Reader Opinion: Pipelines versus trains
The oil spill from a broken pipeline last week has started the controversy again over the safety of pipelines and maybe rightly so. But the fact remain this wasn't the first break and it won't be the last. It points out the serious effort that ne...
The oil spill from a broken pipeline last week has started the controversy again over the safety of pipelines and maybe rightly so. But the fact remain this wasn't the first break and it won't be the last. It points out the serious effort that needs to be made to make these lines as safe as possible and, environmentally, placed in the least disruptive areas. But at some point common sense tells us as long as there are cars and trucks that need gasoline, we will need oil and it has to be moved to refineries somehow. To move that amount there seems to be only two options-pipelines and trains.
Pipelines can be built beyond the reach of people and this is a big plus. Yes, they can play havoc with the environment but done right this can be minimized. Not eliminated but minimized. Every day that we argue about them not being built, only prolongs the chance that something bad will happen from existing pipelines that shouldn't be where they are. The safety of the public is not normally a problem.
Trains cannot be moved from populated areas without an enormous expenditure for dedicated tracks and moving refineries far from the population. There is no good way to fight an oil train fire in a populated area. Common sense tells you, you can only squirt water so far and in a fire of this magnitude it far exceeds what fire departments can safely do. In most case they are left to burn themselves out and the fire departments' efforts are reduced to getting people out of the way.
The argument for pipelines versus trains is a no-brainer. Those who oppose both, better be walking or riding a horse.