Between the Lines: February 27

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Actions Speak Louder than Words


The San Bruno gas pipeline explosion was a tragedy – that cannot be denied.

However, PG&E PCG -0.23% has changed. The company has demonstrated through its actions, and not just words, that it is committed to the safety of its gas system as a result of the San Bruno accident. PG&E has spent nearly $3 billion of shareholder dollars in critical infrastructure upgrades to improve the safety of its system. As the former chief federal regulator, this is the initiative for change we seek.

DOT emergency order covers Bakken crude transportation by rail

The US Department of Transportation issued an emergency order requiring shippers to test Bakken crude oil to ensure it is properly classified before being transported by rail. The Feb. 25 order also prohibits transportation of crude in the lowest-strength packing group. “Today we are raising the bar for shipping crude oil on behalf of the families and communities along rail lines nationwide—if you intend to move crude oil by rail, then you must test and classify the material appropriately,” US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

State Department’s Keystone XL Contractor Selection Did Not Violate Federal Rules: Report

A consulting firm that helped write an environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline complied with federal rules regarding possible conflict of interest, the State Department’s inspector general said Wednesday in a report that buoyed supporters of the controversial pipeline and disappointed critics.

Securing the Electric Grid: A Decades Old Threat Demands Action Today

As with anything in life, guaranteeing 100 percent absolute security in any situation is simply impossible.

When it comes to the nation’s electrical power transmission system, however, reaching the highest attainable level of protection is of critical importance.

Unfortunately, since the 1970s – and before – what would be described as “terrorist attacks” against the nation’s power grid have occurred. While such attacks have been few and far between, the impact a well-coordinated assault on just a single section of the grid has the potential for devastating effects on the economy and the health and safety of our citizens.

US orders oil-by-rail shippers to test ND cargo

Shippers moving crude oil by rail out of North Dakota must test the fuel for dangerous volatility before loading it onto the tracks, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Last month, officials warned that fuel produced out of the Bakken Formation could be more flammable and explosion-prone than previously thought after a number of explosive derailments over the past year.

Obama says sees Keystone decision in next couple months -Oklahoma governor

President Barack Obama told governors at a White House meeting on Monday that he expects to make a decision on whether to allow the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada in the next couple of months, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin told reporters.

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