Saturday, May 18, 2013

The call for Congressional Hearings on Pipeline Safety, LNG exports, and other Big Dirty Energy Projects

I have just joined the SafePipelines list, and my first posting was rejected.
The moderator is Carl Weimer of the Pipeline Safety Trust.
He responded. Here is my response.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Huston
Date: Sat, May 18, 2013 at 7:16 PM
Subject: The call for Congressional Hearings on Pipeline Safety, LNG exports, and other Big Dirty Energy Projects

Thanks Carl.

Just a couple of comments, which I hope you see fit to publish
to allow discussion.

My posting had to do with compressor station safety, and since compressor stations
are associated with natural gas pipelines, I assumed this was on-topic for this list.

I am not used to moderation/censorship of on-topic postings.

What you are calling a "bulk, activist email" was in fact an URGENT CALL FOR HELP.

I'm not sure you understand the scale of the catastrophe which is
unfolding here. Let me try to explain:

I live in Binghamton NY. My family is from Bradford County PA.
Just south of here is Susquehanna County PA. 

Having grown up on S. Jersey chlorinated water, at 5 y/o (45 years ago)
I discovered Bradford County PA used to have the most delicious water
I had ever tasted. We used to take bottles of it home with us to drink.

Now, this region is becoming the new Love Canal, only covering an area
of HUNDREDS of sq miles. PIPELINES everywhere, Compressor stations
everywhere. Mini-gas refineries all over the county venting HUNDREDS OF TONS
of CO2, NOX, VOCs and other nasties into the AIR WE BREATHE.

The same with Susquehanna County. This picture-postcard beautiful,
rural, pastoral landscape is being DESTROYED
. I do not use these
words lightly.

Our Commonwealth is being DESTROYED by the energy extraction industry
which is fracking the landscape beyond recognition. There are 400 families
in Washington County PA on replacement water. There are 40 DEP determination
letters from Bradford County showing water contamination from private water wells
due to gas drilling.

Our forests are being destroyed by well pads, compressor stations, quarries
(to support industry), access roads, and pipelines.

Williams Company has had 3 major incidents of fires and explosions
within 30 miles of Binghamton within the last 24 months.

IN ADDITION, the local government has been completely captured by industry.
Locals have been appealing to their local and state government for help with no response.

People so desperate they do not know who to call. They are asking the FBI
to come in and investigate corruption.

The facility which just exploded in Brooklyn, Susquehanna County PA, a massive 54 acre site
was constructed BEFORE the proper permits in place. Additionally, while it is being
designed to be the start of the massive "Constitution Pipeline", Williams Company segmented
the project and applied for PA state permits to avoid FERC oversight. This is just the beginning
of volumes of funny-business relating to gas extraction from PA.

I have no idea what "clear errors of fact".
Of course the Yellowstone spill was dilbit from
Alberta tar sands. I never claimed otherwise. 
Please explain further about my errors of fact.

You single out that the NRC is inappropriate as not having jurisdiction.
However, you neglected to mention there was a call to action to ask for
a multi-agency response and investigation into the safety record of Williams,
including FERC, PHMSA, and DOE, and a call for a Congressional investigation
into pipeline safety, energy infrastructure buildout, and LNG exports.

I have been following pipeline infrastructure buildout in our region
and nationally. I have a collection of maps here:

Here is one map of my region:

What as become clear to me as I have assembled these maps is this:
SOMEWHERE there is a master plan.

Where one pipeline ends (built and operated by Company-A.)
another pipeline begins (built and operated by Company-B.)

Company-A and Company-B seem to be working together:
  • Start at the Millennum Pipeline near Owego (NiSource, DTE, Keyspan)
  • Head down the N-S line (Inergy LLC)
  • Until you hit the Tennessee TGP (Kinder Morgan)
  • Head down the Marc-1 (Inergy)
  • to the Transco (Williams).
  • Then down the proposed Commonwealth line (Inergy, UGI, WGL)
    to very close to the proposed LNG export facility at Cove Pt. MD.
Here is my point--

These big energy infrastructure projects are not supposed to be segmented
under environmental law, so WE the PEOPLE, who theoretically
are in charge of our government, can see the full scale of the impacts.

However, these decisions seem to be happening in secret meetings
between these big players. We the People suffer the impacts,
yet we apparently do not have a seat at the table in the decision-making process.

Additionally, the regulatory agencies like FERC, PHMSA/DOE, EPA etc,
treat each project independently, without studying cumulative impcats.

Another kind of segmentation which I have seen commonly is with
compressor stations. Compressor stations for big interstate transmission lines
like the Constitution under FERC jurisdiction, are permitted under
less-stringent state permitting process.

While this list is ostensibly focused on pipeline safety, in fact there
are many threats to our communities due to energy extraction.
  • FOUR major spills of tar-sands dilbit in 24 months.

  • A few dozen major explosions of natural gas pipelines,
    storage, and compressor stations

  • Mountaintop removal continues destroying the landscape

  • Deep Ocean drilling continues despite that the worst oil spill
    in US history just happened 3 years ago.

  • Fracking is draining, removing, destroying, and polluting water
    on a massive scale, on the order of 10 Billion Gallons so far,
    the size of the entire Finger Lakes Watershed. This water
    will never return to the hydrological cycle. WE HAVE NO IDEA
    the long term impacts of this.

    WORST CASE? Desertification on a massive scale, turning
    perhaps 25% of the us into a drought-stricken dead zone for 500 years.

  • There are now TWO permitted LNG export facilities, with another 22
    in process. All this time, the gas industry is feeding us multi-million
    dollar PROPAGANDA campaigns on every channel
    tell us a
    BULLSHIT story that we need to allow fracking for US ENERGY INDEPENDENCE

  • The energy companies have completely captured the Pennsylvania government,
    from the most local level, to Harrisburg.

  • By some miracle, NY has yet to be fracked, there has been many scandals regarding
    industry collusion and manipulation of the regulatory process, where in many cases,
    the industry being regulated WROTE THE REGULATIONS THEMSELVES!

  • The US Forest Service has allowed the Allegheny National Forest to be fracked
    and segmented WITHOUT a national discussion of the DESTRUCTION of this
    national treasure. Now the George Washington National Forest is on the short list.

    In addition to these HIGH CRIMES (destroying our national commonwealth
    for private gain), the US Forest Service has been threatening artists with
    PRISON for remixing the image of Smokey the Bear with an anti-fracking message.

There are many of us fighting separate LOCAL battles all over the country,
and mostly we are losing.

We are asking for CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS on all of these issues
while this Congress is still in session. We need a national spotlight on
how the energy industry is destroying America and selling us a PR coverstory
via the captured commercial media.

Even NPR thinks Gas is Great!

We are in CRISIS. We are at a tipping point for Climate Change.
CO2 has hit 400 ppm for the first time in 400,000 years!!!

As Dr. Sandra Steingraber says: "It's time to play the Save the World Symphony. "

Please distribute this to your list.
Thank you.

Here is the original censored email:

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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