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Rand Paul vs. the Pipeline Industry

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is blocking a bill that would toughen safety regulations for oil and gas pipelines. That’s despite broad support for the bill across the industry.

Even a gas pipeline explosion shaking awake constituents in three Kentucky counties last week isn’t budging Paul in his opposition to the pipeline safety bill. The bill would authorize more federal safety inspectors, and pipeline companies would have to confirm that their records on how much pressure their pipelines can tolerate are accurate. 

A massive fire is roaring through a mostly residential neighborhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno after the PG&E pipeline explosion. (Sept. 9)

The son of Texas congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is a Tea Party adherent and broadly opposes new federal regulation. Senate aides say he is the only senator refusing to agree to procedures that would permit swift passage of the measure.

Cathy Landry is a spokeswoman for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

“We are serious about pipeline safety, and we kind of would want a road map going forward so that we can all be on the same page in moving towards that improvement.”

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is already working on new safety rules. Industry would rather Congress provide direction to regulators as to what those rules should look like than leave the matter entirely up to the Obama administration.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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