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Peters to Again Chair Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight and Ports Subcommittee on Senate Commerce Committee

Michigan Business Network
February 6, 2023 9:00 AM

S. Gary Peters

Subcommittee Oversees Federal Agencies Key to Michigan Priorities Including Automotive Guidelines for Future of Mobility & Auto Industry,  Pipeline Safety

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) Friday announced that he will again chair the Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Peters has served as Chair of the Subcommittee since 2021. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a number of key priorities for Michigan, including oversight of the federal agencies that are responsible for pipeline safety and automotive guidelines.

“From protecting the Great Lakes from a catastrophic oil spill to ensuring there is a federal framework to safely develop, test and deploy advanced vehicle technologies that will drive the future of mobility, I look forward to continue working on issues important to Michigan and to our economic competitiveness,” said Senator Peters. “I also think we have an opportunity to focus on making sure the CHIPS and Science Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law are implemented effectively.”     

The Subcommittee oversees the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Amtrak, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, the Transportation Security Administration (Rail & Pipeline Security), the Surface Transportation Board, the National Transportation Safety Board (Surface Safety Programs), the Maritime Administration and the Federal Maritime Commission.

Peters is looking to build on his work as Subcommittee Chair last Congress to focus on the future of the auto industry. Among his efforts, Peters led the charge to successfully secure major support for the U.S. production of semiconductor chip technologies for the auto industry, including significant funding in the CHIPS and Science Act that is now law. He held a hearing to assess how automotive innovation will influence the future of vehicle safety, mobility, and technology in a global economyIn a field hearing Peters convened in Detroit, experts examined how Congress can unlock innovation for electric and autonomous vehicles by increasing domestic production of semiconductor chips and other technologies, while also delivering economic, environmental, and safety benefits for the American people. In addition, he held a subcommittee hearing on ways to strengthen America’s supply chain and support the freight industry and the thousands of workers that work in it. 

This Congress, Peters is looking to work on a PIPES Act reauthorization bill to enhance pipeline safety and oil spill preparedness and response, including in the Great Lakes region. Previously, Peters authored provisions that were signed into law designating the Great Lakes as a high consequence area and improving oil spill response plans. He authored legislation that was signed into law to create the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Center of Expertise for Oil Spill Preparedness and Response, which is headquartered in Michigan, to examine the impacts of oil spills in freshwater environments and help develop effective responses. He secured federal funding for the Center and helped cut the ribbon at its grand opening at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. Last Congress, Peters welcomed the U.S. Department of Transportation’s implementation of his provision enacted through the PIPES Act designating the Great Lakes as an Unusually Sensitive Area—which subjects pipelines operating in the area to higher standards for operating safely. Peters also introduced legislation to protect the Great Lakes for future generations by implementing commonsense, proactive reforms to strengthen federal pipeline safety and oil spill response efforts. 

In addition to serving on the Senate Commerce Committee and the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, Peters also serves as Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.


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