Relevant Point

Letter To The Editor
By Jamie Black, Waterville Gas & Oil Company | November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11
Photo: Arianne van Noordt

RE: Social Justice For Pipelines?, Underground Construction, Sept. 2010

While I admire your passion, I feel you left one important point out, and that is that all too often we are our own worst enemies.

We are a small family owned LDC about 15 miles south of Toledo, OH. Back in May I received a call from an engineer seeking information about property in our name and within the study area of the new pipeline set to move shale gas from West Virginia to Chicago and Sarnia, Ontario.

A very basic Google map search would have shown this address in the heart of downtown Waterville. When informed of this, the engineer said they would have to review their plans. It is this type of “cluelessness” that just makes it tougher to swim upstream. In light of the San Bruno incident we can only expect the tasks to get tougher and take twice as long. In my 30 plus years in the LDC business I’ve lived through Drug & Alcohol, OQ, 1162, DIMP and now greenhouse gas reporting. Every one of these regulations resulted from incidents (many preventable) within our industry.

Customers and PUC’s must understand that the days of cheap gas are over and the industry needs to realize that the days of being run by hedge fund managers, accountants and “outside experts” are also over. We must return to our operational directed roots, which would mean more sedate and predictable returns on operational profits.

Jamie Black
Waterville Gas & Oil Company
Waterville, Ohio