US Senate unanimously approves pipeline safety bill

The US Senate unanimously passed federal pipeline safety reauthorization on Oct. 17. Three oil and gas industry associations expressed hope that the US House, where two committees have referred bills to the floor, would follow and work with the Senate on a final bill to send to the White House for approval by yearend.

“S. 275 and the two bills passed by House committees each have commendable provisions that advance the cause of pipeline safety in a responsible manner,” Andrew J. Black, president of the Association of Oil Pipelines, said on Oct. 18. “AOPL believes Congress should not pre-judge the outcome of the studies required in these bills before requiring rulemakings.”

He said if federal lawmakers require the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to conduct new rulemakings, it should also require the agency to conduct those studies using the same risk assessments and cost-benefit analyses that govern most other federal pipeline safety rulemakings. “We look forward to working with both the Senate and House as they develop a final legislative product,” Black said.

Interstate Natural Gas Association Pres. Donald F. Santa and American Gas Association Pres. Dave McCurdy also commended the Senate for its passage of the bill, and said they hoped a final version reaches the president’s desk for approval by yearend.

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