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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pipeline Break



A pipeline that runs from TX to NY broke causing a massive spill.

There may be area shortages and price hikes. The good news is that they are scrambling to get it fixed as soon as possible.

I've two concerns here. The first one, of course, is environmental. It's a significant spill. The second thing is that it illustrates how fragile some of our major infrastructure is. This one pipeline supplies a huge region of the country.

There are work arounds. Fuel can be shipped by truck and boat. However, a pipeline is the cheapest most efficient way to transport fuel. Someone down the line has got to eat the costs. Most likely that will be the consumer.

I've yet to see any mention on how this happened. Most likely is was an accident. Now imagine if terrorists wanted to harm the country. Small teams could cause multiple breaks all along the line. It would take a lot longer to find and fix the problem. Imagine there being hidden explosive charges positioned to go off once the line starts flowing again. Panic could grip the nation when fuel supplies ran low.

I'm not going to write up a terrorist how to, but there are many soft targets in our infrastructure, the grid, transportation, water supplies, and so on. A combined attack could cause wide scale national disruption.

Of course, with the neglect of much of the nuts and bolts that keep our country running, it would not take a terrorist attack. We could have have multiple failures on any given day from neglect alone.

That's why it's important to be able to take care of your basic needs. Most people are likely, in the short term, to panic over gasoline. While inconvenient it's rarely a matter of life or death. You should be more concerned about where your food and water come from.

The systems that keep a modern nation functioning are brittle. They should not be taken for granted.

-Sixbears

9 comments:

  1. The spill is unfortunate . We are so vulnerable. if 20 men with 5 RPGs acted on 1 night it would be chaos . We are so interconnected and have thousands of critical points nationally. To think about it is called being "paranoid" Mabe! To not think about it to me is "delusional". Which label is Sane?

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    1. Are you paranoid if bad really are out to get you? I think not.

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  2. I remember walking up to the local city water tank and looking in the uncovered top. They finally put a top on it so kids would quit throwing stolen bikes and fish in it. Imagine what a terrorist could have done (and STILL could).

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    1. Doesn't sound like a very good water district. Having a cover on the tank seems pretty basic. I wonder what else is being neglected, especially in places that can't been easily seen?

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  3. Has anyone reading here actually seen the break? Could it be just a marketing ploy to run up the price?

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    1. The break is 60 miles south of me and leaked into an old rock quarry. No it is real. that pipe transports 2 million barrels a day. That's 80,000,000 million gallons a day. The spill is in a good place ( if such a thing) that pipe will be back online by Monday is my guess. Clean up will be latter.

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    2. Thanks for the confirmation. I didn't think it would be the sort of thing to be done as a marketing ploy, but these days one can't but help wonder.

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  4. The gas prices here in Georgia went up 15 - 20 cents per gallon overnight.

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