Chairman Fischer, Ranking Member Duckworth, and Members of the Subcommittee:
Good morning. My name is Paul Amato, and I am Vice President, Engineering, Operations, and Environmental, Health & Safety at Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company.
Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Iroquois Pipeline Operating Company, operates a 416-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline extending from the U.S.-Canadian border at Waddington, NY, through New York and western Connecticut to Commack, NY, and from Northport to the Bronx, NY. Safety and pipeline integrity are part of our fundamental values at Iroquois.
Iroquois is a member of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), which is a trade association that represents the interstate natural gas pipeline industry. I am here today representing INGAA.
INGAA’s members transport the vast majority of the natural gas consumed in the United States through a network of approximately 200,000 miles of interstate transmission pipelines. These transmission pipelines are analogous to the interstate highway system; in other words, they are large capacity, critical infrastructure systems spanning multiple states or regions.
INGAA’s members bring the nation’s natural gas to market. That natural gas is used to heat our homes, cook our food, power our nation’s industries and generate electricity in an environmentally responsible manner. In a typical year, we at Iroquois transport enough natural gas to heat approximately 4 million homes and displace the energy equivalent of more t han 60 million barrels of oil, thereby reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission to the air by approximately 60,000 tons.
I am a mechanical engineer by training with over 32 years in the natural gas industry. I started my career as a state pipeline safety inspector in Connecticut. I then joined an interstate natural gas pipeline company as a field engineer, before eventually moving over to Iroquois and working in various leadership roles. In my current role at Iroquois, I am responsible for the engineering, operations, emergency management, security, environmental, health & safety and purchasing & inventory functions. I have been involved with INGAA for over 20 years and am the immediate past chair of the INGAA Pipeline Safety Committee. I currently sit on the INGAA Foundation Executive Committee as well as the Northeast Gas Association Operations Management Committee.
Thank you for the opportunity to share INGAA’s perspective at this hearing. There are four principal points that I wish to make on behalf of the interstate natural gas pipeline industry: