Pipeline Bill Would Restrict Methane Emissions, Restore Obama Rules

Dec 10, 2019

Stricter control measures and penalties for reckless operation of pipelines are in a House bill authored by Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio.

Coal gasification plant, Pennsylvania.
Credit U.S. Dept of Energy

If enacted, the legislation would also address climate change by cutting emissions and preventing pipeline leaks.  DeFazio says it also reinstates a 2016 EPA rule that set limits on methane emissions for the natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline sector.

“Once the methane gets to its end point, it’s burned and then it becomes CO2 pollution," DeFazio says. "But if it escapes while it’s raw, it has an incredible and much longer-lasting impact on the atmosphere.”

Pipeline robot.
Credit U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

The Safer Pipelines Act of 2019 is written to create more than 200 jobs tied to its enforcement. It would also reverse President Trump’s rollback of Obama-era methane rules.

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