We’re Back! With Updates!

Nov 25, 2014 by

Whew! Sorry for our little hiatus these past few weeks. We’ve had more than a few matters (mainly professional ones) that have required our attention. And then last week was the 2014 Pipeline Safety Trust conference— which was a great experience, as always. Rest assured that we have not abandoned you. The trouble now, however, is that we’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, for some of it we’re going to get a little help from our friends. Among the things we’ll be bringing you over the next week or so: The latest on ET Rover— now just the “Rover Pipeline,” according to Energy Transfer– along with information and commentary about the first of the FERC scoping meetings. A run-down of some of our experiences at the PS Trust conference– as...

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2013 PS Trust Conference Highlights

Nov 24, 2013 by

What a conference! Once again, the remarkable folks over at the Pipeline Safety Trust— Carl Weimer (at right, in the goofy hat), Rebecca Craven, and Samya Lutz put together a fantastic two days for industry representatives, regulators, and landowners and other citizen advocates. We’re home and still a little giddy over the experience, not to mention deeply gratified to have the chance to meet and learn from so many wonderful, interesting people. Like last year, we were reminded– despite all of our attempts to appear knowledgeable and authoritative– of just how little we know. We learned a lot and have much to continue to think about. We are so grateful to the Trust for their efforts arranging this kind of event and for giving us the opportunity to be a part of it. In...

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This Week: PS Trust 2013!

Nov 18, 2013 by

It’s that time of year again! This week, the Pipeline Safety Trust will once again host its annual conference in New Orleans. Among other things, that means Executive Director Carl Weimer will drown his frustrations and celebrate his recent electoral victory in hot, heaping piles of sugar-coated fried dough! He may even once again don that silly hat. But when not feasting on beignets, Weimer and the other conference participants will talk about all manner of pipeline safety matters– from public awareness to regulatory oversight to… well, to some technical matters that few people this side of Mike Holmstrom and Robert Whitesides can comprehend. There’s also bound to be plenty of drama and tension: will PHMSA beg the public’s forgiveness? will the pipeline company representatives  leave a tip for the waitstaff at Cafe du...

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In which we struggle to maintain our measured tone…

Sep 30, 2013 by

We’re a little groggy on this Monday following an exciting four day academic conference we helped to organize at our university, which is why we’ve been a little quiet here at the blog lately. Scholars from all over the world traveled to Michigan to talk about nerdy literary scholar-type things. It was great. Almost as great is the fact that most of our home institutions recognize that the intellectual exchanges and sharing of knowledge that takes place at these conferences is a tremendously important and valuable professional activity. Therefore, most institutions offer at least some form of funding to cover faculty travel expenses to these conferences. And that’s because they understand that it’s not enough just to say you value something; you have to actually do something to prove it. Sometimes, you have to...

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Breaking News (we wish!)

Sep 18, 2013 by

You might recall that a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that the Pipeline Safety Trust has had to resort to crowdfunding in order to raise enough money to send ordinary citizens to this year’s Pipeline Safety Trust conference. In our view, this is a dire situation. Having landowners, advocates, conservationists, engaged citizens, and local officials at the conference, where they get to interact with industry representatives and regulators, is arguably the most important part of the conference. There’s nothing unique about a gathering between industry representatives and regulators. They lie in bed together all the time, speaking candidly and hammering out lily-livered “rules” that masquerade as “regulations.” Those cosy meetings, to say the least, lack perspective and desperately need disruption– which is why the PS Trust conference is so tremendously vital. Not only...

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News roundup: beyond 6B

Apr 1, 2013 by

While not directly about Line 6B matters, we’ve encountered a number of tangentially-related material the past couple of days deserving of your attention, not least of which are some follow-ups to the awful spill in Arkansas, a terrible, vivid reminder of why all of us should be deeply concerned and continue to speak up and help foster public discussion of pipeline safety. Some of our favorite journalists are on the case. Over at her “Riding the Pipelines” blog, Elana Schor provides some interesting— and disturbingly familiar to those who have read the NTSB report on Marshall–background on Exxon’s safety record with regard to the Pegasus line that just burst. And Lisa Song, who has evidently been extraordinarily busy the past few days, has a terrific article at Inside Climate News linking the Arkansas spill...

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PS Trust Report, Part 3

Nov 19, 2012 by

We’ve been thinking a bit about regulatory matters today— and oh! have we got a lot to learn–as we try to get to the bottom of Enbridge’s seemingly unverifiable claim that certain features of the new Line 6B exceed certain federal regulations (which features and which regulations? Enbridge prefers not to say…). But this put us in mind of some things we heard and learned at the Pipeline Safety Trust conference earlier this month. As we’ve said before, we spent much of that conference being reminded of how much we don’t know about so many things. We also learned, in a couple of instances, that we’re a little naive. For example, the Friday morning keynote address at the conference was delivered by Cynthia Quarterman, chief Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration...

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Exciting employment opportunity!

Nov 16, 2012 by

We don’t have any plans to make job listings a new feature of this blog, but when a really good and relevant one comes along, it only makes sense to post it. Perhaps one of our readers has an enterprising young relative looking for a great opportunity. This position with the Pipeline Safety Trust looks to us like one of them. If we weren’t already gainfully employed (and if we were 20 years younger), we would consider it ourselves. Seriously, the chance to work with Carl Weimer and Rebecca Craven– such kind, committed, good-humored, and super-smart people– is alone a major draw. Check it out. Pass it...

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