Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stand up to this rigged system

As the pipeline story continues to unfold, it becomes more evident that while risks to health, water and air may primarily affect those living along the actual pipeline route in the southern tier of New Hampshire, other costs will be shared by the entire state.

Up until now, you might have thought you’d escaped the fate of those of us who live along the pipeline path. But you cannot dismiss this story without realizing the pipeline will affect everyone in the state. Kinder Morgan wants residents of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut to pay for the pipeline construction — somewhere in the $5 billion range. It is likely this will be approved by our state agencies at the behest of our governors and begin showing up as a charge on our bills from energy companies that sign up to use the piped fracked gas.

The governors of N.H. and Massachusetts look favorably on this funding scheme and it is likely to be approved by the N.H. Public Utilities Commission. Asking consumers to bear these risks is unconscionable; it turns the notion of capitalism on its head by socializing losses while privatizing gain.

Kinder Morgan would have nothing to lose if we pay for the pipeline and they reap profits derived from selling space on “their” transmission pipeline. If fracked gas plays run dry, if prices become too high, if climate temperatures continue to rise, if more people move to renewable sources of energy and there is less demand on our grid, what happens to our pipeline investment then?

What happens when less and less pipeline capacity is sold and the 30” — 36” pipe lies dormant, decaying in our backyards while we are all still paying for it in our energy bills? This scenario is not unrealistic given the fact that some energy experts are predicting peak shale gas by 2017. The cost of extracting fracked gas will become more expensive, making it less and less attractive as an energy source around the world. Energy companies are frantically attempting to build infrastructure to export and sell what they can get out of the shale plays as quickly as possible.
With ratepayers funding their pipelines, they lose nothing if we’re left with a useless infrastructure and all the stranded costs that go with it.

Over the past two years, Kinder Morgan spent more than $100,000 lobbying in New Hampshire. In 2014, it spent $50,000, more than any public interest, nonprofit or labor organization. The N.H. Secretary of State has failed to publish the mandatory lobbying disclosures for the second half of 2015. This means that long before our state leaders heard a word from their constituents about a proposed pipeline, they had already been contacted by lobbyists, arguing in support of the project.
These same lobbyists gave thousands of dollars to help fund lawmakers’ campaigns. While Kinder Morgan touts its policy of political neutrality by saying the company does not make any campaign contributions, many of its top executives do precisely that.

The only counter-weight to this rigged system is the voice of the people. If you don’t want to bear the cost of yet another boondoggle in the long history of bad investments made by Eversource; if you don’t think a private company should ask the public to bear the risks of its investments; if you don’t think New Hampshire stands much to gain from a gigantic investment in fossil fuels as we’re perched on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution; if you don’t buy the unsubstantiated and patently untrue claims that this pipeline will bring “cheaper energy costs” to ratepayers ... then please contact your governor, your Public Utilities Commission, your state and federal representatives. They all have websites soliciting feedback.

Tell them no pipeline, no subsidy.

Susan Levin Wessels


Anonymous said...

There are always groups opposing everything. it is insane. For those who oppose things, consider this.

1) Tree hugger? use plastic toilet paper. If you live in a house built with wood, buy a metal shed.

2) Opposed to stem cell research? Yeah, until you or your baby's life depend on it.

3) opposed to abortion? Ban it so the child can grow up being abused and without proper care.

4)You a big fan of PETA? Stop eating meat and unchain your dog who spends 365/7 lonely, cold, flea's and hungry.

5)Shut down Vermont Yankee and bitch about employment and energy cost.

6)Bitch about foreign oil and bitch about pipelines.

7)Complain about how things are run but remain silent and private, but talk a load on here.
8) This country is polluted with complainers, thats the problem with this country as it is.
9)Take Republican vs. Democrat. They oppose each other like it is a divided country. Instead of working as a team, they work against each other. It is like when law enforcement and the Military did not share intel, fighting the same adversary or cause. Sorry, but that is just plain stupid.
10) Same about the pipeline. You want energy but don;t want the infrastructure.
The Alaskan pipeline has served us well. Some times I think people do stupid shit like this to be accepted into social groups, who are weak and ignorant. I am not advocating for or against the pipeline, but those who are against it, have signs on their lawn opposing it know about as much of what they are talking about as they do about building alien spaceships. Ask people with signs on there lawns why they oppose and you get what amounts to uneducated babbel who heard it from some other armchair scientist. Work towards the good of progress, not ignorance. I will take a hit for this post by some local rocket scientist, but put them at the podium and give a detailed 60 minute lecture on the facts and they will fold like oragami.
I left a few typo's so some of you have something to pick apart without being to difficult to understand Right Lue,-sir?

the Winchester Informer said...

People complain for a reason, though I will give you that there are some who just like to hear the sound of their own voice; but most bitch because of some injustice or another and those entrusted to protect us ( everyone everywhere ), to enforce laws and/or oversee projects such as this one just do not do their jobs .. hence you have people bitching.

I like a good debate now and then and just love when people say that others haven't a clue about the subject they are discussing and just do things because, well, it's what others are doing and it's cool. Isn't that what you stated above?
Now I am no rocket scientist, nor have I ever claimed to be; but I am smarter than a 5th grader and know when something isn't right and because of big corporate money is getting shoved down people's throats at the expense of their homes, their way of life and that of their children's, not to mention being a real life hazard to drinking water, ground water in general, natural habitat for wildlife, our local services and people in general that may be forced to foot the bill ( all the expenses ) for the building of this pipeline. Now you may not give a crap about the environment ( tree huggers, huh? ) or other people in general ( your attitude throughout your comments ) but most decent, intelligent people can see for themselves, when they way the facts ( there are many ) that this is one project that needs everyone to stand up and fight.

First of all, this isn't the Alaskan Pipeline we're talking about, which is an oil pipeline, which by the way has had it's share of problems and leaks for several reasons including poor maintenance ( documented ). This is a highly volatile, under extreme pressure, flammable natural gas ( hence the burn zone references ). You do understand the difference, right? And there will be absolutely no benefit to towns, landowners, homeowners of any kind ( well, above board anyways ) by the building of this gas line, it's all for export. Sure, there are a few "gas" companies that have expressed a desire to get a hook up like the one in Keene that has almost blown the town sky high a couple of times already ( 3rd time the charm maybe? ) The company and it's gas cohorts ( intervenors from all over the country ) are trying to make a case that this is going to ease any high price of energy spikes once it's built and provide cheap energy for the region .. HOGWASH. It's being built for one reason and one reason only; to save a failing company ( check their earnings filings, they are going down the tubes )

Let's talk a bit about this company, Kinder Morgan. This company owns and controls nearly 84,000 miles of pipeline across the US and according to many reports has a really poor, hell, failing safety record which should be a major concern for the commissions that are weighing approval of this project. They don't care about their safety record, not their job ( goes to why people bitch )they say.

The minimum federal safety standards for the transportation of gas and pipeline facilities was established by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation pursuant to Section 3(b) of the National Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968
(P.L.90-481, 49 U.S.C. Section 1672(b). ( I have done my homework .. always do )

It is their job to weigh this evidence in any decisions they make; but they don't.

The following is going to be lengthy and I'm not sure if it's going to all fit into one post so I'll stop here and continue below ..

the Winchester Informer said...


One reason even though I do not live in the path of this pipeline that I am concerned for the town and people who are is the following..

Public documents allege that ruptures of KM pipelines, releases of hazardous product into the environment and numerous safety violations pertaining to their pipelines have occurred frequently and excessively. Such occurrences include but are not limited to the following:( still searching for additional reports )

1) In 2009 KM corporate defendants were cited by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in for violating safety standards pertaining to their pipelines (PHMSA letter of September 1, 2009).
2) In 2011 the PHMSA cited KM corporate defendants for various safety violations, including: failing to update maps to show pipeline locations, failing to test pipeline safety devices, failing to maintain proper firefighting equipment, failing to inspect its pipelines as required, and failing to adequately monitor pipe's corrosion levels (PHMSA letter of February 28, 2011).
3) History of neglect documented by The Wall Street Journal, in “Wall Street Worries about Kinder Morgan’s Safety Record: BC Pipeline slashes and defers maintenance spending,” September 19, 2013.
4) History of neglect further documented by The Wall Street Journal, in “Is Kinder Morgan Scrimping on its Pipelines?,” after an investment analyst determined that the company was starving its pipelines of routine maintenance by diverting excessive funds to investors, September 27, 2013.
5) Excessive history of leak data and ruptures of Kinder Morgan’s onshore gas transmission pipelines documented by PHMSA, 1994-2013, including determinations of faulty infrastructure, failure of the pipe, cracked welds, faulty pipeline equipment, corrosion of the pipe, and other problems.
6) In Texas alone, from 2003 to 2014, Kinder Morgan experienced 36 “significant incidents,” per Pipeline Risk Report of the PHMSA, “Building Safe Communities: Pipeline Risk and Its Application to Local Development Decisions.”
7) PHMSA reports that throughout the United States since 2003 Kinder Morgan and its subsidiaries have been responsible for at least 180 spills, evacuations, explosions, fires and fatalities in 24 states.
8) PHMSA Corrective Action OrderCPF No. 4-2003-1008H cites Kinder Morgan for an explosion, throwing a 54-foot long section of pipe 30 feet from the ditch, due to cracking along the length of the failed section.
9) Rupture of a KM 14 inch pipeline on April 27, 2004, in Solano County, California spilled over 120,000 gallons of fuel onto a marsh, resulting in a $5.3 million dollar fine, and an agreement by KM to enhance spill prevention, response and reporting practices.
10) Order of August 2005 by PHMSA cites 44 KM spills in 31 months, indicating “widespread failure to adequately detect and address the effects of outside force damage and corrosion."
11) California Occupational Safety and Health Administration cites KM for failure to accurately mark or map pipeline location; contributing toward an event which caused a gasoline spill and fire and explosion that incinerated five workers and severely injured others; also fine levied by the California Fire Marshall for KM’s role in the “completely preventable” tragedy; KM agreed to upgrade pipeline
inspection methods and improve corrosion control.
12) KM pipeline leaked gasoline into Summit Creek, near Truckee, California, on April 1, 2005.
13) May of 2005, stress corrosion cracking of KM pipeline near Marshall, Texas caused an explosion,fireball and injuries.
14) July 26, 2006, near Campbellsville, Kentucky, a KM pipeline exploded, due to external corrosion of the pipe.
15) November 11, 2006 near Cheyenne, Wyoming, rupture and explosion of a KM pipeline, after which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cited KM’s “poor compliance record.”

continued again below ..

the Winchester Informer said...

16) November 27, 2006, at Charlotte, North Carolina, KM’s Plantation Pipe Line released about 4,000 gallons of gasoline.
17) July 24, 2007, pipeline operated by KM Canada released over 250,000 litres of crude oil into the environment.
18) September 23, 2008, corrosion of a KM pipeline causes explosion and fire near Pasadena, Texas, causing fatality and injury; deemed a “significant event,” with PHMSA referencing at least 18 “significant incidents” 2009 to 2013, per “Texas Significant Incidents Listing,” PHMSA.
19) May 2009, near Palm City, Florida, a KM pipeline ruptured, blowing out of the ground about 106 feet of buried pipe, weighing about 5,000 pounds, causing injuries.
20) July 15, 2009, a pipeline explosion at Sylvarena, Mississippi involving KM and others, resulting in fatality and injury.
21) November 30, 2010, failure of KM pipeline near Natchitoches, Louisiana, causing evacuation of 100 homes. The large crack in the pipe was near a previous fracture in 1965 which caused multiple fatalities. Determined to be caused by stress corrosion cracking, per PHMSA Corrective Action Order, Case CPF 420101007H.
22) March 14, 2011, leak and fire from KM pipeline at Carteret, New Jersey. On April 4, 2013 PHMSA issued a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty and Proposed Compliance Order (NOPV) after an inspection. KM paid a penalty of $63,100 and was required to complete pipeline integrity
testing and other corrective measures by May 2015. (See KM Annual Report for 2013, p. 166).
23) August 17, 2011, KM pipeline near Herscher, Illinois has flash fire and explosion, sending five employees to hospital. KM cited for pipeline and safety violations.
24) November 16, 2011 near Glouster, Ohio, a KM failed weld causes leak and explosion, leaving 30 feet across by 15 feet deep, and destroying three homes. The leak was caused by “… inadequate understanding of the influence of the geotechnical threats on the pipeline,” and inadequate design, materials or workmanship, exceeding operational limits and gaps in integrity management.
25) May 2012 at Arvin, California, failure of KM relief valves and pipe supports, causing an explosion, due to “the complete structural failure of the over pressure protection support system.” PHMSA Failure Investigation Report, GT 2012-5-2.

There's more, much more but hopefully you'll understand now why people are bitching and I, along with other concerned citizens who find themselves in the direct path of this pipeline in several states and numerous town don't want Kinder Morgan as part of our lives and have posted signs on their properties as a way of showing solidarity in a common goal of sending Kinder Morgan back to Tennessee ..

Posted for your reading and educational pleasure

Anonymous said...

Wow, very informative Mr. Informer, thank you. I doubt that you are going to hear back from that person or any others in regards to why people have put up signs and are fight. I too have signs in my yard and agree that this is not a good thing for us.
I too have been reading and searching for information of Kinder Morgan and as a follow up to what you have written I offer this:

Public documents against Kinder Morgan claim negligent and deficient maintenance and repair of corporate pipelines, including inadequate allocation of funds for needed maintenance, repair, and other operational function; as well as inadequate budgeting, staffing, training, supervision, development, and implementation of
policies and procedures which have resulted in ruptures of pipelines and documented catastrophic releases of hazardous gases into the environment.

So do we really want them here and take a chance that it's going to happen again? Their past record says it will, make no doubt, they have not changed and times are worse for them now.

Furthermore, Kinder Morgan’s standard disclaimer that it will abide by all federal safety and environmental standards has little value when our national standards have been so weakened by the “Halliburton Loophole”(passed during the Bush/Cheney administration) which exempts fracking processes from the Clean Water Act,the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.

So, people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York residents DO NOT NEED the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline (CP16-21) with its inherent risks and hazards to our health, our safety, and our environment. Furthermore, this project is NOT CONVENIENT nor is the exportation of our limited resources beneficial to the majority of New England or New York residents.


Another voice against the corporate juggernaut said...

Thank you, Informer and Anonymous at 9:16AM on 3/12 for the well-documented information.
I do not live in the path of the pipeline (at least I don't think I do - how many more times will Kinder Morgan change the planned route?), but I also oppose the pipeline for the above reasons and more.
Yes, I do use paper and wood products, and eat meat, but I still have a healthy respect for the environment - flora and fauna. The damage to the natural resources of this community that would be a direct result of the pipeline being built - even without any kind of disaster or failure of the pipeline (which, given Kinder Morgan's track record isn't an "if" but a "when") - is irreparable and unwarranted.
We do NOT need a pipeline here. Having a pipeline or compressor station nearby will NOT encourage people and businesses to move to the area. The out-of-state workers brought in to do the construction will leave when they are done. (Wonder if the Warrant Article that addressed workforce housing was directed at this potential workforce?)
It WILL raise the cost of energy, not lower it, since we will be paying for the construction.
Oh, and to Anonymous at 3:56PM on 3/11: personal digs against someone who has just run for office in town still aren't cool. You are the loser.

Garima said...