As the oil and gas industry pushes for new laws exempting information about pipeline infrastructure from being released to the public in the name of national security, advocates say doing so could actually increase the risk for everyone.
And the lack of public knowledge about these issues — which extends to other kinds of energy infrastructure, like rail transportation and transmission lines — can place an even heavier burden on ill-equipped government regulators.
In Michigan, a dozen House Republicans sponsored a bill last week to amend the state’s Freedom of Information Act law to exempt “critical energy infrastructure information” from being disclosed, more than a decade after Congress approved similar federal rules in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Such information is defined in HB 4540 as “specific engineering, vulnerability, or detailed design information” about existing or proposed energy infrastructure. Critics say it would exempt details beyond the “general location” of what is described as “critical infrastructure.”