TC Energy is proposing to increase the amount of methane through its GTN (Gas Transmission Northwest) Pipeline which carries Canadian fracked methane to Washington, Oregon and California.
The flow in the aging pipeline is to be increased by increasing the pressure by adding three pump stations. The proposed increase in methane is about equal to a quarter of Washington state’s annual gas consumption.
TC Energy recently increased the pressure in its Keystone pipeline which could have been a factor in the Keystone Pipeline’s major rupture in December of 2022.
The GTN Pipeline carries methane which can cause large fires at pipeline breaks.
Increased pressure increases the likelihood and severity of breaks. Large fires are dangerous during the Pacific Northwest’s increasingly long, dry fire season. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Increasing pressure increases leakage, increasing the destruction of global warming. The greenhouse gas emissions from the GTN Xpress pipeline would exceed the top emitters in Washington except for the retiring TransAlta Centralia power plant.
Washington, Oregon and California are passing legislation to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, especially methane. Washington’s Attorney General has objected to the GTN Xpress project because of its negative implications for community safety and environmental justice.
For more information, see Sightline Institute’s article online at sightline.org/2022/06/15/the-pipeline-giant-behind-keystone-xl-wants-to-expand-a-major-fracked-gas-pipeline-in-cascadia and from the Columbia Riverkeeper’s website at columbiariverkeeper.org/take-action/WUTC.
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