By Ben Lefebvre and Zack Colman, Politico (May 16, 2023)
“As illustrated by the Satartia explosion, the dangers are real. A pipeline carrying carbon dioxide is more likely to fracture than those carrying transportation fuels or natural gas, according to a report commissioned by the advocacy group Pipeline Safety Trust.
“Think of it as a zipper opening up and running down a significant length of the pipe following a rupture,” the report reads. “Along with releasing massive amounts of CO2 upon failure, these extreme ruptures can also hurl large sections of pipe, expel pipe shrapnel, and generate enormous craters.”
Safety advocates worry that companies racing to get government subsidies will put carbon dioxide pipelines in the ground before PHMSA finishes researching what types of materials and designs would best work for CO2 transit. In essence, the U.S. could have thousands of miles of pipelines in operation before the government lays down rules on the best way to build them, said Bill Caram, Pipeline Safety Trust’s chief executive.
‘Once [PHMSA] gets the results from these R&D projects back, they’re then to go and make new regulations saying what you need to build your pipeline, with this type of steel, with these types of valve, to keep it safer,” Caram said. But they’re prohibited from making those regulations apply to pipe that’s already in the ground.'”