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Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my strong support for H.R. 2845, the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011.
I want to thank Chairmen MICA and SHUSTER and Ranking Member RAHALL for their bipartisan effort in bringing a good bill to the Floor today that will truly improve the safety of our nation's pipeline systems and the communities they serve.
Bipartisan bills are not easy to come by these days in Washington, and I'm proud to say that we worked with both sides on the Energy & Commerce Committee and our counterparts in the Senate to develop a compromise bill. This legislation accomplishes our goal of improving safety and education without limiting the industry's ability to serve its customers.
Our Subcommittee held numerous hearings over the last two Congresses with all the stakeholders in the pipeline industry to see what we could be doing better to detect and prevent spills. Our strong oversight of PHMSA and the pipeline industry helped develop the bill we have on the floor today.
This legislation makes numerous positive changes to the regulation of the pipeline industry and addresses many of the problems we've discovered with recent devastating spills.
The Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011 makes major improvements to pipeline safety by increasing penalties for safety violations, mandating new shut-off valve installation for all new and repaired pipes, limiting exemptions to call before you dig requirements, updating the national pipeline mapping system, evaluating current integrity management plans, providing important pipeline information to the public free of charge, training state and local government personnel, adding ten PHMSA inspectors, and studying pipeline permitting, transporting non-hazardous liquids, and the integrity of cast iron gas pipelines.
As we continue to debate the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, implementation of this legislation will help ensure that the construction and operation of this new pipeline will be held to the highest safety standards.
This legislation is government at its best. It was developed in a bipartisan manner through comprehensive committee hearings and oversight, and close collaboration with the industry and other stakeholders, including states and advocacy groups.
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