PBS Implies PA NatGas Pipelines Not Mapped – Fake News

An article appearing on the Pittsburgh’s PBS station WESA website is, in a phrase, fake news. The article boldly states in its headline (and text) that: “Only 11 Percent Of Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Pipelines Are Mapped For The Public.” The implication, the slight-of-hand intended to mislead lazy readers, is that 89% of natural gas pipelines in PA are not mapped at all. That simply is not true. The second graf of the story says this: “There are three types of natural gas pipelines: large transmission lines, medium-sized gathering pipelines and small distribution lines that go to homes and businesses. Transmission lines are the only ones mapped and disclosed to the public by the federal government, and they make up about 11 percent of total pipelines. There are 89,296 total natural gas pipeline miles in the commonwealth; the vast majority are small distribution lines, but more than 1,105 miles worth are gathering pipelines.” Does that not overtly imply the “vast majority” of PA’s pipelines are not even mapped? Pennsylvania recently went through a major revision of the state’s 811 system. Not only are gathering pipelines to shale wells mapped and included in the 811 system, so too are gathering lines to conventional wells. The only pipelines not part of the 811 system are those that run to “stripper wells”–wells that produce barely a puff of gas and therefore there’s no danger if you do happen to hit one when digging. The state Public Utility Commission wants to include stripper well pipelines in 811 too (see PA PUC Wants to Expand 811 to Include Stripper Wells). Is there an *online* database where *anyone* (i.e. “the public”) can see all of those pipeline maps? Heck no! First, there’s no need. Second, do you want terrorists to know where every pipeline is buried? We didn’t think so. Before you dig, you call 811 and if there’s a pipeline in the area, someone comes out and marks it. Rest assured, almost all natural gas pipelines in PA ARE mapped (except those to stripper wells), illustrating yet again how PBS shades the truth and generates fake news…

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