Pipeline Politics

Assessing the Benefits and Harms of Energy Policy

by Madelon L. Finkel, PhD


Almost all crude oil and natural gas globally is transported through pipelines.

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Cover image for Pipeline Politics

September 2018


Pages 232
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Health & Wellness/Public Health
  Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government

An essential review of the history, benefits, limitations, failures, and politics of pipelines, with a core focus on potential harms to environmental and human health.

The United States holds the world record of having the largest network of energy pipelines, with more than 2.4 million miles of pipeline transporting oil or natural gas. Russia, China, and Canada as well as many other countries also have extensive pipelines. How safe is this means of transport, and is there a potential harm to the environment and human health? In this text, professor Madelon L. Finkel presents an essential and clearly-stated review of the pros and cons of transporting oil and natural gas by pipeline. Finkel dispels myths, inaccuracies, and misconceptions and highlights the potential dangers that must be considered in any country's energy policy.

Pipeline Politics: Assessing the Benefits and Harms of Energy Policy provides a broad and accessible analysis of pipelines, from their history and safety to their politics and risks. Finkel examines the benefits and costs of pipelines in parallel as well as issues of environmental justice; the fairness of treatment of the people affected; and the development, implementation, and enforcement of pipeline laws, regulations, and policies.


  • Clearly presents the benefits, limitations, and dangers of transporting crude oil and natural gas by pipeline
  • Simply explains pipeline dangers to human health and the environment posed by spills, leaks, and explosions
  • Presents a history of pipelines to enable readers to put current debates in perspective
  • Addresses how pipeline politics are leading to the construction of more pipelines
Author Info

Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, is professor of health care policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education at Weill Cornell Medical College. Finkel is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on women's health and environmental health, with ongoing research projects in rural India and Peru. Her published works include Praeger's Understanding the Mammography Controversy: Science, Politics, and Breast Cancer Screening and : The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World. She is editor of Praeger's Public Health in the 21st Century.

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