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4 comments

Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

Posted May 24, 2011 8:30 AM

The Department of Transportation is proposing regulations to enhance gas pipeline oversight and increase inspections after headline-making explosions occurred in Pennsylvania and California. The DOT's proposed plan is occurring despite the number of pipeline accidents causing injury or death dropping by half in the last two decades. Is the DOTs increased oversight necessary?

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Guru

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Posts: 2162
Good Answers: 31
#1

Re: Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

05/24/2011 12:58 PM

I expect company documents related to the explosions would show short cuts being taken to save money.

If that can be shown then company officers should be heavily penalized with prison time - not the company but the individuals - that would go far toward safety. When the company has to take the hit too many of the bosses don't even care.

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Guru
Belgium - Member - New Member APIX Pilot Plant Design Project - Member - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Glabbeek, Belgium
Posts: 1370
Good Answers: 25
#2

Re: Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

05/25/2011 2:54 AM

frankly: No

but driving it round with trucks is way less save

the pipelines are simply the "safest" choice

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Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 116
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

05/25/2011 9:27 AM

the pipelines are simply the "safest" choice

Not in these times. Pipelines are a key terrorist target. From my USAF navigator training: Bomb a highway and the trucks will "route around", bomb a refinery and you have temporarily diminished capacity, bomb a pipeline and you have crippled the delivery system.

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 730
Good Answers: 70
#4

Re: Are Gas Pipelines Safe?

05/25/2011 10:36 AM

It seems to me that there is more than one issue here. The loss of life, injury, and property losses that accompany a blow out are tragedies. But if I remember correctly, in about 2002 a gas pipeline ruptured in New Mexico and killed a family of campers. But it also drastically reduced gas shipments to California, which was already in the middle of an 'industry sponsored' gas shortage (Enron, Ross Perrot, etc.). This pretty much turned a nasty bit of economic warfare into a disaster, costing the state billions of dollars, and causing them to trade one mediocre governor (Grey Davis) for another (the Governator). I believe poor maintenance was found to be the root cause. Also if I remember correctly during the BP gulf oil spill it emerged that they were already in trouble for a pipeline leak in Alaska, due to poor maintenance. One might begin to suspect that some folks in the energy industry are more concerned with the money side of the business than with the nuts and bolts.

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