Pipelines

 

We went to a local compressor station for some training with their staff yesterday evening. It supports a 36-inch natural gas line that has been in place for decades; since the fracking boom, it has been running 24/7. Basically, four huge turbines push the gas eastward from here. When you meet with these guys, it’s incredible how professional they are and how safe the operation is. Another company is trying to put a new pipeline through the area and are encountering huge resistance (NIMBY).

A frequent criticism of the anti-fracking advocates is that the hill country is no place for a pipeline, thereby ignoring the miles of pipeline already in place. Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

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There are 17 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Tex929rr: Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

    Truest statement there is. Goods will flow. You can have it a safe and easy way, or a dangerous and hard way, but either way, they will flow.

    • #1
    • August 21, 2019, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member

    “There are no solutions. Only trade-offs.” – Thomas Sowell

    • #2
    • August 21, 2019, at 8:32 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  3. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

    Truest statement there is. Goods will flow. You can have it a safe and easy way, or a dangerous and hard way, but either way, they will flow.

    The spice must flow.

    • #3
    • August 21, 2019, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Seawriter Member

    The folks who own the property a pipeline runs trhough over get royalties – even if eminent domain is invoked.

    • #4
    • August 21, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. DonG Coolidge

    Tex929rr: Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

    Or it is flared off. There is a lot of gas not getting to market for lack of pipeline capacity. It will turn out OK. The pipelines will be built and LNG ports will be built. 

    • #5
    • August 21, 2019, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Aaron Miller Member

    People have no idea what runs beneath them. Beneath one of the busiest roads in my Houston suburb is a large natural gas reserve and probably enough cabling to circumvent the planet. 

    • #6
    • August 21, 2019, at 11:22 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    We post interesting (to us) training events on our Facebook page. Two people posted complaints about the turbine noise. Here is a picture of the location. It’s 1/4 to the road or the nearest structure. 100 feet from the turbines (with all 4 running), you can carry on a normal conversation. I zoomed out to show just how rural this is. The compressor station tract is 22 acres. Neither complainer lives on an adjacent property.

     

    • #7
    • August 21, 2019, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. David Foster Member

    Pipelines are of course a critical component of America’s infrastructure, as are our freight railroads. It’s interesting that when liberals and “progressives” talk about infrastructure needs…they define infrastructure strictly in terms of government programs.

    • #8
    • August 21, 2019, at 4:00 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Jon1979 Lincoln

    This is the companion piece to the fight a decade ago to stop the 765kv power line from being run through the Hill Country to the Austin and San Antonio area from the wind farms along Interstate 10 in West Texas. In that case it included people who wanted green energy … but they just didn’t want the lines needed to transport that green energy anywhere near their home or land. Abutting the Austin area as it does, the Hill Country probably has more environmental activists than other parts of the state.

    You also had a protest two years ago in West Texas, with the Trans-Pecos Pipeline running from the big Waha natural gas hub to Chihuahua. While I could see the need for a second road out of a subdivision near Alpine where the line was going to cross (so emergency vehicles would have access in the event of an explosion near the road), much of the argument against the line was hyperventilating about the ecological disaster it would cause, even though the residents in that area were already getting natural gas to their homes via pipeline. The one area town that was all for it was Presidio, because they had no natural gas access for home heating or cooking use — you either did propane or you did electric.

    (The Trans-Pecos line, and the less-controversial Comanche Trails pipeline to Juarez, were put in on the U.S. side of the border by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that did the Dakota Access pipeline, and protestors tried to get the media interested in their actions, since both were going on about at the same time. But the line on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande was being put in by Carlos Slim, who, as the largest stakeholder in The New York Times, probably explains why you never saw stories about this protest in The New York Times. It helped ETP to have the right partner on the project.)

    • #9
    • August 21, 2019, at 7:07 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. James Lileks Contributor

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    The folks who own the property a pipeline runs trhough over get royalties – even if eminent domain is invoked.

    Not always. I don’t.

    • #10
    • August 21, 2019, at 7:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Seawriter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    The folks who own the property a pipeline runs though over get royalties – even if eminent domain is invoked.

    Not always. I don’t.

    1. I am talking about Texas, not benighted Minnesota.
    2. Did you own your property when they put the pipeline through? That is when the royalty deal gets cut. If you did not own it, the previous owners probably kept the rights and the royalties when they sold the land to you. In the Houston area, when Exxon Development Company built Clear Lake City they retained mineral rights to the subdivided lots. (They were the original owners of the land.)
    • #11
    • August 22, 2019, at 4:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. tigerlily Member

    There are currently about two and half million miles of oil, natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines in operation in the United States with an impressive safety record.

     

    And, apropos of nothing, “Pipeline” by the Chantays.

     

    • #12
    • August 22, 2019, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Full Size Tabby Member

    A couple of lots in our new subdivision are obviously not prepared for building, including two that look like they’d be premium lots based on location and view. But, I recently discovered that there is a natural gas transmission pipeline under these lots. There’s some irony in that we have the gas transmission pipeline running through a corner of the subdivision, but the subdivision has no natural gas retail distribution in it (the houses are “all electric”). 

    There have recently been disputes between landowners in the western part of our county and a pipeline construction company that is installing a new transmission pipeline. The landowners claim that the construction company is exceeding the authority the landowners granted it in their contracts (mostly tearing down more trees and fences than authorized). The company claims what it is doing is entirely within the contract language. To me a big part of the dispute is that the pipeline company did not provide the landowners with enough realtime information about exactly when and where they were going to do specific work. 

    • #13
    • August 22, 2019, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Full Size Tabby Member

    Tex929rr: Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

    Whenever a train of oil-carrying cars derails (as I recall a few years ago one derailed in a town causing massive problems for the people of the town), there is clamor to “make trains safer” but rarely do the anti-pipeline people acknowledge that pipelines are safer than any train is likely to be. 

    • #14
    • August 22, 2019, at 7:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: Of course, as long as pipelines aren’t built the material will just ship by other more dangerous means.

    Whenever a train of oil-carrying cars derails (as I recall a few years ago one derailed in a town causing massive problems for the people of the town), there is clamor to “make trains safer” but rarely do the anti-pipeline people acknowledge that pipelines are safer than any train is likely to be.

    Yup. And killed 47 people.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42548824

    • #15
    • August 22, 2019, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. cdor Member

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    We post interesting (to us) training events on our Facebook page. Two people posted complaints about the turbine noise. Here is a picture of the location. It’s 1/4 to the road or the nearest structure. 100 feet from the turbines (with all 4 running), you can carry on a normal conversation. I zoomed out to show just how rural this is. The compressor station tract is 22 acres. Neither complainer lives on an adjacent property.

    Don’t hear liberals complaining much about the visual disruption, audio mind bending noise, and aviary disaster that are the result of wind farms.

    • #16
    • August 22, 2019, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr Post author

    cdor (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    We post interesting (to us) training events on our Facebook page. Two people posted complaints about the turbine noise. Here is a picture of the location. It’s 1/4 to the road or the nearest structure. 100 feet from the turbines (with all 4 running), you can carry on a normal conversation. I zoomed out to show just how rural this is. The compressor station tract is 22 acres. Neither complainer lives on an adjacent property.

    Don’t hear liberals complaining much about the visual disruption, audio mind bending noise, and aviary disaster that are the result of wind farms.

    Unless they live near it. Then they are the worst NIMBY’s.

    https://grist.org/article/capecod/

    • #17
    • August 22, 2019, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes