This week, The Center Square featured a piece by Bill Godsey covering the increased safety measures regarding the state’s oil and gas pipelines like the Mariner East. Thanks to Congressional action, Pennsylvanians can expect even stricter safety measures moving forward.
As Godsey points out, The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) already has deemed pipelines the safest medium of energy transport. This fact has also been confirmed by the Fraser Institute.
The “Pipes Act of 2020” was seemingly overlooked as it was wrapped in the omnibus coronavirus bill last year. However, Godsey outlines some of the most noteworthy elements, “A portion of the bill builds on the nation’s pipeline inspectors by increasing the number of minimum inspections and enforcement personnel that conduct inspections, investigations, and other safety activity almost 20%.” Moreover, some of the bill’s provisions aim to improve gas distribution and gathering line safety. And lastly, whistleblower protections were extended to cover former employees while prohibiting employers from waiving whistleblower protections.
Godsey ends with this key passage:
“While Pennsylvania has benefited greatly from the thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue that the oil and gas industry has created, the commonwealth remains way behind in the development of necessary pipeline infrastructure. Yet projects like PennEast, Adelphia Gateway and Mariner East continue to face regulatory delays and challenges that prevent prosperity. In America, safety measures are strong and resources are plentiful. The United States and commonwealth of Pennsylvania continue to position themselves to be energy powerhouses for decades to come, with safety at the forefront.”