by David Cay Johnson for Al Jezeera America- Opinion
Our federal government says that it’s safe to build a giant high-pressure natural gas pipeline 105 feet from the Indian Point nuclear power plant complex along the Hudson River near New York City. But its reasons for making that judgment are secret.
How this decision was reached illustrates a basic public policy problem vexing our nation: We often ask the wrong questions. How we frame public policy questions often shapes the answers. And if we get the answers wrong because we didn’t ask the right questions in the first place, death and disease, needless accidents and a less prosperous future will result.
In the case of a pipeline 42 inches in diameter moving natural gas under more than 800 pounds of pressure per square inch, the wrong question is ‘What are the odds that the pipeline will explode right where it passes a nuclear power plant?’