Energy must be transported. It’s unavoidable as long as the consumers of energy don’t live at the energy source. There are different forms of energy. Electricity is commonly transported via high voltage transmission lines, while oil and gas are typically transported via pipeline, but also by rail or tanker trucks. Although pipeline is understood to be the safer mode of transportation, increased demand, pipeline capacity limitations, and lack of infrastructure have increased reliance on truck and rail for energy transportation. At issue is a series of accidents involving rail transportation of fuel, bringing the topic of safety to the forefront.
Earlier this year according to the Oklahoman, Oklahoma Energy and Environment Secretary Michael Teague stated that proper maintenance and regulation are ‘key’ to ensuring energy transportation safety.
Safety regulations that require improvements to tank cars to protect against disaster , such as reinforced tank walls, are now in motion. These regulations are subject to public comment until 2015, but due to recent events, they might be pushed earlier.
According the American Association of Railroads, 85 percent of “tank cars used to transport flammable liquids in the United States are … types that need to be phased out or upgraded.” These cars aren’t owned by the railways but by the shippers. Teague stated,
Pipelines give you the safest system in terms of health, safety, and the environment. I know there are concerns with environmental impacts of pipelines but if done correctly and regulated correctly, pipelines are going to give you the best long-term solution.
With regular inspection and maintenance of railways, railway cars, trucking fleets, pipeline, and compressor stations, fewer accidents will occur.
These events might put pressure on the White House to approve the Keystone Pipeline project according to Bloomberg News. A State Department environmental assessment of the project should have been completed prior to end of June. At issue is the fear that the Keystone Pipeline project “would encourage development of the oil sands, which releases more carbon dioxide than other forms of oil production”.
When speaking of environmental impact, the large carbon footprint of truck fleets and railways are also of concern, and these factors support the development of pipeline infrastructure.
Many recognize pipelines to be the safest way to deliver today’s fuels and help reduce daily carbon impact. We at Snelson Companies Inc are proud to support these values.