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. 4, No. 18
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Second hand stores pose a problematic aesthetic.

It's billed as the 'Biggest Little Fair Around.' And this year's -- its 70th -- is around for one (more) night only.

FILM at the EAM returns Wednesday. Great titles and big names ahead.

Anonymous organization has two messages for Erie: "Obey Kunco" and "UGLY"

Night Lights Music Festival set to host Snarky Puppy, two dozen other bands for a two-day spectacular of sights and sound.

IN THIS ISSUE

The horror, the horror --

After going 18-6 (14-6 in high schools, 4-0 in colleges) last week, JRL's back with Week 2 and 3 gridiron picks.

A traveling art exhibit that provides a look at what we have and what we may be losing.

Black Science is where the pursuit of knowledge meets anarchist abandon. No technology or taboo is off limits for these zealous scientists, and anarchist scientist Grant McKay has invented the “Pillar,” a device that can punch through time and space, dissolving all barriers to the multiverse. 

Erie native draws on his past, embraces his future.

A look at the upcoming season, including performances by Anais Mitchell, Ben Sollee, and Jose James.

Mascis trades in the searing solos of his Jazzmaster for the softer picks and strums of his Martin, putting on a plucking performance in soft and sweet numbers like “Me Again” and “Wide Awake,” the latter of which he sings with Chan Marshall of Cat Power fame.

The new album kicks off with fun contributions from Newman and Case in the title track and “Champions of Red Wine” before turning into a party on Bejar’s synth and harmonica assisted “War on the East Coast.”

Three waterfront projects, three ways to develop Erie's economy. 

The Staten Island, N.Y. band has always employed a sort of manic energy during their music, but LOSE sounds like a band that has matured, able to blend their excitable sonic freakouts with doses of restraint.