Archive for it’s all about money

Watchdog: Energy companies use diesel in fracking without permits

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what the frack sign Via The Tyee.ca

watchdog

What the frack? Via the Los Angeles Times, Diesel is used in fracking without permits, report says:

Energy companies have used thousands of gallons of diesel to frack for oil and gas without obtaining the necessary permits required under federal law, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project.

The watchdog group's review of industry and federal data from 2010 to 2014, released Wednesday, found 351 wells in 12 states that used diesel in fracking. [...] The EPA said it was reviewing the integrity project's report.

Oh em gee, the GOP is right! It's all so clear now. What we need is less oversight.

sarcasm

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Quickie: Surprise! Fracking a risk to drinking water, per research

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quickie15 better sizeToday's Quickie:

Via the Los Angeles Times, a study of fracking in Wyoming came up with this:

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. [...]

[T]hey point out that there is no way of knowing the effects of fracking into groundwater resources because regulators have not assessed the scope and impact of the activity.

Mmm, mmm, mmmm! What better to quench a health enthusiast's thirst after a strenuous workout than a nice, big, refreshing glass of carcinogens and neurotoxins ?

That was today's Quickie. Will you still respect me in the morning?

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Quickie: State Dep't. underestimated #KeystoneXL emissions, per study

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quickie24

Today's Quickie, via the Los Angeles Times:

Building the Keystone XL pipeline could lead to as much as four times more greenhouse gas emissions than the State Department has estimated for the controversial project, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change that relies on different calculations about oil consumption.

“The sole reason for this difference is that we account for the changes in global oil consumption resulting from increasing oil sands production levels, whereas the State Department does not,” wrote authors Peter Erickson and Michael Lazarus, scientists based in Seattle with the Stockholm Environment Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Of course, who would trust a nonprofit, fact-based scientific organization when we can rely on the expertise of wealthy, self-serving TransCanada Corporate oil oozers?

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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Rick Perry spends thousands on Obstructive Tongue Syndrome

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obstruction, obstructive

We all know how Republicans love to obstruct. They can't help themselves, it's their one area of expertise, other than holding expensive, nasty, meaningless hearings. Their obstructive nature comes in extra crispy handy when it comes to getting absolutely nothing done in Congress instead of, you know, making this country run better. Poor Texas Gov. Rick Perry, however, has been dealt a bad obstructive hand.

In his case, the obstruction is his own tongue. He keeps tripping on it. Guess you could say his tongue got a taste of the GOP's own obstructive medicine:

oops rick perry smallerSo what's a tongue klutz to do? Well, you know what they say, money talks. In this case, Rick Perry is hoping to take that literally. Taegan over at Political Wire tells us that Perry spent $17K on speech coaches (there's a pay wall at the Houston Chronicle, so this is all I can provide). How nice for him that he's learning to speak English fluently so he can keep up with the demands his crowd places on immigrants:

One interesting item: Perry spent $17,000 for speech coaches "to smooth his public delivery after earning a reputation for tripping over his tongue during his run for the 2012 Republican presidential nod."

He also "has a campaign stockpile of $4.4 million collected for a now nonexistent re-election battle," which should come in handy. See, Gov. Ricky is adept at one thing, despite his tongue acrobatics. He's willing to share, despite his stingy inclination to post Do Not Enter signs all over Texas. Again, via Taegan:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), "who's weighing a White House bid in 2016, has formed a federal political action committee to aid fellow Republican candidates in the Nov. 4 elections," Bloomberg reports.

Should be fun to watch him try to pronounce RickPAC.

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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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Maine town to Big Oil: We don't want to bathe in bottled water

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tar sands maple leaf oil Maine

Portland-Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) is owned by a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Suncor Energy Inc., "both heavily involved in extracting petroleum from oil sands," per a report by the Los Angeles Times. And now PMPL wants to start exporting toxic tar sands crude goo from Canada through South Portland, Maine. You all know what tar sands is, right? If not, please scroll through my many, many posts here to learn about the very real dangers of tar sands pipelines.

You'd think by now that impending climate change disaster and that other infamous, short-sighted, corporate disaster-in waiting would be a wake-up call. But no-o-o. Pollution be damned. Fresh air and water? Pfft! The health and well-being of anyone who gets in their way? Meh.

But there is a town in Maine that's not afraid to put up its dukes. The L.A. Times has the story:

On Monday night, the South Portland City Council, including Blake, is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by residents and Maine environmental groups, the measure is a response to plans by Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, or PMPL, to reverse the flow of its import pipeline in order to export oil sands crude from Canada, the same petroleum that would run through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the Great Plains.

"This isn't an anti-Portland pipeline company measure," Blake said. "It's anti-dirty oil." [...]

Communities along the pipeline route, from Vermont to Maine, also grew alarmed by spills of oil sands crude into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010 and then in a subdivision in Mayflower, Ark., in 2013... The Portland-Montreal pipeline six times crosses the watershed for a major tributary into Sebago Lake, the drinking water source for the greater Portland area.

That can't end well.

One resident's take says it all: "All you need is one break, not even a huge break, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to be drinking and bathing in bottled water."

Bingo.

Please read the entire article at the link.

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Retailer: "If we can minimize the humans in our company, then we prefer that."

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retailer caviar vending machine

Unemployment continues to be a problem in this country, despite the recent good news and drop in the jobless rate to 6.1 percent. But there is at least one retailer who is apparently shrugging off and/or disregarding our nation's jobless situation. The retailer in question happens to be from-- le ahem-- Beverly Hills, California.

In today's Los Angeles Times, there's a lengthy article about how U.S. vending machines are on the upswing. And by upswing, they're not just talking quantity, but also quality. Vending machines are movin' on up(scale), and retailer after retailer is reaping the benefits. And the profits.

Even if it means laying off the very consumers who need work so they can, you know, keep consuming.

At first glance, burrito-spewing vending machines didn't seem like a bad idea. Nor did caviar-to-go. Yes, caviar. To go. From vending machines. Pardon moi, "automated boutiques." Food on the run is a convenience that is addicting to those who are short on time. So, sure, why not expand the roll of coin-operated machines that serve fast-food sandwiches, cupcakes, and pizzas? And caviar. All that easy access sounded okay to yours truly... until I read this:

After closing her Beverly Hills store in 2010, Stern began looking into vending machines. Her company typically sells to grocery stores and restaurants but wanted direct access to customers, too. [...]

The machines now pull in 10% of the company's total sales. The boutiques send emails when supplies are low and can also be remotely operated via smartphone to help shoppers who run into problems.

"If we can minimize the humans in our company, then we prefer that," Stern said. "When you have physical employees, you don't have a life. Ask any restaurant or supermarket business."

Let them eat caviar.

pizza vending machine retailer

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