The U.S. House rejected a pipeline safety bill yesterday as too weak, even though it had been unanimously approved last month by the Senate. The bill by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), which had the backing of the oil and natural gas industry, gained momentum after a gasoline pipeline blast killed three people in Bellingham, Wash., last year and a natural gas pipeline explosion killed 12 people in Carlsbad, N.M., this summer. It would have increased inspections and fines for hazardous accidents and required pipeline operators to disclose more info to regulators. But support for the bill in the House eroded after the families of the Bellingham victims said it wouldn’t adequately reform the federal Office of Pipeline Safety. Environmentalists and organized labor also opposed the bill, saying it was way too generous to industry and didn’t require enough safety measures.

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