The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
7 Hospitalized After Pipeline Explosions in Texas
Seven people were injured and hospitalized after a series of natural gas pipeline explosions in Midland County, Texas on Wednesday, according to local media.
The operator of the pipeline in question is unknown at this time, Midland public information officer Elana Ladd said to the Midland Reporter-Telegram. She added that fire department personnel are allowing the remaining gas to burn off.
The incident occurred on a rural road, FM 1379. KWES reported that three total explosions occurred—the first at 11:30 a.m. After that fire was suppressed, a second and third explosion followed at 12:30 p.m. The cause is not yet known.
"They had a leak on the pipeline. Fire department responded to it. Midland Fire Department and Greenwood Fire Department. And while they were down there, they were fighting some grass fires along with it. Apparently something happened to the pipeline. We don't know what it is yet, because we can't get in there to look at it. But they had a failure within the pipeline itself and the first one exploded. Then they had two other small explosions, one medium and one small," Midland Fire Marshall Dale Little told CBS 7.
Initial reports said five people were injured from the explosions. Updated reports increased the number of injured people to seven. The seven were taken to the hospital with critical injuries, four with burns, according to CBS 7. One firefighter with the Greenwood Fire Department and another firefighter with Midland Fire Department were among the victims.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram posted an eye-witness' video footage of the fire that broke out.
Kinder Morgan told Reuters it isolated a portion of its El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline after being alerted of the fire near the line. One of its employees was injured and hospitalized, spokeswoman Sara Hughes said.
"There was a third-party pipeline involved that also experienced a failure, and preliminary indications are that the third-party line failure occurred before the EPNG line failure," Hughes told Reuters in an email.
She said the company is investigating the incident and evaluating any damages, adding that regulatory agencies and customers have been notified.
As EcoWatch wrote previously, production in the Permian shale field in western Texas has been booming. According IEA's Oil 2018 forecast, global oil production capacity is expected to grow by 6.4 million barrels a day (mb/d) to reach 107 mb/d by 2023. Much of that growth is led by the U.S. due to oil produced from fracking the Permian, where output is expected to double by 2023.
However, there is currently not enough pipeline capacity to retrieve Permian fuels, and that bottleneck has opened up opportunities for more pipeline development in the region. In June, Kinder Morgan's Texas subsidiary announced a $2 billion Permian pipeline to transport natural gas. Earlier that month, ExxonMobil and Plains All American Pipeline announced a joint pursuit to construct a multi-billion dollar pipeline that will transport more than 1 million barrels of crude oil and condensate per day from the basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Motley Fool also reported that Epic Midstream has proposed a 440,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) crude oil pipeline in the region, and so has Magellan Midstream Partners, which has proposed a 600,000 bpd pipeline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Climate change is having a grizzly effect on Mount Everest as melting snow and glaciers reveal some of the bodies of climbers who died trying to scale the world's highest peak.
The Navajo Nation have decided to stop pursuing the acquisition of a beleaguered coal-fired power plant in Arizona, locking in the plant to be taken offline and its associated coal mine to close later this year.
A Navajo Nation Council committee voted 11-9 last week to stop pursuing the purchase of the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station, which with the Kayenta coal mine provides more than 800 jobs to primarily Navajo and Hopi workers as well as tribal royalties.
A coalition of utilities that own the plant said in 2017 it would cease operations due to increased economic pressure, and the plant's future has proved a flash point for national and regional energy policy and raised larger questions on how Native communities will handle ties to fossil fuel industries as the economy changes.
For a deeper dive:
By Jeff Turrentine
Is it just us?
Other countries don't seem to have a problem getting their high-speed rail systems on track. This superfast, fuel-efficient form of mass transit is wildly popular throughout Asia and the European Union. Japan's sleek Shinkansen line, the busiest high-speed rail system in the world, carries an estimated 420,000 riders every weekday. In China, the new Fuxing Hao bullet train now hurries more than 100 million passengers a year between Beijing and Shanghai at a top speed of 218 miles an hour, allowing its riders to make the trip of 775 miles — roughly the distance from New York City to Chicago — in about four and a half hours. Spain, Germany and France together have more than 4,500 miles of track dedicated to high-speed rail, over which more than 150 million passengers travel annually.
By Coda Christopherson (11) and Lea Eiders (15)
Growing up in a plastic-free home, I was sheltered from the plastic waste crisis. I (Coda) went to a very progressive school that had vegan lunch items, farm animals and ran on solar power. My mom produces zero-waste events and my dad is a sailor, so we're very passionate about the ocean. When I was nine years old, we moved back to Manhattan Beach, California and I started 3rd grade in a public school. This was the first time I really understood that plastic-free living is not the norm; single-use plastics were everywhere, especially in the cafeteria. Once I recognized this problem, I knew I had to make a difference.
Henry Avocado issued the recall Saturday after a routine government inspection at its California packing facility turned up positive test results for the bacteria on "environmental samples," the company said in a statement. No illnesses have been reported.
Oil executives gathered for a conference laughed about their "unprecedented" access to Trump administration officials, according to a recording obtained by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
In the recording, taken at a June 2017 meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) at a Ritz-Carlton in Southern California, members expressed excitement about one official in particular: David Bernhardt, who had been nominated that April to be deputy secretary at the Department of Interior (DOI). Bernhardt would be confirmed the following month.
"We know him very well, and we have direct access to him, have conversations with him about issues ranging from federal land access to endangered species, to a lot of issues," IPAA political director Dan Naatz said in the recording.