| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free e-book! Surface Preparation & Safety

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Paul’s About-Face Clears Pipeline Bill

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

A federal pipeline safety bill is back on track, after the Senate’s lone opponent not only dropped his objection, but closed a loophole in the measure.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Tea Party Republican from Kentucky, single-handedly stalled action last month on the Pipeline Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2011 (S. 275), which is supported by the gas and oil industry.

‘Philosophical’ Objection

At the time, a spokeswoman for Paul said he opposed the bill “on philosophical grounds,” because he opposes all government regulation.

 Senator Rand Paul (KY)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dropped his objection and added an 11th-hour amendment to the bill.

Paul had placed a “procedural hold” on the bill, which was being considered under a fast-track process designed for non-controversial legislation. The measure had the approval of the other 99 senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also represents Kentucky.

Last week, however, Paul abruptly dropped his objection and added an amendment that closes a loophole in the bill. The measure then sailed through the Senate with unanimous approval.


Paul now says that he held up the bill to add an amendment that provides for testing “to confirm the material strength of previously untested natural gas transmission pipelines located in certain areas, and to update fiscal year references.”

The Senate unanimously accepted the amendment, and then passed the bill, on Oct. 17—”proving that my actions have enriched this legislation,” Paul said in a statement.

Strengthening Enforcement

The bill strengthens the federal government’s regulatory enforcement powers, calls for automatic shutoff valves for new pipelines and, with Paul’s amendment, ends an exemption from safety inspections for older natural-gas pipelines.



Testing of older pipelines, such as the one that ruptured in San Bruno, CA, would be required by the Senate version of the pipeline safety bill.

The amendment commits the government to requiring pressure tests or something equally effective on older lines—testing that experts say would have revealed flaws in the San Bruno, CA, pipeline that catastrophically ruptured in September 2010.

“The government was trying to pretend it fixed a problem that it had not even properly diagnosed,” Paul said in a statement.

The Senate bill must still be reconciled with a similar measure, the Pipeline Infrastructure and Community Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 2937), which is now before the House.


Tagged categories: Health and safety; Laws and litigation; Pipeline; Pipelines; Regulations

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste money on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint

Midsun Specialty Products
Stopaq 30+ Year Coatings

Use Stopaq corrosion prevention coatings on pipelines, field joints, tank chimes, structural steel and more. Learn more at

CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s Vibro-Lo low-vibration scalers offer high performance for greater productivity & improved operator comfort. Optional dust shroud.

RPB Respiratory

With RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System which has been specifically designed to save you time and money! See the benefits for yourself now!

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.

Polyurethane and Polyurea Sprayed-On Protection

Buy POLYURETHANE or POLYUREA coatings and spray equipment for years of proven chemical resistance, water- and weather-proofing, and structural improvements.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail