LaHood proposes increased fines for pipeline safety violations

"We have a remarkable network of pipelines in this country, performing extraordinary work carrying energy to homes and businesses," he said. "And we must take steps to ensure we can rely on them to carry their loads safely. The American people are counting on it."

President Obama’s 2012 budget request includes $221 million for pipeline safety programs.

LaHood was joined on his visit to Allentown Monday by DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety administrator Cynthia Quarterman; Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.); Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski; and the city’s fire chief, Robert Scheier.