One of the most underreported stories about energy right now is the attempt to drive pipelines through the Big Bend area, one of the most beautiful parts of Texas and one of the most iconic, not to mention relatively wild. Here’s a good story about it and the last-ditch effort to stop it. But I thought this was pretty amazing, even though I pretty much knew it already:
Disputes are left to the courts. According to the commission’s website: “In Texas, pipelines are not required to be permitted before being built. There is no statutory or regulatory requirement that a pipeline operator seek or receive from the Railroad Commission either a determination that there is a need for the pipeline capacity or prior approval to construct a pipeline and related facilities. Additionally, the Railroad Commission does not determine or confer common carrier status for pipelines.”
Nor under Texas regulations is there a minimum distance that a gas pipeline must be built from a property. All this worries Gibson, an engineer who lives and works at the McDonald Observatory. Reached by a twisty, hill-hugging road, telescopes housed in futuristic-looking domes use the area’s dark skies to explore the universe.
Sure, just do whatever you want Mr. Energy Developer. We are grateful for your sweet, sweet fuel. No need for any regulations at all.