Pipeline Conversion in Southern Illinois

On Monday night we’ll be screening From the Pipeline at the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability on SIUE’s campus. Also coming to Southern Illinois may be a pipeline conversion, that like the Flanagan South, is reflective of our nation’s commitment to a fossil fuel infrastructure.

The Texas-based company, Energy Transfer, has proposed a conversion of existing natural gas pipelines to turn them into crude oil pipelines. Some, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (who had a part in regulating the Flanagan South) have cited concerns that this type of conversion – gas to liquid – might compromised the integrity of the pipe.

The proposed pipeline conversion would be 500 miles long and runs underground through about eight counties in Illinois. The pipeline would run under parts of the Shawnee National Forest. The converted pipeline would carry crude oil, not tar sands.

In an article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citizens interviewed expressed that the project was not receiving much coverage even though it has been the works for several years – though under a different company name.

While a converted crude oil pipeline does not have much technically in common with a tar sands pipeline like the Flanagan South, the circumstances surrounding construction and approval are not all that different. Both pipelines are parts of much larger networks that are carry fossil fuels across the United States, through permitting at the State level with little public comment/awareness.

Our interviewees Adrian City Councilman Danny Ferguson and MCE Clean Water Program Director Lorin Crandall discuss the growth of pipeline networks in the United States and compare these expansions and conversions with the mainstream awareness about the Keystone XL. You can read transcripts of their interviews and watch informational video segments on our website.


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