September 19, 2018


Reps Demand Federal Oversight of Natural Gas Safety after Massachusetts Explosions

Newton, MA – Congressman Joe Kennedy III, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, today joined Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congressman Seth Moulton in urging the House of Representatives to hold immediate hearings on the safety and federal oversight of natural gas pipelines. Their request comes on the heels of pipeline explosions that devastated homes and communities in Northeastern Massachusetts last week.

In a letter to the E&C Energy Subcommittee the representatives wrote: “The federal government will play an indispensable role in the rebuilding and recovery process. Natural gas is a primary energy source for over 68 million consumers across the country, and it is distributed through millions of miles of underground pipes. Jurisdiction for incidents like this lies with both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), as they are responsible for investigating pipeline accidents and regulating distribution systems respectively.”

“Local, state, and federal officials share common goals of ensuring public safety, restoring power and gas utilities, and righting this terrible wrong, but there appear to be no clear lines of authority,” the letter continues. “This is a tragic moment for thousands of residents in the Merrimack Valley, some of whom lost absolutely everything. Congress, through this Subcommittee, must conduct proper oversight to understand what happened, what went wrong, and how we can ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”

A copy of the letter is available upon request.


For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2018 

Dan Black (202) 225-5931