Oberstar, Schauer Looking Into Michigan Oil Spill
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) sent a letter this week to Enbridge Energy, the owner of the pipeline that burst in Michigan last week, asking for more information on the oil spill. The lawmakers also sent letters to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, which houses the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the agency responsible for pipeline safety.
Mary Kerr, a spokesperson for Obserstar, said there are no hearings scheduled on Enbridge Energy and the Michigan oil spill. But she said the information request is “the first step” in any effort to look at the issue more deeply. The lawmakers gave Enbridge and the agencies until Aug. 13 to provide the requested information.
The committee is currently in the process of reauthorizing PHMSA. The committee has held hearings on the agency, most recently on July 15 when lawmakers looked at its oversight of the methods companies use to ensure pipelines are sound. “That hearing was part of our normal reauthorization process, and not a result of the MI or any other specific spill,” Kerr wrote in an e-mail.