June 01, 2015

Pressures (Regulatory) Building with Pipeline Safety

Scott B. Grover

Earlier this year, a segment of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explored the nation’s aging infrastructure. The upshot of the witty, don’t-watch-it-at-the-office-or-with-your-children piece was that much of the nation’s infrastructure is in desperate need of maintenance, repair, and replacement; that the need for infrastructure upkeep seems to get attention only when catastrophe strikes; and that no one wants to pay what is needed to address the issue. While Mr. Oliver’s idea of what it might take to change attitudes regarding infrastructure maintenance (transform it into an exciting, Hollywood big-budget blockbuster) may be long in the making, the adequacy of the safety requirements surrounding the nation’s natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines currently is receiving federal regulatory attention, with new requirements and standards likely before the current administration ends.

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