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Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Gary Childress, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Oerdin

    Oerdin Deity

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    It is not on their land, the people who do actually own the land have agreed, end of story. Just build it.
     
  2. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    No one's property is being taken. This isn't an eminent domain case. The pipeline is all on federal land (as far as I can find).

    I understand that using a pipeline is not only cheaper but it's also a magnitude safer all around than transport by other means.

    They aren't going through anyone's back yard, and God forbid that we actually not do something cheaper and safer just because someone objects to it.
     
  3. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    As MobBoss states pipelines are cheaper and safer so they should be used where possible.
    The route should be chosen to minimise impact but it should be considered that one of the numerous truck movements that it will replace could crash and spill its contents.

    The pumps on the pipeline can also be electrically driven so reducing pollution.
     
  4. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Truck and rail movements are more likely to cause spills, but the spills they cause generally have far less environmental impact. They do tend to have greater inconvenience impact, which is of course the most important issue to the average American suburban drone. "What? The freeway is closed for two HOURS while they clean up five thousand pounds of oil? It would be so much better if that were a hundred thousand pound pipeline spill out in the wilderness where it wouldn't be cleaned up at all."
     
  5. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    It's difficult for me to believe they're building a pipeline through 4 states entirely on federal land.

    Pipelines are not safer. Spills are less frequent, but involve a lot more oil, and the potential for significant environmental damage is much, much greater than with other methods of transport. They pose dangers that other methods do not.

    As for cheaper, that's a dumb argument because that benefit does not flow to the public. So even using federal lands for pipelines is questionable policy, because there is no economic benefit to the public from them. And when eminent domain is involved, as it almost always is, the "public use" just isn't there. Aren't you voting Libertarian? :lol:
     
  6. Gary Childress

    Gary Childress Student for and of life

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    To be clear, one of the issues seems to be with drinking water. Apparently the pipeline route runs under a major river in the area and people are concerned with the risks of polluting their drinking water.

    The other major concern seems to be with tearing up what local Native Americans view as sacred land (a local burial ground I believe). The pipeline runs close to their reservation.
     
  7. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    97% of Canada's oil/petroleum is transported via pipeline. 70% of the United States oil/petroleum is transported via pipeline. Our current energy boom is forcing more oil to be transferred by truck/rail, unless we grow our pipeline infrastructure. Having to rely on truck/rail for oil transport has made it far more risky to move, especially by rail. In 2013, due to longer trains hauling more oil, there was more oil spilled in train wrecks than in the previous 37 years. The side benefit of having more pipeline is that it also makes transport by truck/rail safer since it helps relieve the pressure of having to rely more on those modes of transport.
     
  8. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    Improving rail infrastructure is also an option.

    Prior to 2013, more oil was spilled per billion barrels transported by pipeline than by rail. 2013 was anomalous, but it's worth noting that oil has to be transported by rail regardless of whether most of its transport is by pipeline. So it's by no means factual that pipelines are safer. They haven't always been by any means.
     
  9. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    Now is not really the best time to talk about pipeline safety.

    Now this pipeline carries refined products and not crude oil, but there just isn't this kind of threat from a truck crash or train derailment. The entire supply line for the east coast has been affected, without even speaking of the environmental impact of spilling upwards of a third of a million barrels of gasoline.
     
  10. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    WAAAY more expensive to try and build more rail at this stage of the game, so in cost comparison that's really not an option at all.

    And in researching this, everything I've read has indicated that pipelines are indeed safer, especially in terms of risk to human life per oil transported.

    Let's also not forget that rail lines hauling hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude cross rivers and drinking water sources every single day.

    Btw, it's logically false to point at a single pipeline leak and try to produce a counter argument. It'd be like me pointing to all the pipelines that ARE working right and saying 'see? No problems'.

    Fwiw, the Keystone XL pipeline is also supposed to involve 50+ tech improvements to how pipelines function and handle leaks in order for it to be safer that previous pipelines. How does that factor in to your claims that pipelines are not worth it?
     
  11. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I don't doubt this "less risk to human life" claim at all, since off the top of my head I can't recall ever seeing the headline MAN DROWNS IN OIL FROM RUPTURED PIPELINE. But if the idea is to ignore every aspect of risk that doesn't favor the method being defended there isn't really much of an argument.

    So far we have overall environmental risk which cuts against pipelines.

    We also have the economic risk that Metalhead just pointed out, in that when an entire region is dependent on a single pipeline as opposed to multiple rail/road connections a single event can have a huge economic impact.

    On the side of pipelines we have increased profits for oil companies.

    We also have "well, if there's a spill sure it will be bigger but it will only destroy wilderness and won't affect my commute."

    Personally, I don't see much of a valid argument for pipelines here.
     
  12. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    That isn't what I was doing. That story highlights a risk that simply doesn't exist from rail or truck transport. A train crashes, you get a local oil spill. A train crashes near water, you get a localized environmental disaster that is relatively easy to contain. If a pipeline ruptures, an entire water system can become polluted in a way not easily contained, in addition to the disruption of an entire supply chain depending on the severity of the leak. This is a disaster several orders of magnitude larger than anything that could potentially happen in a rail accident. And this isn't the first time it has happened.

    You don't have to build "more rail" to upgrade rail infrastructure. A lot of the rail infrastructure already exists, and some of it is currently in use. You can make it safer. You can make it faster. You can increase throughput in a whole host of ways that make rail transport of oil both more economical and safer. You can rebuild rail lines that have fallen into disuse. There are tons of existing rights-of-way that can be put to use if you want them to.

    "Safer" is a wholly subjective thing. Few people die in oil spills, period, so that seems like a poor measure of safety. In economic and environmental terms, I don't know that one transport method is definitively "safer" than another, but one clearly has the potential for far bigger catastrophes, as we're seeing right now. So the public benefit of one over the other is not clear. The only people that we know are benefiting are the oil companies.
     
  13. Gary Childress

    Gary Childress Student for and of life

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    I'm sure the pipeline would be very profitable and beneficial in many ways. The issue, however, seems to be where to build it. Clearly the people fighting it don't want it near them for the reasons I outlined in my last post.
     
  14. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Build the pipeline, turning Earth into Venus Mk II seems like a great idea.
     
  15. Gary Childress

    Gary Childress Student for and of life

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    Well if they don't build the pipeline, the oil is still going to be transported to the desired locations via truck or train which are going to burn fossil fuels in the process of transport. Not sure which is worse. It doesn't sound like much of a choice unless they discontinue oil production in those locations that will be supplying the pipeline altogether, maybe not a bad option either. Much of the oil is probably coming from fracking which seems rather environmentally unsound.
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I'm against the pipeline (or at least, against building it where it's planned), but I don't see the pipeline as the primary concern. Having read much of the thread it's a pretty standard rehash of arguments about pipelines that I've heard before. The pipeline has the potential to create huge environmental problems, much greater in magnitude than those resulting from even a worst-case train or truck-related scenario.


    Yup. Fracking is definitely on the top 10 list of dumbest things our species has ever done.
     
  17. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    It constantly amazes me how private citizens can be persuaded to argue for things like fracking or building pipelines. There is significant risk of grave environmental damage with little or no actual benefit to the vast majority of society, and somehow people are able to look at it and go, "Yep, of course we should do that." Blows my mind.
     
  18. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    It is amazing how often the typical Republican voter seems to get confused between himself and an oil tycoon.


    On a more serious note I would hesitate to say there are no benefits to society. The problem is, it is rapidly becoming apparent that those benefits are the equivalent of the rush a junkie gets from a hit of heroin.
     
  19. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Tim, in a self reported anonymous survey of the top 1000 corporations in America, two thirds admitted to breaking environmental laws on a weekly basis. Never underestimate the aggressive risk taking corporate management is willing to go to regardless of ethics.
     
  20. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    I wasn't surprised at the lack of ethics. I was surprised at the lack of concern for what seems like an unavoidable cataclysmic reveal. The first rule of breaking laws is to have some sort of fall back position, and there is just no way I can imagine anyone claiming they were an unwitting participant in this circumventing of the law. "I really thought we were just burying a couple hundred feet of pipe for some reason" just doesn't seem like it will work very well.
     

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