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SRF Funding Dodges Funding Bullet – This Year
A second bi-partisan bill introduced in the Senate covers a broader range of products than just drinking water and sewer. The Partnership to Build America Act (S. 1957) was introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). It creates an American Infrastructure Fund which would sell bonds and use the proceeds to make loans, bond guarantees and equity investments. Corporations would be induced to buy these bonds because they would not have to include dividends from the bonds in their gross income in any taxable year.
FERC To Review Recent Rule Requiring Permitting Of Auxiliary Facilities
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has agreed to take a second look at a new rule requiring certificates to be filed for right-of-way auxiliary construction and for landowners to be given a five-day heads up before construction and maintenance work commences.
That rule was published in November and went into effect on Feb. 3. The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) and National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation both asked for a rehearing and FERC granted that wish on Jan. 29. The rule was issued as the result of a petition submitted in 2012 by INGAA whose requests were essentially squashed by FERC when it issued a final rule in November.
Joan Dreskin, general counsel, INGAA, says, "FERC issued a standard ‘tolling order’ in this case which allows them to act when they wish on the rehearing/clarification."
In part, the debate revolves around the difference between replacement and auxiliary facilities. The FERC wants them treated similarly as "jurisdictional" meaning they would have similar requirements with regard to pipeline companies filing certificates which the commission would have to approve before the companies could commence construction. The INGAA says auxiliary facilities shouldn't be permitted.