Saturday, September 26, 2015

Not much about planned pipeline makes good sense

Trying to stop a pipeline, one might say, is like trying to stop a tropical storm. You know it’s coming, and you can try and get ready for it. Of course the thing coming this way is trouble, right from the get-go. The fact that Kinder Morgan wants to send it through wetlands, and such fragile spaces, shows the desperation of the very notion.
Propane, a byproduct of natural gas processing, is in and of itself relatively clean; however, the method of capture of this gas is not. This gas comes right from the fracking fields, where the pollution and water waste are rampant.
But, of course, the oil barons know their days are numbered, and, are rushing their plans into production. It’s not because they have an endless supply of gas, that is for sure.
But what we have here, is just what they need out West.
A pipeline for water is what they want, right from our pristine aquifers to their thirsty deserts.
Seriously, though, the pipeline should not cross the Connecticut River, but remain somewhere along the Route 91 corridor, where there already is industry.
What about going along the rail corridor right up to Vernon, Vt., and re-animating the one-time nuclear power plant there to run on propane?
Hell, all the wires are still there. Of course there’s probably some reason why that wouldn’t work.
If Kinder Morgan somehow gets to play the eminent domain card, then we will probably be out of luck.
Best chance then, would be if the price of oil dropped so low as to make the whole pipeline project unfeasible economically.
Of course all the usual ways to save energy come into play. The bicycle-riding-skateboarder of tomorrow may find he can get a bit farther with wind and solar power than we have.
There’s more than one way to use the sun to give us power, especially now, with our thin ozone layer and hotter seasons.
As more and more people find ways to get further on less, as always, the need for fossil fuels will diminish.
As we learn more about the nature of electricity, superconductivity, we will get more out of a BTU.
Solar steam and solar batch systems, which provide 24-hour electricity from the sun, are the next generation.
It is likely there will be less call for the other fuels.
Also, as the cleaner burning engines of tomorrow are perfected, we will find that petroleum is best left in its original state, as a lubricant for the tectonic plates.
Whatever the reason, this pipeline business is a real non-starter, if you ask me.
Instead of providing local jobs, like a more sustainable energy picture, most of these pipeline jobs will not go to local company workers but more likely to some subsidiary of the bigger conglomerate.
Better to cover our mountaintops with small-footprint wind farms and solar panel every rooftop than to run a dangerous pipeline through pristine wetlands.
Of course every solution has its problems.
No matter what, in the spirit of progress, you can be sure that when the new technology comes in the old will be abandoned.
After that, we will be left with a brownfield, desecrated, and ruined, for some temporary gain, while greedy capitalists reap a fortune at the expense of someone else. Again.
Our leaders should look long and hard into a mirror and ask themselves a simple question: What kind of world will we leave for the next generations?

Marcus McCarroll


1 comment:

Glowing but not with radiation said...

While I agree with many of the author's points, I don't think that putting potentially explosive propane near a facility that may have spent nuclear fuel nearby is the safest plan.