Energy and Power Subcommittee Begins Review of Pipeline Safety Bill with Testimony from Pipeline Regulators

July 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power today continued its examination of pipeline safety with a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of the "Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011."

Recent pipeline safety incidents have drawn attention to the safety and state of our nation's pipeline infrastructure. The draft legislation aims to enhance protection of public safety and the environment while allowing for the economical delivery of vital energy supplies. 

Members at today's hearing questioned representatives from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA)
and the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives over the causes behind pipeline incidents and expressed the need for improvements to the current regulatory framework. 

Pipeline safety remains a top priority for Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) who expressed his commitment to moving a bill to the House floor this summer.

"The Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act is the Energy and Commerce Committee's initial offering into this year's drive to reauthorize pipeline safety laws.  We are fully committed to working in a bipartisan, bicommittee, and bicameral fashion to get a pipeline safety bill signed into law this year.  The public demands it and so do our responsibilities as their elected leaders," said Upton. "It is my intention to move a bill through this subcommittee over the next few weeks and have full committee action upon our return from the August recess."

The panel will continue this hearing next Thursday with an additional panel of witnesses, including a representative from ExxonMobil who will who will answer questions in response to the pipeline rupture that occurred in the Yellowstone River on July 2. Time and location to be announced.