Conferees approve pipeline safety, Alaska gas line

US lawmakers resolved disagreements over updated pipeline safety laws and a new Alaskan gas export pipeline to the Lower 48 during a House-Senate conference committee Sept. 12.Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) brokered an agreement that supporters said will ensure that older natural gas pipe- lines and those that run through populated and recreation areas are inspected within 5 years. All other pipelines, including newer systems, will be inspected in the following 5 years.After that initial inspection, all natural gas pipelines must be reinspected every 7 years, or more frequently if necessary. "The tragedy that unfolded outside Carlsbad (NM) 2 years ago de...

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