November 21, 2008
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL and EXPOSÉ: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS present an inquiry into tragic accidents resulting from natural gas explosions. The report is part of BLUEPRINT AMERICA, a PBS-wide series on the nation's infrastructure.
"Beneath the North Texas Dirt" follows Brett Shipp, a television reporter from WFAA in Dallas, who discovered that aging equipment connecting homeowners' gaslines to their gas meters was failing, causing horrific explosions. Shipp found evidence suggesting that for decades state regulators and local power companies ignored this fatal problem in the vital infrastructure that brings natural gas into hundreds of thousands of Dallas area homes.
In late 2007, after the multi-part WFAA investigation, the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the natural gas delivery system, issued an emergency order to force natural gas utilities to dig up and replace older compression-style couplings.
The Internet has made the information collected by government and consumer reporting systems much more readily available. Check below for additional resources that can help you track both environmental and industrial hazards in your locale.
Published on November 21, 2008.