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Cramer introduces bill to reduce flaring

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., on Tuesday introduced a House bill to reduce the flaring of natural gas, according to a news release from the congressman’s office.

The Natural Gas Gathering Enhancement Act is aimed at reducing the loss of natural gas due to flaring and venting by expediting permits for pipelines on federal and Native American land. A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate this month by a group of senators, including Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota.

“Getting more natural gas to market will help power more homes and businesses while increasing North Dakota’s export position,” Cramer said. “This legislation is a prime example of how the federal government can help infrastructure catch up with the pace of development.”

The bill would speed the permitting process for natural gas gathering lines by providing a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to the release.

The exclusion would not apply to lands within the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge System or the National Wilderness Preservation System, and land only within a field or unit that already has undergone environmental analysis under NEPA.

Native American tribes would be given the choice to opt in to the categorical exclusion provisions, while states would be given the choice to opt out.

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