Texas landowner forced to pay for oil pipeline removal

Dear Friends,

Here’s a not-so-hypothetical question for you: Who’s responsible for removing an abandoned oil or gas pipeline?

(A) Pipeline company
(B) Government
(C) Landowner

Sorry, if you guessed (A) or even (B), you think you’re living in a world that makes sense. As wrong as it seems, the answer is (C).

A few years back, a Texas landowner called a pipeline salvage company and was told it would cost about $1,000 to remove 300 feet of an abandoned oil pipeline. The landowner then discovered they needed permission to remove the pipeline from the company that held the easement.

In its corporate benevolence, the company granted approval, but also required the landowner to use the corporation’s preferred contractor. That contractor wanted to charge $50,000 — for a job another contractor priced at $1,000! The landowner gave up and sold the property.

There are so many things wrong with this picture, it’s hard to know where to start. So maybe start here:

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S FALLON FORUM PODCAST, starting at the 30:52-minute mark, beginning at the 30:52-minute mark, for deeper discussion of this travesty of justice.

Read this excellent article: Oil and gas companies are making old pipelines the landowner’s problem.

Finally, if you own land on the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline, check the agreement you signed. I’d be interested to know what it says about abandonment and removal.

What else do we cover on this week’s program?

— Reverend Billy Talen discusses Extinction Talk Radio.

— Kat Hrdina talks about businesses filling the void as Texans recover from the polar vortex.

— Phil James and Kathy Byrnes discuss no-till gardening.

But first, to kick things off, my “Trump Voter” interview this week is with Dave Murillo, a first-generation Mexican-American and retired Sergeant with the Des Moines Police Department. Much of our conversation focuses on law enforcement, racism, and immigration. Though we merely scratch the surface of these topics, Dave and I do identify a bit of common ground. It’s a conversation I’d like to keep going.

On the lighter side of our interview, I learn that (1) Dave’s grandmother made the best tortillas, which Kathy and I will one day get to sample (slathered with butter, Dave promised) and, (2) “Congress is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.” That’s now one of my new favorite insane metaphors, which I may use if I can verify that a dog’s hind leg is indeed crooked.



(01:51) Dave Murillo: Retired Des Moines Police Sergeant, Trump voter;
(18:50) Extinction Talk Radio, with Reverend Billy Talen;
(30:52) Farmers stuck with abandoned pipeline cleanup;
(42:20) Business fills void as Texas recovers from polar vortex, with Kat Hrdina;
(54:13) Till vs No-till, with Phil James and Kathy Byrnes.

Watch our conversation with Kathy Byrnes on The Fallon Forum Youtube Page.

Please support the local businesses and non-profits who make this program possible. Click on their logos elsewhere and visit Story County Veterinary ClinicBold Iowa, and Birds & Bees Urban Farm.

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Thanks for supporting the progressive alternative to the right-wing shock jocks!

Ed Fallon