Trouble in the Pipeline.


The Keystone Pipeline / Keystone XL project is controversial, here in North Dakota and elsewhere. Many environmentally concerned people have protested the pipeline, driving to the protests in their gas-powered vehicles. Others have supported the pipeline because of the thousands of jobs it would bring, but are too busy kicking homeless oil workers out of parking lots to do much protesting on their own.

This confusing issue caused me to turn to research in books to find some answers.

I present to you book #26 from the Hardy Boys Casefiles: Trouble in the Pipeline, published in 1989. I knew, as soon as I saw it at the used bookstore, that I had found a source of good information. With white knuckles, I quickly learned — according to the cover — an important truth:

Kickbacks always fall into the wrong hands.

I guess I hadn’t been aware that kickbacks ever really made their way to good hands, just by their very nature of being questionably legal, but I trust Franklin W. Dixon to tell it like it is.

Not only is there trouble, there are bears. Angry ones.

After reading this thrilling tale of Frank and Joe trying to locate the missing Scott Sanders, a mining employee working on a top-secret project, I have less concern over the quality of the tar sands oil from Canada, and more concern over the fact that Frank and Joe seem to bail out of their airplanes an awful lot in these stories. How in the world are they able to find an aviation insurer? There were, in fact, several aviation-based explosions in this book, which is a poor use of petroleum-based fuel.

Someone should protest that.

Trouble in the Pipeline was an exciting read, involving several blows to the solar plexus, suicide pills inside hollow teeth, and submachine guns. A particularly chilling passage has Frank realizing that terrorism was involved, which is particularly prescient in a book dating from 1989:

A shiver ran down Frank’s back. “Think about it. We all depend on the oil from the pipeline. And right now the whole maintenance staff — security and all — has been infiltrated by terrorists.

I don’t know about you, but shivers did a few trips up and down my spine, too, for that passage, and for the last passage of the book:

The chopper pulled away. In a matter of seconds, it was lost in a bank of clouds.

At no point did I get any indication that the pilot of that helicopter was instrument rated. He had no business being in the clouds.

I give it two thumbs up as a definitive guide to pipeline issues.


3 responses

  1. I bet there is a whole list of government agencies with 3 letter names that should be alerted about Frank and Joe!

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