Today the former leader of the Alberta Wild Rose party Brian Jean published an op-ed in the Edmonton Journal explaining his view that Canadian courts have now seized too much power: Something is fundamentally wrong. Our courts, motivated by virtue-signalling and triggered by legal actions funded by foreign interests, routinely override the Read more…
Pictures say a thousand words and that has never been more true than with the images used to explain the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project. News sources typically use massive stacks of pipe or gigantic multi-tier above ground pipelines as their backdrop for reporting on TMX. Humans ingest and Read more…
Should the Province of Alberta buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder-Morgan if they want to walk away from the project? That question was posed to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley today and she responded with an emphatic ‘Yes!’.
It has become abundantly clear, whether you are for or opposed to this particular pipeline or not, that having the relatively simple twinning of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline fail to be built would signify the end of even medium scale infrastructure projects in Canada.
There will always be interest groups and affected people that have some legitimate claim against a large project. The standard for projects should not be keeping everyone happy. The standard for infrastructure projects MUST be if they are in the national interest. That national interest contains a giant list important factors including:
- environmental concerns
- affected citizens needs and wants
- global competitiveness concerns
- financial concerns
- public safety
Having worked at a few pipeline companies, I know they take safety and spills very seriously but we see pipeline bursts and their resulting spills with frequency in the news so the question lingers: Are pipelines safe?
Let’s start by stating an obvious fact that no-one WANTS a pipeline or any other serious infrastructure (power lines, rail lines, highways…) in their back yard but without such infrastructure our modern world would grind to a halt. If we can agree on that as a fact, and not an opinion, we can rationally consider pipeline safety.
The factors determining the safety of any pipeline compared to rail or trucking are also obvious and visually undeniable. Below is a simple chart outlining some of the risk factors that go into transporting liquids and gases:
|Factor||Pipeline||Pipe Score||Train||Train Score|
|Above/Below Ground||Burried||1||Above Ground||8|
|Visibility||Very Low||1||Very High||8|
|Human Error Likelihood||Nearly Zero||1||Constant||6|
|Intentional Damage Likelihood||Very Low||1||Moderate||5|
|Easy of Stopping Leak||Very Easy||1||Very Difficult||6|
|24 Hr Monitoring||Excellent||1||Minimal||8|