In one word:
There is nothing more terrifying than an explosion that comes out of nowhere and maims or kills you. With the horrific tragedy of a natural gas pipeline explosion that happened in Pennsylvania recently I have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to dig holes in the ground to add natural gas pipelines.
Obviously, the “standards” are either not being adhered to or the people putting the pipelines into the ground (the big gas companies and their employees) don’t give a rat’s bum about keeping the environment safe once they are done burying the pipes.
Some Recent Incidents
My first moment of real concern was the gas leak in Porter Ranch, California. That was detrimental to the area because of the contamination seeping into the ground and wafting into the air. That was bad enough. No one lost their life or was injured …yet. Who knows what the consequences will be years down the line for the citizens? I shudder to think of it.
But the natural gas pipeline explosion in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania was devastating, even if one man was only burned severely and did not die. (Only? I hate to say it like that, but it could have been much worse if more residents had all been home.) To see pictures of the leveled terrain and the burned home that was within the blast zone makes me sick and frightened.
Devastating Consequences of Natural Gas Pipelines
New Jersey Natural Gas wants to place such a hazardous natural gas pipeline in the area I live. If an explosion were to occur at the point nearest to my home, my rabbits would be dead and I would not have a home to live in because it would be severely damaged and made uninhabitable. And I am not even within the so-called blast zone. This is the nightmare I would be living every day should the project be allowed to go through.
Okay, call me paranoid. I don’t care.
I care about myself, my rabbits, the local wildlife, the local vegetation, my neighbors and their pets, my drinking water, the air that I breathe, and a whole lot of others things too numerous to mention. This is my home. I grew up in Northern Burlington County. I have spent most of my life here in this particular area.
To see it blown to smithereens because some asshole company wants to make oodles of profit, local citizens be damned, is appalling. I guess the money to be paid out for the lives lost and property destroyed is a small risk to them. A drop in the proverbial bucket. Idiots!
It’s Not “For the People”
Greedy companies should not be allowed to dictate the safety of the residents of an area that will not even be serviced by this pipeline. It has already been established that the pipeline will produce excess gas that will no doubt be shipped elsewhere. There is no need for a redundant line.
A kicker in this (that I find funny in a cynical way) is that New Jersey Natural Gas is already proposing a 24% rate hike that will pre-pay for the natural gas pipeline when they stated previously that if anything, it would reduce their customers’ bills.
Another contention I have is that Governor Chris Christie refuses to allow a wind farm that would produce safe, renewable energy to be placed off the coast of New Jersey because he seems to have his hands firmly placed in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. He’s bad for New Jersey (and would have been even worse for the United States of America had he continued his race for the presidency). I’m sorry. Get your head out of the tar sands and see what you are doing to the people that elected you (as well as those that were intelligent enough not to). We are the citizens that you swore to protect!
For those of you clinging to how “wonderful” this project would be, the falsehood that it will bring in local jobs was proven to be false by past projects where photos have been taken of employees’ license plates showing they come from Oklahoma and other states.
It’s All in the Science
Do the science: highly pressurized explosive material x 30 inch pipe with a even a tiny leak x some sort of spark* = devastating BOOM!!
Are you still willing to take the risk? You might not care about the people or wildlife around you. But I’ll take a bet you care about your own well being. Right? It’s going to suck if you are dead, sick from the noxious fumes or contaminated water, or develop some form of cancer that was caused by the effects of an exploded natural gas pipeline. Right?
We need to stop allowing the installation of natural gas pipelines. There are environmentally safer options that are in use and being developed.
*This spark could theoretically be from the pipe vibrating against a rock if there is a small tremor (ie. nearby fracking). It doesn’t have to be some poor schmuck dropping a lit cigarette into a geyser of liquid gas.
Many thanks to R.M. for clarifying the scientific details of how explosions work.