The Washington Post reports that on Thursday morning November 16, 2017, the Keystone Pipeline leaked, spilling 210,000 gallons of oil southeast of the small town of Amherst in northeast South Dakota. “The spill comes just days before a crucial decision next Monday by the Public Service Commission in Nebraska over whether to grant a permit for a new, long-delayed sister pipeline called Keystone XL, which has been mired in controversy for several years. Both are owned by Calgary-based TransCanada. The spill on the first Keystone pipeline is the latest in a series of leaks that critics of the new pipeline say shows that TransCanada should not receive another permit.”
Imagine this from the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline into Virginia waters and wetlands. We hope DEQ is paying attention!
The cover story in the C-ville issue for September 6-12, 2017, Dividing Line: the ACP Will Change the Lay of Our Land, is a lengthy and carefully researched article on ways in which the proposed ACP, despite assertions to the contrary by Dominion and Duke Energy, would change forever the lay of the land along its route. The article includes extended interviews with Richard Averitt, Nancy and David Schwiesow of Wintergreen, and Ernie Reed, along with comments by C-ville Rising’s Lee White and pipeline supporter Carlton Ballowe. There are photographs and a large map, plus a set of questions, each answered (quite differently, as one might imagine!) by both Dominion’s Aaron Ruby and Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Greg Buppert.
Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners is a lengthy and well-researched NPR Morning Edition piece, the result of a six-month investigation into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its handling of the gas pipeline building boom. The report discusses the multiple pipelines proposed in the last several years (including the MVP and ACP), the dysfunctionality of FERC, the push by energy companies, and the push-back by pipeline opponents. The story was researched, written, and produced by the Center for Public Integrity, joining with StateImpact Pennsylvania and NPR.
StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaboration between WITF and WHYY, and covers the fiscal and environmental impact of Pennsylvania’s booming energy economy, with a focus on Marcellus Shale drilling – and Marcellus Shale drilling is what brings us the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis and is one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations.
A new video from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is about the threat the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline poses to the Appalachian Trail, to water resources, and to jobs. The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline poses exactly the same threats to the area in its path.
In this June 20, 2017, Roanoke Times commentary by Tina Smusz, a retired medical practitioner and assistant professor of medicine who volunteers full-time addressing environmental threats to the Roanoke and New River Valleys comments on a May 28, 2017 opinion piece by Shawn Posey, Senior Vice President for Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction & Engineering, on “MVP’s commitment to safety and natural resources.”
Smusz writes that, “Mr. Posey neglected to detail the harmful (and permanent) effects expected to water, arguably our most important natural resource” and discusses all the ways in which the MVP threatens the water supply of the immediate and wider area. She notes that Posey did not address safety at all, specifically the threats from “toxins associated with construction, operation and maintenance of this high pressure pipeline,” including insecticides, carcinogenic compounds, methane, and radioactive sediment left in pipes because methane used in fracking contains high levels of radon which leads to radioactive deposits in the pipe.
“Finally, Mr. Posey did not reveal the fact that ALL pipelines leak. The EPA acknowledged in 2012 that pipeline leaks accounted for more than 10 percent of total methane emissions from U.S. natural gas systems.” Recent studies show rising leakage rates and also show “transmission lines installed in the 2010s are failing at a significantly higher rate than those installed in earlier decades, including the 1940s.”
We are sure Dominion’s Aaron Ruby would present the same rosy picture of pipelines as Posey did, ignoring exactly the same harmful and permanent effects that Posey ignored.