A bill introduced Feb. 3 by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to reauthorize the Pipeline Safety Act is a “constructive starting point” for renewing the law that ensures the safety of the interstate natural gas pipeline system that delivers almost one quarter of the energy consumed by Americans, said INGAA President and CEO Don Santa.
“We appreciate the hard work of Senators Lautenberg and Rockefeller—and their staffs—in drafting and introducing their bill,” Santa said. “The Lautenberg-Rockefeller legislation takes a reasoned and balanced approach to pipeline safety, acknowledging the need for strong aspirational goals for pipeline safety, but respecting that regulators must apply technical expertise to develop and implement the specific guidelines that will be needed to achieve those goals.”
INGAA urged both the Senate and the House to move steadfastly to reauthorize the pipeline safety statute this year and to do so with a holistic approach that addresses such issues as excavation damage prevention and integrity management refinements. The association also supports regulatory efforts to reduce development encroachment near pipelines and to improve public-private research and development programs for pipeline safety technologies.
“Natural gas is the smart fuel for the 21st century, and pipelines are the safest, most efficient and most cost-effective way to transport it,” Santa said. “Enacting a reauthorized Pipeline Safety Act is necessary to instilling public confidence in the safety of this critical energy infrastructure, especially as new capacity is added to meet the growing demand for natural gas.”