Retired, rural Maine
We're located on the Androscoggin River and the TSO pipeline runs close by for miles, so I've been shopping for insurance to cover our small tourism business if a Kalamazoo -type spill happened. We haven't got a quote yet and the question is why not? One agent said "property values could drop 90%". A realtor agreed, " -and values could be depressed for a very long time."
The 2010 Kalamazoo River spill is instructive in this regard and the federal "Pipeline Serious Incident" statistics, (PHMSA) are scary, so we sent links to them for our insurance guy to ponder. Note in PHMSA the TOTALS for INCIDENTS, FATALITIES, and PROPERTY DAMAGE for 3 Year Average. Those two items provide a grim picture that should be reflected in the cost of insurance. That, in turn will help to make our points about unacceptable risk with no benefit, while shining a bright light on other industry b.s.
Here are the links:
Pipeline abutters, homeowners and businesses should ask their insurers for a quote to cover all short and long-term losses for a Kalamazoo type spill. (health, property value, business loss, etc.) This is especially important for folks who live on waterways and wetlands. Provide the above links for underwriters to consider, and let us know the results.
Let me re-state your reply to lend encouragement to your efforts. Your statement is true, when you consider corporations that want to corrupt our system use their money in amounts far beyond what We The People can muster, thus they have taken OUR place at the helm of OUR democracy. So... what's the answer?
The answer is that We The People to unite to removes corporate and special interest money from our electoral and legislative processes. Our history proves that it's possible -just look at Women's Sufferage, Civil Rights, Equal Rights movements --and take heart! The "Arab Spring and global Environmental / Energy movements are good examples of united civil action quickly achieving remarkable advances in the global arena. It's all solid evidence that basic democratic principles really work -BUT- only when people get away from pop media b.s., get smart on the Root Cause and most urgent issues then unite to create the desired positive change.
As an elderly and rather new activist, I can tell you that it's extremely rewarding to work with other motivated folks to solve a problem, especially when we're having successes -even small ones. We keep learning, make adjustments and grow more effective. That's what's happening now with the anti-fossil fuel, pro renewable effort going on around the globe. We choose to base our action on the best facts and science we can muster and keep updating our "database" so that our b.s. detectors can respond effectively to false or misleading propaganda in the pop (corporate controlled) media. Some effective orgs working on that include: Common Cause, Clean Elections, PDA, PFAW, NRDC, NRCM, Coffee Party, etc. -and they often collaborate.
It's tragic that Americans got confused and seduced by rampant corporatism and lost control of important parts of our democracy, but it isn't fatal. Like many cancers, if we detect them in time and get the right kind of help, we can save ourselves from a very bad outcome indeed. So don't get discouraged, get involved in OUR democracy and help put us back on track for a healthy, prosperous future.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply -and I agree with you. One major problem is lack of broad public awareness of the threats to mountains and the terrible impacts of bad mining practices. MPBN is the only radio/TV news/info source that gives more than puny 30 second spots to these kinds of problems. Another is "message control" on the part of the industries who really don't want to keep the threats in the spotlight, and have nearly limitless resources to "shape" the info we're getting. An ugly example of that is the coal industry in our Appalachian mountains where every trick in the book is employed to deceive and intimidate citizens, sometimes to act against their better interests.
There is a common, or ROOT CAUSE for most of these problems and it's the degree of influence that corporations are allowed to exert in our electoral and legislative processes. As Americans we can solve that problem but not until we can motivate sufficient numbers to force our elected officials to implement Publicly Funded Elections. Until we can do that, We The People are being controlled by deep pocket corporatist interests at the root of virtually every painful issue we suffer. Free and Fair Elections are the antidote for that pathology and the result would be nothing less than the resurrection of our American democracy.