If you haven’t seen this video about the 4 years spent investigating and reporting the Atmos coupler failings and the Texas Railroad Commission failure to protect public interest, click on over and watch it.
After nearly four years of investigation, neighborhoods are becoming safer places, and we are proud to say News 8 Investigates and reporter Brett Shipp have a hand in that.
Brett Shipp has spent years looking into natural gas couplings that were responsible for deadly home explosions.
His work has resulted in unprecedented action by the state.
In this special broadcast, we will tell you just how the investigation started, and how finally something is changing.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Brown Bess says
There is a qualitative difference between what Brett does and everyone else in the market, even at 8.
Brett Shipp's efforts and the lives he has saved as a result of his investigations are deserving of the highest praise!!
I sure do wish he could be in charge of the RRC. Maybe he would know how to keep a staff. No wonder no one answers when I call.
Texas Railroad Commission Phone Directory
I agree! He is head and shoulders above any other investigative reporter on TV.
Tim Ruggiero says
Unless you'd like to know what the chloride level is of your water, then don't waste you time with the TRRC. The TRRC is even more corrupt than the mafia-at least the mafia has a code of honor. The TRRC is riddled with corruption and has the ethics of a crack junkie. If you pay attention, you'll notice they often give the sme answers as the Industry. That means they are all reading from the same script.
The RRC is the ULTIMATE lapdog org.–and rotten to the core. They are 100% behind, for and in favor of big O&G/coal, etc. As an ordinary citizen, don't think, even for one milli-second that they will help you against Big Gas!
At Sunset review, I voiced my concern for drilling/fracking vibrations being permitted by the RRC while they are still replacing those compression couplings. This was their response..notic that the RRC feils they completed the task for the "known" locations. the other day a RRc staff member told me that they didn't know where all of them that need replacing are.
The Railroad Commission acknowledges the receipt of your e-mail. I can respond to your questions regarding compression couplings and steel service lines.
With respect to concerns about compression couplings, in March 2007, the Commission's Pipeline Safety Division launched a comprehensive survey of natural gas pipeline operators' use of compression couplings. The study results, released in February 2008, did not indicate a systematic safety problem with compression couplings in Texas. The major cause of pipeline damage incidents was (and still is) related to third-party damage (digging and excavation), which is not attributable to material failure.
In November 2007, the Railroad Commission ordered the removal of all compression couplings at known service riser locations. The removal and replacement had to be completed within two years, and was in fact completed in November 2009. In addition, Atmos Energy-Mid-Tex has instituted a program to replace steel service lines. As of mid-December 2010, Atmos has replaced more than 20,000 service lines.
The Commission is aggressively pursing the adoption of a rule that will require all Texas natural gas distribution companies to survey their pipeline distribution systems for the greatest potential threats for failure and make replacements. This proposed new rule would apply to all distribution facilities, not just steel service lines. The proposed rule was published in the September 10, 2010, issue of the Texas Register, at this link: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/September102010/PROPOSED/16.ECONOMIC%20REGULATION.html#32
Very truly yours,
Mary ("Polly") Ross McDonald
Acting Director, Pipeline Safety Division
Deputy General Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Railroad Commission of Texas
P. O. Box 12967
Austin, Texas 78711-2967