There is a world outside coronavirus. Example 1: For my money, the best article in the morning Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was the op-ed by Tad Bohannon, chief executive of Central Arkansas Water, on plans afoot to reopen the Pegasus Pipeline, which ruptured and gushed oil in Mayflower seven years ago. It imperils water supplies across Arkansas should it reopen, including Lake Maumelle.
Why is it so great?
Because Bohannon has distilled a complex issue into understandable terms.
Exxon Mobil is pulling a flimflam to reopen this pipeline, built with a flawed pipe. It’s off-loaded ownership to another entity to shield the oil company from bad news. And that new owner doesn’t have a sparkling record.
The testing of the line has been insufficient.
The pipeline is still made of the same dubious pipe that Exxon always knew existed.
It’s been renamed for PR purposes.
The federal regulatory process is shrouded in secrecy.
The conclusion by Bohannon, whose water utility serves a big portion of Central Arkansas, including Little Rock:
The Pegasus Pipeline is not needed. Recent ET operations, and its record profits, have proven that. Given the pipeline’s known propensity to break and ET’s inability to assure the safe operations of its pipelines, the Pegasus Pipeline should never restart under its current name or any other name.
That’s because a dangerous, defective pipeline–by any other name–remains a dangerous, defective pipeline.
It’s a warning others should echo, such as the Arkansas congressional delegation. They were loud supporters of the pipeline industry when it came to a dangerous line across the Great Plains. Maybe a risk to safe water in Arkansas might make them less beholden to Big Oil.
PS: Central Arkansas Water maintains a comprehensive webpage on the pipeline.