Archive for california

Told ya so, frackers: Ohio geologists see link between fracking, sudden burst of earthquakes

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frackers cartoon Clay Bennett

In a previous post, Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault, I couldn't help but wonder how greedy Big Oil could ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering the San Andreas Fault to erupt into The Big One. Apparently, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment means nothing to California frackers.

Did I just say "California frackers"? My bad. I meant Ohio frackers, too. Along with any other frackers, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in Ohio, geologists have found a connection between fracking and earthquakes. Clearly, they've been in contact with Captain Obvious. L.A. Times, previously:

"The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'"

Take it away, Captain Obvious:

obvious

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep. [...]

They “believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement about the Poland, Ohio, operation.

You just know what frackers will do with the "unknown" word. How did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mangle it again? Oh yes:

And how did Hilcorp Energy mangle the truth again? Oh yes. They said they are “fully committed to public safety and acting in a manner consistent with being a good corporate citizen.” Because, hey, corporations are people, too, and they're the best corporate citizens EVER.

Sorry, Hilcorp, but you're no "citizen," but you are a disgrace. Hate to say we environmentally-aware types told you so about that whole "frackquake" thing, but well, we told you so. And don't get us started on climate change, the fracking chemicals that contaminate groundwater, and drought.

Speaking of which, if you've never seen Josh Fox's "Gasland," now's your chance. Our own lwdgrfx posted the entire video here.

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Overnight: Point Lobos, California State Park

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California

Point Lobos State Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

More disgusting socialism. It could have been sold to a major development company long ago. Instead it belongs to the State of California - more wasted tax dollars.

Incidentally, in case you haven't read this page, you should know about at least 75 ways socialism benefits you and has improved America, the purchase of Point Lobos being among them.

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GOP candidate Tim Donnelly: Breitbart CA site A-OK, undocumented immigrants are rapists, child molesters

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Former Minuteman and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia) speaks at a state Capitol rally in support of his legislation, AB-26, on April 4, 2011.

Meet conservative California GOP candidate for governor, Tim Donnelly. Actually, you'd be better off avoiding him. He's hoping to beat Gov. Jerry Brown. Good luck with that, Tim. Why? Well for one thing, per the Los Angeles Times, he's fine with his columns appearing in a new ultra-conservative website, one that features an appallingly controversial image:

Republican candidates for governor are using the website to publicize their platforms.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) wrote a column criticizing Democrats’ education policies, including a recent attempt in the Legislature to restore affirmative action to university admissions in California.

Donnelly said Monday he had not seen the Pelosi image, but he was happy to have his column gain a wide audience.

Here's the ABC headline describing Rep. Nancy Pelosi's reaction to the image: "Nancy Pelosi Says Breitbart-Altered Pic of Her Twerking Is ‘Tasteless.’"

Here's the image:

pelosi breitbart twerking

Gee, that's not at all sexist, completely offensive, and infantile. But the new Breitbart California site defended it, because, you know, Benghazi. Or Obamacare. Or sick and desperate. Or something.

Let's move on to the second L.A. Times article that goes into more detail about the real Tim Donnelly.

For starters, Tim Donnelly was a leader of the Minuteman organization, a group of militia men ("bigots and weekend warriors") that got off on patrolling the US-Mexico border. They "thought it should be legal to kill illegals."

In a speech a few years back, Donnelly described undocumented immigrants as "an insurgency," and compared crossing the border to war.

Note to Donnelly: "Illegal aliens" is a slur. These are people, and people are not illegal. Their acts may or may not be, but they are human beings, not "illegals." Tim Donnelly, in his own words:

"Right now, in the United States of America, there are 850,000 gang members, two-thirds of whom are illegal aliens," he said. [...]

In the 2006 speech, Donnelly painted an alarming picture of illegal immigrants' effect on the United States. They have caused the destruction of schools, the bankruptcy of hospitals forced to provide them free medical care and led the government to abandon its citizens, he said, asserting that the country was on the brink of a battle similar to the Civil War.

The notion that illegal immigrants come to this nation for a better life "is one of the lies," he said. "At least 20% are coming to commit the crimes that American criminals will no longer commit."

He paused as the crowd laughed, then continued: "Of that 20%, how many are rapists? How many are murderers? How many are child molesters? And how many are terrorists? We don't know."

"Crimes that American criminals will no longer commit"? What, American bad guys started boycotting certain crimes? They look down their noses on some criminal acts as beneath them, do they? Certain ones have fallen into disfavor, have they?

Here's the real crime: Everything he said, plus the crowd's disgusting response. I wonder if any of his audience members might have been rapists or child molesters? Oh, sorry, my bad. It was likely a monochromatic group (read: white), and we all know white people don't commit despicable acts like those.

He's all yours, GOP. By the way, how's that outreach thing workin' for ya?

You can read more about him at the link if you can stomach it.

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Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault

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oil shale Monterey CA fracking Big Oil

California is trying to solve a riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States, one that covers 1,750 square miles, roughly from Bakersfield to Fresno. I'm trying to solve a different riddle: How greedy Big Oil can ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering The Big One, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a gigantic oil trove that's trapped in San Joaquin Valley's Monterey Shale formation, 15 billion barrels, to be exact. While drilling and fracking could be a huge bonanza for oil companies and create a boom that could transform California's economy, the consequences could do just the opposite. "The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'" Yes, what California needs to kick start a thriving economy is a San Andreas "frackquake."

So far nobody has figured out an affordable way to extract the dirty, polluting fossil fuel. Good.

But that doesn't mean they haven't spent millions and millions of dollars trying. And, as the Times reports, "Oil companies are now paying farmers for their water rights, land and, in some cases, buying their homes outright to get at the reserves that might lie underneath."

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction — primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization — can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves. [...]

The implications are profound, touching on public health, water use, water quality and the loss of agricultural land. The subsequent transformation also would alter the lives of families living in the resolutely rural communities dotting the valley.

For Tom Frantz, a retired teacher and third-generation farmer, the exploratory drilling is already too much.

"This is prime farmland and they have drilled between 200 and 300 wells in the last 10 years in the Monterey Shale," Frantz said. "Every one took out an acre or two of farmland. Every one has used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. Each one has contributed to our air pollution. Each one has had spills on the ground of different chemicals and crude oil. Each one is emitting methane as we speak. If this thing happens and there are thousands and thousands of wells — that's scary because an accident is bound to happen," he said.

What may be great for California's economy could just as easily destroy it, along with the lives of its residents. Thankfully, the jury is still out on how this can be done profitably. Leave the damned oil shale reservoir alone. Money isn't everything. Life (as the hypocritical Drill Baby Drillers love to tell us) is.

More here.

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Stew of corruption: Just add politicians, cash, and simmer.

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culture of corruption

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on several recent corruption scandals involving state level politicians, in this case Democrats. It was pretty jaw-dropping. Included in her report was the arrest yesterday of California State Sen. Leland Yee:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This morning, I came across this Los Angeles Times article about Yee and noticed this:

Democrat Derek Cressman, one of Yee's opponents in the secretary of state race, called his arrest a "wake-up call."

"We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California Senate," Cressman said. "The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person's soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all."

Then I saw this Los Angeles Times editorial:

This page has been firm in its opposition to the NRA's abject disdain of the public good in pursuing its warped view of the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms and its bullying approach to the political process. But the blame for this national insanity should not be placed entirely on the NRA. Politicians respond to the group's pressure out of fear, knowing that their jobs often depend on low-turnout, one-party primaries in which fringe passions are amplified.

In other words, if politicians don't respond to the NRA's bullying, they can kiss their donations good-bye, and some other extremist will win the cash... and the day.

Thank you Supreme Court and Citizens United, for turning campaign finance laws on their heads, for allowing super PACs and billionaires to call the shots and buy our elections, and for giving toxic organizations like the NRA the leeway to exert their influence on election outcomes. The result? More corruption and less democracy.

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GOP councilwoman asked to resign after saying fatal police shooting “saved us a trial.”

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councilwoman Kring

Lucille Kring is a councilwoman from Anaheim, the city in which Disneyland-- "the happiest place on Earth"-- is situated, right here in my home state of California. The councilwoman may not be a councilwoman for long at the rate she's going. Nor is much of that Disney happy rubbing off on Anaheim at the moment.

You see, Councilwoman Kring isn't serving her "pro-life" Republican party very well after her Kring-worthy, er, cringe-worthy praise of the killing of a suspect. Yes, she actually gave a thumbs up to a police shooting that ended a young man's life.

Oh goody, the guy's dead so we don't need a trial! "Always a good outcome," she gushed.

But how do you really feel, Lucille?

Via the Los Angeles Times:

An Anaheim councilwoman is under growing pressure to resign following her online remarks that a fatal police shooting of a 21-year-old man had “saved us a trial.”

Lucille Kring, who now is running for mayor of Orange County's largest city, quickly apologized for her remarks, but some residents pushing for her resignation said it was too late. [...]

“The shooting saved us a trial. Always a good outcome,” Councilwoman Lucille Kring wrote on an online thread for residents of the city’s Colony District. [...]

Genevieve Huizar, who recently lost a wrongful death lawsuit for the officer-involved shooting of her son Manuel Diaz, called Kring’s statements sickening.

“Lucille, apology not accepted,” Huizar said. “How dare you? How dare you?”

Kring's resignation, now that would be a "good outcome."

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GOP candidate for gov. has criminal record: Registered sex offender, manslaughter, rape attempt

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gop disaster zone gop candidate

Who wouldn't vote for a GOP candidate for governor with a criminal record? After all, the "party of family values" has forgiven D.C. Madam client, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA),  for his sins, right? So why let a little attempted rape and voluntary manslaughter in a GOP candidate's past get in the way of stump speeches and fundraising fun? In fact, just such a guy recently spoke at the California state party's semi-annual convention.

So what if he spent years and years behind bars for his crimes? Meh. He's found the lord now, and in RepublicanLand, that's what really matters. All a party member has to do is mention the G word (no, not gun... God), and they expect forgiveness.

Meet Glenn Champ, 48, whose rap sheet reads like a pulp fiction novel. The Los Angeles Times has the story:

Champ's rap sheet is lengthy. Court records show that in 1992, he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and as a result was placed on the state's sex-offender registry.

In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute; later that year, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to court records... Champ said the assault case "was just for picking up some underage prostitutes" and resulted in a 90-day jail sentence.

But see, that's when Champ turned his life around, he says. "I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes," he says.

"I was like most people, ignorant in the darkness, in the very dark. I had no peace, had no love, had no joy. And now I do. Praise God for that…. I've grown considerably since I met Christ," he says.

"There was a situation where the gentleman, he was a little bit drunk and was trying to get violent and I left the area as quick as I could and apparently he got in the way. I didn't see him or even know I hit him until about four hours later, till it came on the news," he says.

You know what else he says? This one'll slay you! (Or maybe Champ'll slay you, so keep your distance.) He says that the politicians in Sacramento are the "criminals" because they want to infringe on his gun rights.

No, I'm not kidding.

The California Criminal who was convicted of assault actually said that, and then this: "I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it, and that's something [other politicians] don't get."

What a Champ. Be proud, GOP, he's your guy.

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