Pipeline protest in Boston, Massachusetts

Civil Disobedience: Tri-State Pipeline With Safety Issues Being Forced On Residents Without Proper Oversight

There has been growing interest over the oil pipeline protest in North Dakota over the last several weeks, to the point where the Obama administration had to jump in, ordering a halt to the pipeline’s construction and requesting that the company consider the view of the native tribes in the area, who are playing a major role in the protests so that the pipeline doesn’t pollute their water and cut through Sacred Stone Camp on their land.

Pipeline protesters have warrants for their arrest for acts of civil disobedience
Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein at the pipeline protest in North Dakota, with a can of spray paint. [Photo by Alicia Ewen/KX News via AP Images]

The oil pipeline protest has been spotlit by political figures such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baracka, who now have warrants to their arrest for vandalizing company property, as well as a warrant for journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

The same news service Democracy Now! has also reported on another protest — which isn’t against an oil pipeline, but one for natural gas. In their report, they covered the arrest of several activists in Massachusetts, where a Spectra Energy pipeline is being built, and in New York against an electric company that supports Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline, as they were blocking construction for three hours on August 30.

According to reports, Spectra Energy is expanding their Algonquin pipeline through Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, which is slated to be built only hundreds of feet from the aging Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

Spectra Energy is a Houston-based company that installs and manages pipelines through the United States. Their proposed expansion through a densely populated community, according to the Spectra Energy, will bring natural gas to New England. But protesters argue that there is no need.

As the video for Thom Hartmann’s The Big Picture shows, there are safety issues with the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, which can also be confirmed by an article published by Nature that refers to committing aging power plants to run past 2050.

But Spectra Energy reportedly has some safety issues of its own. One person on Yelp left a comment on the pipeline company’s review page which said that Spectra Energy does not have a good safety record, and with their pipeline running through neighborhoods where people who are unaware of the kind of the company’s safety record live, they felt that building the pipeline there was too much of a risk to take.

Pipeline protesters have been fighting companies in Boston for years. Spectra Energy is just the next one in line.
Before Spectra Energy came along, another company from Houston called Kiner Morgan was looking to build a pipeline in Boston too. The main image for this article shows those protesters in 2014, and the protest has been going on ever since. [Photo by Pat Sullivan/AP Images]

An article published in 2013 by The Orlando Sentinel writes that Spectra Energy had been cited 14-times since 2005, six of which were for pipeline corrosion.

The article refers to a independent organization from the U.S. Department of Transportation which cited the company and also made a announcement on their site saying they had shut down Penn/Jersey system pipelines owned by Texas Eastern Transmission — a subsidiary of Spectra Energy, until the company took corrective action to protect the public.

In March 2014, the Christian Science Monitor reported on the corrosion of older pipelines which resulted in a explosion in Harlem, killing eight people. Their article mostly referred to getting the aging pipeline replaced under new regulations, the difficulty of doing so, and how the explosion was a shake-up for the infrastructure in the industry.

Marcellus Drilling News writes about the various corporate customers for the pipeline who stopped being customers after a law was passed preventing them from passing off the costs from the pipeline to natural gas consumers.

The Portland Press Herald confirms this pullout, which many were hoping would kill the $3 billion project. But the Spectra Energy group decided that shutting it down was not an option, bouncing back to keep installing the pipeline.

A local CBS affiliate in Boston also reported on the civil disobedience on-site where protesters from Resist The Pipeline cuffed themselves to vehicles.

A few months ago, Al Gore’s daughter was arrested at the site, where she too blocked workers from building the pipeline, as reported by TheInquisitr.

[Image by Charles Krupa/AP Photo]

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