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Fracking: New Dangers

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland

Greg Palast Interview from DCTV on Vimeo.

On the 20th of April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven men instantly, then destroying 600 miles of coastline. On 9 September 2010, a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California, burning eight to death, one of several recent pipeline explosions in the USA. In 1992, in Chicago, a gas pipe leaked and 18 houses exploded, incinerating three people.


What do these deaths have to do with plans for “fracking” for natural gas in Ireland?

Everything. It was my job to investigate these three explosions, the Deepwater Horizon and California explosions as a reporter for the UK Channel 4’s Dispatches, the earliest as a US government investigator. In all three cases, the deaths were preceded by the same reassurances about the safety of drilling and piping that I read now in the debate about fracking in Ireland.

First, the Deepwater Horizon.  Eleven men died when the ”˜mud’ – drilling cement meant to cap the wellhead – failed and methane gas blew out the top of the pipes and exploded. The Shannon Basin is not the Gulf of Mexico, but your safety will be just as dependent on Halliburton’s mud. …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