Mapping the Pipeline Boom

Since the beginning of the energy boom in 2007, fracking has sparked intense debate in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Much of that has focused on potential health risks to communities near drilling operations. But as the industry now pivots to building infrastructure to transport Pennsylvania’s vast natural gas resources to energy-hungry markets in the Northeast and beyond, the debate is shifting too. Dozens of new pipeline projects have been proposed for the region, and residents are again raising questions about the risks from potential explosions, methane leaks, impacts on the landscape and the expanded role of eminent domain in securing pipeline routes. The maps below provide a picture of where that new infrastructure could soon be built—and its potential environmental and safety impacts.

 

Map 1: Proposed New Oil and Gas Infrastructure and Potential CO2 Emissions

The following map from FracTracker Alliance shows proposed new pipeline projects (represented with different colored lines), including the Keystone XL pipeline (black line). Orange and gray circles represent carbon dioxide emissions from existing oil, gas and petrochemical facilities, such as fertilizers plants and oil refineries.

Map 2: Existing and Proposed Pipelines

This map shows proposed pipeline projects (in black) that would be either completely or partially constructed within Pennsylvania. All other colors represent existing interstate pipelines, with each color identifying different operators. (Graphic: FracTracker Alliance)

Map 3: Pipeline Safety Incidents, 2010-2016

With pipeline construction in a boom phase, new attention is being paid to pipeline safety. This map from West Virginia Public Broadcasting shows pipeline safety incidents in the region from 2010-2016.

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This story is part of our series Follow the Pipeline, which explores the health and environmental impacts of the region's expanding natural gas infrastructure.