Murray: Improve, consolidate gas industry oversight

Federal oversight of the petrochemical industry needs to be improved and consolidated, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said last week.

The industry as a whole is "unsafe for workers" and a regulatory body is necessary to oversee a wide range of industry processes, including drilling, transportation, refining, distribution, and on- and offshore operations, Murray said in a letter to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

The letter was sent in reaction to the commission's recent announcement that it was considering creating a body to oversee and regulate offshore oil and gas operations, modeled after the Atlanta-based Institute of Nuclear Power Operators. The senator said that given the industry's history and safety record, it should not be allowed to set its own standards, and strong oversight by a federal regulator is "an absolute must."

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