Petroleum Industry Defends Pipeline Safety As Environmentalists Sue

National Wildlife Federation Says U.S. Hasn't Regulated Pipelines Properly


The petroleum industry says it’s doing its very best to prevent pipeline spills into waterways at a time when environmentalists are suing the federal government over allegedly lax oversight.

The National Wildlife Federation contends in its suit that the U.S. Department of Transportation has failed to protect the nation’s waters from oil pipeline spills. Kyle Isakower of the American Petroleum Institute said that he hasn’t seen the lawsuit, but that oil and natural gas industries are committed to reducing accidents.

He said the industries regularly inspect pipelines using technology that includes ultrasound and magnetic imaging.

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“Every pipeline is inspected at least once every five years, and in areas of greater potential significance — and waterways would be one of those — we inspect pipelines more frequently than that,” he said.

Isakower said there are more than 2 million miles of petroleum pipelines in the U.S.