Unanswered questions about California oil spill suggest oversight isn’t working

California’s fleet of offshore oil and gas rigs, and the miles of pipelines that connect those rigs to on-shore refining operations, feature some of the most advanced technology the industry has to offer.

Out at sea, computerized systems on the manned platforms can detect even tiny leaks in the pipelines, monitoring the pressure and flow of oil from command centers that operate 24 hours a day. In some cases, valves are programmed to automatically snap into place to limit escaping oil.

And, beyond that, government regulators and private firms employ a veritable armada of inspection. Airplanes, drones, divers — all scout the ocean for signs of spilling oil.

But all

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