrator of the Department of Transportation, and composed of the Administrator and a representative from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a representative of the U,S.

Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of the National Association of Manufacturers, the U-Haul Association, and other business and industry organizations. 

A National Environmental Policy Act review panel to be composed of at least one member from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and a member appointed or named by the Department or agency. 

(The bill also includes a provision requiring the Secretary to issue a rule to establish standards for pipeline integrity and safety.) 

The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R,Texas, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Rep (now-Rep) Bill Posey, R (Fla.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy Committee.

Fitzpatrick, Gaetz and Posey are also members of the Natural Gas Energy Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee. 

“Our nation faces many challenges, including the threat of climate change and the need to protect our health, environment and economy, yet natural gas development threatens all of these and more,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement. 

Fitzpatrick added that “a lack of regulation in the natural gas sector is leading to billions of dollars of pollution and risks to the health of our communities.” 

“While we believe in the importance of regulation, the current regulations currently in place are not adequate to protect the public health, the environment or our economy,” Fitzpatrick continued. 

Posey, in a written statement, said that the natural-gas industry has “made a big difference in our communities, and it’s time for Congress to step up and address this problem.” 

Natural gas is the largest natural-fuel source of electricity in the United Sates and provides more than 90 percent of the nation’s energy.

In 2016, the United State’s natural gas production surpassed that of coal. 

Natural-gas development is critical to the United Kingdom’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

The government of the United Arab Emirates is now a net exporter of natural gas, accounting for half of the country’s total exports.