And you disliked Enbridge before? Here’s why gas is so expensive right now.

6 Aug 2012

This is how I feel at the pump; you too?

Regular readers of this blog know about the massive (800,000 gallons) oil spill from the Enbridge pipeline running across western Michigan and how the Federal government has already begun assessing penalties.

I’m sure you noticed the jump in gas prices over the last week. Well, you can blame that on Enbridge as well.  I missed that Enbridge had another spill almost two years to the day of its 2010 Michigan spill.  This one was in Wisconsin and smaller (reportedly between 1,200 and 50,000 gallons) but, it certainly got the Federal government’s attention.  This pipeline carries light crude oil to Chicago area refineries.  That’s why the spike in gas prices.

This time, rather than waiting for a third spill, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, (PHMSA) has issued an order requiring Enbridge to:

  • submit to PHMSA for approval a restart plan for the entire 467-mile pipeline segment before operations may restart;
  • conduct mechanical and metallurgical testing and failure analysis of the failed pipe, evaluate previous inline inspection results and submit an integrity verification and remedial work plan; and
  • bring in an independent evaluator to investigate the company’s integrity management plan.

It looks like these ugly prices are here for a while. It isn’t a holiday weekend, or summer driving – it’s apparently someone else’s poor maintenance that is costing us all so dearly.

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