Stay Off My Line Act introduced by Miller-Meeks

To hasten transmission projects across the United States, legislation sponsored on Sept. 28 by U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) would clarify how such new energy projects are classified under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

“Hazy NEPA regulations have created uncertainty and hindered new energy projects for years,” the congresswoman said. “By clarifying which projects do and do not fall under agency jurisdiction, transmission projects can be approved without undergoing the arduous NEPA permitting process.” 

Rep. Miller-Meeks introduced the Stay Off My Line Act, H.R. 9012, with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) to amend the NEPA of 1969 to limit the scope of environmental reviews required by the law, according to the congressional record bill summary.

Specifically, H.R. 9012 would clarify that projects that do not involve federal land and that do not originate from a federal agency are not major federal actions under NEPA; that projects are not major federal actions under NEPA just because they receive federal funding; and that if a project is subject to NEPA, the scope of review should only be for the portion of the project that is on federal land or subject to federal control, according to a bill summary provided by the congresswoman’s staff.

“My bill will expedite the approval process for projects that do not fall on federal land and incentivize new project construction,” said Rep. Miller-Meeks. “Policies like this have the potential to enhance and expand our energy grid by cutting red tape.”

The measure has garnered support from ClearPath Action, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, and the American Clean Power Association, and has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.