Audio: Former Federal Regulator Says Dakota Access Pipeline Has Been Politicized


On my radio show today I interviewed Brigham McCown, a former head of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the chairman of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure.

We talked, as you might imagine, about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the regulatory process surrounding it.

McCown says the approval of the pipeline was sound, from a regulatory perspective, and added that the Obama administration’s decision to intervene after a federal judge sided with the pipeline last week was an overt political move.

“I think that’s dangerous,” he said of blocking pipeline infrastructure with political maneuvering. “I think it actually undermines the environment.”

Why dangerous? McCown says it’s because we’re going to pump the oil anyway, and “pipelines are by far the safest way to transport oil.”

He would know. The PHMSA regulates not just pipelines but all types of transportation of hazardous materials, be they by rail or road, sea or air.

McCown says the protesters are “attacking the method by which [oil] gets to market” in the hope of keeping oil in the ground.

Here’s the full audio: