Tagpipeline safety

TransCanada pipeline accident is one more reason why Keystone XL must be stopped


It’s getting hard to keep track of all the pipeline accidents, crude-oil-by-rail disasters and chemical spills that are taking place in North America — amid a surge in domestic energy production — without a scorecard. Here’s news of one natural-gas disaster that happened this week in Canada that should be getting a lot more attention in the United States: A natural gas...

Leaking pipelines or exploding rail cars — choose your Big Oil poison


There’s one thing that’s clear — when it comes to North America’s recent oil and gas boom, there’s no way that the average citizen can win. That’s especially true when it comes to the critical issue of how to transport those millions of barrels of oil and natural gas that are now being produced from the Canadian tar sands, from underneath the North Dakota...

As pipeline spills get worse, regulators are in bed with Big Oil


The website Midwest Energy News asks a very good question: When a ruptured pipeline spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into a North Dakota wheat field last month, a state health official said it was “the best place it could’ve occurred” — far from population centers and water supplies. But what if a similar spill occurs in the worst place? For better or worse, the year 2013 will be remembered as the...

“Secret” ND spill another reminder of Keystone XL risk


I’ve written here in the past that there are several very good — and very important — reasons for President Obama to oppose the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. That’s the project that would take dirty tar sands oil from once-pristine corners of western Canada, ship it by pipeline across major U.S. aquifers and rivers, and then transport this carbon-intensive fuel to burn in...

Colorado flood is also a fracking disaster


Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard a lot of good reasons to be wary of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and natural gas deep under the earth: A rise in earthquakes, escaping methane that increases manmade global warming, tainted groundwater and toxic air pollution. By even by those dismal standards, something alarming is happening in the flood-ravaged state of...

Feds turn to YouTube to beg for safer pipelines


When it comes to the future of oil and gas pipelines in America, we seem to be talking past one another. With production of North American oil and natural gas skyrocketing, thanks to unconventional techniques such as fracking as well as exploitation of Canadian tar sands, Big Oil needs ways to get all that product to market. That’s led to increased use of rail — and also more rail...

Tragedy in Quebec and the consequences of oil addiction


There was a new environmental tragedy this weekend — and it came with a twist. A train that was hauling tanker cars laden with oil produced in the booming Bakken fields in North Dakota and bound for refineries in Eastern Canada broke loose and crashed into a small town in Quebec near its border with Maine, unleashing an ungoldy amount of death and destruction: LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP)...

ExxonMobil nightmare grows as Ark. residents report illnesses


 It just keeps on getting worse for ExxonMobil and its major oil pipeline spill in Mayflower, Ark.  This week, officials were bracing for a major storm that threatened to send more of the spilled oil from the Canadian tar sands into nearby Lake Conway — a major, environmentally sensitive waterway: Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says he’s concerned about the effect heavy...

Arkansas pipeline disaster a foreshadowing of Keystone XL nightmare?


The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline — which would take millions of barrels of oil extracted from the tar sands of Canada and ship them to refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast (where a lot would be shipped overseas, ironically) — has evolved over the last couple of years. At first, the worry was massive oil spills on U.S. soil, especially atop the environmentally...

With Keystone XL on hold (for now), bad pipelines still threaten America


At least politically, it’s been relatively quiet on the Keystone XL pipeline front lately. With the presidential election little more than two weeks away, it’s not surprising that the candidates don’t want to stir things up on such a hot button issue. Meanwhile, protestors have been fighting to block a southern section of the massive Canada-to-the-Gulf-of-Mexico pipeline...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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