Saturday, April 1, 2023

CRS Reports – Week of 3-25-23 – PHMSA and Pipeline Safety

This week the Congressional Research Service published a report on “DOT’s Federal Pipeline Safety Program: Background and Issues for Congress”. According to the summary of this 36-page report:

“The U.S. energy pipeline network includes approximately 3.3 million miles of onshore pipeline transporting natural gas, crude oil, and other hazardous liquids. Over the past decade, major safety incidents in California, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and other states have drawn criticism from stakeholders and have raised concerns in Congress about pipeline safety regulation. The 2021 ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline has also drawn attention to federal pipeline security activities, including agency roles and the linkage between pipeline safety and security.”

The report discusses ten separate policy issues related to pipeline safety that may be of concern in Congress as reauthorization of the pipeline safety program is slated to be considered this year. Of particular interest here: PHMSA and Pipeline Security. In concluding its one-page discussion of the topic, the report notes:

“In the 117th Congress, the Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act (H.R. 3078) would have required the Secretary of Energy to enhance coordination among “appropriate Federal agencies,” state government agencies, and the energy sector in pipeline security; coordinate incident response and recovery; support the development of pipeline cybersecurity applications, technologies, demonstration projects, and training curricula; and provide technical tools for pipeline security. What role PHMSA might play in any future pipeline security initiatives, and what resources it might require to perform that role, may be a consideration for Congress.”

NOTE: CRS also published a geeky legal look at executive agency communications with Congress during the rule making process.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */