Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Updated Information on HR 2937 Markup

Last night the Energy and Commerce Committee updated their web page on the markup hearing that is being conducted for HR 2937, the Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011. Yesterday opening statements were made and this morning the actual work of marking up this bill (along with two other bills, both dealing with EPA matters) will begin. As one would expect the updated page provides copies of the opening statements from the Committee and Subcommittee chairs. There is also a link to an ‘amendment in the nature of a substitute’ for the bill along with a link to a memo explaining that substitute.

No major changes that I can see in a quick review of the substitute, just lots of clarifications and a bunch of extra studies to be conducted by PHMSA and DOT. The ‘odd’ study is found in a new §31 and it requires a report on “the number of minority-business enterprises, woman-business enterprises, and disadvantaged-business enterprises that have been granted permits to build or operate pipeline facilities” {§31(1)}. While most people would agree that small businesses by a wide range of owners are to be encouraged, it would also be interesting for someone to do a study on how many of these types of ‘set-aside’ businesses are really just fronts for non-targeted owners.

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