TransCanada, Whose Pipeline Just Exploded, Wants Feds' Help to Beat Green Groups
Facing mounting protests and lawsuits from environmental groups and property owners, backers of the natural gas pipeline industry are seeking help from the U.S. government to help push their projects through, Reuters reported.
"It's definitely not getting easier to build a new pipeline," Stanley Chapman, executive vice president and president of U.S. natural gas pipelines at TransCanada Corp, told the news service at the World Gas Conference in Washington.
"I'm seeing more already-approved pipeline projects that are under construction get held up by a judge in lawsuits and this has to be addressed either by FERC or with legislation," he added, referring to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees construction of new pipelines.
Followers of the Keep It In The Ground movement would say that the best means of fossil fuel transportation is none. Environmentalists oppose oil and natural gas pipelines over fears of air and water pollution, as well as its impact on climate-warming emissions.
Reuters further reported:
In recent weeks, environmental groups like the Sierra Club have won court orders delaying construction on EQT Midstream Partners LP's Mountain Valley pipeline at several locations in West Virginia, and are now seeking a court order to also stop construction in Virginia.
"We don't need these pipelines to meet our energy needs, so it makes no sense to lock us into generations of dependence on dirty fossil fuels," said Joan Walker, who helps lead the Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign.
Natural gas has become America's primary fuel to generate electricity, displacing coal. The energy industry has touted natural gas as the "cleanest" fossil fuel and a means to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, a recent study found that U.S. oil and natural gas operations release 60 percent more planet-warming methane than currently estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This suggests that ramping up shale gas production could be a real climate problem over time.
Calgary-based TransCanada owns about 30,000 miles of gas pipelines in the U.S. Earlier this month, its new Leach XPress pipeline—which only started service in January—exploded in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County in West Virginia.
TransCanada's crude oil pipelines have been at the center of environmental ire, especially its existing Keystone and the controversial Keystone XL, which President Donald Trump pushed forward last year through an executive order, overturning President Obama's rejection of the project.
The Keystone pipeline has already leaked a significant amount of oil three times in less than seven years. Since the 2,147-mile pipeline began operating in 2010, it has gushed 9,700 barrels in November in Marshall County, South Dakota, and about 400 barrels each in Hutchinson County, South Dakota in 2016 and in Sargent County, North Dakota in 2011.
Other energy executives are also feeling the heat from pipeline opposition, including Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge Inc. that owns more than 27,000 miles of gas transmission lines in North America.
"Fifteen years ago nobody cared that much about pipelines, today pipelines are under siege," Monaco told Reuters.
Incidentally, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission just approved a rebuild of Enbridge's Line 3 oil pipeline over vehement opposition from environmental activists and Native American groups.
By Kate Murphy
No matter the time of year, there's always a point in each season when my skin decides to cause me issues. While these skin issues can vary, I find the most common issues to be dryness, acne and redness.
David Woodfall / The Image Bank / Getty Images
By Sam Nickerson
Now, correspondence obtained by the LA Times revealed just how deeply involved industry lobbyists and a controversial, industry-funded toxicologist were in drafting the federal agency's proposal to scrap its current, protective approach to regulating toxin exposure.
February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.
Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.
By Dan Nosowitz
That video showed the extrusion of a bubblegum-pink substance oozing into a coiled pile, something between Play-Doh, sausage and soft-serve strawberry ice cream. Branded "pink slime"—the name came from an email sent by a USDA microbiologist in 2002—this stuff was actually beef, destined for supermarkets and fast-food burgers.
'Kicking Ass for Her Generation': Applause for 16-Year-Old Greta Thunberg as EU Chief Pledges Billions to Curb Climate Threat
By Julia Conley
Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged a quarter of $1 trillion budget over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.
In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.