WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Timely Review of Infrastructure Act, legislation to help reduce the long wait times for federal approval of energy infrastructure projects, including LNG projects. A shortage of highly specialized engineers, scientists, and mathematicians tasked with reviewing construction applications at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has created a backlog of projects waiting to receive approval, and Cassidy’s bill would improve the FERC’s ability to hire the qualified staff it needs to process project applications in a timely, efficient manner.
“FERC’s backlog of applications for these infrastructure projects is preventing good-paying jobs from coming to Louisiana,” said Dr. Cassidy. “By making sure FERC has the right expertise and manpower, we can speed up the review process and end the long wait times for new natural gas terminals that will benefit Louisiana workers and their families.”
“FERC commissioners and many others have cited the need and benefits of hiring more people to carry out its critical obligation to review energy infrastructure projects,” said Murkowski. “Our bill will give FERC greater flexibility to attract and retain people with the right technical expertise to make decisions on these important projects in a timely manner.”
Louisiana projects awaiting approval include the Driftwood LNG site near Lake Charles, Calcasieu Pass LNG site in Cameron Parish and Plaquemines LNG project in Plaquemines Parish.
U.S. Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced similar legislation in the House earlier this year.
In August, Cassidy and Murkowski urged FERC to approve pending liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project applications in a timely manner, and sought information regarding FERC’s approval process and the agency’s available resources.
Cassidy has also spearheaded legislation that would streamline the approval process for small-scale LNG exports.