Sunday, April 28, 2019

HR 2139 Introduced – Gas Pipeline Safety

Earlier this month Rep. Trahan (D,MA) introduced HR 2139, the Leonel Rondon Pipeline Safety Act. The bill would make amendments to gas distribution pipeline safety rules. This bill is a companion bill (identical language) to S 1097.

While Trahan is not on either of the two Committees to which this bill was assigned, one of her two co-sponsors {Rep. Kennedy (D,MA)} is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This means that it is possible that this bill will be considered in Committee. While S 1097 is unlikely to be considered in the Senate, the Energy and Commerce Committee is likely to take up this bill where I would suspect that it would pass with a strictly partisan vote. Committee Chair politics almost ensures that the bill would not move to the floor of the House unless sponsors are added that have some influence on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The lack of bipartisan support for this bill ensures that it would have to be considered by the whole House subject to a rule. It is unlikely that anyone currently associated with the bill has enough political influence to see that happen.

These two bills are political moves to demonstrate to constituents that were directly or closely affected by a serious pipeline safety event that the sponsors of the bill are trying to do something to fix the problem. This is good politics even if no further action is taken on either bill.

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