Pipeline safety has gone onto the front burner, which sounds terribly unsafe. The Dakota pipeline controversy is mostly about the risk of spills.
So, how many pipelines does America have?
This map is from PHMSA, the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. America has 2.5 million miles of underground pipelines.
Since 1985, pipeline accidents have killed 500 people and injured thousands. The property damage toll is in the billions of dollars. Sometimes you get an explosion from hitting the pipeline. But pipelines also corrode, failing because of age. Up to one failure in five comes from that. One concern about the Dakota pipelines is that they'll carry heavier oil. The kind flowing through them will be extra-corrosive.
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