Archive for Environment

VIDEO: TX Gov. Rick Perry demands apology over cartoon depicting his disregard for worker safety


oops rick perry smaller

The Sacramento Bee is standing by a political cartoon about Rick Perry and the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, noting that it was commentary on "Perry's disregard for worker safety, not an attempt to disrespect the victims." That seems pretty obvious to anyone who harbors no guilt feelings about their position on deregulation.

Maybe Rick Perry should watch the episodes of "All In with Chris Hayes" in which he reveals that the last safety “inspection of the West fertilizer plant happened in– 1985” and exposes Dick Cheney’s son-in-law who de-regulated the chemical industry. Nobody can seriously suggest that Rick Perry would have insisted on more oversight. Au contraire.

In fact, Gov. Ricky says more inspections weren't needed:

He said that he remains comfortable with the state’s level of oversight and suggested that most Texas residents agree with him.

Under the circumstances, it appears that Jack Ohman's cartoon was political commentary based on obvious facts and the truth. And the truth hurts, right Ricky?

Here is an excerpt from Perry's letter to the Sacramento Bee:

It was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon. While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans... The Bee owes the community of West, Texas an immediate apology for your detestable attempt at satire.

It would be more accurate and truthful to say that it is Rick Perry who owes SacBee and Ohman an apology.

Here is an excerpt from the response from the editorial page editor for the Bee:

What he finds offensive is a governor who would gamble with the lives of families by not pushing for the strongest safety regulations. Perry's letter is an attempt to distract people from that message.

Here is the cartoon in question (which you can also see in the video), and here is Ohman's blog about the matter.


EPA criticizes State Dep't's environmental review of Keystone XL pipeline, could complicate efforts to win approval


keystone tar sands 1 million againstImage via Bill McKibben -, where they've collected a million comments to stop Keystone.

The Keystone Pipeline Public Comment Period Closes On Monday so if you have something to say, please say it.

I’ve written about this so often (scroll) that I have little to add other than to emphasize that it's the “biggest carbon bomb on the planet.” Think Progress reminds us that the project will create only 35 permanent jobs, but will emit 51 coal plants’ worth of carbon. Plus, much of the oil would be exported elsewhere. We'd be way better off investing in clean energy instead of a costly, dirty disaster-in-waiting like the tar sands mess.

Despite the fact that in a recent Gallup poll, nearly half in the U.S. say government should do more to protect environment, and that 20 scientists pulled out of the project, and that the Arkansas pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact, it looks like the State Dep’t. and the president are leaning toward approving Keystone, even though it would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America.

However, the Los Angeles Times has a glimmer of hope for us:

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday criticized the State Department's environmental impact review of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying there was not enough evidence to back up key conclusions on gas emissions, safety and alternative routes. [...]

"The Environmental Protection Agency's letter shows that despite multiple tries, the State Department is incapable of doing a proper analysis of the climate, wildlife, clean water, safety and other impacts of this disastrous and unneeded project," said Jim Murphy, the National Wildlife Federation's senior counsel. "President Obama has more than enough information to determine the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in America's national interest and he should reject it." [...]

The EPA's comments are important because a negative analysis of the final State Department report could raise barriers to the project's approval. The objections could also end up as supporting evidence in litigation against the pipeline if it is approved.

The EPA also calculated that over 50 years, running at full capacity, Keystone could add an additional 936 million metric tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. There is a lot more where that came from at the link.

Here is their DOCUMENT: EPA reviews Keystone XL.


What I will not write about today



Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

huge glass of wine drunk


BP still hasn't paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups


suck it bp

If you have an ounce of logic in you, then you know that the longer we wait to repair what BP destroyed, the more difficult it will be to fix their mess. BP accepted criminal liability in the 2010 gulf oil disaster and was supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

And tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP's negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes, because:

BP we care

USA Today:

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the spill in 2010, but only a small fraction of the billions in fines and other money owed by BP has trickled in for use on restoration projects, environmental groups say.

Local, state and environmental groups are banking on money from several sources

However, BP is proud to use their money to pay people to go on the Tee Vee Machine and say reassuring things like this:

bp adbp ad smaller

And they lavish us with ads like this repeatedly force ads like this down our throats:

Here's what's really going on:

Gulf Coast groups say the region is still struggling.

Environmental groups say an unusually high number of sick dolphins are washing up on shore. They're also finding tar balls on beaches, particularly after big storms.

USA Today has all the gory details.

If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this via the Government Accountability Project:

On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [...]

Conclusions from the report strongly suggest that the dispersant Corexit was widely applied in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it caused the false impression that the oil disappeared. In reality, the oil/Corexit mixture became less visible, yet much more toxic than the oil alone. Nonetheless, indications are that both BP and the government were pleased with what Corexit accomplished. The report is available here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

"We will clean this up. We will make this right."

We won't hold our breath.