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Flashpoints: The Pigs In The Pipeline – And In The White House

Greg Palast on KPFA Flashpoints with Dennis J Bernstein

Last month the Keystone pipeline cracked in South Dakota and dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of the dirtiest tar sands oil onto a previously pristine prairie. In this episode of Flashpoints we discuss how this burst came about when there were supposed to be foolproof ...more

The Pig in the XL Pipeline
Insider reveals concealed “error”
in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOP’s XL pipe dream

Greg Palast 

For Firedoglake

“They threatened me. Last night I got a call and they threatened me. If I talked.”

“Pig Man #2,” a pipeline industry insider, had a good reason to be afraid.  He was about to blow the whistle on a fraud, information that could blow away the XL Keystone Pipeline project.

His information: The software for the crucial piece of pipeline safety equipment, the “Smart PIG,” has a flaw known to the industry but concealed from regulators.

The flaw allows cracks, leaks and corrosion to go undetected – and that saves the industry billions of dollars in pipe replacements.  But there’s a catch. Pipes with cracks and leaks can explode  and kill.

Federal law requires the oil and gas industry to run a PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, through big oil and gas pipelines.  The robot porker, tethered to a GPS, beeps and boops as it rolls through, electronically squealing when it finds dangers.

But whistleblowers told us …more

XL Keystone – The Pig in the Pipeline
The GOP is pushing a pipeline
that could blow you to pieces

Greg Palast 

Special to TruthOut.org

Palast conducted a five-continent investigation of Big Oil for British TV’s premier current affairs program, Dispatches, and for BBC Worldwide. This report is based on the broadcast seen prime-time worldwide – but not yet in the USA.

Whistleblowers have told Britain’s “Dispatches” that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errors – and so pipelines can – and have – busted, leaked, exploded …and killed.

Congressional Republicans are holding extended unemployment benefits hostage until President Obama agrees to speed up approval to build the XL Keystone Pipeline. XL Keystone will slice down through the entire width of the USA, moving tar-sands oil from Canada to Houston.

The oil industry promises that the Pipeline will be safe. But the pipe is only safe if the PIG inside it can squeal.

Federal law requires the industry to run a diagnostic robot PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, that will squeal when something is wrong: a crack, dangerous corrosion, anything that might lead to a spill or explosion.

But PIGs are only as good as the software that tracks and analyzes their signals. And the software used by Big Oil has been compromised – deliberately. …more