GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Streamline permit process means less bureaucrats needed?

Eleven Reforms to Extend America’s Energy Advantage
Oren Cass | 07/08/2015 

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Now may seem an odd time to emphasize the importance of increasing U.S. oil and gas production. Domestic output has reached an all-time high, prices have plummeted, and drilling activity is slowing in response. Job cuts in the industry are approaching 100,000. Headlines announce that the boom has already gone bust.

Yet failing to press America’s current energy advantage would be an enormous mistake. Demand forecasts indicate that any oil and gas glut is temporary. Further, U.S. energy policy, still based on an assumption of resource scarcity, is ill equipped to manage the new abundance. Indeed, America’s private sector has driven an oil and gas revolution in the face of an ambivalent federal policy.

A new report released today presents 11 reforms to help craft a smarter U.S. energy policy. Reforms 1-5 would amplify the boom, by enacting regulatory reforms to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. energy markets. Reforms 6-11 would extend the boom, by opening federal land and waters to energy development to replicate the extraordinary growth of tight oil.

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4. Streamline permitting for natural-gas and crude oil export terminals. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has specifically cited the “number of permits and reviews required by federal and state law” as a cause of delays. Designate these natural-gas and crude oil export terminals in the public interest, without a need for case-by-case review, and enact a single approval process with clear timelines.

5. Exempt new and expanded natural-gas plants, new and expanded refineries, and new drilling sites and export terminals from the Clean Air Act’s and Clean Water Act’s new-source requirement. These heightened standards discourage refineries from retooling or expanding to accommodate new volumes and types of crude, weakening America’s energy advantage. Instead, existing standards should be applied to new energy projects.

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Like that is ever going to happen.

The Keystone pipeline was entangled in a permitting process that made no sense to me as a Business Process engineer. Unless it was designed to slow, confuse, and frustrate.

How many bureaucrats does it take to say “hell, no”.


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