Monday, September 20, 2010

Government protection

Funny thing about government and its laws protecting citizens. So often those laws come at the consequence of individuals who have little power to influence lawmakers. While those groups and businesses that are large and powerful enough to hire lobbyists operate under a different formula.

Take for example, the neighborhood in San Francisco where the high pressure gas line ruptured and blew up -- killing four people, injuring scores and destroying homes.Or, consider the oil pipeline that flows under Oakland County -- the same one that ruptured on the west side and spilled oil into the Kalamazoo River and ruined a bunch of homes.

There are rules that conceal where those pipelines run. That is understandable because of terrorists looking for vulnerable targets. But we should also consider that without terror attacks these pipelines are killing and maiming and fouling the environment. Which protection is more important?

Now the Michigan Public Service Commission says there have been no fines issued for pipeline safety violations since 2003. Is that a good thing? Let's hope that the government and the utilities are taking mighty good care of those underground pipes.


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