Louisiana Pipelines Falling Apart = 144 Accidents in 2016

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350 Louisiana, DisasterMap, Louisiana Bucket Brigade

January 10, 2017                                                                        
For Immediate release

Contact: Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909, anne@labucketbrigade.org

144 Pipeline Accidents in Louisiana in 2016

Corrosion and Leaks the Cause of Nearly Half of All Accidents

What and when: Telepress conference about these accidents, 10:15 am CT
Where: Via phone and on line.       
Dial in: (949) 229-4400 Access Code:9341354
Link to webinar: http://anne39.enterthemeeting.com/m/T4J3RJJH

(New Orleans) As crawfishermen, landowners, students and others prepare objections to the permitting of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline across south Louisiana, a new report shows the poor state of Louisiana's oil and gas pipelines. Reports filed to the National Response Center (NRC) by both industry and third parties detailed 144 pipeline accidents in 2016. "This number is shocking.  One hundred forty-four pipeline accidents in a year," said Dr. Ezra Boyd of DisasterMap.net.  "While the severity of damage varies with each accident, they all cause harm to our natural assets and threaten the livelihood of those who depend on these resources.  Based on this very recent experience, it is very hard to imagine that any new pipeline will be 'safe from accidents or spills.'"

The report, released today, is an aggregation of all NRC reports regarding pipelines in 2016. Corrosion and leaks were the cause of 48% of all accidents. Thirteen of the accidents were caused by corrosion, 56 were caused by leaks, holes or pipeline ruptures. A significant number (33%, or 47 accidents) had no explained cause.

The accidents range from leaking pipes in the Gulf of Mexico to equipment failure and spills in Catfish Lake near Golden Meadow. Chandeleur Cove, Cypremort Point, Grand Chenier and Venice were among the other fishing spots where the accidents happened.

"Given the gross mismanagement and terrible condition of our pipelines, there is absolutely no way that the state or the Army Corps of Engineers should permit another pipeline in Louisiana," said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. "The oil industry will say that the problems aren't so bad and minimize these accidents. The industry is like an addict - unable to even acknowledge the problem."

The accident report comes amid increasing scrutiny of Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the pipeline. A report released in December, 2016 by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis exposed the precarious financial condition, fueled by considerable debt, of Energy Transfer Partners. (http://ieefa.org/ieefa-update-weaknesses-seen-companies-behind-dakota-access-pipeline-project/)

The project's contribution to climate change is another concern for people opposed to the project.

"Temperatures in the Arctic have already increased so much that in November and December large stretches of ice were melting - in the middle of the Arctic winter!" said Renate Heurich of 350 Louisiana. "While New Orleans is facing a future of rising sea levels, children in Madagascar are starving today after years of climate change related drought. It is utterly irresponsible to build more fossil fuel infrastructure when we need to put all our resources into a transition to wind and solar."


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