What’s old and tired infrastructure, America?
• 2,840 significant gas pipeline accidents since 1990
• more than a third causing deaths and significant injuries
It took almost two hours to close the 30-inch-diameter pipeline that exploded in California!
Two valves a mile away were near the San Bruno disaster. Rush hour traffic? The government put the utility on notice regarding shut-off valves in 1981. We know about these problems.
I smell a trillion dollar jobs frontier. If only shareholders knew what to do with our money…
Never underestimate the power to defer.
Only since 2002 were utilities required to inspect but no rules impose repair. 3,000 unsafe sites discovered but unimproved. Lobbyists are currently pushing to relax inspections from once every ten years to once every fifteen.
Regulators arrive after the fact. Fail. Post-Reagan rule-makers rely on obviously unreliable incentives and deterrents, allowing the industry to police themselves. Fail. Utilities notoriously put off maintenance to boost earnings. Fail. Like BP’s drilling watchdogs, or eggs for that matter, is the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration not enforcing rules? There’s merely 100 inspectors for 2 million miles of pipeline. Fail.
Pipeline Safety advocates here.