By Lauren Krugel
A bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives would overhaul how cross-border energy projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline are reviewed.
The North American Energy Infrastructure Act is co-sponsored by Michigan Republican Fred Upton and Texas Democrat Gene Green.
Under the bill, a project must be approved within 120 days, unless it’s found be against the national security interest of the United States.
The current review process for projects such as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline — which would enable Canadian crude to be shipped to Texas refineries — requires approval from the State Department and, ultimately, the sign-off from the president.
The regulatory process for Keystone XL has taken five years so far, and a final decision by U.S. President Barack Obama isn’t expected until some time in 2014.
Jim Murphy of the National Wildlife Federation calls the draft House legislation “outrageous” and “over the top” and doubts it will garner widespread support.