Monday, March 16, 2015

To Demand an 'Impregnable Pipeline' is to End Pipelines

The following comment was left regarding New Jersey Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine’s Chris Christie should address the oily logic of pipeline opponents. Mulshine highlighted the hypocrisy of NJ’s NIMBY (not -in-my-back-yard) opponents of the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline, which would carry liquid petroleum products across Northern NJ.

Mr.Splunge posted:

“At some point, it will be economically unfeasible to construct an impregnable pipeline.”

My reply:

No industrial project can be truly “impregnable”; i.e., achieve perfect safety and zero risk. If perfection is the standard, we’d have no energy to run water purification and delivery systems.

There are currently about 185,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines, 320,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines, and two million miles of gas distribution pipelines in operation in America. Yet, there is no clean water problem in America.

Clearly, pipelines and clean water can and do coexist. More to the point, these pipelines deliver the vital energy that powers our water purification and delivery systems. Without this energy, our “water supplies” would remain just so much inaccessible ground water rather than turned into the clean water conveniently available at the twist of a knob in our homes.

While many older pipelines are vulnerable to breakdowns, new pipelines represent state-of-the-art technologies, making them safer than ever. But if it’s 100% safety guarantees you’re demanding, you’re demanding omniscience and infallibility, two attributes impossible to man. On that premise, man’s first advance from the cave—the harnessing of fire—would never have happened.

Related Reading:

Reject the Green Agenda in 2015

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