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Keystone Leaking
‘Smart’ PIGS Fail Again

Greg Palast 

There’s yet another leak on the Keystone Pipeline – it was discovered by a “passerby” – not TransCanada itself.  That doesn’t surprise us at all, if you’ve read my report on PIGS, you’d know why.

Reporting for Channel 4 News we talked to whistleblowers that told us the true story behind pipeline safety. The problem wasn’t just their terrible safety record, or even people taking shots at them. The problem was a PIG, not Porky, but a Smart PIG.
keystone_pipeline_FB
The Pig in the XL Pipeline
Insider reveals concealed “error” in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOP’s XL pipe dream

“They threatened me. Last night I got a call and they threatened me. If I talked.”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 at Channel 4 Dispatches (the “60 Minutes” of Britain) that the software is deliberately calibrated to ignore or minimize deadly problems. They know because themselves worked on the software design team.

This week, President Obama refused to issue a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, but invited its owner, Trans-Canada, to re-apply. The GOP has gone wild over Obama’s hesitation, screeching that slowing the Canada-to-Houston pipe for a full safety review is a jobs killer.

But it’s the Pipeline that’s the killer. Here’s what Pig Man #2 told me, on camera, his face in shadow: …more

Smart Pig:
BP’s OTHER Spill

Greg Palast 

For Buzzflash.com

Oil spill residue, Chenega, Alaska©1997James Macalpine-PIF

With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there’s no space in the press for British Petroleum’s latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation.  A hundred thousand used to be a lot.  Still is.

On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted.  Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail of hydrocarbons after “procedures weren’t properly implemented” by BP operators, say state inspectors. “Procedures weren’t properly implemented” is, it seems, BP’s company motto.

Few Americans know that BP owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline; but, unlike with the Deepwater Horizon, BP keeps its Limey name off the Big Pipe.

There’s another reason to keep their name off the Pipe:  their management of the pipe stinks.  It’s corroded, it’s undermanned and “basic maintenance” is a term BP never heard of.

How does BP get away with it?  The same way the Godfather got away with it:  bad things happen to folks who blow the whistle. BP has a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.
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