Pipeline explosions rock Texas

A natural gas pipeline exploded June 8 near the town of Darrouzett in the Texas Panhandle’s Lipscomb County, killing two construction workers and injuring three others. The men were working for a contracting company hauling caliche when a bulldozer struck the pipeline. Fire trucks responded from a number of nearby counties, including from across the state line in Oklahoma. A video of the site showed a blackened patch of grassland hundreds of feet in diameter, with the smoldering carcasses of three 18-wheel trucks, a van, a flatbed truck and two tractors.

The explosion came a day after an underground gas pipeline in Cleburne, Johnson County, south of Dallas, burst into flames as construction work was being carried out nearby. One person was killed, and a number of others injured. The Texas Railroad Commission is investigating whether pipeline owner Enterprise Product Partners of Houston properly marked the gas pipeline in the Cleburne incident. (UPI, June 9; CNN, June 8)

We have already noted the internal colonization of Texas by the gas companies.

See our last post on petro-oligarchical rule.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. Utah pipeline break fouls geese, ducks
    From MSNBC, June 12:

    SALT LAKE CITY — A leaked pipeline sent oil spilling into a Salt Lake City creek, coating geese and ducks and closing a park, officials said Saturday as they started a cleanup effort expected to last weeks.

    At least 400 to 500 barrels of oil spewed into Red Butte Creek before crews capped the leak site. Nearly 50 gallons of crude oil per minute initially had spilled into the creek, according to Scott Freitag, a Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman.

    “Our real concern is keeping people safe, and keeping the oil from reaching the Great Salt Lake,” he told the Deseret News.

    From CNN, Jun 13:

    Lightning apparently caused a major fire at a gas company in North Carolina early Sunday morning, authorities said. The blaze started at Colonial Pipeline Company in Greensboro at about 1 a.m. ET, fire officials told CNN affiliate WFMY.

    A pipe with 20,000 gallons of gas was burning, the affiliate reported. The blaze caused the closure of a portion of Interstate 40, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said.

  2. …and now San Bruno
    San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 11:

    In the tragic aftermath of one of the worst disasters in PG&E’s history, the death toll in the huge fireball that torched a San Bruno hillside community climbed to four Friday as fire crews finished their search for bodies in the smoking rubble and scrutiny intensified on what caused Thursday’s natural gas line explosion.

    The wide swath of destruction turned Crestmoor Canyon into a moonscape with collapsed homes — 37 destroyed and eight seriously damaged—burned eucalyptus trees and a massive water-filled crater marking the site of the explosion—50 feet wide and 40 feet deep.

    “The fire burned everything—it’s down to the ground in some places,” San Bruno Fire Chief Dennis Haag said. “It’s pretty amazing. I’ve been in this service for 31 years. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s devastating.”

    …In a horrible coincidence, one of the victims, Greig, was a longtime analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission, the very agency that regulates PG&E. The PUC notified its staff on Friday of her death in an e-mail. She was also a member of the natural gas committee on the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

  3. “Top kill” on the Susquehanna
    From Reuters, April 21:

    Chesapeake Energy suspended the use of a controversial natural-gas production technique in Pennsylvania on Thursday as it worked to contain a well blowout that spilled toxic fluid into a local waterway.

    Chesapeake, one of the state’s biggest shale gas producers, will use a mix of plastic, ground-up tires and heavy mud to plug the well – an operation that echoes BP’s “top kill” effort to seal its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well last year.

    The company said it still did not know the cause of the blowout a day and a half after it occurred.

    The accident in northeastern Pennsylvania has stoked an already fierce debate in the United States over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”—a process to release gas trapped in shale formations by blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into the rock.

    The local WBNG of Binghamton, NY, reports that Towanda Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, has been contaminated.