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Pipelines Leak


2013 Mayflower Arkansas – Tar Sands Crude

For those who think that one more pipe will solve all our oil and gas transportation problems there were a couple of interesting articles this morning.

With the Boom in Oil and Gas, Pipelines Proliferate in the U.S.

Since 2006, FERC has received 803 applications for pipelines and related infrastructure. Of those projects, 451 have been authorized, 98 are pending review, and 258 have been denied or withdrawn, according to a FERC spokesperson.

The safety of both oil and gas pipelines is overseen by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which tallied 623 leaks and accidents along oil and natural gas pipelines in the U.S. last year. Ten deaths and about 50 injuries were logged. Since 1994, 387 people have been killed in pipeline accidents, including high-profile ones like the 2010 explosion underneath a San Francisco suburb that killed eight people and leveled several homes. Pipelines are responsible for nearly half of the oil spilled in the U.S., according one analysis.

Unusual alliance on oil spill cleanup

Just one example of a recent pipeline spill.

The farmland that is contaminated is about 2.5 acres within an 8-acre site. Some contamination extends 30 feet below ground, with contamination as deep as 50 feet below ground in some areas, said David Glatt, chief of the Health Department’s environmental health section.

The spill, which Tesoro blames on a lightning strike, focused new attention on pipeline safety in the state, which has about 20,000 miles of crude and natural gas pipelines, according to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority

Cleaning up the more than 20,000 barrels — or 865,200 gallons — will cost about $20.6 million and is expected to take another 12 to 18 months, Tesoro spokeswoman Tina Barbee said.

Pipelines leak. The Keystone XL pipe will make more than 200 stream crossings within Montana. The line will carry toxic tar sands oil. The oil does not float on the surface like light crude. It sinks to the bottom of the river and there is no effective method for cleaning up tar sands crude from water. If you think that the completion of one more pipeline carrying oil that will be shipped to Asia and not even be refined in the U.S. will solve our spill problems, you may want to rethink your priorities.

Today, more than 1.5 million miles of natural gas pipeline pass beneath city streets, highways, parkland, and waterways — and more than 100,000 miles of that was added just between 2002 and 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Oil pipelines are booming, too, with 25,000 miles added to a 190,000-mile network in the last decade.

2 Responses

  1. Good to see you back.

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