Flying The Pipeline

Flying The Pipeline

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Even from hundreds of feet in the air Big Creek Lake looks big.  It spans roughly five and a half square miles.  It's this small area a half mile from the pipeline route drawing the most concern.

"It's scary because if there ever was a leak in that area our entire drinking water supply would be compromised," says Laura Byrne with Mobile Baykeeper.  The Ten Mile terminal is the starting point of this project.  I'm being flown by David Mauritson, a volunteer with South Wings--a group that tries to raise awareness of conservation issues by offering trips over ecological hotbeds.

"Flights to increase awareness of public officials who might have influence over what happens," says Mauritson.  We quickly breeze through the first 20 miles in Alabama--up here less of the pipeline is visible than when we were here before via helicopter.  Then we crossed the state line into Mississippi.  Flying through Mississippi one thing you'll notice is that the pipeline is harder to follow.  That's because the line runs in even more rural areas.  We follow a wide dirt path to the end point--the chevron refinery looks like a mechanical city on the water.  It's here the oil that travels through Mobile's watershed will be stored and processed into products we use.  Activists in Mississippi worry about the line because it too passes through sensitive areas like the Escatawpa River.

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