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            august 23, 2019

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Presidential executive orders will limit state's power to obstruct pipeline


Using executive orders, US President Donald Trump is ready to re-start the long-stalled Constitution Pipeline by ordering federal agencies to remove bottlenecks to natural gas transport infrastructure projects, reports Bloomberg.
One of the orders seeks to short-circuit regulators in New York who have denied the planned pipeline a crucial permit, invoking their powers under the Clean Water Act to reject projects they deem a threat to water supplies and the environment.
States and tribes have wielded the power to restrict a coal export terminal and hydropower project on the US west coast, which has frustrated the industry.
The Clean Water Act wasn't "intended to give a state veto power," said Dena Wiggins, president of the Natural Gas Supply Association. "The actions New York is taking not only impact New York, they are impacting the entire Northeast, because we can't get a pipeline through the state in order to provide gas service to the Northeast."
President Trump will also direct regulators to develop a master agreement for placing energy infrastructure in federal rights-of-way, a move aimed at expediting approvals and renewals.
Another order is aimed at bolstering cross-border energy infrastructure by limiting environmental reviews, following long delays on high-profile projects such as TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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