The number of injuries and environmental disasters along America's roads, pipelines, and railways involving the movement of oil and gas has proliferated in recent years along with domestic production. An enormous explosion in West Virginia on Monday reminds us of the potential hazards of such activity to the communities located along such transport routes.
A Wise County couple who sued Plano-based Aruba Petroleum, claiming that natural gas operations near their 40-acre ranch made them sick, received a $2.9 million jury verdict in Dallas County.
An affluent suburb of Chicago was recently rocked by a suspected gas explosion.
The explosion happened last Friday in the village of Long Grove, which is approximately 35 miles north of Chicago. The blast happened in the prestigious Royal Melbourne subdivision of the village.
A weekend oil spill in the Houston Shipping Channel left one of "the nation's busiest seaports" closed for at least part of the day today. The spill was caused by the collision of a ship with a barge and dumped as much as 168,000 gallons of oil into the water. The capacity of the barge, the Summer Wind, was close to 900,000 gallons; only about a fifth of the barge's oil cargo was spilled into the water after the wreck.
The Keystone Pipeline, run by TransCanada, reportedly began pumping this week as scheduled. It is delivering crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Nederland, Texas, crossing a span of just under 500 miles. This is the southern portion of the Keystone Pipeline. Because it doesn't cross international borders (Canada), it did not require Presidential approval to begin transporting crude.
Texas has by far the most miles of underground natural gas pipelines of any state. Texas also has the greatest number of accidents that occur when these and other underground pipes are damaged or disrupted. Companies that dig, construct, and work around these pipelines have a duty to safely work around these pipelines, the locations of which can be determined by a simple phone call. Nonetheless, these calls are not being made in every instance and are consequently costing the lives of unsuspecting workers and millions of dollars in property damage each year due to blowouts, explosions, and toxic gas leaks.
Ten barrels of crude oil came rushing out of a pipeline leak north of Greenville, Texas earlier this week forcing at least one family to evacuate. The oil spill is much smaller than the 17,000 gallon leak that occurred last week, near Austin, but will take clean-up crews several days to remediate.
The explosion of multiple propane tanks sounded like an array of bombs going off that lasted for almost 30 minutes according to residents near a Blue Rhino plant earlier this week. There were more than 53,000 20-pound propane tanks at the plant at the time of the explosion; the propane storage tanks at that location could hold up to 90,000 pounds of propane each.
Two miles from the KIII-TV studios in Corpus Christi, Texas, what is believed to be a natural gas explosion seriously injured at least three people and damaged many nearby homes. Broadcasters were on-air at the time of the blast and can be seen visibly frightened by the percussion of the distant blast.
In 2012, 6,000 oil and gas sites sprung a leak, spilling 15.6 million gallons of wastewater, fracking fluid, oil and other liquids. That's roughly four million more gallons of spilled oil and gas products and waste products than were spilled in the Exon Valdez tanker crash in Alaska in 1989.