The Louisiana Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit abandonment of the Midla pipeline, sending the bill onward to Governor Bobby Jindal. Senate Bill 525, spearheaded by Senator Robert Adley (R-Benton), plans for the possibility that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permits abandonment of the pipeline beyond Louisiana borders. Per the bill, internal pipeline would be converted to continue servicing Louisiana.
The Midla pipeline currently provides many Louisiana residents with access to natural gas, primarily in parishes on the eastern side of Louisiana, and Adley’s bill aims to prevent the potential loss of this service.
American Midstream Partners and ArcLight Capital have filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to abandon the Midla pipeline, citing that it proposes too many safety challenges to maintain, largely due to its age. However, Adley argues that the Midla is no different from any other pipeline in Louisiana in regard to its age. His concern lies with the customers who “have paid rates set by federal regulatory authorities that included an amount to be used for maintenance for the pipeline.” Instead, the Midla operators allegedly neglected maintenance and appropriated the funds, according to Adley.
From Adley’s viewpoint, Louisianans are being cheated out of services they pay for. He says that had the owners maintained the pipeline with the funds provided, the pipeline wouldn’t need to be abandoned.