Construction Industry News

Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will convene a field hearing titled, “Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac,” on Monday, August 20th, at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, Michigan. The hearing will focus on  federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.

Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. It also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, which plays a leading role in overseeing the federal and state response to oil spills, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides scientific support for oil spill prevention, response and restoration.

 
Witnesses:

Panel I:

  • The Honorable Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Ninth District Commander, United States Coast Guard
  • Mr. Scott Lundgren, Emergency Response Division Chief, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II:

  • Mr. David Bryson, Senior VP Operations, Liquid Pipelines, Enbridge Inc.
  • Mr. Michael Shriberg, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center
  • Mr. David Murk, Manager of Pipelines, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
  • Mr. Chris Hennessy, Business Development Representative, Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)
  • Mr. Larry Bell, Founder and Owner, Bells Brewery

* Witness list and panels are subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Monday, August 20, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full committee

The Dennos Museum Center
Milliken Auditorium
1701 E. Front Street (For GPS Directions, enter: 1410 College Drive)
Traverse City, MI 49686  

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. Media interested in attending the event should contact Allison Green or Zade Alsawah atmedia@peters.senate.gov.  

Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 16, 2018. As part of the committee’s oversight responsibilities, this hearing will examine policy issues before the Commission and review the FCC’s ongoing duties and activities. 

“From efforts to better utilize spectrum powering our wireless economy to expanding rural broadband access, combatting robocalls, and reviewing the media landscape, the FCC and its operations are critically important,”said Thune. “This hearing will offer Senators the opportunity to ask commissioners questions about topics of critical importance to their states and constituents.”

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission 

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Thursday, August 16, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full Committee 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Peters to Hold Commerce Committee Field Hearing on Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will convene a field hearing titled, “Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac,” on Monday, August 20th, at 10:00 a.m. in Traverse City, Michigan. The hearing will focus on federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes.

Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. It also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, which plays a leading role in overseeing the federal and state response to oil spills, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides scientific support for oil spill prevention, response and restoration.
 
Witnesses:

Panel I:
  • The Honorable Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
  • Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Ninth District Commander, United States Coast Guard
  • Mr. Scott Lundgren, Emergency Response Division Chief, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II:
  • Mr. David Bryson, Senior VP Operations, Liquid Pipelines, Enbridge Inc.
  • Mr. Michael Shriberg, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center
  • Mr. David Murk, Manager of Pipelines, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
  • Mr. Chris Hennessy, Business Development Representative, Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)
  • Mr. Larry Bell, Founder and Owner, Bells Brewery

* Witness list and panels are subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Monday, August 20, 2018
10:00 a.m. 
Full committee

The Dennos Museum Center
Milliken Auditorium
1701 E. Front Street (For GPS Directions, enter: 1410 College Drive)
Traverse City, MI 49686

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. Media interested in attending the event should contact Allison Green or Zade Alsawah atmedia@peters.senate.gov.  

Thune Statement on Administration’s Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards Announcement

“Manufacturers must continue efforts to make vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but federal regulations shouldn’t compromise safety or force consumers to drive vehicles they don’t want to or can’t afford to buy. The SAFE Vehicles proposal offers the public an important opportunity to consider new information about the safety realities of smaller and lighter vehicles in collisions as part of a more informed conversation about achievable fuel economy standards.”

Committee Approves Seven Bills, Surface Transportation Board Nomination

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today, approved seven bills, and one nominee to the Surface Transportation Board, subject to Senate confirmation.

Executive Session

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 9:45 a.m. to consider the following legislative measure and nominations.

Click here for additional information on nominees.

Agenda:

1.     S. 3277, Space Frontier Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

2.      S. 2242, the COASTAL Implementation Act of 2017, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

3.      S. 2773, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, Sponsors: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)

4.      S. 2861, Passenger Rail Crew Protection Parity Act, Sponsors: Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

5.      S. 3119, the Endangered Salmon Predation Prevention Act, Sponsors: Sens. James Risch (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

6.      S. 3143, the National Quantum Initiative Act, Sponsors: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

7.      S. 3265, Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act, Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)

8.      S. 3273, Port Operations, Research, and Technology Act, Sponsor: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

9.      Nomination of Rick Dearborn, of Oklahoma, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors

10.    Nomination of Martin Oberman, of Illinois, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board

*Agenda subject to change

Executive Session Details:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
9:45 a.m.
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building, Room G50
 
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov

<span>Good morning. Thank you all for

Good morning. Thank you all for being here. Today we have another full agenda with seven legislative items and one nomination.

I’m especially pleased that we’ll consider the National Quantum Initiative Act, which Ranking Member Nelson and I introduced with our House Science Committee colleagues, Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson.

They recently passed their measure through Committee and are looking for House floor consideration in the fall. I am hopeful our bill can follow a similar path in the Senate.

Advancing quantum science has immense economic and national security implications for the United States. This legislation will establish a national quantum program and keep us ahead of our competitors, including China, in the race to develop technological breakthroughs based on quantum science.

We will also be considering the nomination of Martin Oberman to the Surface Transportation Board.

I am hopeful that, once we act on Mr. Oberman’s nomination today, the full Senate can move quickly to confirm the other two STB nominees pending on the floor and we can finally have a full slate of five Board members.

I am disappointed that we are not also considering Rick Dearborn’s nomination to the Amtrak Board of Directors today, but I understand that some members have requested additional time before we proceed.

He is a well-qualified nominee with a passion for public service and passenger rail. I look forward to considering him at the Committee’s next markup.

With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.

Ranking Member Bill Nelson Opening Statement

Mr. Chairman, we have a full slate before us.

I’m proud to join with Senators Cruz and Markey in carrying on our tradition of bipartisan space legislation with the Space Frontier Act.

 The bill updates commercial launch and Earth observation regulations, extends the ISS through 2030 and expands opportunities for partnerships with NASA under the agency’s enhanced use lease authority.  

And for companies who are experimenting with exciting new commercial activities in space, the bill clarifies that they can continue to seek authorization through the Department of Transportation’s Payload Review Process while Congress ponders more expansive changes to agency authorities.

This is going to provide a nice boost for our growing space economy and the twenty-first century jobs that go along with it.

I am also pleased to join you, Chairman Thune, on the National Quantum Initiative Act. This bill will create a new focus on quantum research.

It is critical that the United States start growing our investments in quantum research if we are going to keep pace with China, the E.U. and others.

Winning the quantum race will benefit the U.S. economy and national security.

Finally, a quick note on Senator Wicker’s ports bill.  He and I have worked on this together and I want to thank him for his thoughtful approach. 

I appreciate the feedback from maritime labor industries on this bill and look forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis to seek improvements that will help safeguard maritime jobs. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Search for Life: Utilizing Science to Explore our Solar System and Make New Discoveries

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, will convene a hearing titled “The Search for Life: Utilizing Science to Explore our Solar System and Make New Discoveries,” at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. The second in a series of hearings leading up to a potential NASA reauthorization, this hearing will focus on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) scientific priorities in space exploration. 

Witnesses:

  • Dr. Sara Seager, Professor of Physics and Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  
  • Dr. David Spergel, Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University
  • Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

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I am glad to convene this hearing with my good friend and colleague, Ranking Member Schatz. 

The internet as we know it has become one of the most important inventions in our nation’s history.  We use it for just about everything.  Thanks to infrastructure investments and ingenuity, the internet is now an economic engine driving job creation and unprecedented access to information and opportunities.  In a short time, the World Wide Web has transformed into a global, interconnected information superhighway facilitating growth, freedom, and economic prosperity. 

The multi-stakeholder governing model has been key to the internet’s development across the world.  This model has fostered the creation of a dynamic internet economy that promotes investment and innovation.  We owe many of the cutting-edge products and services we enjoy today to the internet economy.   

Underpinning this economy is internet data.  As the internet grows and more people – and things – become connected, the volume, quality, and variety of internet data increases.  This is driving the development of new businesses and services, and it is enhancing online experiences for consumers.  Internet data is an essential commodity for businesses to compete and grow in the global digital market. 

The importance of internet data has not gone unnoticed internationally.  In fact, it has expanded the focus of the conventional internet governing agenda.  Traditionally, internet governance has centered on the formation of policies and rules dedicated to the internet’s technical development across jurisdictions.  While this remains an important function and primary focus, the increasing value of data has shifted attention to the collection, use, movement, and overall treatment of internet data.  The rise of data localization rules, involving how data can be processed in a certain territory or jurisdiction, along with local content requirements, internet censorship policies, and cybersecurity laws are a few examples of this growing trend. 

Policies targeting data and networks often stem from a country’s interest in fostering its own innovation or protecting its people from possible data misuse. But here’s a new problem, the global nature of the internet means that the impact and power of these laws goes beyond a jurisdiction’s borders.  U.S. companies compelled to change business models or alter operations to achieve compliance in foreign markets, and they are experiencing disruptions in their own domestic operations as well.  The result is less job creation, less investment, and less innovation in the United States. 

Consumers are feeling the effects of international internet policies, also.  Overly restrictive limitations on data movement or inconsistencies across jurisdictions ultimately deliver an internet experience to consumers that is less personalized and more expensive to access. 

Today, we look forward to examining the impact of global internet policies on U.S. businesses and consumers as well as the continued development of the internet around the world.  I would mention that I am Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, and as part of the Commission’s mission, we promote economic cooperation overseas, and so I also look forward to discussing the appropriate role that Congress should play in enhancing international coordination on the future of internet policies and empowering U.S. businesses to prosper in today’s global internet marketplace.  This is critically important to maintaining U.S. leadership in data-driven innovation and internet technologies for years to come. I welcome the witnesses here today and will introduce them in a moment after we have heard an opening statement from Senator Schatz. 

The Internet and Digital Communications: Examining the Impact of Global Internet Governance

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will convene a hearing titled “The Internet and Digital Communications: Examining the Impact of Global Internet Governance,” at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. The hearing will review international internet policies that are impacting the competitiveness, investment, and innovation opportunities of U.S. businesses domestically and abroad in today’s global digital economy.

Witnesses: 

  • The Honorable Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group
  • Mr. James Bladel, Vice President of Policy, GoDaddy
  • Dr. Roslyn Layton, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, The American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Christopher Painter, Commissioner, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
  • Ms. Denise ZhengVice President, Policy, The Business Roundtable

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Committee to Hold Hearing Examining the Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),” at 10:15a.m. on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. As part of the committee’s oversight responsibilities, this hearing will examine policy issues before the Commission and review the FCC’s ongoing duties and activities.  

“From efforts to better utilize spectrum powering our wireless economy to expanding rural broadband access, combatting robocalls, and reviewing the media landscape, the FCC and its operations are critically important,”said Thune. “This hearing will offer Senators the opportunity to ask commissioners questions about topics of critical importance to their states and constituents.”

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
10:15 a.m.
Full Committee 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

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