Watching Government: Behind the pipeline safety bill

Amid gridlock caused by hyperpartisanship, the 112th US Congress nevertheless passed some bills in 2011. Many came at the 11th hour when the federal government faced imminent financial default, shutdown, or similar calamities. The pipeline safety reauthorization bill, which US President Barack Obama just signed into law on Jan. 3, was a conspicuous exception. Several factors worked in its favor from the outset, key industry officials who were involved from the outset told OGJ. “I think the important players in Congress and the stakeholders recognized that the legislation needed to be balanced,” said Andrew J. Black, president of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines. “Pipeline safety is not a...

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