The United States is in danger of even more devastating gasoline shortages like the one that crippled the South in September thanks to an aging pipeline infrastructure that is decades old.
More than 60 percent of America’s pipelines that carry gasoline, diesel and other hazardous liquids were built prior to 1970, meaning they are nearly 50 years old, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Stations ran out of fuel, gas prices skyrocketed and governors declared states of emergency after a break in the Colonial Pipeline in September. The same pipeline exploded this week, meaning another gas shortage could be on the way.
Cities all over the country are in danger of repeating that scenario due to aging pipelines, The Journal reported. An investigation by the newspaper found that the majority of the pipelines that carry the nation’s fuel are aging and wearing out.
Older pipelines are more vulnerable to corrosion and other maintenance problems that cause disruptions in fuel delivery. The Colonial Pipeline is 52 years old and began operation in 1965, when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House.
“Clearly, operators don’t have a complete handle on how to operate these older pipelines,” Carl Weimer of the Pipeline Safety Trust told The Journal.