Rand Paul’s Switch Clears Way for Pipeline Bill

From the SF Chronicle:

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a pipeline safety bill late Monday after a senator with strong Tea Party ties did an about-face – lifting a hold that had blocked the legislation for weeks and adding a provision that would close a regulatory loophole that drew widespread attention after the San Bruno disaster.

The bill boosts the federal government’s regulatory enforcement powers, calls for automatic shutoff valves for new pipelines and, thanks to last-minute language, ends an exemption from rigorous safety inspections for older natural-gas pipelines.

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