S. 1 — Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act


S.1 — 114th Congress (2015-2016) was introduced on January 6, 2015. Recently, it was passed by both the House (February 11, 2015) and Senate (January 29, 2015). The President has indicated he will veto the bill. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see what’s in the bill.

Here are the highlights:

  • Section 2 provides that TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. may construct, connect, operate and maintain the pipeline and cross-border facilities as described in its May 4, 2012 application to the Department of State. The Final Supplemental EIS issued by the Secretary of State in January 2014 shall be considered to fully satisfy all National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requirements, and any other provision of law that requires federal agency consultation or review, in particular the Endangered Species Act. Any previously-issued federal permits or authorizations will remain in effect. Any appeals of any federal agency order or action will be heard exclusively by the DC Circuit. Any private property shall be acquired consistently with the Constitution.
  • Section 3 provides for the coordination of energy retrofitting assistance for schools.
  • Section 4 restates the responsibility of the United States to consult with the Indian nations.
  • Section 5 provides that “it is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax”.
  • Section 6 provides that it is the sense of the Senate that all forms of bitumen or synthetic crude oil derived from bitumen are subject to the per-barrel excise tax established in the Internal Revenue Code.
  • “Division B–Energy Efficiency Improvement” is included and entitled the “Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015”, and it is intended to promote energy efficiency in federal and other buildings. The GSA and the Department of Energy will develop model commercial leasing provisions and best practices.
  • The bill also amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 by addressing “separate spaces with high-performance energy efficiency measures”
  • A “Tenant Star Program” will become a federal program to promote energy efficiency in separate spaces leased by tenants or otherwise occupied within commercial buildings.
  • The Energy Policy and Conservation Act would be amended to address “grid-enabled water heaters”.
  • The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is amended to require benchmarking and disclosure for leasing buildings without the Energy Star Labels. EPA and the Department of Energy will complete a study to determine the impact of state and local performance benchmarking and disclosures, and identifies the best practices resulting in the greatest improvements in building energy efficiency.