Five Free Screenings in January 2016!

We are excited to announce that From the Pipeline will be screening throughout the month of January at five different locations across the Greater St. Louis area. All screenings are free and feature a Q&A with the director afterwards. This series is brought to you by the Greater St. Louis Eco Film Committee. Screenings are 7pm unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, January 12
Franciscan Sisters in Kirkwood
335 S. Kirkwood Road, MO 63122

Thursday, January 14
Mary Mother of the Church
5901 Kerth Rd, St. Louis, MO 63128

Monday, January 18
La Vista Ecological Learning Center
4300 Levis Lane; Godfrey, IL 62035

Tuesday, January 19
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
4092 Blow St, St. Louis, MO 63116

Tuesday, January 26
St. Stephen’s Church
33 N Clay Ave, Ferguson, MO 63135

From the Pipeline on Green Time TV this November

This November, St. Louis Green Time TV will feature From the Pipeline on two different air dates. The film will be introduced by Sierra Club Chapter Director (Eastern Missouri Group) John Hickey. Green Time will air From the Pipeline at noon on Saturday November 7th in St. Louis on Channel 24-1 and at 8 pm on Monday November 9th in St. Louis on Channel 24-2, Springfield on Channel 39, Joplin on Channel 36 and Marshfield on Channel 17.

Spill in Shelby County Closes Spearhead Pipeline

On August 11, 2015, the Spearhead Pipeline which runs parallel to the Flanagan South Pipeline and shares a right of way, released an estimated 16-20 gallons of crude oil into a local intermittent creek in Shelby County, Missouri. The Spearhead is also owned by Enbridge and has carried crude oil across Missouri for the past 50 years. Both pipelines were shut off and a clean-up crew was sent to the site. Part of the Spearhead pipeline was excavated for inspection to determine the cause of the spill as the release point was unknown at the time of the spill.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources reported that no fish kill occurred. Nor was any oily vegetation observed downstream. The Flanagan South pipeline was put back into operation the next day while efforts to investigate the Spearhead remained underway.

To see MO DNR’s record of the incident visit:

Underground pipeline rupture in California, Pipeline was heated and corroded

On May 19th, an underground pipeline carrying crude oil ruptured beneath the California coastline near Santa Barbara. The 101,000 gallons of spilled crude created a slick that extended nine miles along the coast and has already adversely affected wildlife.

The pipeline is owned and operated by Plains All American Pipeline Company. Pipeline was not carrying tar sands but was heated (just as tar sands pipelines are) which puts the integrity of the pipe’s metal at a higher risk for corrosion. A new report from federal regulators describes how corroded Line 901 really was – nearly half of the metal wall (upwards of 45%) of the pipeline was eaten away by corrosion at the time of the spill.

Early findings released by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (the regulatory body that oversees all pipelines, including the Flanagan South) do not point to a conclusive cause of the failure rupture but do take note of the massive corrosion.

Another pipeline owned by the company, Line 903, which connected to the ruptured pipeline, is also showing signs of corrosion and Plains All American Pipeline is under orders to review the pipeline for safety concerns.

Clean-up efforts are currently underway and the federal investigation into the incident is on-going.

Read more coverage of the Line 901 rupture at these news sites:


From the Pipeline Screens at Franciscan Sisters EcoJustice Film Series

Last night we presented From the Pipeline as part of the Eco-Justice Film Series put on by the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Health in Kirkwood, MO. We had a wonderful welcome and a wonderful, engaged crowd. We were so grateful to spend over an hour answering questions, taking comments, and making notes for things we need to investigate even more. We love hearing what audience members think about the film and the issues. And, of course, we love meeting community activists and hearing about how our community is growing in awareness, action, and solidarity. We see screening From the Pipeline in two parts: 1) to show the informational cut of the film and 2) to have a community discussion afterwards, not just about what has happened but what can happen. Screening From the Pipeline as part of the Eco-Justice Film Series was the perfect balance of these two aspects. Please visit the Franciscan Sisters for the Earth website to learn more about the films that will be showing in their next season of the film series. We are so grateful to be part of such an incredible series which has shown important social issues documentaries for several years and has attracted many activists, conscious community members, families, and students to attend and contribute to the conversation about ecological health in our local community.

From Common Dreams: “US Oil Pipeline Industry Quietly Building Network That ‘Dwarfs Keystone'”

Common Dreams published this piece yesterday which mentions Enbridge, Inc., the company who built the Flanagan South. The piece makes the important point that a network of pipelines is being built across the United States with little public comment or mainstream attention. In our documentary, interviewees Lorin Crandall and Mike Diel, also make this point in discussing the Keystone XL in relation to the Flanagan South. By focusing our attention on one single pipeline that relies on approval from the State Department (not an environmental department), we loose sight of the broader fossil-fuel energy infrastructure and future fossil-fuel commitment of the United States.

The approval of new pipelines and pipeline conversions across the United States is allowing for the construction of an entire network of fossil fuel transportation that would exceed the capacity of one single pipeline. Local groups, including those in shown in our documentary, have opposed pipelines in their own states. Due to the current permitting and regulatory practices surrounding pipeline construction and conversion, often little can be done to stop these “local” pipelines from being built (the impact of these pipelines is felt both locally and nationally). However, prospective national opposition to this entire network of pipelines (instead of just opposition to one or two) might turn the tide.

The article also cites the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the part of the Department of Transportation our interviewee Danny Ferguson discusses in our documentary.

Read the Common Dreams article here: US Oil Pipeline Industry Quietly Building Network That ‘Dwarfs Keystone’.

Thoughts from our Screening at the Center for Spirituality & Sustainability

Thanks to the Center for Spirituality & Sustainability and the Piasa Palisades Sierra Club for hosting us tonight and inviting us to share our documentary! Hearing perspectives from the community is not only fun and interesting but important to our work. We truly value being able to share our film in a community setting like tonight, where we can promote important discussions about the US energy infrastructure and fossil fuel projects that are impacted us close to home. When we set out to make From the Pipeline, we knew a community perspective was the one we wanted to capture most. We envisioned screening the film not just at festivals but in local community settings where people could talk about the film, ask questions, and hopefully, leave the screening feeling more connected and aware. From the Pipeline does not end with any call to action other than to go forward with new information and an expanded knowledge of how pipeline construction happens in our country. Being informed community members benefits us all. This is exactly what From the Pipeline is about, and we are truly grateful to have the opportunity to connect our work to local communities at a grassroots level.

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.


Updates about the film on Sloup

A year ago we received funding from Sloup, an innovative monthly crowd-funding dinner event, to support our trip across Missouri. They posted updates about our film on their website to share with the Sloup community. Sloup and its founders were recently featured in STL Curator so check out the article here and attend the next Sloup dinner! Here’s the exciting updates they posted: