Skip to content

Review & Outlook: Ruby Red Tape – WSJ.com

August 16, 2011

REVIEW & OUTLOOKAUGUST 16, 2011

Ruby Red Tape

A case study in the costs of regulation, from Opal to Oregon.

The abstraction known as “regulation” is often invoked as a reason businesses aren’t growing or hiring fast enough, and with good reason. Anyone wondering what that means in practice should consult the epic saga of the Ruby pipeline.

Last month the 682-mile Ruby started feeding liquefied natural gas from the Rocky Mountains to the growing West Coast markets. Stretching underground from Opal, Wyoming to gas interconnections near Malin, Oregon, the pipeline is one of those “infrastructure” projects that everyone in Washington claims to favor. Naturally, the regulatory state ensured that the $3.65 billion project came in 23% over budget and four months off schedule.

El Paso, a Texas-based gas pipeline firm, began the “pre-filing” process in January 2008, which is essentially applying for a permit to apply for the permit known as an “environmental impact statement.” Created by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, these are required for every major U.S. project and need the approval of the alphabet soup of federal agencies—stretching, in the case of the Ruby, from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to the Bureau of Land Management and dozens of other U.S., state and local agencies.

via Review & Outlook: Ruby Red Tape – WSJ.com.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: