This is Your Gas Pipeline. This is Your Gas Pipeline in the Free Market.

Category:  BloggERy
Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 1:31 PM
This is Your Gas Pipeline. This is Your Gas Pipeline in the Free Market. by Jay Stevens
Irish Oil and Gas

A few days ago, I posted about a fire department that had to apply a fee-for-service revenue model to surrounding rural areas because the residents there refused to pony up tax money to properly fund their fire service. The model, naturally, had a devestating effect on one particular homeowner and was an excellent demonstration why privatization doesn't work for critical community services.

And yet free-marketers insist on privatizing.

Free-marketers also feel government regulations are a hindrance to business. They might be, if your business is cutting corners and thereby endangering local residents and workers:

Like many other lines crisscrossing the state's Marcellus Shale regions, this pipe was big - a high-pressure steel line, 20 inches in diameter, large enough to help move a buried ocean of natural gas out of this corner of the state. It was also plenty big enough to set off a sizable explosion if something went wrong.

There was trouble on the job. Far too many of the welds that tied the pipe sections together were failing inspection and had to be done over.

A veteran welder, now an organizer for a national pipeline union, happened upon the line and tried to blow the whistle on what he considered substandard work.

But there was no one to call.

Pennsylvania's regulators don't handle those pipelines, and acknowledge they don't even know where they are. And when he reported what he saw to a federal oversight agency, an inspector told him there was nothing he could do, either.

Because the line was in a rural area, no safety rules applied.

Great, huh? No wonder these people don't want any pesky regulations overseeing their business.

That's probably the same reason the energy industry got itself a nice exemption from the Clean Water Act.

Erie Reader: Vol. 5, No. 10
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Millions will March Against Monsanto this Saturday, May 23, in a worldwide food fight for freedom.

The Brewerie at Union Station unveils its new "Red, White & Brew" in support of the Veteran's Miracle Center Erie. 

You've had the beer. Listen to the brewers review the fruits of their labor.

 

You've had the beer. Listen to the brewers review the fruits of their labor. 

The A.V. Club kicks off the sixth series of its cover series with performances from Punch Brothers and Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn.

IN THIS ISSUE

Civitas presents an "interview" with The Congress for New Urbanism in mind.

Jose James pays a proper and powerful tribute to Billie Holiday with this nine-track album.

The highs and lows of the album feature overlaying melodies with fluctuating rhythms.

Avengers: Age of Ultron features the building-smashing and city-destroying scenes you'd expect, but two unexpected characters steal the show.

With this album, Mumford and Sons steps away from their usual style to embrace a new approach.

Western Pennsylvania native George "Doc" Medich on the Yankees, the "tough town" of Aliquippa, and Mike Ditka.

The Waterfall channels all of My Morning Jacket's energy into its vocals.

How collaboration in the local craft brewing movement is revamping local industry on a national scale.

Why politics in Erie is more about filling a vacant position than challenging an incumbent.

The distracting joke of Jade Helm 15 doesn't have us laughing as the Patriot Act's renewal seems inevitable.