Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Which 17 Democrats Voted to Weaken Regulations on Oil and Gas Pipelines?

Today, the House passed the North American Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301), a bill designed to open up the export market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and reduce environmental review for oil and natural gas pipelines, making it easier for pipelines like Keystone XL to get approved.

H.R. 3301 weakens the process for federal approval of oil and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines that cross the border with Canada or Mexico by narrowing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applicability to only the piece of the pipeline actually crossing the border. The bill also allows any project found not to be in the public interest under the current permitting process to reapply under the new weaker process. It would exempt all modifications to existing cross-border pipelines, even major expansions, from federal review. The bill also allows for unlimited exports of liquefied natural gas to anywhere in the world as long as the LNG passes through Canada or Mexico.

It passed 238 to 173.

221 Republicans and 17 Democrats voted for it. 172 Democrats and 1 Republican voted against it. The sole Republican was Walter Jones (NC-03).

Here are the 17 Democrats:

John Barrow (GA-12)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
William Enyart (IL-12)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Sean Matheson (UT-04)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
William Owens (NY-21)
Colin Peterson (MN-07)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Last year, 19 Democrats voted for a bill designed to expedite the Keystone XL approval process.
Five Democrats who voted for the bill last year voted against the one today:

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Sean Maloney (NY-12)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

And three Democrats who voted against the bill last year voted for the one today:

Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

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