Next generation pipelines bill filed in House

Pipeline Crossings of Underground Obstructions [Gaille Energy Blog Issue 74]


Some members of the House Science committee chaired by Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas are calling for improvements in oil and natural gas pipelines across the U.S.

The maze of lines buried across the country is the focus of modernization efforts by Science, Space and Technology Committee members Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) and Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO). They call it the advancement of next generation pipelines.

The Next Generation Pipelines Research and Development Act according to the two House members, will strengthen public-private partnerships and improve Federal research, development, and demonstration related to the evolution of key pipeline systems across the country. They note that the nation’s infrastructure is rapidly aging and  this legislation ensures pipelines are modern, secure, and cost effective, ready to take on our growing energy needs.

“The success of these systems and new infrastructure technologies will be essential to our international competitiveness, national security, energy independence, and beyond,” stated the two in announcing the filing of their bill.

Animated Map Shows Major Oil and Gas Pipelines Across the US

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Authorizing the Secretary of Energy, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Secretary of Interior, and others, to establish a demonstration initiative and joint research and development program for low-to mid-technology readiness level research projects to achieve deployment.
  • Creating a National Pipeline Modernization Center at the Department of Energy which will foster collaboration with industry and stakeholders to commercialize cost-effective products and procedures.
  • Conducting a program at NIST of measurement research, development, demonstration, and standardization to ensure the integrity of pipeline facilities and ensure their safety, security, efficiency, sustainability, and resilience.

“Pipelines are the safest and most efficient ways to move the fuels that heat our homes, fuel our vehicles, and unleash our economy. The United States has over 2.6 million miles of pipelines. We must invest in research and development to ensure proper improvements and upgrades are made to our pipeline infrastructure,” said Rep. Weber.

“America’s pipelines continue to transport natural gas, liquid fuels, and feedstocks across the country as safely, reliably, and efficiently as possible. The Next Generation Pipeline Research and Development will be instrumental as we continue innovating and expanding our energy sources.”

“Pipelines are essential for a seamless flow of resources in our communities,” said Rep. Caraveo. “It is critical that we create new technologies to improve the next generation of pipelines and ensure great performance, efficiency, and safety for our workers, and for our families. I was glad to join Congressman Weber on this important bill. I thank him for his partnership and look forward to continuing to work together as we advance this important effort.”

Full text of the bill can be found here.