Texas considers new oil and gas pipeline rules

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press
Copyright 2014, The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed new rules it says will more tightly regulate the states’ network of oil and gas pipelines.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Tuesday that the agency is accepting public comments on proposed eminent domain regulation changes until Aug. 25.

The commission is responsible for 426,000 miles of pipelines carrying natural gas, hazardous materials and other substances. Critics of the commission say it rubber-stamps pipeline applications.

The commission says the changes will provide more transparency when a pipeline operator seeks “common carrier” status. That’s a designation that automatically gives the operator the power of eminent domain to seize land.

The commission’s general counsel says the changes would bring “greater confidence” in the common carrier classification and provide more “certainty for both pipelines and landowners.”

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