San Bruno go boom!

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Been watching the teevee nooz coverage of the San Bruno [San Francisco peninsula] gas main explosion and conflagration. Wow.
I used to live about a mile away from that spot, across Skyline Blvd.; used to shop at the Lunardi's just across the road.
The news reported lots of people saying they'd been smelling gas in the neighborhood for the last week or so. One can only hope that PG&E (Pure Greed & Extortion) gets raked over the coals, literally, for this one.
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The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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Only one dead. That's fortunate, considering the locale.
These incidents are not rare in SFBA. Lotta gas, lotta poeple. There was another one a few years back, just off hwy 680 North near San Ramon/Danville area. Only took out the backhoe operator who ruptured the gas line.
I moved from SFBA 3 yrs ago. Don't miss it one bit.
nb
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

A few comments on this:
- People said they had smelled gas for a week, did any of those people bother to report it?
- People laugh at me when I say Nat. Gas is *not* safe and should not be allowed in residential areas, yet nearly every day there is a house explosion due to a nat. gas leak, and every year or two a big incident like this one. I recall an apartment building in the northeast (NJ?) being leveled by one of these nat. gas transmission lines exploding under it.
- Gas detectors are pretty inexpensive, they're included in every RV. Various technologies exist to allow the gas monopolies to install gas monitors in the areas where they pipe their dangerous product. It would not be especially expensive to install remote gas detectors in the area that would not rely on some person actually calling the monopoly to report a possible gas leak. The gas detectors also are more sensitive than human noses so they could detect a small leak blowing past.
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like this one. I recall an apartment building in the northeast (NJ?) being leveled by one of these nat. gas transmission lines exploding under it. <<<<<<<
Natural gas safety came up another time in AHR. Per some of our knowledgeable contributors, Nat Gas doesn't cause a huge number of injuries or property damage.
I googled Nat Gas explosions and fires then and again today.
Natural gas has a pretty decent safety record. A fair number of the large explosion / fires are caused human error (damaging pipeline with backhoe).
The NJ incident happened in 1994, one fatality (heart attack)
The was another deadly explosion in NM in 2000, 6 killed instantly, 6 died of burns & smoke
check this out
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pipeline_accidents
Yes, of course, these are pipeline accidents but most large scale explosions appear to correlate with pipeline problems rather than mere low pressure leaks.
I did a quick scan....... looks like LPG (propane) causes a lot more problems than Nat Gas and confirms my gut feeling, propane is way more dangerous than Nat Gas
High pressure nat gas pipelines are the only affordable way to transport large amounts. :(
cheers Bob
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wrote:

That laughter you speak of may be due to your humor.
There are annually over 33,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S., and that the lowest in about 60 years. Do you also believe we should eliminate automobiles?
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Gordon Shumway wrote:

I frequently get that nonsensical argument. The fact is that we do not have a reasonable alternative to automobiles, while we have a number of reasonable and much safer alternatives to nat. gas.
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You still haven't given any verified data indicating the danger you are so sure is happening. Until then I would remind you that anecdote is not the singular of data. And Google and CNN random news accounts certainly don't fit that bill. What are the more safer alternatives?
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

I'm not aware of any central nat. gas explosion clearing house, so you'll just have to rely on the thousands of news reports of such explosions for your proof, unless of course you think CNN and all the various other TV stations and newspapers are faking those reports.

In no particular order: Oil, wood, solar, coal, electric (resistive or heat pump) none of which have ever caused a house explosion and killed people. Yes, some of those heating sources have been known to cause house fires, but those are slow and escapable unlike nat. gas explosions. Requiring gas detectors ($50 or so) in homes with nat. gas would go a long way towards improving safety, and indeed the generally required CO detectors are available in dual CO / gas detectors for about $60.
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I don;'t have to rely on anything. You are the one making all of the great pronouncements that you can't back up with facts. I also don't find "thousands" of individual reports on CNN, etc. I see a few explosions reported many times over.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Here are some statistics for you:
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/GasHomesFactSheet.pdf
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/GasFactSheet.pdf
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/GasNonHomeFactSheet.pdf
I expect you'll consider the NFPA a reputable source.

No comment on all the readily available safer alternatives to nat. gas? Unlike the often cited auto deaths, we do have plenty of viable alternatives to dangerous nat. gas.
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On Fri, 10 Sep 2010 20:31:21 -0500, Pete C. wrote: [snip]

They're also more polluting.
[snip]
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Gary H wrote:

Solar is most certainly not more polluting, nor is electric depending on the generation source. In any case, pollution isn't much of a concern vs. getting blown up.
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Well, let me first say that I found the statistics you referenced to be informative and eye-opening. But I have to disagree with the above statement. Pollution kills people, too. For example, burning wood releases particulates, and particulates interfere with lung function and can lead to premature death. I don't have the statistics involved, but it may well be the case that burning wood causes as many deaths due to pollution (per unit energy delivered) as natural gas does through explosions.
Cheers, Wayne
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Wayne Whitney wrote:

There is a notable difference between being blown up in a nat. gas explosion at say 25 vs. dying "prematurely" at 85 due to pollution.
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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 14:08:30 -0500, Pete C. wrote:

Consider the manufacture and disposal of solar cells.

That (less polluting source) is likely to be unavailable to you. Most electricity is made from coal.

I said nothing about relative concerns before, but it is. Maybe less immediate but no less serious.
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electricity.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Nuclear is also a significant percentage of our "green" power generation.
At any rate, I never said that nat. gas shouldn't be used in carefully controlled industrial applications like power generation, I said it should not be used in residential applications, or at the very least gas detectors should be mandatory just like CO detectors.
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Pete-
You're clearly WAY out of your depth.
How do you suggest we heat the homes now currently being served by natural gas? Switch them all over to propane? Wood pellets?
btw natural gas is way too valuable a resource to use for generating electricity, think chemical feedstock.
The average human already comes with a residential natural gas ...... their nose. CO is odorless & colorless, that's why CO detectors make more sense (but examining one's thumb nail color will do in a pinch)
cheers Bob
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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 21:26:56 -0400, Kurt Ullman wrote:

That sounds right.
BTW, we have a natural gas generating plant near here.
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Gary H wrote:

Who said anything about solar cells? We're talking about safer alternatives to nat. gas, which is primarily used for heating. Manufacture and recycling of solar thermal collectors (air or water) is pretty non-polluting and they are very recyclable.

I can purchase 100% wind generated power where I am. Folks in other places can get 100% hydro.

If I die at 85 vs. 90 due to pollution, I don't much care since quality of life at those ages tends to be rather low. If I get blown up at 30 due to a nat. gas leak I'd be rather more upset.
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