New reg­u­la­tions on pipe­line safety are scaled back

Houston Chronicle - - BUSINESS -

BILLINGS, Mont. — Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion scaled back new safety mea­sures for the sprawl­ing net­work of fuel pipe­lines that crisscross the United States on Fri­day, af­ter oil in­dus­try com­plaints that pro­posed changes would cost com­pa­nies bil­lions of dol­lars.

The long-de­layed reg­u­la­tions will be sub­ject to re­view by Congress and the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, who was highly crit­i­cal on the cam­paign trail of reg­u­la­tions that hin­der en­ergy de­vel­op­ment.

If the changes stand, pipe­line com­pa­nies will be re­quired to con­duct more rig­or­ous in­spec­tions of lines in ru­ral ar­eas and in­stall leak de­tec­tion sys­tems that are meant to speed up emer­gency re­sponse times when ac­ci­dents oc­cur. An ear­lier pro­posal for com­pa­nies to im­me­di­ately re­pair cracks and other prob­lems in their lines was dropped, draw­ing crit­i­cism from safety ad­vo­cates.

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