Infrastructure Spring 2017

Vol. 56 No. 3   May 2017

Public Infrastructure

“Look Back and Look Forward”  —Introduction to IRIS 100th Anniversary Essays

In 1917, the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Giants in the World Series, Marie Curie celebrated her 50th birthday, Buffalo Bill Cody died, John F. Kennedy was born, and Walter Anderson, who would go on to start White Castle, invented the hamburger bun.
In news more relevant to the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section (IRIS), the first Boeing aircraft flew (only 14 years after the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight in 1903), only 8% of the homes in America had landline telephones, and the toggle electric light switch was invented. And in September 1917, at its annual meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York, the American Bar Association established the Section of Public Utility Law, now known as the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section.
We to celebrate this milestone throughout the year in a number of ways, including publishing a series of essays from our committees about the history and evolution of their respective industries or practice areas since 1917. In asking the committees to prepare these essays, we said they could be scholarly or anecdotal. We also asked the committees to peer into their crystal balls and predict where their industries or practice areas would be 25, 50, or 100 years in the future.
The first couple of essays we received have been informative and, in a departure from the typical Infrastructure articles or Recent Developments reports, entertaining. In the essay which we publish in this issue of Infrastructure, former IRIS chair and Steptoe & Johnson partner, Steven Brose, and his colleague Shaun Boedicker, review oil pipeline operation and regulation as it has developed over the past century. The next issue (56:4) of Infrastructure will include essays on communications and nuclear energy.

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