Gas explosions for profit or bombs for ideology. One good. One very very bad. People still dead. Threat still there. How to choose, how to choose . . . XL baby, XL!

Today, Upworthy brings us a video by activists opposed to the construction of a fracked gas pipeline under the West Side of Manhattan. It includes footage from a PG&E gasline explosion at a similar installation in San Bruno CA. In 2010. Eight dead. 38 Homes leveled. It happened two miles west of San Francisco International Airport. And I never hard of it before. Pipe-from-Sanbruno-explosionDid you? From Wikipedia:

In January 2011, federal investigators reported that they found numerous defective welds in the pipeline.  . .  . On January 13, 2012, an independent audit from the State of California issued a report stating that PG&E had illegally diverted over $100 million from a fund used for safety operations, and instead used it for executive compensation and bonuses.

It’s an all too familiar story.

This graphic shows the blast zone that would be created if an explosion similar to the one that occurred in San Bruno, CA, last year were to happen in Manhattan at the location of the natural gas pipeline proposed for the city by Spectra Energy.

This graphic shows the blast zone that would be created if an explosion similar to the one that occurred in San Bruno, CA, last year were to happen in Manhattan at the location of the natural gas pipeline proposed for the city by Spectra Energy.

But back to New York, the city that never sleeps . . . the pipeline, already under construction, is the project of Spectra Energy. Were their project to suffer an explosion like San Bruno, or like the dozens of others that have happened around the world, it could kill tens of thousands, maybe maim hundreds of thousands, and might even take down the economy of NYC.  The Federal government is spending hundreds of billions, perhaps a trillion or more, to keep us ‘safe’ from terrorists. But developing alternate energy sources is too expensive.Here’s that video from Upworthy:

12 responses to “Gas explosions for profit or bombs for ideology. One good. One very very bad. People still dead. Threat still there. How to choose, how to choose . . . XL baby, XL!

  1. “And I never hard of it before.”

    I actually saw the fireball from the 101 that day as I drove past San Bruno. I definitely heard of it. I was there.

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    • Hey Sean! Nice to see you. It must have been amazing to see that – the story says the fireball went up 1000 feet and it registered on the Richter scale as well.

      I do forget things but I don’t remember hearing about that one at the time or since. And it was no small event. 8 dead is a lot.

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  2. I guess what you are saying is that corporate terrorism isn’t terrorism at all, it’s just business. So better keep us all distracted in Boston.

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    • Exactly right Donald. Distraction is their friend. Bread anc circuses, bread and circuses – a nice Big Mac and some Dancing with the Stars and all is okay. The world does what it wants.

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  3. As the son of a father who died of lung cancer I have long been sensitive to potential causes, including radon. We had a house with a basement for some 17 years and I ordered a radon detector to test it. The result was right at the margin of safety, so we made sure of good ventilation and limited our time down there. Now, hearing that fracked natural gas has the stuff is alarming to say the least. Radon is not combustible and it’s very dangerous, especially since it’s invisible, odorless and rather onerous and time-consuming to test for. I’m glad to say that our present house has an all-electric kitchen and no basement. Those of you who do have kitchen burners, a gas water heater in the house, or a basement, would be well advised to test regularly. Radon is, by the way, the densest of all gasses and sinks to the lowest levels in a structure.

    All that said, natural gas is here to stay – the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of the stuff. I strongly advise that people use it only in an externally-vented configuration.

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    • Most people don’t know what you know Jim, which is kind of scary as we are definitely are going ot be using more and more residential gas. I think a public education campaign would be in order.

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  4. I was unaware of the radon issue, so thanks for the update. I’m still inclined to think of more natural gas as the best way to reduce greenhouse gas, at politically acceptable cost. I think the President is mistaken not get more solidly behind this.

    I think pipeline safety is an issue that can be addressed separately from the use fracked gas. I suspect that utilities may be inclined to take these kinds of risk hoping they can ‘recover’ any losses from their customers.

    The San Bruno explosion was likely much less of a news item in Florida than the west coast.

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    • The concept of natural gas is great. The big problem is getting it out of the ground. That process poisons ground water, that we know. What we don’t yet know is what other ramifications the process has.

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  5. That blast zone graphic is scary. Fracking aside, the pipeline makes an enticing target.

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