Editor's Log: Responsibility

By Robert Carpenter, Editor | May 2013, Vol. 68 No. 5

After completing its detailed review and validation of standard operating procedures with employees and contractors working on Consumers Energy’s system, directional drilling operations resumed the following week.

When Senior Editor Jeff Griffin contacted the company regarding the incident, there was no public relations shuffle and spin. Instead, the company immediately put Griffin in contact with
Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy vice president of energy delivery. The company wasn’t interested in pointing the finger or avoiding blame. Rather, they committed to learning from their mistake and taking substantial steps to improve their safety record – all in a public forum. They were more than willing – even anxious – to have an open and frank conversation with Griffin.

To say this reaction was unusual is an understatement – and a welcome reprieve from typical “spin” responses. Kudos to Consumers Energy for the courage and commitment to take the responsible path.

Quiet milestone

When Duke’s Root Control completed a project this spring that sent the company past 200 million miles of sewer pipe chemical treatment, there wasn’t a huge party or celebration. Indeed, most of the company personnel weren’t even aware that such a threshold had been passed.

Though obviously proud of such a major accomplishment, company officials decided to keep the event low-key. Duke’s President Mike Hogan said it is important to put the milestone in perspective with the company’s total body of work.

“We believe that the first foot of pipe we treated more than 35 years ago and every foot treated since then is equally important with foot number 200 million. We know we could never have achieved this record if it were not for years of successful treatments performed by employees, past and present, and the loyal customers we serve.”

A humble reaction, but an amazing milestone in any field. Congratulations to Duke’s and may you pass 300 million miles of chemical root treatment in the not-too-distant future.