API ready to work on pipeline safety

Dec. 15, 2011 at 7:13 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A group representing the U.S. oil and natural gas industry said it was ready to work with regulators on increasing safety of pipelines.

The American Petroleum Institute said it supported a bill that would double safety violations fines to $2 million, advocate automatic shutoff valves and press for more inspections.

API Pipeline Director Pete Lidiak said the industry is committed to improving pipeline safety in the United States. More than 70 percent of the country's oil needs, he added, runs through pipelines.

"We look forward to working with the Department of Transportation, the states and other stakeholders to implement the new law," he said in a statement.

Pipelines, he added, are the safest way to transport energy resources across the United States.

California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric said Wednesday it was liable for damages from a deadly September 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Bruno neighborhood.

While partisan rancor intensifies over the planned Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from Canada, crews in Michigan are still cleaning up a spill of heavy Alberta crude more than a year after a pipeline broke there.

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