FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2014 file photo, the lights of Williston, N.D. shine in the background of oil pumps. Williston is the hub of North Dakota's oil boom. The AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor federation, says the death rate for oil, gas and mining workers in North Dakota was more than six times the national average in 2012. It says the state had a fatality rate of 104 per 100,000 workers in those industries. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine, File)
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.”