Pipeline Leak labeled "Natural Disaster", affects Southeastern US

Pipeline Leak labeled "Natural Disaster", affects Southeastern US - article image

Touted  as “a natural disaster” and a “mini-hurricane”, this pipeline leak will potentially cause problems for Georgia. While it may not be as catastrophic to our homes and well being, the leak could cause shortages in some areas. The leak is in Shelby County, Alabama. Locals are concerned about contamination to creeks and water tables in the area, however the EPA tells us there is no long term environmental health hazards. The EPA has also put precautions in for the 500+ workers who are cleaning up the spill and limited access to locals in surrounding areas by rerouting and closing off access to the dirt roads leading to the spill containment. They have also made it a no-fly zone and have banned any fire arms in that area to prevent potentially igniting the fuel. 

While it sounds nicer to say the spill was 6000 barrels, realistically we know this is about 250,000 gallons of gas. I'm measurement challenged and a visual learner, so in my head I see 250,000 milk jugs. That's a lot folks. The Colonial Pipeline delivers approximately 40% of the consumable gas on the East Coast, especially the southeastern portion. The EPA actually waived the Clean Air Act Requirements for 13 counties in Georgia and 5 in Tennessee. This essentially will allow more fuel to be brought in to help prevent shortages.

Other efforts have also been issued to help circumvent shortages and empty tanks at our gas stations. You will see a more than normal number of tankers on the road long hauling gas our way and ships carrying fuel have been dispatched from Texas to arrive in the ports of New York. Both of these modes of transportation are more costly than the efficiency of a pipeline and likely this cost will be balanced by higher gas rates.

Inventories are up at the moment so we may not immediately see the price increases. They were only up a penny or so as of right now, however, prices could “spike as much as 15 cent per gallon” according to a CNN article. It’s important that we do our part and use gas wisely until this shortage is corrected and Colonial Pipeline gets the necessary repairs.

I happened to read several articles on this gas leak. It is interesting to see comments on some of them. Ok, most of them. One always finds a lot of finger pointing and negativity with catastrophes such as this. The truth is that there is always a method that might have worked a little better, always people with negative perspectives, always people that use the resources provided by these companies while verbally attacking their methods. Here is a truth. In this life we can truly only be responsible for the actions of one person. That would be numero uno, myself, me. I cannot be responsible for anyone else other than me. I can keep doing what’s right regardless of what some business does or my neighbor does. While I hope I might influence some in the right direction I know I can’t make them do anything. 

I am reminded of a word that we use often in our line of business - CONSERVATION. It is defined as preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment. We often use this term in land sales. A large part of investments is to conserve our forests and natural environments. I suppose the relationship in my head is that we just have to do our part. Whether it be our lands and forests or conserving gas to circumvent shortages, it really is a matter of what one can do to help things along.  Being negative and judgmental probably isn’t going to help much at all. But supporting and offering solutions will. So, what conservation methods will you use to help prevent a gas shortage? And how will a gas shortage potentially affect you or your business? Chime in and let me know what your thoughts are!

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