When a potential accident means death or the pollution of our drinking water, how infrequent accidents are becomes irrelevant. Pipeline Corporations such as Kinder Morgan should be required to choose less populous routes, (than the PHP’s current route through the city of Kyle), that do not threaten large aquifers like ours which supply drinking water to millions of people.
Richard Stover, former research astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz did research and compiled a list of data. According to Stover, these accidents have resulted in 548 deaths, 2,576 injuries, and over $8.5 billion in financial damages.
“The oil industry says this is the safer way, but that doesn’t mean this is safe,” says Stover. “Property is damaged. People are killed. There is no way to safely transport fossil fuels.”
In Texas, the effects of the state’s drilling boom may be seen in its increased accident rate: since 2009 the state has had 497 incidents, over 100 more than in the 7 years before.
When dangers of this magnitude are involved Landowners should at least be given a voice in the process when these rich private corporations are using eminent domain to put pipelines on their land. Pipeline companies should be required to work with local government and the people to find the safest routes.
One idea of how we could manage the energy needs of our state and country while minimizing risk to our communities is for the Oil and Gas Industry to work with the state to create a pipeline corridor. This route could be chosen based on the level of safety and environmental impact.