“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true, that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.”
― Dr. Seuss
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation Board passed a resolution last week requesting the US Army Corps of Engineers decline approval of the Diamond Pipeline pending an Environmental Impact Statement. “AWF proposes and requests the Corps of Engineers decline approval of the proposed region-wide Diamond Oil Pipeline project and water related crossings until the agency provides an approved Environmental Impact Statement sufficient to meet the Council on Environmental Quality procedural requirements.” CEQ is a federal agency charged with the implementation of the National Environmental Protection Act. NEPA has robust regulations on environmental quality and no exceptions for oil pipelines.
After months working in the dark, hiding the plans, and telling some lies, Plains All-American is about to find out not to mess with the people of Arkansas. Heck, I am not sorry at all!
Diamond is an environmental hazard
Diamond says the line is safe. What else are they going to say? “We are cutting corners using low-quality welded pipes, hiring crews without supervision, pretending spills may happen once in 4,000 years, with nothing but paper towels, diapers, pigs and buckets to clean toxic chemical spills, and lawyers to deal with damages?” AWF will show expediting permits ignoring known environmental hazards is unacceptable, just to benefit a shareholder owned financial venture.
What will happen with pipes already in the ground? Let Diamond deal with the Corps and landowners to restore the land and pay for damages. Other people and concerned groups may decide to stand up and protect public health and environmental justice.
Who let the dogs out?
For more than two years, landowners have been trying to protect their land. However, no one challenged the Diamond project and Diamond hired lawyers to use every loophole in Arkansas law.
The root of the problem is Arkansas willful blindness in favor of oil and gas. “Rules Done Right: How Arkansas Brought Its Oil and Gas Law into a Horizontal World,” a 2015 University of Arkansas Law Review report explains how the Arkansas law was changed to promote fracking!
The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission says frack fluids are perfectly safe, no different from chemicals found in household items. If you have rat poisons, weed killers, floor cleaners, and a drawer full of prescribed drugs, you know to keep them away from kids and pets. Frackers use a foul brew, like the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth: toe of frog, eye of newt, fillet of fenny snake, and wool of bat.
The American Petroleum Institute says pipelines are perfectly safe, 99.999 percent of the oil arrives at its destination. API needs to hire a statistician, or a high school senior; what API says about five 9’s is meaningless. Reality is unavoidable, pipeline spills happen all the time, leaks go undetected, and spills are deadly. These “accidents” make the news, but the true cause of the spills is ignored.
Shale oil is not oil
In January 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a major safety alert, declaring shale oil chemically explosive, three days after the massive Casselton, N. Dak. explosion of an oil train. When shale oil’s volatile organic components vaporize from liquid to gases, BOOM! The Oil Industry blamed trains and said pipelines are safer than trains!
Transporting Hazardous Materials is insane
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is Arkansas’s Homeland Security and Preparedness Agency. ADEM says they protect us from threats to the security of the Nation. How is Diamond not a threat?
What will you tell your kids?
A good friend posted on Facebook: “I tried, baby. I called our leaders, I donated money, I stood on the corner with a sign, I passed out literature and raised awareness. I got on the news and informed Arkansans, I organized rallies and marches to oppose the corporate greed aiming to kill us all. I know that’s what I will tell my kids as we desperately search for water we can drink.”
Dr. Luis Contreras