Pipeline Safety Bill Clears Congress

Watered-down bill disappoints safety advocates

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 14, 2011 4:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Add another item to the list of things Congress can actually agree on: pipeline safety. A bill to make America's 2.3 million miles of pipelines safer has cleared the House and Senate with surprising speed and is headed for President Obama's desk, reports the Los Angeles Times. The legislation doubles the maximum fine for safety violations to $2 million and introduces penalties for obstructing safety investigators.

Communities near pipelines "can rest a little easier knowing that Congress has implemented tougher safety rules," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Safety advocates, however, complain that the watered-down bill fails to implement recommendations made after a gas pipeline explosion killed eight people near San Francisco last year. The bill requires automatic shut-off valves on new or replaced pipelines "where economically, technically, and operationally feasible," but doesn't require such valves on existing pipelines in populated areas.

A natural gas line lies broken on a San Bruno, Calif., road on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, after a massive explosion that killed eight  people.
A natural gas line lies broken on a San Bruno, Calif., road on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, after a massive explosion that killed eight people.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
14%
6%
8%
10%
58%
4%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!