FEB 09 2014

Electrical Grid and Terrorism

Electric grid, Infrastructure, Terrorism, Terrorist Act

Former FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff recently made news by declaring that the April 16, 2013 vandalism of the PG&E Metcalf, California substation was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S. The electrical grid is vulnerable to outages in localized areas and to outages that can cascade…

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JAN 23 2014

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Banking, Capitalism, Financial Services, Hedging, Infrastructure, United States, Wall Street

Wall Street investors in need of a replacement for the former cash cow of mortgage-backed securities (pre-bailout, that is) only had to look as far as a massive, bargain basement-priced stock of used houses obtained through bankruptcy sales coupled with a corresponding, unparalleled increase in prospective renters (aka former homeowners with few options for housing…

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JAN 03 2014

Some Comments on the CSB Chevron Regulatory Report Draft

California, Chemical Safety Board, Government, Industrial Accident, Infrastructure, Insurance, Liability insurance, Oil refineries, Petroleum in the Environment, United States

The safety case regulatory regime is touted as a “tripartite system consisting of active and equal participation from the regulator, workforce, and industry.” Indeed, a potentially, more socially beneficial regime would be a quadripartite system that includes the neighbors of the regulated facilities. The neighbors are often aware of problems that workers don’t or won’t…

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APR 18 2013

West Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Industrial Accident, Infrastructure

The West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion is an example of hazardous infrastructure built too close to residential areas.  Consideration should be given to having the risk management plans (RMPs) for industrial facilities and other commercial enterprises conducted by regulatory agencies (or their agents) rather than by the agents of these facilities’ owners.  Within the red…

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JUL 30 2011

Infrastructure Development – Where to Begin

Environment, Government, Infrastructure, United States, Wastewater, Water Resources

For a government, its businesses, other organizations, and citizens to flourish, its people, goods, and information must have the ability to move and interact freely in an integrated, cost efficient, resilient, and effective manner.  Reliable, responsive infrastructure helps make this possible.  Infrastructure includes the physical structure, components, and systems that provide the energy generation, transmission,…

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