Archive for fracking

Bill Day Cartoon: Fracking Crazy

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Bill Day Fracking

Bill Day is one excellent, funny, smart cartoonist and a great guy.
Be sure to follow him on Facebook: Bill Day

Bill Day:

Florida Governor Rick Scott is 'no scientist' but he thinks acid fracking and drilling for natural gas near the environmentally fragile Everglades is a good thing. He also has a financial conflict of interest in a pipeline company to supply gas to northern Florida. Florida is the 'Sunshine State', but Scott has no interest in solar energy - for obvious reasons.

Bill Day Fracking

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Radioactive waste a toxic byproduct of fracking, drilling in N. Dakota

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headdesk radioactive waste fracking

Back in May I wrote, Hey Big Oil "pro-lifers": Fossil fuels may be killing babies! Today's Los Angeles Times has an extensive report about how, in North Dakota, fracking may very well be producing radioactive waste. Again, "pro-lifers," the question is: What do you value more, life or profits?

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

So you know how Republicans despise oversight? Because, freedom! Don'tcha wonder if they ever consider their fellow Americans' freedom to keep breathing? Especially those self-proclaimed right-to-lifers. It's hard to fathom that they are actually this okay with exposure to deadly toxins as long as their corporate gods make a buck.

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

Am I repeating myself? I tend to do that when I'm livid. And appalled. And sickened. But I'm not sickened in a way that will potentially kill me. No, that's reserved for the victims of Fracking, Inc. in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state, right after Texas.

Did I mention that North Dakota doesn't have an environmental protection agency?

Did I mention that New Mexico GOP Gov. Susana Martinez weakened her state's rules on hazardous waste last year?

Did I mention that the EPA is not providing adequate oversight? That would be the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

Did I mention that my head is throbbing from banging it on my desk?

Via the L.A. Times must-read story:

Nearly 1,000 radioactive filters were found last year at the landfill, part of a growing tide of often toxic waste produced by the state's oil and gas rush. Oil field waste includes drill cuttings — rock and earth that come up a well bore — along with drilling fluids and wastewater laced with chemicals used in fracking.

To many local and tribal officials, environmentalists and some industry managers in North Dakota, the dumping of the socks [filters clotted with radioactive dirt] and the proliferation of other waste shows the government falling short in safeguarding the environment against oil field pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency decided during the Reagan era to classify oil field waste as not hazardous, exempting it from tight controls and leaving it to be managed by widely varied state laws. Nationally, no one tracks how many millions of tons of waste the fossil fuel boom generates, or where it ends up.

There's that "leaving it to the states" beast raising its ugly head again. Republican-run states have done so well with the Affordable Care Act and voting rights. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing, North Dakota situating "slop pits" of poison over "known aquifers" could be a teeny tiny problem.

Some of the people quoted in the article requested anonymity because they were afraid of repercussions-- like, you know, getting fired-- for trying to point out things like waste management failures, fear of carcinogens in groundwater, exemptions for radioactive elements being classified as hazardous waste, and for putting frackin' lives in danger. Things like that.

And then there's-- ta-daa!-- Congress:

The EPA says it cannot reclassify oil field waste as hazardous without legislative action, which, with the current Congress, is unlikely.

bangheadSee: "Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

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Blood, Sweat and Tears

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BST

Blood, Sweat and Tears is the theme for today's show. Not the band, but the reality that those are the main components of life in the US of A in the 21st Century. Too much blood, too many dead or maimed soldiers and civilians thanks to our military incursions, misplaced ire and weapons of mass destruction. Our labor woes since the Bush depression, with a recovery made up of jobs at half the salaries we had before the meltdown, and the vilification of the labor movement that brought about workplace safety,  a 5-day/40-hour work week, vacation time, sick leave and other worker protections.

And tears. And more tears. And more to come, brought on by it all.

I don't see it getting any better, and don't see Hillary Clinton -or anyone at all from the other side - as the answer to our problems. But I do think we've shed way too much blood in unjust wars, have screwed over our working class and cried too many tears. It would be nice to see some positive change for a change, but I'm afraid we're a long way away from good times again.

Maybe if we could all just get along and live in peace.

On second thought, that'll never happen. Just look at their facial expressions when they sing the line, "we shall live in peace" during the most awkward singalong ever.

This morning, Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars joined in to talk a bit about yesterday's primary elections in NY where it looks like Charlie Rangel will hold on to his House seat (47.4-43.6), and the runoff in Mississippi which saw Sen. Thad Cochran barely beating off the upstart teabagger Chris McDaniels 51-49.

We also talked about today's three Supreme Court decisions- one that unanimously found that law enforcement must obtain warrants before searching cell phones (opinion posted here), another ruling against Aereo, a new company that rebroadcast over-the-air TV signals online - or did until now (opinion posted here)! And a third (known as Fifth Third) having to do with pensions and funds that I don't understand at all, but the opinion is posted here.

We're still awaiting decisions on NLRB v. Noel Canning (recess appointments), McCullen v. Coakley (abortion clinic buffer zones),  Harris v. Quinn (public employee unions) and Hobby Lobby (contraception mandate), which will come down tomorrow morning at 10ET. If they don't announce all the decisions tomorrow, they'll come back to finish up on Monday June 30. Talk about suspense!

In the second hour of the show, I was thrilled to welcome investigative journalist and author Dahr Jamail back to the show. When I spoke with Dahr in the past, it was to discuss our wars in Middle East, as Dahr spent more than a year in Iraq as one of a very small group of independent, UNembedded journalists covering the war. I obviously wanted his take on the mess over there now.

Lately, he's been focusing his work on climate change or, as he calls it, anthropogenic climate disruption. Obviously, both issues are closely related. I urge you to read Dahr's work on both topics, either at his own site DahrJamail.net or over at Truthout.org.  We'll definitely talk again soon because our time together today went by way too quickly!

Tomorrow, well deal with whatever the Supreme Court throws at us at the start of the show, hear some fabulous female facts from Amy Simon and the No More Bullshit Minute with Stephen Goldstein too!

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Afternoon-Evening Links

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Georgia Michelle Nunn

Please note: some of today's links are from this past week.

Rasmussen Poll Finds Republicans Circling the Drain in GA Senate Race

California Mass Murderer was influenced by the “Men’s Rights Movement”

Mass Murderer's Manifesto

After The Santa Barbara Shootings It’s Time to Talk About The Culture of Violence Against Women

Republicans Care About Vets So Much That They Blocked a Bill Expanding Veterans Benefits

Audio: Planet Money - Who Owns the Air?

Documents: Petraeus Fracking Field Trip Reveals ND Government, Oil, Private Equity Nexus

Jon Stewart Slams GOP Hypocrisy Over VA Scandal

The Republican Effort To Rollback Workplace Safety Regulations is Literally Killing Americans

Kansas governor nullifies local gun laws

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Hey Big Oil "pro-lifers": Fossil fuels may be killing babies!

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we cannot drink the water big oil frackingScreen grab from "Fracking hurts Californians, Governor Brown" video below.

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

Melissa Harris-Perry took a disturbing look at a mysterious spike in infant deaths in Utah that could very well be linked to air pollution from the oil and gas industry. Yet, we haven't heard a peep about Big Oil possibly killing newborns from those very same "pro-lifers" who hypocritically devote themselves to "saving babies."

And while we're on the topic of Big Oil killing living things, look how their self-serving, corporate activities are contributing to land loss along the Louisiana Gulf Coast:

louisiana coastline destroyed by big oil

The Los Angeles Times has the story:

For decades, oil and gas companies cut canals through fragile wetlands with the state's approval to haul equipment and install pipelines. But scientists say the dredging let salt water flow in, killing vegetation that kept the land from eroding.

Without the buffer of these marshes and barrier islands, Louisiana's many low-lying coastal communities — and its biggest city — now have little natural protection from storm surges created by hurricanes. ... Last summer, the independent board that oversees flood protection for New Orleans decided that oil and gas companies should pay their share. In a move that roiled a state where the energy industry is the economic foundation, the board voted unanimously to sue all 97 companies operating in the state for unspecified damages. [...]

Over the next 50 years, the state is expected to lose as much land as it did in the last 80. The disappearance of the coast has left the state vulnerable to flooding from hurricanes, but it also affects the whole country. Nearly 90% of all offshore U.S. oil and gas production occurs off the state's coast, and the industry's infrastructure is stitched into the shoreline. The region is a hub for shipping and fisheries. The marshes attract millions of migratory birds annually.

Of course, it goes without saying that Gov. Bobby Jindal would do anything to save his state-- and the entire nation-- from environmental disaster... right?

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and key legislators denounced the litigation, initiating legislation that would quash the lawsuits and undo post-Hurricane Katrina reforms aimed at removing politics from flood control. Last month, the state Senate passed a bill that would allow Jindal to kill the New Orleans lawsuit by replacing the lawyers who are handling it.

Oops. My bad.

And while we're still on the topic of how fossil fuels are slowly snuffing life as we know it, remember this? Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault. Hey, me too! Well guess what, there was an L.A. Times sequel: "U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%."

Families are already suffering everywhere, and there's more where that came from.

"What is all that money worth if there will be no future generations?"

Now let's take a look at today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor responses to those reports, because our voices matter:

Gov. Jerry Brown has displayed cognitive dissonance by supporting both climate change mitigation and fracking in California.

Fracking not only perpetuates our dependency on fossil fuels, it also releases methane all along the supply chain, which is a greenhouse gas less prevalent in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas.

Brown is trying to be slick like the streets of Atwater Village after the 10,000-gallon oil spill last week by appealing to both sides of the aisle. But like those streets, he is finding himself mired in a sticky situation, where he will need to fully commit to a side.

Californians are noticing that the governor's position on the issue of climate change is about as stable as the ground upon which Big Oil is fracking.

Amanda Grossi

Los Angeles

The writer is a field manager for Environment California.

***

I don't know why companies are even looking for oil anymore. What oil is left will be used up at some point. Meanwhile, extracting it gets more costly, and that doesn't include the hidden costs of the damage to the environment, including its contribution to global warming.

The sun produces energy; it has done so for billions of years, and when it stops, so will our planet. We should not build another house without solar panels. There should also be small wind turbines for our home patios that can help out when it is windy.

We don't need oil, and we really don't need shale oil.

Jenny Wilder

Apple Valley

Bonus insanity: House Votes To Deny Climate Science And Ties Pentagon’s Hands On Climate Change.

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

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Wednesday Links

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links French Train

Oops! French red faces over trains that are 'too wide'

CNN Tells Republicans Go Sell Crazy Somewhere Else By Refusing to Cover Benghazi

Mitch McConnell Promises To Break Obama and Force Him to Do the GOP’s Bidding

Tea Partiers Don’t Endorse McConnell and Get Grimes’ Name Wrong in Press Release Full of Fail

North Carolina GOP Pushes Unprecedented Bill to Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals

FBI 'could hire hackers on cannabis' to fight cybercrime

Netflix to expand to Germany, France and Switzerland

6 Arrested in Iran for 'Happy' Video

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One for the good guys! Family wins nearly $3 million in fracking case.

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good guys bad guys animated gif

Finally, a victory for the good guys. That's the good news. The bad news is that the good guys got sick as hell from fracking and drilling done near their home. Climate change is one of the horrible outcomes of allowing more fossil fuel "exploration" and consumption (and corporate profit), but when a family suffers severe health problems as a result, it hits home. It humanizes the issue.

Let's hope more good guys win enough lawsuits to deprive frackers and Big Oil and Gas of some of that essential growth hormone called money. Let's hope more good guys win enough lawsuits to open the eyes of more Americans who are either apathetic, uninformed, misinformed, or too ideologically driven to care. Let's hope that more corporate toxins like Aruba Petroleum suffer legal defeats.

This time, at least, the good guys with lawyers beat the bad guys with lawyers.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

In a landmark legal victory that centered on fracking, a middle-class north Texas ranching family won nearly $3 million from a big natural gas company whose drilling, they contend, caused years of sickness, killed pets and livestock, and forced them out of their home for months. [...]

Robert and Lisa Parr filed suit against Aruba Petroleum Inc. in 2011, contending that its operations near their land had contaminated the air and harmed their health... "I am just overwhelmed," Lisa Parr said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I feel like I am just this little bitty girl, this little family who just beat the biggest, most powerful industry in the world."

Of course, Aruba claims they did nothing wrong. Oh really?

Lisa, a stay-at-home mom, said that in November 2008 she started feeling sick to her stomach and suffered from blinding headaches. She brushed it off as the flu, but she didn't get better. She got worse.

Soon, she said, she developed a mysterious rash all over her body and open sores that never healed. Sometimes she had trouble standing and became disoriented. Once the rashes and sores became so severe that emergency room doctors had to pack her body in ice.

Her daughter, then in first grade, had horrible nosebleeds as she slept and would awaken soaked in blood.

Her husband began to have memory problems... Their calves were born with birth defects, and their pets began to die.

Nah, Aruba's off the hook, everything was hunky dory.

Eight doctors were stymied by the symptoms. Finally a specialist tested the air for the presence of toxic chemicals found in petroleum products. That was when the Parr's doctor told them to move the heck out of the area "or they "would spend more time and money on hospitalizations, chemotherapy and a mortician."

But Aruba Petroleum Inc. did everything by the book, see. It was all so very safe and legal. So they say.

Yet somehow Lisa ended up with 20 toxic chemicals in her bloodstream.

Yes, the good guys won this time. Or did they?

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