House Unanimously Approves Pipeline Safety & Jobs Measure

By MarEx 2011-12-13 07:45:44

Washington, DC – The House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to enhance the nation’s pipeline safety programs, ensure the reliable transportation of energy products throughout the nation, and provide greater regulatory certainty that will help businesses create jobs.

The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2845) was introduced in the House by Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL), and the legislation approved today is the result of the bipartisan, bicameral work of the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction.  The legislation now goes before the U.S. Senate for consideration.

“I applaud the passage of this important legislation by the full House of Representatives.  The overwhelming support this bill received today on the floor is a reflection of the bipartisan work that went into its development.  This legislation builds on our strong commitment to ensuring the continued safety of our nation’s pipeline system, strengthens current laws, fills the gaps in existing laws where necessary, and provides the regulatory certainty necessary for industry to make investments and create American jobs,” said Shuster.  “We have worked closely with our counterparts in the Senate and look forward to their prompt consideration of this measure.”

“Safety and jobs are our highest priorities, and this bipartisan measure will both strengthen federal pipeline safety programs and provide a common sense regulatory approach that will encourage – not stifle – job creation,” Mica said.  “This measure is supported by safety advocates and industry, and I urge the Senate to take this bill up as soon as possible.”

The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 authorizes funding for programs of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through fiscal year 2015.  PHMSA oversees safety programs for the 2.3 million miles of natural gas, petroleum, and other hazardous liquid pipelines in the United States. 

This system of pipelines – the largest in the world – serves as the arteries of the nation’s energy infrastructure, enabling the safe, efficient and economical movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling the U.S. economy.  Since 1986, the volume of energy products transported through pipelines has increased by one-third, yet the number of reportable incidents has decreased by 28 percent.  Government and industry have taken steps to improve pipeline safety, and the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act ensures that we continue the nation’s commitment to making this safe form of transportation even safer.

Map: US Natural Gas Pipeline Network, 2009 

 

Summary of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011

• Reauthorizes federal pipeline safety programs of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through FY 2015

• Provides regulatory certainty necessary for pipeline owners and operators to plan infrastructure investments and create jobs

• Improves pipeline transportation – the safest and most cost-effective means to transport natural gas and hazardous liquid products – by strengthening enforcement of current laws and filling gaps in existing law where necessary

• Ensures a balanced regulatory approach to improving safety that applies cost benefit principles

• Addresses National Transportation Safety Board recommendations resulting from recent pipeline incidents

• Protects and preserves Congressional authority by ensuring certain key rulemakings are not finalized until Congress has an opportunity to act

• Supported by both pipeline industry and safety advocates

Click here to view legislative text.

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SOURCE: Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure