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. 13
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2015 has been a good year for new music, but we can't keep track of everything. Here are four albums from the first half of 2015 that we didn't review and still deserve your attention.

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With summer officially upon us, plenty of time remains to help Bike Erie reach their 2015 National Bike Challenge goals. 

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We have a sincere offer to help revamp Celebrate Erie

Refugees find Erie's Preferred Community rating not very representative of Erie's desire to educate and hire recently relocated individuals.

The UPMC Sunset Music Series will host a display of some local country veterans and new kids on the block when Refuge and M4 hit the stage at Presque Isle Beach 1 Wednesday, July 1.

When the members of The Clarks come to the Burger King Amphitheatre Tuesday, July 7, they'll bring nearly 30 years of good ol' rock experience with them.

The three-day music festival kicks off July 3.

Innovation in and outside of the plastics industry makes Rehrig Pacific a business to be trusted in the Erie area.

Brooke Surgener, a member of the Reader's 2014 40 under 40 class, will show off her DIY attitude and musical talents at the Erie Art Museum's Mid-day Art Break Wednesday, July 1.

The King of Rock 'n' Roll is coming to the Erie Playhouse next week, in the form of the stage's latest fundraising event: Luigi Jannuzzi's All The King's Women.

Can the struggle for power in local government take a break so that change can be achieved?

"We are very stoked for our debut at the Kings Rook and look forward to an epic night full of dancing," MoChester guitarist/pianist/vocalist/cowbellist Jonathan Sheffer said.