The River Reporter of Narrowsburg, NY has uncovered the cause of that humungous pipeline explosion down on Route I-84 last month. Evidently the pipeline simply cracked under the pressures imposed by harsh, abusive testers from the pipeline company. This is a common occurence over at nearby Milford University this time of year, but one that has rarely been observed in industrial grade pipelines. Needless to say the locals were surprised.
According to the River Reporter, the " . . . explosion occured as the company was increasing the pressure on the pipeline under testing . . . within the sensitive . . . area." I left a few words out there, but don't worry about that.
Local residents, many of whom have experienced the rigors of Milford University during finals, sympathized with the pipeline.
Amy Amerhausen ('76) remembered: " . . . Gosh, those Nazis at Milford really put us through the wringer! I know what that pipe must have gone through. Those testers really outta let up, especially in that sensitive spot. My boyfriend told me all about that. Ouch."
Todd Jenkins ('03) added " . . . they couldn't pay me enough to go through another four years at Milford. I couldn't believe it when my father told me he had to pay THEM! I knew the bastard hated me. Anyway, I wish I could have just lifted the load by blowing off some steam like that pipe. Kids that did that kinda stuff got kicked outta school though."
As for the actual pipeline explosion, the River Reporter says that " . . . witnesses compared the geyser to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park." Most of the Milford men we talked to said they customarily saved that particular enjoyment until finals were over.
Angry at the pipeline abuse, folks have insisted that the pipeline operator, CGTC, come up with a plan to avoid future instances. CGTC has promised to reduce pipeline stress by resuming operations at normal pressure, then increasing it slowly as testing starts. They are also proactively " . . . monitoring the movement of heavy equipment across the Sloat Brook and into the wetlands" to restore that sensitive area to its pre-rupture state.
Mr. Jenkins was happy to hear that. "Well, my equipment may not be heavy, but it was sure sensitive after those pricks got finished with me at finals time. I talked like my sister for a week."
Cnews, some Canadian rag that I ran across online, carries the story of the group's first acts of vengeance, which took place at a series of gas pipelines in Fort St. John, BC and caused the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to be dispatched.
Constable Jackellyn Passarell said "Some unknown suspects entered the well sites and manually tampered with valves . . . " It came as no surprise that all the valves were turned to relieve pressure on the desperate pipelines, which had been subjected to weeks of grueling testing by inhumane pipeline operators.
The Fort St. John incident is notable because it is the first recorded instance where the group has taken up arms in pursuit of their cause. Pipelines are naturally shy and avoid free expression. Lacking a statement from the pipelines, we interviewed a few locals as proxies, many of whom voiced some ambivalence about the Undergrounders violent tendencies:
Stephen Burke cut to the chase, saying "You know, the pressure kinda sucks. But it's better then gettin shot at."
Bob Locke mused "Hey, I've been shot before. Maybe more than once. And it didn't do nothin but piss me off more. If those outlaws wanna do some good they outta shoot with an RPG instead of a rifle. Ain't no pipe comin back after that."
Jim Muse said "Huh?". Jim's from the backwoods.
Interviews with the shadowy Undergrounders are hard to come by given their preference for a subterranean existence. Their website, however, proclaims undying devotion to the cause of relieving the burdens placed on helpless pipelines. They have petitioned in the US to have pipelines identified as a protected class in Title VI of the US Code. This would erect legal barriers to harsh testing tactics. They are also making entreaties to Oprah Winfrey to speak on their behalf. One public relations executive we spoke to saw brilliance in the Oprah move:
"Oprah lends the perfect balance of empathy and softness to the otherwise sterile world of industrial pipelines. Let's face it, it's hard to feel sorry for a pipe. If anybody can do it, Oprah can."
So far there has been no comment from Oprah or her people (or Obama, for that matter).
Somewhere A Stressed Pipe Is Calling
December 22, 2008
Local Vigilantes Protect Pipelines
Taking a cue from last month's pipeline abuse incident in Pennsylvania a band of Canadian vigilantes has taken up arms in protection of pipelines running through their turf. Pipelines, routinely exposed to indiscriminate stress and pressure, have taken to venting their frustration and angsst in violent spasmadic ruptures. The vigilantes, calling themselves the Pipefitting Underground, are now roaming the badlands of British Columbia in search of cruel pipeline abuse. They are armed, dangerous, and driven to ease the troubled life of the world's industrial pipeline infrastructure.