House Bill Would Expedite Construction of Modern Natural Gas Pipelines

Hill says legislation will help ‘Arkansas’s booming natural gas production,’ eliminate ‘needless red tape,’ and ensure ‘safety measures are implemented to protect our communities’

Congressman French Hill (AR-2) released the following statement today after the House passed the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 161) by a bipartisan vote of 253 – 169:

“Arkansas’s booming natural gas production will benefit from modern energy infrastructure to transport this fuel throughout the country. This bipartisan bill requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny certificates for natural gas pipelines within a year of submission of a complete application. Eliminating needless red tape while ensuring safety measures are implemented to protect our communities will allow companies to move forward with construction or onto other jobs in a timely manner. This bill will strengthen jobs and infrastructure, reduce our energy costs, and boost our energy independence. Republicans and Democrats alike support this bill; the President should get on board and support this legislation.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Arkansas’s natural gas production more than doubled from 2008 to 2012, and accounted for 4.5 percent of U.S. marketed production.  Further, according to America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the natural gas industry has an average annual wage of $74,555 and will provide jobs for 54,000 people in Arkansas. 

In his State of the Union speech, the President urged Congress to find areas in which Democrats and Republicans could agree, called for a 21st century infrastructure, and committed “to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.” However, the President issued a veto threat against this bipartisan bill

About Congressman French Hill

J. French Hill, 58, is the 22nd Member of Congress to represent central Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives.  A ninth generation Arkansan, he was elected on November 4, 2014, and will serve on the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services for the 114th Congress.  Prior to his Congressional service, Mr. Hill was actively engaged in the Arkansas business community for two decades as a commercial banker and investment manager, and was founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Delta Trust & Banking Corp in Little Rock.

Prior to his community banking work in Arkansas, Mr. Hill served as a senior official in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Prior to his Executive Branch Service, from 1982-84, Mr. Hill served on the staff of then-U.S. Senator John Tower (R-TX) as well as on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs.

Mr. Hill is a magna cum laude graduate in Economics from Vanderbilt University.  He is married to the former Martha McKenzie of Dallas, Texas, and they have a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth McKenzie Hill, and a son, William Payne Hill.  The Hill family resides in Little Rock.

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