Editorials

Rover Pipeline: Could route move farther to the east? 2014.11.26

We knew the proposed ET Rover natural gas pipeline would pass in the vicinity of Morenci, but when we found out exactly where the 42-inch line would be located, it was a little surprising. With all of the open territory east of town, why come within half a mile?

To have safety concerns about a high-pressure gas line must sound alarmist to many people. After all, what are the odds of a gas leak in a brand new line at any one location in the pipeline? The odds are really quite small, yet problems do emerge from time to time. And once it’s in the ground, it’s going to be there for decades.

If anyone has concerns about the presence of the line near Morenci, now is the time to make your opinion known. A public hearing is scheduled in Adrian Dec. 1 to collect public opinion about environmental concerns—which include safety issues—and in addition, comments can be written on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission website. See an article in this week’s Observer for details.

The proposed route of the pipeline would not have to be altered much to take Morenci out of the evacuation zone should a problem arise in the future.

We’re reminded of the story of an elderly Minnesota farmer who faced a pipeline company in court. He was asked by the gas company’s attorney how close to a house he would consider too close for a pipeline. His response: “Would that be your house or mine?” No further questions were asked.