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Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines: Risks and Remedies for Host Communities

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  • David A. Anderson

    (Department of Economics and Finance, Centre College, 600 W. Walnut St., Danville, KY 40422, USA)

Abstract

Transmission pipelines deliver natural gas to consumers around the world for the production of heat, electricity, and organic chemicals. In the United States, 2.56 million miles (4.12 million km) of pipelines carry natural gas to more than 75 million customers. With the benefits of pipelines come the risks to health and property posed by leaks and explosions. Proposals for new and recommissioned pipelines challenge host communities with uncertainty and difficult decisions about risk management. The appropriate community response depends on the risk level, the potential cost, and the prospect for compensation in the event of an incident. This article provides information on the risks and expected costs of pipeline leaks and explosions in the United States, including the incident rates, risk factors, and magnitude of harm. Although aggregated data on pipeline incidents are available, broadly inclusive data do not serve the needs of communities that must make critical decisions about hosting a pipeline for natural gas transmission. This article breaks down the data relevant to such communities and omits incidents that occurred offshore or as part of gas gathering or local distribution. The article then explains possible approaches to risk management relevant to communities, pipeline companies, and policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • David A. Anderson, 2020. "Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines: Risks and Remedies for Host Communities," Energies, MDPI, vol. 13(8), pages 1-10, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:13:y:2020:i:8:p:1873-:d:344536
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Evan Herrnstadt & Richard L. Sweeney, 2017. "What Lies Beneath: Pipeline Awareness and Aversion," NBER Working Papers 23858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    3. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Julia L. Hansen & Earl D. Benson & Daniel A. Hagen, 2006. "Environmental Hazards and Residential Property Values: Evidence from a Major Pipeline Event," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 529-541.
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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Anderson, 2020. "Environmental Exigencies and the Efficient Voter Rule," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-7, November.

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