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View Diary: And now a word about oil pipeline safety (58 comments)

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  •  Interesting question (8+ / 0-)
    Other than not using it I wonder how the various methods compare as far as gallons spilled per gallons delivered. Sea going tanker? Rail? Truck?
    The problem is that the data do not exist (or at not readily accessible). The EPA gigged the State Department's 2011 environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline for inadequate estimation of spill risk. In the current version, there are estimates of risk per mile per year. However, those estimates were based on data from 2006 and later and much of that had to be excluded because of missing data. It is equally difficult to find find definitive data on spill risk per mile for other transport methods. Trains carrying oily crap from Canada have derailed in the past month in Minnesota and Maine. We have also learned that there has been a logarithmic increase in oil traveling by train in the past several years.

    On the one hand, the oil industry is quick to use the lack of data as evidence of safety. Is the absence of readily accessible data on transport risk a bug or a feature? The industry is smart enough to hide the numbers as much as possible because the higher the risk for spills, the greater the risk for big lawsuits.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 04:36:54 PM PDT

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    •  What we don't know can't hurt us! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, KenBee, Lujane, Calamity Jean

      Great.

      Like cigarettes of yore: You can't prove it's harmful, so go for it!

      Anyone who has grown out of childhood learned not to, say, eat something that you have no idea whether is harmful or not. Do we even have to go to the level of sophistication of citing a precautionary principle?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:11:16 PM PDT

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    •  I'd think they must have the numbers somewhere (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jm214, elwior, Creosote

      for underwriters to come up with rates.

      I guess a lot of the oil that would come from Canada and comes from Venezuela now and is processed in those refineries in Texas doesn't get used in the US anyway, but is turned into gasoline and carried by tanker to regional users. Where we do a lot of importing is on the E coast. All has to do with distance I'd guess. That's why Alaskan oil goes to Japan. Also we have very cheap natural gas to power our refineries.

      I give up on carbon tax, I'd just like to see a tax on all petro products period. Slow down our consumption.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 04:46:41 AM PDT

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