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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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ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

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SHOWS
Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

 
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

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Our Week In The Web: October 24, 2014
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

On comments, comment sections, and ROY G BIV.

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Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

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