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By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher
If destroying the pristine beauty of Peabody’s Independence Greenway (aka the bikeway) wasn’t enough of a concern to oppose a pending gas pipeline project by Texas energy giant Kinder Morgan, the company’s safety record should be an eye-opener for residents who own homes along the proposed route.
This obscenely profitable energy company says it will build a pipeline cutting through the bikeway over the span of two years, ending in 2018, and that there’s nothing Peabody can do to stop them.
After KM applied to snake a new pipeline through Southern, NH, as part of the same project here in Peabody, the Manchester Union Leader newspaper reported that the company has a tattered safety record dating back to 2003.
Here’s what the Union Leader recently reported from reports filed by the National Transportation Safety Bureau. As you read these, keep in mind that there are several hundred Peabody homes within 200 yards of the proposed site of the new pipeline:
August 2003: Kinder Morgan 26-inch diameter natural gas pipeline exploded in a farming area in Caddo County, Okla., throwing a 54-foot long section of pipe 30 feet from the ditch.
May 2005: Kinder Morgan 30-inch diameter natural gas pipeline exploded near Marshall, Texas, sending a giant fireball into the sky and hurling a 160-foot section of pipe onto the grounds of an electric power generating plant. Two people were hurt, 40 evacuated.
July 2006: Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas pipeline exploded near Campbellsville, Ky., blowing a 25-foot chunk of pipe out of the ground and sending it 200 feet away.
September 2008: Kinder Morgan gas pipeline manifold exploded and burned for more than 10 hours in Pasadena, Texas, injuring one employee. The Houston Chronicle reported the blaze “could be seen for miles.”
August 2011: A flash fire at a Kinder Morgan gas pipeline south of Herscher, Ill., sent five employees to the hospital.
November 2011: A weld failed on a 36-inch diameter Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline near Glouster, Ohio, leading to an explosion that caused a blast crater 30 feet across and 15 feet deep. Three homes were destroyed by the fire.
June 2012: A 26-inch Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline failed in Gray County, Texas, blowing a crater 30 feet in diameter, burning two acres of agricultural land and closing State Highway 152 for several hours.
June 2013: in Louisiana, a 30-inch diameter Kinder Morgan pipeline ruptured and exploded in a rural area of Washington Parish. No one was seriously hurt, but 55 homes were evacuated.
It’s becoming more and more apparent that it’s time to push back and oppose this company, which is coming to Peabody to offer us nothing but headaches, and is threatening our quality of life with a project designed only to make Kinder Morgan more profits.