Proposal Seeks to Bolster State Pipe Damage Prevention Programs

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposal seeking to strengthen the federal-state relationship with respect to pipeline damage prevention, as well as the enforcement process.

April 16, 2012

GAO Recommends Data Clearinghouse for Unregulated Gathering Pipes

In an attempt to minimize safety risks, the secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT) should direct the administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to collect information from operators of federally unregulated onshore natural gas gathering and hazardous liquid pipelines, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report Thursday.

March 26, 2012

Producers Claim Obama About-Face on Energy in Budget

Oil and natural gas producers decried President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2013, which seeks to rescind $41 billion in tax breaks over the next decade and tack on a number of new fees, calling the plan an about-face from his commitment in the State of the Union (SOU) address to support greater domestic energy development.

February 20, 2012

San Francisco Sues Feds; San Bruno Blasts PG&E

The city of San Francisco filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA), accusing the U.S. Department of Transportation unit of having “abjectly failed” to enforce pipeline safety regulations prior to the fatal natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion in neighboring San Bruno.

February 16, 2012

Pipeline Safety Stirs Federal, State Action

In response to a request from interstate natural gas pipeline operators, the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) has agreed to extend for another month the comment periods for two pending rulemakings for changing federal pipeline rules in response to a new safety law passed by Congress (see Daily GPI, Dec. 15, 2011).

February 13, 2012

Industry Briefs

As part of Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s national pipeline safety initiative, the department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has announced that it will begin taking comments from the public on whether it should expand the use of excess flow valves beyond single-family homes and into larger residential and commercial areas. An excess flow valve is a device designed to limit the impact of a potential leak or explosion by restricting the flow of natural gas if a line is broken or damaged. The comment period ends 60 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register. The notice can be viewed at

November 29, 2011

Transportation Notes

Following approval by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Bison Pipeline was restored to maximum allowable operating pressure of 1,440 psig along with having a force majeure declaration lifted at noon Saturday. “Gas had already been bought for the weekend, so we didn’t go up immediately” on pressure, said spokesman David Dodson. “It is looking like nominations for gas day Tuesday will be about 360-370 MMcf, which is what we were flowing before the July 20 incident” (see Daily GPI, July 25). Bison has a total design capacity of 477 MMcf/d.

October 11, 2011

Pennsylvania Considering Disclosure Law

Inspired by pioneering legislation in Texas, a Pennsylvania state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would require Marcellus Shale operators to disclose all the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) operations.

July 6, 2011

NYT Article Continues ‘Fear Mongering’ Aimed at Natural Gas

It didn’t take long for the natural gas industry and energy insiders to react to a New York Times (NYT) story on Sunday, which cited unnamed industry and government sources describing the shale gas industry as a “Ponzi” scheme with a future similar to Enron Corp. and the bursting of the bubble.

June 28, 2011

Pipeline Safety Chief Unsure if ‘System Under Stress’

The head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) last Thursday was joined by the oil and natural gas industry in calling for Congress to pass a strong pipeline reauthorization bill this year in light of the rash of pipeline accidents in the past year.

June 20, 2011