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PETITION: NO on H.R. 161

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) is an independent federal agency that regulates and oversees the siting, environmental review, and construction of interstate oil and natural gas pipeline projects. There are currently several large FERC pipelines proposed in Ohio including “E.T. Rover,” “NEXUS,” and “Leach XPress.”

FERC’s review and oversight of these pipeline projects is an important line of defense for landowners and other citizens against the potential environmental and safety hazards caused by the construction and operation of these pipelines. Pipeline failures have become all too familiar in the United States. The recent proliferation of pipeline projects in the country and in Ohio makes it imperative that FERC conduct a thorough and independent review of these projects to limit their negative environmental impacts and ensure the safety of Ohioans.

New legislation straightjackets FERC and potentially places thousands of Ohioans at risk—especially those located near FERC projects. House Resolution 161 (“H.R. 161”), which has already been sent to the Senate for approval, would impose mandatory deadlines on FERC’s review as well as grant automatic approvals in the event an agency takes “too long.” These agencies include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. This proposed legislation short-circuits the review process for the benefit of pipeline companies at the expense of the environment and your safety.

I call upon the United States Senate to exercise sound judgment and vote against H.R. 161, and for the United States House of Representatives to repeal its approval of H.R. 161. The impact of pipelines on our farms and our property is too devastating to require FERC to rush the approval process. Do not risk turning our beautiful Ohio green fields into industrial brown fields for the sake of a hasty review process. Our environment and our safety are too important to us, to Ohio and to the United States.