HOUSTON—President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 10 designed to diminish the power of states to slow the permitting process for oil, gas and coal infrastructure projects, as well as move forward on plans to ship LNG on rail cars.

A second order will shift decision-making responsibility for cross-border energy infrastructure projects to the White House from the State Department.

In one of the measures, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be directed to alter part of the Clean Water Act that allows states to cite environmental reasons to delay projects such as natural gas pipelines to New England. One expert told Hart Energy that the order affecting Section 401 is unlikely to result in fundamental changes in the way states participate in permitting decisions. It could, however, speed the process.

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