What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Oil & Gas Industry : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to enforce a law which gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC—which regulates interstate transmission of electricity, oil, and natural gas) exclusive authority to govern the operations, building, or expansion of liquid natural gas terminals. Natural gas terminals are essentially ports for natural gas that has been turned into liquid for the purposes of storage and transportation. (2011 house Roll Call 108)
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to enforce a law which gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC—which regulates interstate transmission of electricity, oil, and natural gas) exclusive authority to govern the operations, building, or expansion of liquid natural gas terminals. Natural gas terminals are essentially ports for natural gas that has been turned into liquid for the purposes of storage and transportation.
house Roll Call 108     Feb 18, 2011
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. David Wu (D-OR) that would have prohibited federal funds from being used to enforce a law which gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC—which regulates interstate transmission of electricity, oil, and natural gas) exclusive authority to govern the operation, building, or expansion of liquid natural gas terminals. Natural gas terminals are essentially ports for natural gas that has been turned into liquid for the purposes of storage and transportation.  This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Wu urged support for his amendment: “This is a states' rights issue. FERC's overbearing, overbroad federal regulatory structure is preventing states and local communities from having any input, let alone decision-making authority, over use of local property. In Oregon, where there are proposals for construction of LNG [liquid natural gas] terminals, I have heard time and time again from my constituents that they are confused and frustrated by FERC's intrusive projects and unclear timelines. More importantly, their voices are not being heard on decisions that affect their livelihoods and property rights…. Defunding FERC's exclusive approval authority over LNG projects is a crucial first step towards…ensuring that future energy decisions better reflect local citizens' interests.”

Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ) opposed the amendment: “This amendment would prevent FERC from carrying out its statutory authority. The term `enforce' would impact oversight of existing and operating liquefied natural gas facilities. This amendment appears to prohibit FERC from approving environmental or safety-related amendments to existing liquefied natural gas facilities. This amendment will impact both import and export proposals in addition to almost any new facilities at preexisting plants. While I understand the gentleman has concerns in his district, the language would impact a much broader constituency, and for that reason I oppose this amendment and urge my colleagues to join me.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 87-338. Voting “yea” were 84 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 3 Republicans. 234 Republicans and 104 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used to enforce a law which gave the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive authority to govern the operation, building, or expansion of liquid natural gas terminals.

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