Friday, September 9, 2011

T&I Committee Marks Up, Approves Bills

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) approved several legislative measures at a markup session, including bills to prohibit the United States from participating in a European Union (EU) emissions trading scheme, and reauthorize pipeline safety programs.

The Committee approved the following measures:
-H.R. 2845, the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011
-H.R. 2594, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011

H.R. 2845, the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, reauthorizes and strengthens pipeline safety programs. The bill authorizes federal pipeline safety programs through fiscal year 2015. The legislation provides tougher penalties for pipeline operators that violate pipeline safety laws; improves pipeline damage prevention measures; allows the Transportation Secretary to require automatic and remote-controlled shut-off valves on new pipelines; requires the Secretary to evaluate the effectiveness of expanding pipeline Integrity Management and Leak Detection requirements; improves the way Department of Transprotation and pipeline operators provide information to the public and emergency responders; and reforms the process by which pipeline operators notify federal, state and local officials of pipeline accidents.

H.R. 2594, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011, is responds to EU plans to impose a fee on any civil aviation operators landing in or departing from EU airports. Under the scheme, flights into or out of an EU airport, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, would be subject to emissions cap and trade requirements. U.S. airlines would be required to pay an emissions tax to the EU Member State to which they most frequently fly, without any requirements that EU countries even use these fees in emissions reduction efforts. H.R. 2594 directs the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the ETS. The bill also instructs U.S. officials to negotiate or take any action necessary to ensure U.S. aviation operators are not penalized by any unilaterally imposed EU scheme.

For more information on markup, click here. To read the original T&I news release, click here.

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