Dear Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio,
On behalf of the members of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), I am writing to express our views on H.R. 4937, the PIPES Act of 2016. INGAA represents interstate natural gas transmission pipeline operators in the U.S. and Canada. The pipeline systems operated by INGAA’s 24 member companies are analogous to the interstate highway system, transporting natural gas across state and regional boundaries.
Overall, H.R. 4937 meets INGAA’s goals for the current reauthorization of the Pipeline Safety Act. These include reasonable authorization levels, a focus on PHMSA completing the 2011 Act regulatory mandates, and requiring new minimum federal safety standards for underground natural gas storage facilities. Many of the provisions in this bill have our support.
Section 16 of the bill, regarding new emergency order authority, has raised significant concerns with our membership. We appreciate the interest in creating this new authority, but feel strongly that such potentially broad and open‐ended authority must include strong due process protections. The manager’s amendment includes several key modifications to section 16; INGAA supports these changes. While the amendment improves this section significantly, we would still like to work with the committee on additional minor revisions as the legislation moves forward.
Thank you for your bipartisan efforts to enact pipeline safety legislation. Please let us know if you have questions.