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Courtesy of Politico

Just days after hundreds were arrested in Washington D.C. for protesting the proposed Keystone pipeline, nearly a hundred people perished in a pipeline explosionin Nairobi, Kenya. What costs are we willing to tolerate?

Image from LAProgressive

Pipelines can be dangerous when poorly maintained.  We saw that in San Bruno last year.  Responsibility fell solely on PG&E for poor maintenance, yet PG&E is still trying to hold rate-payers accountable by hiking rates  for upgrades needed to meet safety regulations. Although PG&E already made $10million in rate hikes in 2007 and 2009 designated to repair the exact pipeline which had already been identified as ‘high risk’.  AND, currently, they are still positioned to turn a profit on the San Bruno pipeline explosion.

Getty Images

But, accidents like San Bruno are not isolated to one horrendously mismanaged energy company.

Almost a year after the San Bruno explosion, a pipeline ruptured in Nairobi, Kenya.  It occurred in a slum, where many people live right next to an exposed pipeline.  This caused an instant inferno with limited escape.  Emergency personnel couldn’t even reach the scene in a timely manner due to poor road access that is often seen in low-income areas.

From Detroit Metro Times

 

This environmental injustice and lack of safeguards plague low-income communities around the world.  While residents from countless communities are fighting for their safety through stricter regulations, energy companies in North America are spearheading a new pipeline to run from Canada all the way to Texas in order to carry tar sands heavy crude.  Does anyone think we are really moving in the right direction?  How can we safeguard human health along pipeline routes, is it possible?

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