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Pipelines Preserved But Glaciers Going In Glacier National Park

On Friday, Montana’s U.S. Senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, introduced S. 2229, legislation to authorize right of way permits for a natural gas pipeline that runs through Glacier National Park. The pipeline has been there since the early 1960s, is deteriorating, and may rupture without repair work that the legislation allows.

I understand the need for this legislation. Though it’s not at all ideal for a natural gas pipeline to go through a national park, we don’t want to have flammable fossil fuels leaking out in that park, now that the pipeline is there. So, fine, I hope that the legislation is passed, and that the maintenance of the pipeline proceeds.

The thing is, that pipeline isn’t the only thing that needs maintenance in Glacier National Park. There’s a bigger deterioration going on – in the glaciers themselves. They’re melting because of global warming. Before too long, we may a Glacier National Park without any glaciers at all.

Communities near Glacier National Park need the natural gas that comes through that pipeline, but they also need the water that comes from the glaciers on the nearby mountains. When those glaciers are gone, where are they going to get their drinking water?

For that matter, how are those communities going to replace the tourist revenue that comes from people who have come to visit the glaciers? What are the going to do, rename the park as the Effects Of Global Warming National Park?

I’d like to see an amendment placed on that pipeline legislation, stating that no work on the pipeline can proceed until a comprehensive bill to slow the impact of climate change is passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law.

Big Drift

5 thoughts on “Pipelines Preserved But Glaciers Going In Glacier National Park”

  1. NOBushObama says:

    When I’d seen this bill on Friday, I couldn’t believe that they would have a gas pipeline in this beautiful part of our country. I didn’t realize one was already established until further online reading. I agree on maintenancing the existing pipeline but it’s the part in the bill that says “and for other purposes”. You have an excellent point about the water supply. This is one site I plan on visiting soon because it won’t be there long.

  2. Tom says:

    in reference to my last comment about the Gulf (for those of you that think “it’s all better now”):

  3. Tom says:

    What could go wrong?
    “The company tackling a serious gas leak on a North Sea platform is playing down fears that a lit flare could ignite and cause an explosion.
    Total says the flare was left alight on the evacuated Elgin platform because there wasn’t time to turn it off when staff were airlifted off.

    The company says the flame is still burning above the flammable gas beneath it but the wind is blowing the gas away from the flame.

    It insists that safety considerations in the design of the platform mean there are 70m separating the flare from the leaking gas.

    Bruce Lawson, asset integrity manager with Total, told Sky News: “We evacuated the platform because safety of our personnel was our prime concern and the fact that the flare remains to burn was not a concern at that time.”

    “The design of a facility is a complex process and the location of the flare in relation to the main well-head platform and prevailing wind conditions are a part of that.

    “So it’s designed to be upwind of the main area such that the prevailing winds blow away from the platform, which is exactly what’s happening.”

    Oh, so the wind ALWAYS blows that way, right?

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