As the Lion in the Wizard of OZ, the Jersey City Council finally found some courage. They confronted Spectra Energy, at an open meeting, concerning the possible dangers of their request, to build a natural gas pipeline, through Jersey City. Spectra defended their position using all the appropriate propaganda and spin, relating to its safety, against the City Council’s third degree questioning and in front of a mostly unsympathetic audience of distrustful citizens. They used these measures supporting all possible reassurances concerning its proper operation.
They projected the characteristics of a well experienced used car salesman, trying to sell a piece of worthless junk, to an unsuspecting, naïve customer. They were well prepared, by painting their product with bright colors of the rainbow, hiding all the blemishes, dents, and rust, offering their own bogus thirty day money back guarantee. These pipelines, in reality, don’t have a very good track record throughout the Country.
History has proven our rightful suspicions with big business, concerning our health, welfare and our pocketbooks. The people of Jersey City, throughout the years had multiple dubious propositions shoved down their throats. Unfortunately they were used and abused as an expendable commodity.
Some hazardous situations are still lingering, in different parts of Jersey City, such as the Chromium cleanup on Rt. 440. Toxicities, of all types, were dumped, throughout the City, adversely affecting everyone. The culprits were basically given a free ride or camouflaged with dead end trails. High volumes of similar illnesses, deformities and deaths, were either ignored, or illogically stated as unrelated by multiple government and health agencies.
Spectra Energy continues to state that their pipeline will be the safest in North America. This statement came with an enormous reasonable doubt, connected to the recent terrible catastrophe that happened this February in an Allentown, Pennsylvania neighborhood. This was a natural gas pipeline explosion, line not owned by Spectra which killed five people and unmercifully inflicted additional injuries and property damage.
The tragedy didn’t stop there; the very next day, there was another terrible explosion in Hanoverton, Ohio. The offender was a rupture in the 36 inch natural gas pipeline.
September 2010 another documented natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, causing multiple deaths, injury and devastation to the area. Even though Spectra Energy had no involvement or relationship with these mishaps, there’s still a strong possibility that an unfortunate situation could happen no matter how many quality controls and safety checks are in place. These are just a few mentioned catastrophic events that involved natural gas pipeline explosions. There are many more, which are documented and recorded as public information, issued by (PHMSA) The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Now ask yourself this very important question. Do you really, truly trust Spectra Energy, with all their skeptical promises, controlling and manipulating our lives, health and property? This tremendous power of life and death shouldn’t be given to anyone, especially a private company; that must show a profit to their stockholders.
William P. Frasca
Jersey City, N.J.