The Texas Pipeline Association (TPA) believes oversight of Texas’ oil and gas sector should remain in the hands of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT) to ensure the most efficacious regulation of the industry. In testimony presented to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission on Monday regarding the Sunset Staff Report on the RCT, TPA attorney James Mann emphasized the midstream industry’s support of the continuation of the RCT and its ongoing regulation of the state’s hydrocarbons from well-head to end-user.
Mann stressed TPA’s opposition to Sunset Staff Recommendations 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3, which would transfer part of the agency’s function to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOHA) and the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Also noted during his testimony was that the RCT has what is widely acknowledged as the best pipeline safety program in the United States.
“The RCT has historically developed pipeline safety policies and procedures that have now become the national standard often adopted by the federal government and required nationwide,” said Mann. “We are highly supportive of the Commission’s jurisdiction being expanded so that we can have a unified, sophisticated pipeline safety program that covers all of the pipelines in this state.”
Furthermore, TPA’s 49 member companies that engage in the business of gathering, processing, treating and transporting natural gas and hazardous liquids through intrastate pipelines in Texas, support Recommendation 5.2 regarding the payment of a new pipeline payment fee.
“We fully support funding of the RCT’s pipeline safety sections,” said Mann. “If that means we pay a new fee for pipeline permits we will do that but we would like to have some input into how that works and how those are calculated. We would like to make sure the money ends up over at the RCT to fund those functions.”
TPA’s written comments regarding the Sunset Staff Report on the RCT may be found online at http://www.texaspipelines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Sunset-Advisory-Comments20160513_12072851.pdf.
The Texas Pipeline Association is the largest state trade association in the country representing solely the interests of the intrastate pipeline network. TPA provides effective advocacy on issues related to pipeline safety, environmental regulations, taxation and legislation and is the primary resource for information regarding the Texas pipeline industry. Member companies work in partnership with state and federal regulatory agencies to ensure full compliance. For more information about TPA, please visit www.texaspipelines.com.