June 08, 2021

Chairs DeFazio and Payne, Jr. Applaud Biden Administration’s Move to Implement a Provision Included in Bipartisan Pipeline Safety Legislation to Address Methane Emissions

Washington, DC – Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statements after the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an advisory bulletin that puts pipeline operators on notice about the need to update their plans to ensure they are minimizing methane emissions. PHMSA’s bulletin was a first step toward implementing key provisions that Chair DeFazio secured in the bipartisan Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2020—signed into law late last year—that would help combat climate change by addressing methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

“The science is clear: methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and if we are serious about tackling climate change we have to get serious about methane emissions from pipelines. That’s why I fought to include in the PIPES Act of 2020 provisions that tackle pipeline methane emissions, such as the one that’s at the center of the advisory bulletin PHMSA issued,” Chair DeFazio said. “The Biden administration is putting pipeline operators on notice that their inspection and maintenance plans must work to eliminate hazardous leaks, minimize methane releases, and replace or remediate pipelines that are known to leak. I applaud the administration for taking this important step forward in our fight against climate change, and I encourage the agency and its state partners to fully enforce our bipartisan legislation as Congress intended.”

“Everyone has to do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and that includes pipeline operators,” Chair Payne, Jr. said. “These operators play a critical role in how we reduce the amount of methane in our environment and combat climate change.  We need to make sure they understand and follow the law regarding those emissions.  I applaud Chair DeFazio’s work to hold them accountable and the Biden administration for continuing to show its dedication to improving the environment.”

Additional Background:

In December 2020, Congress passed the bipartisan and bicameral PIPES Act of 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. Click here to learn more about this legislation.