I have a very dear friend who has some native ancestry and Indian Nation issues are very important to her.

Thus I’m in an awkward, bad position between her friendship and the DAPL hysteria.

I’m not upset with her.  I’m upset with the people who have fed the hysteria for their own political and economic purposes.  There are those who don’t want us to use oil, period, because Man Bear Pig (who ironically are now posting about how low gas prices are because Obama … who wanted them to go up… I’m so confused)  — and those with economic interests in the status quo … transporting more oil over their railways or in trucks over our highways (burning fossil fuels whose exhaust feeds Man Bear Pig — again, these people don’t appear to have a need to be consistent.)

I ran across a post this morning where she asked

“So where were your safety measures for THIS pipeline spill?” linking an article about a spill in Montana in the Yellowstone River a few years ago by an Exxon pipeline.

Naturally curious me, I go read about it.  And this is what I found.

That pipeline (Silvertip) was placed 70 years ago and runs 5-12 feet deep under the river (incidentally, *now* it runs 40 feet beneath the river). 5-12 feet of sediment can easily be scoured out by erosion especially during floods. What they think happened in Montana was boulders moving along the bottom during recent flooding ripped an exposed section of the pipeline open, right there at the river bottom during flooding. No pipeline should be that close to the surface under a waterway — especially a river.

Pipelines in the past have been  cavalierly placed much too close to the surface. The proposed DAPL pipeline run would pass 95 to 115 feet deep under the lake.  So the answer is, safety measures weren’t in place for that pipeline. They didn’t exist when the pipeline was built. In the case of the one that recently ruptured, “under” was closer to “running right along the bottom of”. This was bad, and there are probably a lot more of these that need to be addressed with modern equipment and higher standards for how deep they go when they pass underneath waterways. Along with thicker metal and perhaps double-walls.

I would be more concerned with having companies like Exxon replace old sections of the hundreds of pipelines that currently run under bodies of water all over the country with the same kind of design developed for DAPL. I’m far more worried about contamination from those than I am about this DAPL run.

I do consider myself an environmentalist.  Not one of these hyper, every bug must be protected at all costs environmentalists.  But I, like most people, want clean air and water and unspoiled places to go to get away from life in the city and experience the wild country.  I’m kind of big on that, really.

So I’m serious about that addressing old pipelines bit.  Not only do we not want to waste crude oil, but no, I really don’t want it in the water and contaminating the rivers’ edges.

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About philmon

Part mountain junkie, part decent amateur photographer, part survivalist, part not-so-decent amateur musician, part sysadmin. Husband, step-dad, grandpa, and music freak who digs mechanical clocks, barometers, and Gil Elvgren pinups. Studied Meteorolgy & Computer Science. And the U.S. Constitution.