The President’s executive order is aimed at “establishing discipline and accountability” in the permitting process. It will apply to all sorts of projects, including fossil fuel energy projects and pipelines. The effort will actually build on an existing federal office that was just created back in 2015, called the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC). The council includes officers from all the major federal agencies that get together and try to improve permitting. Pres. Trump appears to be trying to put a little more teeth into that process by creating clear goals for each agency and then assessing each agency’s performance. Major infrastructure projects should be processed using a new “One Federal Decision” mechanism and given a clear timetable. That should mean that project sponsors will have some idea of how long the process will take and they should be given a clear “yes” or “no” answer from regulators, instead of being given mixed messages from various federal agencies.
The future for this infrastructure plan is a bit hazy, though. Part of the plan was to create a new Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which would advise Trump on his plan to allocate as much as $1 trillion to infrastructure upgrades. The President got himself in a bit of hot water when he strayed away from his presentation on infrastructure, and now the advisory council idea has been cancelled. Regardless, the Marcellus region is seeing numerous new pipelines begin construction and that will improve the marketability of natural gas produced in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This is already boosting the value of land in the region, and the best way to get a piece of it is to contact the local experts at Cimmaron Land.