Track Records of Builders

This is a resource page for information about the regulators and builders of shale gas infrastructure.

The Agencies:

There are two national agencies that oversee pipelines: FERC (The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) reviews applications for the construction and pricing of energy infrastructure. PHMSA (Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, known as “FIM-sah”) oversees the operation of pipelines once constructed. The EPA is also tangentially involved in that it can direct FERC about what to review, though FERC has a track record of flouting such direction. State and local agencies will also be consulted on certain pipelines for their sign-off on specific impacts such as water quality, historical and cultural resources, etc.

Please note that FERC  does not take into account how any company has actually performed in the past; they operate on the basis of what is submitted in their application. All a company needs to say is that it will follow the regulations (which the industry has by and large written). What these track records say loud and clear is how inadequate the regulations are, and how inadequate governmental oversight is.

The situation with PHMSA is even worse: Jeffrey Wiese, a safety administrator at the agency, has been straightforward, noting the regulatory process he oversees is “kind of dying.” He has said, “Do I think I can hurt a major international corporation with a $2 million civil penalty? No.” Underfunded and starved to ineffectuality since the Reagan deregulation days, the agency is woefully understaffed and heavily relies on field reports provided by the industry itself.

The best summary we’ve read about the regulation of pipelines remains the 2010 Remapping Debate report, which outlines such relevant issues such as “de-rating,”  industry resistance to safety valves, underfunding, and inaccurate pipeline mapping.

The Builders

Kinder Morgan (aka TGP)

The Facts about Kinder Morgan, Sightline Institute

Wall Street Worries About Kinder Morgan’s Safety Record

Lengthy Record of Pipeline, Workplace Safety Violations, Natural Gas Watch



Owner of PA Natural Gas Facility that Exploded Has Lengthy Record of Pipeline Safety Violations, Natural Gas Watch

Williams Safety Record, We Are Lancaster County

Williams Safety Record, Sane Energy Project

Williams Companies Safety and Compliance Record, NYFCAW



Spectra Energy

Spectra Safety Violations, Spectrabusters

FERC Tells Spectra To Answer for Safety Violations, Natural Gas Watch

Spectra Energy–Again, Shale Property Rights

Feds Cite Spectra for Multiple Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Violations, Natural Gas Watch

Second Spectra Pipeline Rupture in One Week




One Response to Track Records of Builders

  1. Pingback: FERC Review of NED Pipeline Begins |

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