May 19, 2014— Under Executive Order 13604, President Obama has called for action to upgrade and modernize our nation’s natural gas infrastructure, highlighting his administration’s efforts to streamline the federal permitting process and reduce the timelines for approving projects.

These reforms will increase early coordination of multi-agency permitting processes to reduce costs for utilities and agencies—and ensure best practices for safety and reliability, as well as environmental mitigation.

“We applaud the Administration’s effort to improve permitting processes for infrastructure projects, by cutting timelines, reducing red tape, and promoting transparency through a modernized process,” said Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of the American Gas Association.

The U.S. has more than 2.4 million miles of natural gas pipelines, and safety is the top priority for natural gas utilities, and the industry as a whole. Since 1990, natural gas utilities have installed modern plastic pipes used for delivering gas at low pressure at a rate of 30,000 miles per year. During that time period, natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems have dropped 17 percent and nearly 90 percent of those emissions declines are due to pipeline replacements.

“The increased and strategic use of American natural gas across all sectors will help achieve our national goals of reducing our costs for energy, protecting our environmental and securing our energy future,” McCurdy continued.