PA State Senator Introduces Bill to Regulate Gathering Pipelines

PA Senator Lisa Baker

We’re not quite sure what to think about this one. A Republican PA State Senator, Lisa Baker, on Monday introduced a bill in the PA Senate (SB 488, see a copy below) to regulate low-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines. Currently those lines, over 3,600 miles of them, are not regulated by any state or federal agency. Baker’s bill would put them under the oversight of the PA Public Utility Commission. Hey, we’re not against regulation in general. It’s an important part of the puzzle that makes energy possible. We are, however, against unnecessary and onerous regulation. We are against barriers that would slow, to a crawl, the installation of new gathering lines–what are by all accounts very safe pipelines. When was the last time you heard about a local gathering line that sprung a gas leak, blew up, etc.? Yeah, us too. Never. So the real question here is: Is regulating these lines even necessary? We suspect not, but we’ll keep an open mind while this plays out…

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