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Are right now on to our top story a huge.
Natural gas exploration.
Erupting in West Virginia warm homes went up in flames yesterday -- collapsing another fine.
With severe damage fortunately patents.
Fortunately no one was killed.
But this is not the first time we've seen this of course and it begs the question would natural gas -- booming across the country.
We'll explosions like this happen.
Joining me now Tyson slocum director of public citizen's energy program we also have David -- -- research fellow in energy economics and climate change.
At The Heritage Foundation welcome to both of you.
Take a beer what do you think anything about that's.
All I think we definitely have a problem with a lack of adequate federal oversight of pipeline safety we've got over.
Half a million miles of transmission pipelines crisscrossing.
Across the United States.
And only about a 110 federal inspectors.
We had a pipeline safety bill that passed congress and was signed into law by Obama in 2011.
But it didn't go nearly far enough.
In beefing up off finances to hire more inspectors.
To mandate the increase.
Placement of shut off valves.
That in case of an incident a pipeline and could limit the damage.
And also I think we have to reassess the focus over the last decade of looking at terrorism security look -- maintenance and operation.
Italy has yeah a particularly I'd like pipelines age let me let me talked about the details of this what -- -- -- -- place -- before -- PM it was a twenty inch transmission line.
And even on the gas flow had been shot off here there -- still pressure in the line.
Natural gas -- it has become so abundant it is so cheap right now we use it so much it's relatively clean you know on a fossil fuel basis.
We forget how dangerous it can be what do you what do you think -- what Tyson had to say.
Well it's not clear that -- -- solutions would have stopped this because we don't know exactly what happened used to the shuttle -- worked Tyson wants more shut off -- well was shut off.
The the thing we have to look at is how much energy we get from something like natural gas -- this Renaissance.
We're getting a huge amount -- compared him out of doing dad is actually safer than say Windmills where the in industrial fatalities per megawatt hour produced -- per BTU.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So if we -- to shift to something else.
It might actually be more dangerous spoke.
We have accidents is also all sorts of things people getting killed every day on the cross walks and in -- outlaw people.
Crossing the street and I don't know that we want more federal controls over people crossing the street -- -- -- another federal bill we want to make it it's safe as is reasonable that that's only ever really able to eliminate accidents.
That's a great point but you know back to -- point I mean some of the infrastructure has gotten old.
You know Boston University recently put out a study and they said that there was -- and gas escaping from more than 3300 places.
In Boston's underground pipelines.
I mean some of the infrastructure the pipelines that we're using here.
-- -- donating we already have laws against -- can we already have laws against leaking pipelines knew they needed to enforce them.
But I guarantee you that think the pipeline owner is not happy about this and that is gonna cost them a lot and -- plant owners -- -- -- incentive to -- that they don't blow up highway.
Tyson more government is almost never the answer I mean -- it does seem like -- But maybe we need to do something here but I'm not sure more regulation and policing David makes a great point that.
That all of the things that you talked about those were placed in this case.
And also you know the underground leaks in Boston it's not like.
That's something that.
It's not supposed to be there what can we do make -- -- well -- actually we do have some decent laws in the books but the issue was is of enforcement and that.
Does take financial resources and that actually is -- critical part of government oversight.
The alternative would be just allowing for profit pipeline operators.
To ensure their safety.
And for millions of property owners out there that is definitely not going to be enough even with.
The level of regulation we have now we've seen several major incidents over the last several years.
We're pipeline operators knew about reliability and maintenance problems.
But because they were being budget conscious.
Ought they cut those corners and as a result of people got injured and and we had significant property damage yet answer here.
These classes are not -- government regulation -- -- class sort out this morning and I think he's talked about the natural gas pipeline explosion in Stanford California.
-- eight people were killed there were 37 homes to straight up sixty other people were injured.
What do you think -- last sort.
Well if they did that for budget cutting was false economy and I agree with Tyson that we should enforce the rules that we have and we should have inspectors necessary to enforce the rules we have.
But they're saying we need more regulation when we're not -- the ones we already have is not the solution OK guys thank you so much replacing your time thank you part.