Just saw this strip. As someone who is involved in the fieldwork portion of the environmental impact statement, I will point out that such fieldwork is the 1st thing that is done when a pipeline is proposed (2nd only to the landowners being contacted; environmental survey crews of biologists and archaeologists [cultural resource management] are often on the ground even before civil survey, with GPS units guiding us). The results must be accepted by FERC (for interstate pipelines) before a PL can be built; I have seen routes changed MULTIPLE times for environmental (usually watershed, but many other factors are involved, including endangered species habitat) and CRM (archaeological sites). This comic strip is either an ignorance of the process or pure propaganda.
Further, I have seen PL routes changed MANY, MANY, MANY times to comply with landowner requests (it is a given that the original route is NOT the final route); public meetings are often held (I’ve never attended one, but I have heard the land agents/ROW (right of way people) talking about holding meetings. Occasionally there are engineering (and that includes avoiding collections of houses or other buildings; populous areas) or environmental reasons that mean that a PL has to go through a certain spot, but PL’s don’t want lots of upset people and try hard to appease folks. The PL’s end up with a permanent easement, and are facing a continuing relationship with landowners that will last decades-until a PL is retired (PL crews need to regularly access the PL for routine maintenance-mainly keeping trees from growing over the PL to prevent root damage) ; they want to get off to a good start with landowners. There are also construction protocalls which are much different than in the past, such as making sure that topsoil is replaced on TOP of the pipe, rocks are NOT on top, and that water bodies (including swamps) are bored under (boring is routine, also under every road- I’ve seen gravel county roads bored under so as not to inconvenience locals although cutting and covering could be done quickly). Maybe a few intrastate PL’s occasionally cut corners, but generally that is not done in PL planning and construction.
May 24, 2017