12:52 PM EST
Gene Green, D-TX 29th

Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.

I rise today in opposition to the rule and to H.R. 1900.

As many of my colleagues are aware, natural gas is extremely important to the State of Texas. It seems like every day more and more natural gas deposits are being found. More importantly, with the commercialization of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, we are now able to develop these resources effectively and economically, but that is only half the story. Once we have found these resources, we need a way to move them to market in a safe and environmentally responsible way.

In 1956, the United States decided it was in our best interest to build a network of highways. These highways, totaling approximately 47,000 miles, moved goods to market and dramatically expanded commerce. It may surprise some, but the interstate and intrastate pipeline system is approximately seven times larger than the highway system in the United States.

The natural gas pipeline system in this country is critical and extensive infrastructure. The permitting and review process that is required to site and construct pipelines in this country has ensured an environmental safety record that is second to none. That doesn't mean there aren't still going to be problems, when you consider the amount of miles we have.

Unfortunately, I can't support this particular bill. I support an expedited review process and expansion of the pipeline system. Our intrastate natural gas pipeline system is not broken. I cannot support a bill that would issue a license or permit or approval after merely an expired time line. In testimony in our committee, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the FERC, has an average of about a year turnaround.

I want to continue to support the construction of pipelines, and my ardent support is firmly backed by a safety record that is unmatched. I will continue to support an industry that has been an engine of our economic growth for the last decade.

This bill is a solution in search of a problem. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the future on another approach that will benefit all stakeholders, our environment, and our economy.

I encourage my colleagues to oppose the rule and the bill.