by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland
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 pipelineÂ 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.
Everything. It was my jobÂ to investigate these three explosions, the Deepwater Horizon and California explosions as aÂ 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 thatÂ I read now in the debate about fracking in Ireland.
First, the Deepwater Horizon. Â Eleven men died when the â€˜mudâ€™ – drilling cement meant to cap the wellhead – failed and methane gas blew out the top ofÂ the pipes and exploded. The Shannon Basin is not the Gulf of Mexico, but your safety will be just as dependent on Halliburtonâ€™s mud. …more