Top federal pipeline official skips hearing on Michigan oil spill

Sep 15, 2010

Congress held hearings today on the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan. Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports that one top official was conspicuously abset from the hearings. Cynthia Quarterman recused herself from the oil spill hearings, because she used to work for Enbridge Energy Partners.

Quarterman is in charge of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency oversees the safety of 2.3 million miles of pipelines across the country.

Just this spring, the agency was celebrating its fifth anniversary, taking credit for keeping the network of pipelines humming along.

Congratulations to Administrator Cynthia Quarterman and all of the PHMSA team; whether you're in Washington, DC, or Wyoming, you're doing a great job and we appreciate it!

Says a USDOT's blog post celebrating the anniversary.

After the spills and explosions in the last month, the PHMSA is taking a closer look at how its monitoring the nation's pipelines.