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Pipelines to Potholes: America's Ailing Infrastructure

Pipeline peril. After the San Bruno explosion, we look at questions about the nation’s infrastructure.

A natural gas line, the cause of the large explosion that killed at least seven people, lies broken on a San Bruno, Calif., road, Sept. 11, 2010. (AP)

Shocking scenes out of San Bruno California last week as, in the blink of an eye, a whole huge neighborhood went up in a massive fireball.  Multiple deaths, and 58 houses destroyed in a flash. 

The culprit: a natural gas pipeline buried under the town that erupted like a giant blow torch. 

The bad news:  there are towns all over this country sitting on risky gas pipelines. Sixty percent of US gas pipelines are more than four decades old. As of last year, some were still made of wood. 

We look at the San Bruno blast, the danger beneath our feet, and infrastructure issues in America.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Will Kane, reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust.

Richard Kuprewicz, pipeline engineering expert, president of Accufacts, a pipeline safety company in Redmond, Washigton.

Robert Puentes, senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

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