So, I'm just minding my own business, reading a book. The title of it is "The Fine Print: How Big Companies use "PLAIN ENGLISH" to Rob You Blind" by David Cay Johnston. It's a little 'all over the place' at first, and I have a few problems with some statements the author makes which aren't adequately (and sometimes not at all) supported by evidence. I attribute part of the reason to the author's style AND to his lifetime of going up against powerful companies and getting a line of BS and/or the runaround. There's a story here (and a thread). I promise. Anyway, I get to the part of the book which is about companies (sometimes utility companies, sometimes public companies who don't have adequate competition) not doing proper maintenance when it comes to timely replacing critical equipment before breakdowns and/or catastrophic failures even when a part of their fees and payments (approved by regulators sometimes, I might add) is factored in. In other words, a part of these companies monthly fees are sometimes included specifically for maintaining their network of pipes or poles or whatever structure they rely on to provide service (and thereby, make money). At any rate, at one point in the book, an anonymous lineman from NV Energy is quoted as saying that they don't maintain anything; they just wait for it to break down. Further into the book, there are a number of examples of gas explosion which cost lives and property. And as I was reading that, I recalled the BP oil spill only because it was a recent catastrophic failure which ended up costing several lives and polluted the Gulf of Mexico and the American shore, thereby ruining both the fishing and tourist industry for months. And what happens next? I notice a news story about...? Sissonville, West Virginia: Explosion From Gas Line Burns Interstate 77 And Homes (PHOTOS) You guessed it. It's about a gas explosion in West Virginia. Now, while it's probably too early to attribute the explosion to a specific cause, this is a good time to remind people that regulations, when followed, can and WILL save lives, and property, and a great deal of damage to the economy because, very often, when companies are left to make the decisions themselves, they'll cut corners (like BP) in order to maximize the profits. Now, perhaps it's time for some conservatives to ask themselves why exactly it is that corporate lobbyists spend SO much money supporting Republicans who just so happen to be SO anti regulation in their views. Could it be that they're men (and women) with only short term vision who are willing to sacrifice public safety for profits knowing full well that when there's a disaster, the gov't AND the taxpayer will have to step in to fix the problem? Could that be the case? Are some politicians far TOO cozy with business interests at the expense of the public? And keep in mind that these disasters, when they happen, don't discriminate against people based on political ideology.