1. Hydrocarbon pipelines have become a contentious political issue due to the threat of anthropogenic climate change and the health risks they pose to individuals who come into contact with or inhale them.
2. The proliferation of hydrocarbon pipelines and the risk for people who live near them have been under-theorized and understudied in sociology.
3. The article seeks to make a theoretical intervention into the environmental justice literature as it relates to scale, arguing that environmental injustices related to hydrocarbon pipelines extend beyond local communities and require a planetary urbanization perspective.
The article "Extended Spaces of Environmental Injustice: Hydrocarbon Pipelines in the Age of Planetary Urbanization" provides an overview of the contentious issue of hydrocarbon pipelines and their impact on environmental justice. While the article presents some valuable insights, it also has several limitations that need to be addressed.
One potential bias in the article is its focus on the negative impacts of hydrocarbon pipelines without acknowledging their benefits. The article mentions that pipelines are necessary for distributing energy resources across a large geographic scale, but it does not elaborate on this point or provide evidence to support it. Additionally, the article does not consider alternative modes of transportation for fossil fuels, such as trucks or trains, which may have even greater environmental impacts.
Another limitation of the article is its one-sided reporting on pipeline incidents. While it is true that pipelines can leak and explode, the article does not acknowledge that these incidents are relatively rare compared to other forms of transportation for fossil fuels. For example, according to data from the PHMSA, pipeline incidents accounted for only 0.0002% of all hazardous materials transported in 2017 (PHMSA 2019a). Furthermore, the article does not mention that many pipeline operators have implemented safety measures to prevent leaks and explosions.
The article also has missing points of consideration and evidence for its claims. For instance, while it notes that Native American populations often resist pipeline construction through their lands, it does not explore why this is so or what specific concerns they may have. Additionally, while the article argues that hydrocarbon pipelines pose risks to people who live near them, it does not provide evidence to support this claim beyond anecdotal examples.
Moreover, unexplored counterarguments are present in this paper. The author could have considered arguments from those who support pipeline construction as a means of creating jobs and promoting economic growth. They could also have explored how increased use of renewable energy sources might reduce reliance on fossil fuels and thus decrease demand for pipelines.
Finally, there is a promotional tone in parts of the article where certain viewpoints are presented more favorably than others. For example, when discussing popular resistance against pipelines like Dakota Access and Keystone XL, the author portrays these movements as justified without considering opposing viewpoints or potential benefits associated with these projects.
In conclusion, while "Extended Spaces of Environmental Injustice: Hydrocarbon Pipelines in the Age of Planetary Urbanization" raises important issues related to environmental justice and hydrocarbon pipelines, it suffers from several limitations including biases towards negative impacts without acknowledging benefits; one-sided reporting; missing points of consideration; unsupported claims; unexplored counterarguments; promotional content; partiality; and lack of presenting both sides equally.