Lots of people have emailed me about this but I haven’t had a chance until now.
Remeber what I learned at the PSYOPS conference:
How can we lower the bar of the public’s expectations associated with the reality of mistakes LISTEN
My notes from the PSYOPS conference:
43:43 Question from moderator: Bar is set so high by the public. “Energy production is a contact sport. It’s like going to a football game and not expecting–ever–a player to be left on the field, pardon me, but a graphic hit. Add to that, it’s a combustible sport, that’s why we want the energy–because it catches fire—and I’m wondering if there’s anything we can do with that context, any way to draw analogy of it so as to lower the bar and associate it with mistakes. It’s a physics based reality that mistakes happen and … be able to hear that. So any thoughts on context in providing the realities associated with human error and other forces that cause mistakes and getting the facts out there almost lessening the demoninator.”
Translation: How can we lower the bar and make it okay that we blow people up sometimes?
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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So please tell me again, WHY is it safe to run these large lines just a few feet from front doors? Correct me if I’m wrong, but maybe Don could verify, isn’t Ft. Worth considering an SUP to put these lines UNDER homes, lower income housing if my memory serves me right. I’m just glad no one was killed. What is the magic # of collateral damage before we get protection?
There is PIPA:
It’s unwise to put major pipelines near schools, hospitals, etc. But, this is volutary, and O&G gahtering/production companies don’t seem to know PIPA exists.
The not so bright idea to “lower the bar” won’t fare well when angry people’s calls & emails flood lawmakers offices. A number of lawmakers get interested in stricter laws when a pipeline or other energy facility blows up, or massively pollutes their area. The conservative John McCain sure got interested in 2003, when a pipeline failure in Tucson sprayed homes with gasoline & doubled gasoline prices, since the line had serious integrity “issues”, and had to be shut down for major repairs. At least the homes were under construction, & not occupied, but they still were so saturated they had to be torn down. It’s a miracle they didn’t catch fire.
Well, speak of the (red API?) Devil. This showed up today:
“It’s inevitable that as pipelines age, as they are exposed to the elements, eventually they are going to spill,” said Tony Iallonardo of the National Wildlife Federation. “They’re ticking time bombs.”
“Not all old pipelines are doomed to fail, but time is a big contributor to corrosion, a leading cause of pipeline failure. Corrosion has caused between 15 and 20 percent of all reported “significant incidents”, which is bureaucratic parlance for an incident that resulted in a death, injury or extensive property damage. That’s over 1,400 incidents since 1986.”
To say nothing of wells, compressors, tank batteries, dehydrators, etc.
While this pipeline fiasco was getting attention, another pipeline incident was brewing in NJ. First, residents smelled gasoline on Saturday, but the source was unknown:
On Monday, investigators finally found the source of the leak as being a pipeline:
“He said the leak was small enough to escape detection by the company’s pressure monitors, and that the company was notified of the leak.”
Feel better about pipeline leaks always being seen? Those produced water pipelines also leak, but how many production companies keep a good eye on them for leaks? A produced water spill can wreck havoc on plants, crops, livestock, pets, etc. So, you double your pipeline damage risks being around wells.
Well, well, ANOTHER recent likely pipeline incident. This one is likely gas gathering:
NRC Report ID: 1032918
Incident Time: 2012-12-11 08:00:00
Nearest City: Bossier City, LA
Location: PIPELINE SEGMENT 570431
Incident Type: PIPELINE
Material: NATURAL GAS
Medium Affected: WATER
Suspected Responsible Party: CHESAPEAKE OPERATING INC.
Lat/Long: 32.460556, -93.545833 (Explicit)
CALLER STATED THERE IS A LEAK OF NATURAL GAS FROM A 10 INCH STEEL PIPELINE DUE TO UNKNOWN CAUSES.
Thank you, GB. In light of the massive gas gathering pipeline system going in near our neighborhoods in SW Dallas County, TX as we speak…and in light of information we have learned about it…and in light of…oh, never mind. Happy Holidays.
”I’ll be burned alive”: Woman rescued from pipeline blaze
Someone want to tell her that lowering the safety bar is OK?
TransCanada & other pipeline companies say they will be able to see leaks instantly with SCADA. It didn’t happen in WV:
“CHARLESTON, W.Va. — No alarms went off in Columbia Gas Transmission’s Charleston control room Tuesday afternoon, even as a massive explosion rocked one of the company’s natural gas pipelines 15 miles away, the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
Nor could Columbia quickly shut off the flow of gas fueling the nearby inferno, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday evening.
It took just over an hour for Columbia to manually stop the flow of gas to the pipe, even as fire roared through the hills, filled the sky and scorched the earth near Sissonville.”
Not seeing a major rupture (part of the pipe was ejected in the rupture), is one way to lower the safety bar!
You sure keep on top of all the pipeline stuff. I wonder what all the earthquakes do to the pipelines.
Oops! WV pipeline found to have serious wall thinning problems:
“In day two of the investigation into Tuesday’s natural gas pipeline explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board team is continuing to learn new things about the blast.
The 10 member NTSB team conducted a thorough examination of the explosion site Thursday and discovered a six foot section of pipe that had areas where the wall thickness was very thin.
“Along these areas where the pipe wall thinning was noticed, the thickness of the pipe was .078 inches thick,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt. “That’s less than a tenth of an inch .”
To put it in perspective, Sumwalt mention that in some of the areas of thinning, there was approximately a 70% loss in wall thickness.
At the time of Thursday night’s briefing, Sumwalt said their are many factors that could cause this thinning to occur and they were currently trying to figure that out.”
Pipelines are required by law to monitor for corrosion of all types. Internal & external corrosion have both caused fatal pipeline failures, but, at least the “we didn’t see it was that bad” Defense has not held up in Court cases, or with Regulators.