Associated Press: Daines seeks hearing on pipeline safety agency

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is calling for a congressional hearing on the government’s pipeline safety agency following two oil spills into Montana’s Yellowstone River in the past five years.

The Montana Republican requested the hearing into the actions of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in a Tuesday letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota.

Daines said he wants to examine how effectively the agency is overseeing and enforcing pipeline rules.

An Exxon Mobil Corp. pipeline spilled 63,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone near Laurel in 2011. Federal regulators issued a $1 million penalty in the case.

In January, a Bridger Pipeline LLC line released 30,000 gallons of oil into the river, temporarily fouling water supplies for 6,000 people downstream in Glendive.