Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Bloomberg News reported last week that U.S. pipeline operators are requesting oil producers to cut back on production — a “clear sign” that the oil market is reaching a breaking point when the amount of crude oil is at capacity in storage tanks and pipelines due to the oil glut caused by the global price war. Meanwhile, the Governors of Kentucky, West Virginia and South Dakota recently signed laws effectively making it a crime to protest a pipeline — imposing stiff fines and penalties for anyone causing “damage, destruction, vandalization, defacing or tampering” to pipelines because they are deemed to be “critical infrastructure.”
Why This Matters: Oil pipelines have long been a flashpoint because of their poor safety record and risk of spills that can have devastating impacts. And the Trump Administration, using the virus as a rationale, has suspended enforcing pipeline safety rules on key things like operator qualifications and control room management. So in sum, when the pipeline system is full of oil and on the verge of overflowing, safety rules are not being enforced. Great. What will be enforced? The laws making it a crime to protest about a pipeline’s lack of safety.
Pipelines Have a Poor Safety Record
The reason why pipelines are the subject of so much protest and opposition is their poor safety record. The Center for Biological Diversity published a report in 2013 documenting the poor safety performance by pipeline operators — the results were striking. They found that between 1986-2013, there were “nearly 8,000 incidents (nearly 300 per year on average), resulting in more than 500 deaths (red dots on the video), more than 2,300 injuries (yellow dots on the video), and nearly $7 billion in damage. Since 1986 pipeline accidents have spilled an average of 76,000 barrels per year or more than 3 million gallons. This is equivalent to 200 barrels every day.”
Conservative States Cracking Down on Protesting
In the name of protecting “critical infrastructure,” Greenpeace arguesin Ecowatch that the push to criminalize anti-fossil fuel protests is part of a broader effort to target protesters and their typical civil disobedience tactics of boycotts, strikes and blocking traffic. These anti-protesting laws are not really aimed at making the pipelines safer — according to Greenpeace, “These laws do nothing new to protect communities. Instead they seek to crack down on the sort of nonviolent civil disobedience that has shaped much of our nation’s greatest political and social victories.”
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Cities across the US are transitioning their buildings to clean energy, which would mean banning natural gas in new construction and promoting electric appliances. But the question remains whether or not infrastructure — foundational and historic — is ready to handle such a demand for electricity. Why this […]
As more people around the nation are taking to the roads and skies for their vaccinated vacations, one car rental company is making it easier for folks to not only travel in style, but travel green. Hertz has announced that it will be purchasing 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles by the end of 2022 alongside an […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last year, the average American household experienced eight hours without power, as storms hammered electrical systems built with less erratic climate conditions in mind. That average outage time is double what it was five years ago. But only looking at the average obscures the experience of people who lived […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.