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A Guy Named Craig May Soon Have Control Over a Large Swath of Utah

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SOURCE:  The New Yorker

“the B.L.M. has scheduled nearly twenty oil-and-gas-lease sales on federal land nationwide through the end of 2020, and the Administration has shrunk the size of wildernesses and national monuments, paving the way for more drilling… It is a classic land rush.”

Even if you’ve never been to the vast red-rock desert country around Moab, Utah, you’ve been there—its mesas and buttes, its towering arches, have been the backdrop for a thousand movies (and even more S.U.V. commercials). It’s what we think about when we think about “the West,” a truly mythic place. Some of it has been protected in national monuments and parks: Arches and Canyonlands. But the fate of a large swath of it, though nominally belonging to the American people, may soon fall to a guy named Craig Larson.

Here’s the story so far. Under a long-standing law known as the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, anyone can “nominate” a parcel of federal land for oil-and-gas development—it doesn’t cost a thing. The rules are so lax that you don’t even have to supply your name if you want to nominate a piece of land, but Prairie Hills Oil & Gas did provide at least that much context when it asked the federal Bureau of Land Management to set aside land between Arches and Canyonlands. Prairie Hills Oil & Gas, of North Dakota, it turns out, is headquartered at a home that Larson, an attorney, co-owns in Big Lake, Minnesota, about forty miles northwest of Minneapolis. After the land is nominated, and certain review processes are completed, the B.L.M. moves to set up a lease auction, which, in the case of Larson and Utah, is scheduled for September. (Although Larson has nominated the parcels, anyone, in fact, could be the ultimate winning bidder.)

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater

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Source: therevelator.org

New analysis reveals that we have much less water in our aquifers than we previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put that at even greater risk.

by Tara Lohan

We’re living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That’s probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the United States, we may have much less water than previously thought.

“We found that the average depth of water resources across the country was about half of what people had previously estimated,” says Jennifer McIntosh, a distinguished scholar and professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona.

McIntosh and her colleagues — who published a new study about these aquifers in November in Environmental Research Letters — took a different approach to assessing groundwater than other research, which has used satellites to measure changes in groundwater storage. For example, a 2015 study looked at 37 major aquifers across the world and found some were being depleted faster than they were being replenished, including in California’s agriculturally intensive Central Valley.

McIntosh says those previous studies revealed a lot about how we’re depleting water resources from the top down through extraction, such as pumping for agriculture and water supplies, especially in places like California.

But McIntosh and three other researchers wanted to look at groundwater from a different perspective: They examined how we’re using water resources from the bottom up. More

Pick Your Poison: The Fracking Industry’s Wastewater Injection Well Problem

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Source:  desmogblog.com

“The closer a company injects fracking wastewater (and all the salts and pollutants that may come with it) to aquifers supplying freshwater for drinking and agriculture, the more likely those aquifers will be contaminated. In the recent University of Texas paper, researchers call out this increased likelihood in the country’s highest producing shale play, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.”

by Justin Mikulka

The first known oil well in Oklahoma happened by accident. It was 1859 and Lewis Ross was actually drilling for saltwater(brine), not oil. Brine was highly valued at the time for the salt that could be used to preserve meat. As Ross drilled deeper for brine, he hit oil. And people have been drilling for oil in Oklahoma ever since.

Lewis Ross might find today’s drilling landscape in the Sooner State somewhat ironic. The oil and gas industry, which has surging production due to horizontal drilling and fracking, is pumping out huge volumes of oil but even more brine. So much brine, in fact, that the fracking industry needs a way to dispose of the brine, or “produced water,” that comes out of oil and gas wells because it isn’t suitable for curing meats. In addition to salts, these wastewaters can contain naturally occurring radioactive elements and heavy metals.

But the industry’s preferred approaches for disposing of fracking wastewater — pumping it underground in either deep or shallow injection wells for long-term storage — both come with serious risks for nearby communities.

In Oklahoma, drillers primarily use deep injection wells for storing their wastewater from fracked shale wells, and while the state was producing the same amount of oil in 1985 as in 2015, something else has changed. The rise of the fracking industry in the central U.S. has coincided with a rise in earthquake activity.

From 1975 to 2008, Oklahoma averaged from one to three earthquakes of magnitude 3 or greater a year. But by 2014, the state averaged 1.6 of these earthquakes a dayIt now has a website that tracks them in real time.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

The Renewed Legal Challenge Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

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Source:  Earthjustice

 represents the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their lawsuit against the Army Corps. He is a staff attorney at Earthjustice.

A new chapter opens in the legal fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe renews their lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers challenging its recently completed review of the pipeline’s impacts.

Attorney Jan Hasselman explains the significance of this legal development.

What happened on Nov. 1?

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a “supplemental complaint” in its existing lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps over permits for the Dakota Access pipeline.

The supplemental complaint renews the lawsuit in response to new developments since the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won part of its lawsuit against the Corps last year.

What decision is being challenged?

On Aug. 31, 2018, the Corps released a two-page document affirming the permits for DAPL, despite a court finding that they were critically flawed. The Corps released its long-awaited report on Oct. 1 explaining that decision. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council, the Tribe’s governing body, voted unanimously on Oct. 18 to challenge the remand decision.

Today’s supplemental complaint challenges the Corps’ decision to affirm its original permits in the face of overwhelming evidence that they are flawed. Read the Corps’ report, redacted for public release:

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

The Precautionary Principle, the Politics of Selfishness and the Influence of Right-Wing Think Tanks

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Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – 10-23-2018

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FASCISM DOESN’T COME CHEAP

“Working mostly with data from Facebook and other social media sites, they are able to determine what people want to hear and how they want to hear it. Cambridge Analytica based much of its model on research done by Cambridge University’s Psychometric Centre which earlier published an online personality quiz that went viral. In the UK there are ethical guidelines about how such data can be used and according to Professor Johathan Rush, the Centre’s director, as quoted in the Guardian article:

“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour.  It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

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The Precautionary Principle: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to environmental or human health, exploitation by any corporate or personal entity that could damage the environment or the health of humans must be delayed until there is absolute scientific certainty that damage can be totally averted.” 

The point, ladies and gentleman, is that greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) from the movie Wall Street

“The economic system in the USA is not capitalism. Rather, it is corporate fascism, individualism and money worship, not capitalism.”Anonymous

”Environment Canada reported that the metallic contaminants that had been dumped in the tailings pond included these hazardous metals: Lead, Arsenic, Nickel, Zinc, Cadmium, Vanadium, Antimony, Manganese and Mercury.” (Note that Mount Polley was a copper mine whose massive tailings lagoon earthen dam [130 feet tall] dissolved in 2014, suddenly releasing 24,000,000 million cubic meters of toxic sludge into the tiny Hazeltine Creek, the nearby Lake Polley and then into the pristine Quesnel Lake, which flowed into the 600 mile long Fraser River, a migratory Sockeye salmon-bearing river that empties into the Georgia Strait and the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver, B.C. The dam wall breech resulted in the worst environmental disaster in the history of British Colombia)

“ALL tailings “ponds” are problems. If they don’t breach and spill massive amounts of toxic sludge into the environment like at Mount Polley, they leach that contamination slowly, poisoning the waters and lands around them.” — From: http://canadians.org/blog/update-mount-polley-mine-disaster-imperial-metals-and-government-focus-covering-instead;

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Last night in Duluth, Minnesota (10-22-2018) a small, Minnesota-based, right-wing, Libertarian think tank, the Center of the American Experiment (CAE), came to town to do a one-sided, propagandistic, fact-free promotion supporting the foreign penny stock mining company, PolyMet and its plans to dig an experimental, inherently dangerous, highly toxic, open pit copper/nickel sulfide mine in water-rich northern Minnesota near the headwaters of the St Louis River.

What was likely not discussed at the pro-corporate presentation (to which nobody opposing copper-nickel mining was invited) was the fact that PolyMet’s massive open pit mine has to have an even more massive, highly toxic waste/tailings lagoon nearby that would eventually store, behind 250 foot high (!) earthen dam (!) walls, billions of gallons (!) of eternally-poisonous, highly acidic (sulfuric acid with a pH of stomach acid) mine sludge for generations or centuries (absent, of course a locally heavy rain deluge that could easily cause a sudden, unexpected breech in the earthen dam walls, resulting in what could potentially be the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Minnesota).

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Fracking Wastewater Spikes 1,440% in Half Decade, Adding to Dry Regions’ Water Woes

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Source:  desmogblog

Shale drilling and fracking often occurs in areas already suffering from water stress. Credit: Duke University.

By Sharon Kelly 

Between 2011 and 2016, fracked oil and gas wells in the U.S. pumped out record-breaking amounts of wastewater, which is laced with toxic and radioactive materials, a new Duke University study concludes. The amount of wastewater from fracking rose 1,440 percent during that period.

Over the same time, the total amount of water used for fracking rose roughly half as much, 770 percent, according to the paper published today in the journal Science Advances.

Previous studies suggested hydraulic fracturing does not use significantly more water than other energy sources, but those findings were based only on aggregated data from the early years of fracking,” Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, said in a statement. “After more than a decade of fracking operation, we now have more years of data to draw upon from multiple verifiable sources.”

The researchers predict that spike in water use will continue to climb.

And over the next dozen years, they say the amount of water used could grow up to 50 times higher when fracking for shale gas and 20 times higher when fracking for oil — should prices rise. The paper, titled “The Intensification of the Water Footprint of Hydraulic Fracturing,” was based on a study conducted with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Even if prices and drilling rates remain at current levels, our models still predict a large increase by 2030 in both water use and wastewater production,” said Andrew J. Kondash, a PhD student in Vengosh’s lab who was lead author of the paper.

More Water than Oil

The shale industry has been heavily focused on amping up the amount of fossil fuels it can pump per well by drilling longer horizontal well bores and using more sand, water, and chemicals when fracking (which raises the costs per well and, as DeSmog recently reported, raises risks of water pollution).

But the water use and wastewater production per well have been growing even faster than the per-well fossil fuel production, the researchers found, labeling the water demand and wastewater growth “much higher” than the oil or gas increases.

The researchers studied data from over 12,000 oil and gas wells representing each of the major shale-producing regions in the U.S.

Their findings are particularly troubling news for arid areas like the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, where underground water supplies are already taxed by residential and agricultural demand, and where fights over water use are brewing.

On average, a Permian Basin well used 10.3 million gallons of water in 2016, according to a San Antonio Express-News investigation earlier this year — more than double the average per-well demand just a few years ago.

A Waterfall of Waste

The wastewater problem has attracted the eye of industry analysts, particularly in the Permian.

One of the biggest risks facing operators today is the issue of produced water,” wrote Ryan Duman, a Wood Mackenzie senior energy analyst, describing how in parts of Texas and New Mexico, wells can produce up to 10 gallons of wastewater for every gallon of crude oil. “The sheer volume of water is unprecedented.”  READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Inconvenient Truths About This Year’s Duluth Air Show: Squandering the Planet’s Increasingly Scarce Fossil Fuels for our Amusement

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Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD – July 7, 2018

 

“Knowledge is power; but who hath duly Considered the power of Ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down. Knowledge, through patient and frugal centuries, enlarges discovery and makes record of it; Ignorance, wanting its day’s dinner, lights a fire with the record, and gives a flavor to its one roast with the burned souls of many generations.” — George Eliot, from the author’s last novel, Daniel Deronda

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The Big Oil cartels have, for decades, been poisoning the air, the aquifers, the rivers, the lakes the air, the soil and the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf and every ocean and ocean floor on the planet with uncounted millions of gallons of toxic crude oil via their risky – and very leaky – deep water oil wells. It wasn’t just the crime against the planet that British Petroleum and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton perpetrated in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. There are many other entities that have contributed to the mortal wounding of the Gulf, and one of the big ones is the US military.

A prime example of the damage done to the Gulf by corporate entities includes the Mississippi River delta’s massive dead zone that has been enlarging rapidly for decades, thanks to the many corporate polluters that have been dumping industrial waste, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, prescription drugs and other toxins into surface water streams and rivers (and aquifers also) to flow downstream from such professedly “environmentally friendly” states like Minnesota and its multitude of Big Oil, Big Chemical and Big Agribusiness-co-opted (or duped) farmers. Big Businesses like those meet the definition of sociopaths and therefore must be recognized as conscienceless.

There are hundreds of enlarging dead zones at the mouths of all of the world’s major rivers, but much of the pollution that caused the huge dead zone at the Mississippi River’s mouth started in the Upper Midwest’s farmlands. Especially guilty were the corporate-controlled mega-farms that routinely over-used synthetic herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides on the crops and soil. (See www.geoengineeringwatch.org for more details.)

As I was growing up, I often fished in the upper Minnesota River. Just during my adolescent years, I witnessed the beginnings of the pollution of that river because of farm chemical runoff. I saw the river go from swimmable and fishable to muddy, smelly, toxic and relatively fishless. More

As Industry Pushes Billion-Dollar Fracked Petrochemical Projects, State Regulators Struggle To Keep Up

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Source:  desmogblog

“Pollution from petrochemicals is already a major issue, Food and Water Watch noted in a report last year on the coming build-out. “In 1999, when Houston’s ozone levels were the highest in the nation, the state of Texas conducted several studies that found large industrial leaks,” that report found. “The worst originated from cracker plants producing ethylene and propylene.”

By Sharon Kelly

Fueled by fracking in the region, petrochemical and plastics projects in the Ohio River Valley are attracting tens of billions of dollars in investment, but as plans for this build-out hit the drawing boards, signs already are emerging that state regulators are unprepared for this next wave of industrialization. And the implications of their inexperience could mean major threats to the region’s health and environment.

One of the projects currently underway, an underground natural gas liquids (NLG) storage site — designed to support the construction of several huge petrochemical complexes — is undergoing review by state regulators who have little experience with NGL storage facilities of its size.

“We had to juggle a lot of regulatory input in a relatively undefined setting since there are few regulations in Ohio, and that really goes for Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well,” Jonathan Farrell, a project manager with Civil and Environmental Consultants, told attendees at a petrochemical industry conference on June 18.

That lack of well-established state regulations harkens back to the early days of the shale gas rush, when state regulators struggled to keep up with the emergence of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling technologies. The rush to drill while safeguards were still being designed and implemented led to inadequately treated toxic waste being dumped into drinking water supplies for millions of people and problems with radioactive waste that continue to this day.

Dreams of a New Petrochemical Corridor

Shell’s ethane cracker petrochemical plant under construction on the banks of the Ohio River. Credit: Ashley Braun, DeSmog

Today, the petrochemical industry is dreaming big about prospects for manufacturing plastics, styrofoam, vinyl, chemicals, and fertilizers from cheap ethane and other natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale — marketed as currently the cheapest in the world.

The goal? To build a new petrochemical corridor in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and the surrounding region, one second only in size to the Gulf Coast’s — and one that could bring along with it the public health and environmental impacts that have given rise to that region’s reputation as a “cancer alley.”

I think the magnitude of some of these projects that we’re talking about here are hard for a lot of us and a lot of our communities to wrap their head around,” Chad Riley, CEO of The Thrasher Group, an oil and gas field and pipeline services firm, said at the June 18-19 conference. “I really think that this region lacks a bit of an understanding about what the potential could be here.”

Fracking for Plastics

Shale drillers in the Marcellus and Utica have long talked up the potential profits to be made from drilling for “wet gas,” or wells that produce large volumes of natural gas liquids like ethane, propane, and butane. Those liquid fossil fuels offer additional sources of revenue, making the shale drilling industry better able to cope with depressed prices for natural gas, which is mostly methane, that the wells primarily produce.

For the shale industry, the need to create demand for those products is fueling the push to create new petrochemical and plastics plants that can buy up the liquids coming from fracked wells. The Appalachian region currently produces roughly a third of the domestic supply of NGLs, or roughly a million barrels a day.  Read the rest of this article HERE.

The Battle to Protect Nebraska Land from Big OIL

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Make sure your voice is heard. Sign-on to stop Keystone XL.

Marti —

While we are continuing to challenge the Trump administration’s rubber-stamp approval of the federal permit for Keystone XL in the courts, Trump’s State Department recently opened a public comments docket for an “Environmental Assessment” of the new Mainline Alternative route for KXL in Nebraska.

This new route includes land in Nebraska counties that has never before undergone environmental review, and where landowners never knew until now — after all the years of public hearings and submitting comments — that KXL might be plowing through their farms, and had no due process and chance to make their voices heard.

Basically, there’s a huge list of problems with this illegal review. It’s an attempt to shoe-horn a review of private property in Nebraska by a federal agency with no authority over that land, into an illegally outdated environmental review of KXL from 2014, in clear violation of the bedrock National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

But we still need to make our voices heard. Despite this illegal sham review process that’s been set in motion — which we will continue to fight in the courts — it’s critical that Nebraskans especially, but all Pipeline Fighters sign on and tell the Trump administration they are opposed to Keystone XL.

Action: Sign-on to Bold’s #NoKXL comment to Trump’s State Department.

We’ve composed a sample comment you can sign-on to, that covers all the bases on protesting this illegal process with the same arguments our attorneys are using in court, and includes key issues of concern for Nebraska’s land, water and property rights, and sovereign rights of Indigenous nations. You may also edit the language, or add your own personal statement to the comment.

*Important: If you are a landowner on the new “Mainline Alternative” route, please contact mark@boldnebraska.org for assistance with submitting your comment. For instance, if you have water crossings, or known endangered species or wildlife habitat on your land, be sure to include exact locations and detailed information about them in your comments. 

The deadline to submit a public comment is June 25th. 

Act now: Sign on to Bold’s #NoKXL comment.

Thanks for standing with us. 

Mark and the Bold team

P.S. Chip in to support Bold’s work to stop Keystone XL.

@Bold Nebraska on Twitter
Bold Nebraska on Facebook

Bold Nebraska
208 S. Burlington Ave., Ste 103, Box 325
Hastings, NE 68901 US

 

Former Central Banker: Oil Pipeline Protesters Will Be Killed. So Be It.

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(CD) — As Canada’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project faces ongoing opposition, the former governor of the Bank of Canada said that protesters may die but that the government should push the project through anyway.

Speaking at an event Wednesday, David Dodge said, “We’re going to have some very unpleasant circumstances,” the Edmonton Journal reported. “There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline. We have to understand that.”

“Nevertheless, we have to be willing to enforce the law once it’s there,” Dodge said. “It’s going to take some fortitude to stand up.”

In an interview with the Journal, he elaborated by saying, “We have seen it other places, that equivalent of religious zeal leading to flouting of the law in a way that could lead to death.”

Dodge’s comments prompted outrage from climate activists.

Author and 350-org co-founder Bill McKibben warned, “North American governments have shown the ‘fortitude’ necessary to kill indigenous people often enough that this is no idle threat,” while Canandian author Naomi Klein called the threat a “disgrace.” She added, “If the worst happens, we now know they went into this with their eyes wide open.”

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Mike Hudema, meanwhile, wondered if Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would weigh in on Dodge’s remarks.

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John Horning, Exec Dir. of WildEarth Guardians, on the war on wildlife and the environment (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 6/13/18)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Jonathan Thompson, author of new book about the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster and Contributing Editor to High Country News, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/14/18)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, March 14, 2018

9:00 a.m. PST … 10:00 a.m. MST … 11:00 a.m. CST … noon EST

Listen Live (HERE!)

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Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests

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“Meanwhile, the Dakota Access Pipeline itself has confirmed some of the Standing Rock Sioux’s fears: After becoming fully operation on June 1, the pipeline has already leaked at least five times.”

Source:  thenation.com

In the year since the last activists were evicted, the crackdown on journalists and activists has only intensified.

By Zoë Carpenter

February 23, 2017: Law-enforcement officers point their weapons at two water protectors praying near the Sacred Fire of the main resistance camp of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Both men were arrested, along with the photographer, shortly after this image was taken. (Tracie Williams)

On February 23 of last year, a day when the frozen ground had started to turn to mud, law-enforcement officers rolled into the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Donald Trump had been inaugurated a month earlier, and the new president quickly reversed an Obama administration decision to deny Energy Transfer Partners a permit to finish construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.78 billion project running directly under the Missouri River. The water protectors, as protesters called themselves, had been fighting the pipeline since the spring of 2016, concerned that the proposed route cut through ancestral land of spiritual significance, and that a pipeline leak could contaminate the primary water supply to the reservation. The small group who had remained through the bitter winter at Oceti Sakowin had been ordered to leave by February 22 or face eviction and arrest. Most did; a few dozen remained the following the day, when Humvees with snipers on their roofs rolled into camp, a helicopter buzzing above them.

Photojournalist Tracie Williams, on assignment for the National Press Photographers’ Association, captured some of what happened next. Officers wearing military fatigues walked through the camp with assault rifles and knives, which they used to slice open the skins of teepees. Rain and fat flakes of snow fell against a backdrop of smoke rising from structures that had been set alight in a ceremonial gesture. Moments after clicking through the last two frames on her memory card—of two men in prayer, weapons aimed at their heads—she was arrested. Williams, who had been documenting life at Oceti Sakowin for three weeks leading up to the raid, told officers she was a journalist—and says she’d previously identified herself as a member of the press to the governor and the Army Corps and let them know that she’d be there, documenting, and obtained a press credential from the Morton County Sheriff—but they confiscated her equipment as evidence and detained her anyway. Williams was later charged with physical obstruction of government function, a Class A misdemeanor that could result in a year in jail and $3,000 in fines. Her trial is scheduled for June.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

Lissa Lucas Dragged Out of West Virginia House Judiciary Hearing For Listing Oil and Gas Contributions

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Source:  Counterpunch.org

Lissa Lucas traveled the 100 miles from her home in Cairo, West Virginia to the state capitol in Charleston yesterday to testify against an oil and gas industry sponsored bill (HB 4268) that would allow companies to drill on minority mineral owners’ land without their consent.

Lucas began to testify to the House Judiciary Committee, but a few minutes in, her microphone was turned off.

And Lucas was dragged out of the room.

Lucas is running for the House of Delegates from Ritchie County, which has been overrun by the fracking industry.

“As I tried to give my remarks at the public hearing this morning on HB 4268 in defense of our constitutional property rights, I got dragged out of House chambers,” Lucas said. “Why? Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee.”

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

China Is Financing a Petrochemical Hub in Appalachia. Meet its Powerful Backers.

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Source: desmogblog

by Steve Horn

Over the past year, oil and gas industry plans to build a petrochemical refining and storage hub along the Ohio River have steadily gained traction. Proponents hope this potential hub, which would straddle Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, could someday rival the industrial corridor found along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana.

Those plans center around creating what is known as the Appalachian Storage Hub, which received a major boost on November 9 during a trade mission to China attended by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. At that trade mission, also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the China Energy Investment Corp. announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to invest $83.7 billion into the planned storage hub over 20 years. For comparison, West Virginia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was $72.9 billion.

Though called the Appalachian Storage Hub as a broad-sweeping term, in practice the hub could encompass natural gas liquids storage, a market trading index center, a key pipeline feeding epicenter, and a petrochemical refinery row. Its prospective development has been spurred by the current construction of a $6 billion petrochemical refining facility in Pennsylvania owned by Shell Oil.

The proposed hub has come under fire from grassroots groups. But this proposal also has a powerful set of backers, including West Virginia’s five-member congressional delegation, the state’s Governor and Secretary of Commerce, West Virginia University, the chemical industry’s trade association, Shell Oil, and the Trump administration, among others.

Miles of river (Ohio and Kanawha) that will be impacted by the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub and it’s Petrochemical Intermediate and Raw Material Infrastructure. This will potentially impact 50 counties in the Tri-State are of WV, PA, and OH. The total square miles of the impacted area is yet to be determined.

386 miles total down the Ohio River from Beaver, PA, to Catlettsburg, KY, with 68 miles down the Kanawha River from Point Pleasant, WV, to Charleston.

*Map source…  

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Detractors of the planned petrochemical hub believe that its construction would buoy the oil and gas industry in its efforts to further develop drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) projects in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale and Ohio’s Utica Shale basins.
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

Environmental Activist Sued for Libel Over Facebook Comment About Oil and Gas Company

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SOURCE: desmogblog

By Simon Davis-Cohen

On November 17, 2016, a Colorado environmental activist named Pete Kolbenschlag used Facebook to leave a comment on a local newspaper article, the kind of thing more than a billion people do every day.

However, most people don’t get sued for libel over their Facebook comments. (Although some do.)

The Post Independent story that Kolbenschlag commented on was about oil and gas extraction on federal lands near his home, in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley. It announced that the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management was canceling all oil and gas leases on the iconic Thompson Divide, a large, rugged swath of Forest Service land.

In retaliation, the article reported, a Texas-based oil and gas company called SG Interests (SGI), which owned 18 leases in the Thompson Divide area, was planning legal action against the federal government. The decision to cancel Thompson Divide leases was one of Obama’s last while in office.

SGI claimed it had obtained documents that “clearly show” that the decision to cancel the leases “was a predetermined political decision from the Obama administration taking orders from environmental groups.”

Kolbenschlag, who has opposed drilling in the region and engaged in environmental advocacy for some 20 years, responded to SGI’s allegations by posting the following comment:

While SGI alleges “collusion” let us recall that it, SGI, was actually fined for colluding (with GEC) to rig bid prices and rip off American taxpayers. Yes, these two companies owned by billionaires thought it appropriate to pad their portfolios at the expense of you and I and every other hard-working American.”

Shortly thereafter, SGI sued Kolbenschlag for libel (which generally refers to defamatory written statements).

SGI Investigation and Settlement

Kolbenschlag’s comment was in reference to a settlement SGI and Gunnison Energy Company (GEC), another oil and gas firm active on federal lands in the region, signed with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012.

According to court documents filed by SGI, the settlement followed a two-year investigation into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two oil and gas companies in which “SGI would bid on certain federal oil and gas leases … and … SGI would assign GEC a 50 percent interest in any leases for which it was the successful bidder.” In other words, rather than compete in the bidding process, SGI would do the bidding, and then give GEC half of the mineral rights.

According to these court documents, the Justice Department’s two-year investigation led it to determine “that SGI’s and GEC’s agreement to bid jointly pursuant to the MOU constituted a per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman [Antitrust] Act.”

The original settlement “required” the companies to pay $550,000 for “antitrust and False Claims Act violations.” It was the first time the federal government challenged an “anticompetitive bidding agreement for mineral rights leases.” That settlement, however, was later rejected by a federal judge, who approved a new settlement of $1 million and did not require the companies to admit to wrongdoing.

Libel or Retaliation?

SGI argues that Kolbenschlag’s statement that the company was fined for colluding with GEC is libelous because it is “contrary to the true facts, and reasonable persons … reading … the statement would be likely to think significantly less favorably about [SGI] than they would if they knew the true facts.”

The company argues that it was never convicted of or admitted to wrongdoing, and the settlement agreement did not require it. SGI further argues that it was not “fined,” but rather agreed to pay the government money to settle the case.

Moreover, SGI claims that “agreements such as the ones entered into between SGI and GEC are common place in the oil and gas industry.” And therefore, presumably, there’s nothing wrong with what they did.

Kolbenschlag’s attorney not only argues that his client’s comment was “substantially true” in the eyes of ordinary readers, but also that SGI’s lawsuit against him is in retaliation against his environmental activism. In legal briefs, his attorney writes that “this lawsuit is SGI’s transparent and blatant effort to punish Mr. Kolbenschlag for his public speech and advocacy that are not to SGI’s liking.”

For example, Kolbenschlag was part of a group called Citizens for a Healthy Community that focused on BLM rulemaking related to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on federal lands. “SGI is misusing the judicial system as the means to silence its critics,” claimed Kolbenschlag’s attorney.

READ the rest of this article HERE.

What a Typical Oil Pipeline Spill/Rupture in Dakota Farmland Looks Like

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By Gary G. Kohls, MD

Two views of what a typical oil pipeline “spill” on dry land looks like after crews begin digging up part of the most superficial layer of the oil-saturated, totally irremediable, contaminated wheat field soil that was in the vicinity of the pipeline rupture.

The photos above were taken soon after the 2013 underground rupture of a Tesoro pipeline near Tioga, North Dakota. Farmer Steve Jensen, who had been paid by the pipeline company in exchange for permission to bury the pipe across his farmland, discovered the massive oil contamination of his wheat field while harvesting his crops on Sept 29, 2013. Jensen had to notify the company of its pipeline failure, because Tesoro’s state-of-the-art monitoring technology failed to detect the spill.

Tesoro initially grossly underestimated the significance of the spill (as is typical of all oil companies), claiming the volume of the spill, was 750 barrels. It was soon forced to publish a new figure of 20,600 barrels (which was likely also an under-estimate).

20,600 barrels is equivalent to 865,200 gallons, making the Tesoro pipeline oil spill the largest of the many spills that have plagued North Dakota since the Bakken Formation’s massive oil reserves were opened up to oil exploitation over the last two decades. The Bakken Formation, incidentally, was named after Henry Bakken a Tioga, North Dakota-area farmer where the massive oil deposit was originally discovered in 1951.

Tesoro re-named itself Andeavor a few months ago after it completed the acquisition of an oil refinery company. (Andeavor is currently valued at $105 per share on the New York Stock Exchange). The company is based in San Antonio, Texas,

The Political Economy Research Institute identified Tesoro as the 24th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the US, releasing roughly 3,740,000 lbs of toxic chemicals annually. Major pollutants emitted annually by the corporation include more than 400,000 lbs of sulfuric acid. The EPA also named Tesoro a responsible party for four Superfund toxic waste sites.

 

To be continued.

How a Judge Scrapped Pennsylvania Families’ $4.24M Water Pollution Verdict in Gas Drilling Lawsuit

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Source:  desmogblog.com

Ray Kemble

By Sharon Kelly and Steve Horn

For many residents of Carter Road in Dimock, Pennsylvania, it’s been nearly a decade since their lives were turned upside down by the arrival of Cabot Oil and Gas, a company whose Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) wells were plagued by a series of spills and other problems linked to the area’s contamination of drinking water supplies.

With a new federal court ruling handed down late last Friday, a judge unwound a unanimous eight-person jury which had ordered Cabot to pay a total of $4.24 million over the contamination of two of those families’ drinking water wells. In a 58 page ruling, Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson discarded the jury’s verdict in Ely v. Cabot and ordered a new trial, extending the legal battle over one of the highest-profile and longest-running fracking-related water contamination cases in the country.

In his order, Judge Carlson chastised the plaintiff’s lawyers for “repeatedly inviting the jury to engage in unwarranted speculation” and wrote that, in his personal estimation, the plaintiffs had not presented enough evidence to warrant the jury’s $4.24 million in damages. The original complaint for the case was filed in November 2009.

Nonetheless, Judge Carlson declined to throw out the lawsuit entirely, ordering Cabot to re-start settlement talks with the Ely and Hubert families. If those talks fail, the trial process will begin anew, extending the already years-long legal battle into months or even years to come.

“The judge heard the same case that the jury heard and the jury was unanimous,” Nolan Scott Ely, the lead plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. “How can he take it upon himself to set aside their verdict? It’s outrageous.”

Retrials “Not as Rare”

Over time, Judge Carlson’s order noted, the plaintiffs’ legal complaints had been successfully winnowed down by Cabot, which was represented at trial by several lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright, the tenth highest-grossing law firm in the world in 2016. The case now centers around a nuisance complaint.

Ely, whose background is in construction work, and his family and neighbors were represented at trial by a solo practitioner, Leslie Lewis, assisted by one other attorney. During one brief stint in the years leading up to the trial, the two families had no lawyer at all, but represented themselves. When the case began, they had the assistance of the firms Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik & Associates and the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm (the former employer of Lewis), which ushered in a settlement agreement with some of the 44 original plaintiffs.

But Ely and others were not satisfied with the offer, which included a non-disclosure agreement, and decided to proceed with the lawsuit.

John-Mark Stensvaag, an environmental law professor at the University of Iowa, said that orders to re-try cases “are not as rare as one might think.”

“This does not mean that the plaintiffs have no case,” he added, “it only means that, in [Judge Carlson’s] opinion, they have not presented a case justifying the jury’s verdict and should be given a second opportunity to present an adequate case.”

The Ely family leaves the federal courthouse on the first day of trial in 2016. Credit: Laura Evangelisto © 2016

Carter Road Water Contamination

There’s little question that something is very wrong with the water on Carter Road, despite lingering questions in the legal battles centering around that contaminated water.

In 2016, shortly after the Elys and Huberts’ $4.24 million verdict, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report concluding that Dimock’s tainted waters carried dangerous levels of chemicals including arsenic, lithium, and 4-chlorophenyl phenyl ether (which is acutely toxic if swallowed). Further, the water was laced with enough methane that five of the homes on Carter Road had been at risk of exploding. Indeed, on New Year’s Day 2009, one of Dimock’s contaminated drinking water wells did explode.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

Hearing for Ryan Zinke to be Secretary of the Interior

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Source:  U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Both Trump and Zinke say they oppose the transfer of federal land to states, but when it came to vote last week, Zinke voted to make it easier to do land transfers.  This would not be good for the wild horses and burros.

natresourceshearing_032615Congressman Ryan Zinke (Montana)

Tuesday, Jan. 17 2017
11:15 Pacific Time, 12:15 Mountain Time, 1:15 Central Time, 2:15 Eastern Time
366 Dirksen 02:15 PM

This notice is to advise you of a hearing before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 2:15 p.m. in Room 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.
 
The purpose of the hearing is to consider the nomination of the Honorable Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior.
 
The hearing will be webcast live on the committee’s website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witness testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.

Clean Water Action’s Keith Nakatani & Matt Davis on fracking wastewater being used for crop irrigation, aquifer “exemptions” and more, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 11/30/16)

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Security Firm Running Dakota Access Pipeline Intelligence Has Ties to U.S. Military Work in Iraq and Afghanistan

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SOURCE:  desmogblog.com

by Steve Horn

15288546338_1240d57322_oPhoto Credit: Flickrchuck holton

TigerSwan is one of several security firms under investigation for its work guarding the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota while potentially without a permit. Besides this recent work on the Standing Rock Sioux protests in North Dakota, this company has offices in Iraq and Afghanistan and is run by a special forces Army veteran.

According to a summary of the investigation, TigerSwan “is in charge of Dakota Access intelligence and supervises the overall security.”

The Morton County, North Dakota, Sheriff’s Department also recently concluded that another security company, Frost Kennels, operated in the state while unlicensed to do so and could face criminal charges. The firm’s attack dogs bit protesters at a heated Labor Day weekend protest.

Law enforcement and private security at the North Dakota pipeline protests have faced criticism for maintaining a militarized presence in the area. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Lawyer’s Guild have filed multiple open records requests to learn more about the extent of this militarization, and over 133,000 citizens have signed a petition calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and quell the backlash.

The Federal Aviation Administration has also implemented a no-fly zone, which bars anyone but law enforcement from flying within a 4-mile radius and 3500 feet above the ground in the protest area. Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer on the scenes in North Dakota with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said on Facebook thatDAPL private security planes and choppers were flying all day” within the designated no-fly zone.

Donnell Hushka, the designated public information officer for the North Dakota Tactical Operation Center, which is tasked with overseeing the no-fly zone, did not respond to repeated queries about designated private entities allowed to fly in no-fly zone airspace.

What is TigerSwan?

TigerSwan has offices in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India, and Latin America and has headquarters in North Carolina. In the past year, TigerSwan won two U.S. Department of State contracts worth over $7 million to operate in Afghanistan, according to USASpending.gov.

TigerSwan, however, claims on its website that the contract is worth $25 million, and said in a press release that the State Department contract called for the company to “monitor, assess, and advise current and future nation building and stability initiatives in Afghanistan.” Since 2008, TigerSwan has won about $57.7 million worth of U.S. government contracts and subcontracts for security services.

Company founder and CEO James Reese, a veteran of the elite Army Delta Force, served as the “lead advisor for Special Operations to the Director of the CIA for planning, operations and integration for the invasion of Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom” in Iraq, according to his company biography. Army Delta partakes in mostly covert and high-stakes missions and is part of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the latter well known for killing Osama Bin Laden.

One of TigerSwan’s advisory board members, Charles Pittman, has direct ties to the oil and gas industry. Pittman “served as President of Amoco Egypt Oil Company, Amoco Eurasia Petroleum Company, and Regional President BP Amoco plc. (covering the Middle East, the Caspian Sea region, Egypt, and India),” according to his company biography.

“Sad, But Not Surprising”

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill told Democracy Now! in a 2009 interview that TigerSwan did some covert operations work with Blackwater USA, dubbed the “world’s most powerful mercenary army” in his book by the same name. Blackwater has also guarded oil pipelines in central Asia, according to Scahill’s book.

Reese advised Blackwater and took a leave of absence from TigerSwan in 2008 in the aftermath of the Nisour Square Massacre, a shooting in Iraq conducted by Blackwater officers which saw 17 Iraqi civilians killed. TigerSwan has a business relationship with Babylon Eagles Security Company, a private security firm headquartered in Iraq which also has had business ties with Blackwater.

Read the rest of this article HERE.
 

EU CLIMATE CHANGE THEORY ON TRIAL: UK NIXES GLOBAL WARMING BUREAUCRACY

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new-logo25Author, Chuck Frank

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“Just as the UK slew the giant with one stone, isn’t it time for the U.S. to do the same? “

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EU Parliament Bldg.1
Now, if this isn’t a wake up call for the EU and the world then what will it take to understand that the “warming trend” and “climate change” has been a carefully orchestrated international scheme of fabricated fear brought to us by those elite few who manufactured the “man-made” greenhouse effect as a major platform to implement their purposeful, yet unconstitutional and tyrannical worldwide system of control which would then include highly expensive alternative forms of energy but would also add to the elimination of the middle class who continually stands to be a threat to that sinister kingdom of rogue globalist bankers and the mainstream leaders of the nations who have conspired with them through multi-million dollar bribes and hidden fortunes in personal offshore banking accounts.  The Vatican Bank was one such money laundering player which was exposed in 2012 as a huge
offshore tax haven.

With that said, the people of the UK have spoken and showed the world that they had enough of the Brussels bunch and their Climate Gate madness which included sustainable energy mandates along with fines for noncompliance.
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Inconvenient Truths About This Weekend’s Duluth Air Show

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Duty to Warn

new-logo25kohlsBy Gary G. Kohls, MD

 

Squandering the Planet’s Increasingly Scarce Fossil Fuels for our Amusement

The Big Oil cartels have, for decades, been poisoning the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf and many other oceans and ocean floors with uncounted millions of gallons of toxic crude oil via their risky, and very leaky deep water oil wells. It wasn’t just the crime against the planet that British Petroleum and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton perpetrated in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. There are many other entities that have contributed to the mortal wounding of the Gulf, including the US military.

A prime example of the damage done to the Gulf by corporate entities includes the Mississippi River delta’s massive dead zone that has been enlarging rapidly for decades, thanks to the many shoreline polluters that have been allowing industrial waste, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers and other toxins to flow downstream from such so-called “environmentally friendly” states like Minnesota and its Big Chemical and Big Agribusiness-mesmerized farmers.

There are hundreds of dead zones at the mouths of many of the world’s major rivers, but much of the pollution that caused the huge dead zone at the Mississippi’s mouth started in Upper Midwest farmlands, especially the corporate mega-farms. (See www.geoengineeringwatch.com for more details.)

Carcinogenic corporate waste products that are dumped directly into the river or otherwise seep into the ground water are known to sicken and then kill living creatures downstream. As I was growing up, I fished in the Minnesota River and I witnessed the beginnings of the mortal wounding of that river because of massive corporate farm chemical runoff.  The Minnesota went from swim-able and fish-able to muddy, smelly, toxic and relatively fishless during the years in which I was coming of age. More

Enbridge Energy’s 2010 Kalamazoo River Pipeline Spill: The Worst and Most Expensive Pipeline Disaster in the History of America

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Duty to Warn

new-logo25kohlsBy Gary G. Kohls, MD

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“This investigation identified a complete breakdown of safety at Enbridge. Their employees performed like Keystone Kops and failed to recognize that their pipeline had ruptured and continued to pump crude into the environment. Despite multiple alarms and a loss of pressure in the pipeline, for more than 17 hours and through three shifts, they failed to follow their own shutdown procedures. Enbridge restarted the pipeline twice in that 17-hour period, pumping oil that would account for 81 percent of the total spill.” — National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-07-24/-keystone-kops-bungling-led-to-costliest-u-s-pipeline-spill)

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On July 25, 2010 Enbridge Energy’s Alberta tar sands pipeline burst near Marshall, Michigan, spilling an estimated 1.1 million gallons of toxic heavy crude oil (including various petroleum-based diluents) into the Kalamazoo River. (Note that, in order to easily flow through an oil pipeline, the extra-heavy sludgy oil peculiar to the Canadian tar sands needs to be diluted with a 25% – 50% mixture of dangerous petroleum solvents, including the known carcinogen, benzene).

As soon as Enbridge workers in Hazmat suits arrived on the scene the first day of the catastrophe, they tested for benzene fumes and other toxic volatile organic substances and ordered nearby residents to evacuate immediately. Some of the affected residents never came back to their homes for 60 days.

Enbridge’s Kalamazoo disaster was North America’s worst and most expensive inland oil spill disaster. To my knowledge, it was never reported in the Duluth News-Tribune or on the local nightly news. Nobody that I know ever saw or heard a single report about it on local or regional television or radio news. Sadly, the same could be said about most of the other environmental disasters mentioned below that involved corporations that have a presence in the upper Midwest.

The Enbridge pipeline that ruptured in Michigan delivered dirty tar sands oil from Ontario. That pipeline crossed northern Minnesota, (and both the Mississippi and St Louis Rivers); crossed the entire state of Wisconsin; and ended up at a terminal in Indiana.

Tragically for the Kalamazoo River and every fish and minnow and crawfish in it, a six-foot break in the pipeline sent hours of high pressure toxic petroleum products into the Tallmadge Creek, a tributary of the Lake Michigan-bound Kalamazoo River. The broken pipe polluted a 35 mile segment of the river, and the damage will likely be permanent.

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The Enbridge pipeline rupture that contaminated the Kalamazoo River on July 25, 2010

Oil and Heavy Metal Pollution of Water and Soil is Forever

It is important to emphasize that the pollution of any water or soil resource from significant amounts of chemicals, especially oil and toxic metals, whether the resource is an aquifer, a river, a bog, a wild rice bed or a lake, CAN NEVER BE FULLY REMEDIATED, despite what is said in the propaganda campaigns that are cunningly generated from the guilty mining, energy or petroleum companies whose flawed technology is responsible.

Petroleum products and heavy metals are both capable of floating on, mixing with or sinking beneath the water (thus flowing far beyond the mouth of the stream, attaching to the shoreline and/or sinking into the sludge at the bottom.

“Clean-up” of an oil spill is thus a myth. “Clean-ups” can never completely suck out or dredge up or de-contaminate all the pollutants no matter what method is tried.

To make things worse, the co-opted mainstream media can be counted on to simply (and very lazily) repeat the propaganda that comes from Big Oil, Big Mining, Big Coal or Big Energy when their spokespersons hold the reassuring press conferences that follow every “accidental” spill. Corporations have their duty to their advertisers, investors and stock market analysts to not unduly stir up a lack of confidence in the stock price.

Mining “Accidents” are Inevitable and They Could Happen Here

The inevitable “accidents-just-waiting-to-happen” scenario applies to some well-known examples like the Exxon Valdez disaster, the British Petroleum/Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Enbridge’s Kalamazoo River disaster, and some of the mining industry tailings ponds “breaches” that occur so frequently or just slowly leak toxins forever. More

Add your 2 cents against leasing public lands for as little as $2 an acre for oil & gas

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Please submit a comment to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in your own words, asking that the minimum rate per acre for oil and gas leasing be MUCH higher than $2 an acre, and ask the BLM to remove caps established by current regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.

Most importantly, be sure to demand that the BLM NOT approve any more land for oil & gas development/leasing on Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) (since there supposedly isn’t enough water and forage for wild horses and burros on their federally protected HMAs).

wis.Par.69820.Image.200.135.1  (photo:  BLM)
BLM Extends Public Comment Period to June 19, 2015 on Oil and Gas Royalty Rulemaking

SOURCE: goldrushcam.com

May 29, 2015- WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is extending the public comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.

Notice of the two-week extension, which extends the comment period deadline to June 19, 2015, will be published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2015.

Modernizing the BLM’s royalty rate structures can provide greater flexibility, especially given the dramatic growth of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has increased in each of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM’s regulations would also respond to concerns expressed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and others that the BLM’s existing rules lack flexibility and could be causing the United States to forgo significant revenue to the detriment of taxpayers.

The GAO has repeatedly concluded that the BLM’s regulations do not provide a reasonable assurance that the public is getting appropriate fair share of the revenue from these resources. The BLM’s current rules lack the flexibility to offer new competitive leases at higher royalty rates.

The ANPR also addresses the value of these resources by inviting comment on how the BLM might update its rules regarding the minimum acceptable bid that must be paid by parties seeking a lease at auction, and the annual rental payments that are due after a lease is obtained. The current minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, which is well below the rate at which most parcels sell, suggesting that the rate could be higher. After obtaining a lease, a lessee is currently required to make annual rental payments until the lease starts producing oil or gas. These rental rates currently are $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 for years five through 10. The ANPR invites comment on how rental payments might be better structured to incentivize diligent development of leased areas.

The BLM encourages the public to be actively engaged in this process by submitting comments on the revised proposed rule before June 19 in one of the following ways:

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC, 20240, Attention: 1004-AE41.

Personal or messenger delivery: Bureau of Land Management, 20 M. St. SE, Room 2134 LM, Attention: Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20003.

Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at this Website.

To read the original advance notice of public rulemaking go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-21/pdf/2015-09033.pdf

BLM unaware oil company was using pipeline

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new-logo25Debbie Coffey

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How could the BLM be “unaware” that a company is using a pipeline?  (Another reason to wonder how closely the BLM actually monitors the range.)  According to True Oil (True Companies), “Belle Fourche Pipeline is a liquids pipeline operator that gathers and transports crude oil in the Williston Basin of western North Dakota and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.”  To see a map of this pipeline in Wyoming, click HERE.  According to an article in the Casper Star Tribune, True Companies have had many pipeline spills.

True Companies also owns 7 True Ranches (ADA Ranch, Double Four Ranch, LAK Ranch, Rock River Ranch, Chalk Bluffs Ranch, HU Ranch, VR Ranch), 2 feedlots (LAK Feedlot, Wheatland Feedlot) and 2 Farms (LAK Farm, Wheatland Farm) in Wyoming.          –  Debbie

cows  True Ranches’ cattle (photo:  True Companies)

SOURCE:  Buffalo Bulletin

Almost a decade after Belle Fourche Pipeline Co., a True Oil company, told the Bureau of Land Management it was no longer using a pipeline 44 miles southeast of Buffalo, the pipeline leaked 25,200 gallons of crude oil onto public lands.

The company terminated its right of way permit in writing in 2006. At some point, without the knowledge of the federal agency, the company illegally resumed use of the pipeline, said Christian Venhuizen, BLM public affairs specialist.

Why and when the company continued to use the pipeline remains unanswered. Bob Dundas, environmental coordinator for Belle Fourche and Bridger pipelines, said he would forward the Buffalo Bulletin’s request for information and comment to someone who could answer questions related to permitting.

On May 20, 2014, Belle Fourche reported the oil spill to the BLM, after workers noticed oil seeping up from the ground, Dundas said. The BLM determined that Belle Fourche was in trespass, Venhuizen said, and fined Bridger Pipeline, a sister company, also owned by True Oil.

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Janine Blaeloch, Dir. of Western Lands Project, on BLM & Forest Service Land Swaps and Industrial Solar, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 2/25)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesday (*SM) , February 25, 2015 More

Alberta Canada’s experience with Keystone operations

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Note:  Every effort is being made to force the passage of the Keystone pipeline.  This bill WILL NOT give the US any form of energy independence as all crude is slated to be shipped out of the country and into the global market.  Upon completion, it will provide only 35-42 permanent jobs.  This is a steep price to pay for land devastation, water contamination, spills, leaks and the dumping of toxic waste materials in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  This pipeline will also violate private property rights.

As all of this oil is slated for shipment out of the country, it would have been more cost efficient for Keystone to run a line west through Canadian states to its west coast.  But guess what!  Canadians aren’t having it!  Thats why Keystone is trying to invade the US and cause catastrophic damage here.

By the way:  Even with the horrendous history of just the last four months involving spills, leaks, water contamination etc., listed in the article below……Keystone will NOT be liable for any spills, cleanup or damage to land and water here in the US. 

And you can thank Republican’s for this fiasco!

There’s Been HOW Many Pipeline Spills in Alberta in The Last Four Months??

DailyKos

Alberta, Canada is basically a petro state. Oil and gas production rule everything and it’s happening everywhere in the north of the province. Pipelines criss cross most of Alberta. As a result, leaks of wells, facilities and pipelines are a constant thing all over the province. More

Minnesota: The Keystone Pipeline is not the Key to Prosperity

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

____________________________________________________

www_Sticker_Tk_kiss_my_assThe Senate is preparing to vote on the Keystone Pipeline.  Mary Landreiu led the Democrats as she shilled for the pipeline.  The trade off of course is, that the Democrats will ok the pipeline and  Republicans will be caving in on immigration…..which of course will supply a really cheap labor force that can be exploited.  Its a win! Win!

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Spill response ‘inadequate’ for tar sands crude on Great Lakes

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DNRE-Kalamazoo-RiverMichigan Department of Natural Resources, via Flickr

Oil in the Kalamazoo River on July 28, 2010, three days after an Enbridge pipeline burst, causing the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history. The spill was particularly difficult to clean up because some of the oil sank.

By: Kate Golden

Oil that sinks is hard to clean up. More

Ebola: Another False Flag?

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From Ghana: Ebola is not real and the only people who have gotten sick are those who have received treatments and injections from the Red Cross

Jim Stone Freelance

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Nana Kwame wrote:

People in the Western World need to know what’s happening here in West Africa. THEY ARE LYING!!! “Ebola” as a virus does NOT Exist and is NOT “Spread”. The Red Cross has brought a disease to 4 specific countries for 4 specific reasons and it is only contracted by those who receive treatments and injections from the Red Cross. That is why Liberians and Nigerians have begun kicking the Red Cross out of their countries and reporting in the news the truth. Now bear with me:

REASONS:

Most people jump to “depopulation” which is no doubt always on the mind of the West when it comes to Africa. But I assure you Africa can NEVER be depopulated by killing 160 people a day when thousands are born per day. So the real reasons are much more tangible.

Reason 1: This vaccine implemented sickness being “called” Ebola was introduced into West Africa for the end goal of getting troops on the ground in Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. If you remember America was just trying to get into Nigeria for “Boko Haram”,  but that fell apart when Nigerians started telling the truth. There ARE NO GIRLS MISSING. Global support fell through the floor, and a new reason was needed to get troops into Nigeria and steal the new oil reserves they have discovered.

Reason 2: Sierra Leone is the World’s Largest Supplier of Diamonds. For the past 4 months they have been on strike, refusing to provide diamonds due to horrible working conditions and slave pay. The West will not pay a fair wage for the resources because the idea is to keep these people surviving on rice bags and foreign aid so that they remain a source of cheap slave labor forever. A reason was also needed to get troops on the ground in Sierra Leone to force an end to the diamond miners strikes. This is not the first time this has been done. When miners refuse to work troops are sent in and even if they have to kill and replace them all, the only desire is to get diamonds back flowing out of the country.

Of course to launch multiple campaigns to invade these countries separately would be way too fishy. But something like “Ebola” allows access to an entire area simultaneously… More

Syria: An obstacle to taking down Iran….

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Marti Oakley        © copyright 2014 All rights reserved

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A major effort is underway to begin yet another war of aggression against another mid-eastern country who refuses to submit to the global bankers or, to allow global oil cartels access to the country’s largest asset….oil.  Syria and Iran stand as the last two countries refusing to submit to global banking and a complete takeover of oil assets.  Syria is the last roadblock to Iran, and the federal corporation we call “government” is desperate to start blasting Iran.

Senator John McCain (R) was beating the war drums yet again on February 10, 2014,  to send us into another unnecessary and illegal war with a country whose leader is marked for destruction, although he did not mention who would be appointed to head up the new government in Syria when we got done destroying another oil rich nation that has not harmed us or threatened us.save

McCain was quoted by ABC News as saying:

“When the images and horrors of this conflict occasionally show up on our television screens, the impulse of many Americans is to change the channel,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “But we must not look away. We must not avert our eyes from the suffering of the Syrian people – for, if we do, we ignore, we sacrifice that which is most precious in ourselves: our ability to empathize with the suffering of others, to share it, to acknowledge through our own sense of revulsion that what is happening in Syria today is a stain on  the collective conscience of moral peoples everywhere.”

Basically, our impulse to change the channel comes from the incessant lies, deceptions, frauds, and continual misinformation fabricated to convince the American public of some fictional threat that can be used to affect policy and the continued efforts to take over the mid east.  All of this issuing from the mouths of government officials who all have their fingers in the cookie jar. More

ADVISORY: PLANNED HOME INVASIONS – DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes

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new-logo25 STOPTHE CRIME.net

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ADVISORY:  PLANNED HOME INVASIONS –  DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes, Similar to MPG Rating for Cars.

Massive in-home data collection is planned by the DOE using computer software and in home inspections to determine your energy use and homeowner behaviors.  This data collection of your annual energy usage will be scored using a scale of 1-10.  The score will be used to track and sponsorsmonitor energy retrofitting requirements which will be enforced by energy code enforcement officers under the Climate Action Plans.
 

The hiring of these new energy code enforcement officers is the creation of green jobs under the:

  • NEW Green Economy.  
  • Energy code enforcements will create NEW Green Energy loan businesses,
  • the New Green Energy Retrofitting businesses and
  • other businesses to supply and service the forced requirements of the NEW GREEN ECONOMY –
  •  All residents will soon be forced to take on more debt through retrofitting costs, fines or penalties or their apartments, homes and businesses will be sited for energy code violations siting inefficient and unsustainable property conditions .
  •  EVERYONE will be required to replace ALL appliances and equipment to Energy Star Rated ELECTRIC devices . 
  • Smart Metering is REQUIRED of all electricity and water .
  • Gas appliances and equipment is to be eliminated and replaced with electric . . .
Keep in mind as you read the article below that Climate Actions Plans are already in place, or soon to be, in your communities which REQUIRE you to reduce your “carbon foot print” aka (GHG) Green House Gas Emissions .
 
The PLANS require you to reduce your energy consumption by 17% – 25% below 1990 or 2005 levels by 2020 depending on your cities “corporate” contract agreement, they have signed, and the target reduction goals they set for you.
 
NOW – the Department of Energy has launched plans to inspect YOUR homes for energy efficiency REQUIRING the scoring your home’s energy efficiency or “inefficiency”.  
 
Scoring your homes will be done by qualified assessors that will charge you a fee to collect approximately 40 pieces of data about your home during an hour-long walk-through to determine what home-retrofitting of Energy Star rated ELECTRIC appliances and equipment and weather-proofing will ultimately be required .
 
The scoring of your homes can ONLY be done by the DOE’s participating partners, which include state and local governments, utilities, and non-profits.  The cost of the home scoring will be based upon what the local market supports, and the size of your home, which uses more energy, will determine your energy score and cost . . Go to www.StopTheCrime.net to the Climate Action PLAN Link on the Home Page for details about these PLANS . . .
 
DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes, Similar to MPG Rating for Cars | CNS News

Wisconsin: Support Smart Meter Opt-out Bill

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Note:  There is NO federal mandate for Smart Meters.  The system is set up through PURPA, and is an OPT-IN system.  You must be offered and ACCEPT the meters, or request them.  There is no requirement for you to OPT-OUT.   Forced installation under threat of harsh punishment or extortion is malfeasance of office.  This means that your county commissioners, city councils, and public utility representatives have misused their office to cause you intentional harm under threat and coercion. 

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Stop Smart Meters Wisconsin

Open letter to WI lawmakers from businessman:

Support Smart Meter OPT OUT bill August 16, 2013

August 6, 2013

Shaun A Kranish Owner, ElectraHealth.com (Stetzerizer-US.com)

1817 18th Avenue Rockford, IL  61104

Mr. Jeremy Thiesfeldt Room 16 West State Capitol

P.O. Box 8953 Madison, WI 53708

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Dear Mr. Thiesfeldt:

I became aware of your bill – LRB-0644/2 to ensure that Wisconsin residents can opt-out of having a “smart meter” on their property.  I would very much like to see everyone in the state have the ability to opt out without risking the power/water/gas company shutting their service down, as it is right now.

I have many friends and contacts in Wisconsin, and we’re wondering what we can do to help.  I was also wondering where to see a status of the bill so we can monitor its progress.  I’m a little unfamiliar with how that works in Wisconsin.

In my business, the number one complain I hear from my customers is smart meters.  Not just from Wisconsin, but from all over North America.  Headaches, dizziness, “brain fog,” sleeping problems, trouble concentrating, chronic pain, heart palpitations, and ringing in the ears are some of the most common complaints I hear.  Many people had no idea a “smart meter” was placed on their house, and then only after suffering months and months or in some cases years, they found out they had a smart meter and that it was placed on their house the same time the symptoms started.

I’ve had customers who lost family members, and I’ve had customers who didn’t even complain about a digital meter, but while talking to them I could tell they seemed distracted/bothered – not fully attentive/present.  They couldn’t focus.  This has happened quite a few times.

This is my 6th year in business, and the smart meter complains have been steadily increasing every single year.  It greatly saddens me when I hear these stories, and my heart goes out to those suffering.  Sometimes they are so ill/debilitated that they feel helpless/powerless and don’t know what to do.  As for me, I’d rip that thing off my house immediately.  But some people are scared of the utilities or scared of the “authorities” in their area.  More

formal charge of collusion and criminal acts against the United States Judicial system

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August 15, 2013

To:

United States House of Representatives

C/O The Committee on the Judiciary

2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
p/202-225-3951

From:

Ron Johnson Pro Se Complainant More

Ron Johnson: The case against BP refusing oil containment

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Join us this evening at 7:00 pm CST! More

BLM Digs Deeper Into Man-Made Drought

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new-logo25Debbie Coffey           Copyright 2013         All Rights Reserved.

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During a proclaimed drought across much of the West, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Ely District of Nevada is offering up 399,873 acres of public lands for oil & gas lease sales.

This is being done even though “Fracking requires enormous quantities of water. Estimates put water usage at between 3 and 5 million gallons per fracking of a single well, and each well can be fracked several times.” 

The BLM issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to lease these 399,873 acres June 28, 2013, only a month after issuing an EA to remove wild horses because “there is insufficient vegetation or water to maintain the wild horses’ health and well being.”

If there isn’t enough water for wild horses, how can there possibly be enough water for oil & gas exploration and development?  Where is the water going to come from?

The map below shows the oil & gas lease sale parcel areas in red, and some of the wild horse Herd Management Areas (HMAs), including Triple B (Buck-Bald & Butte), Antelope, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley (which includes the Dolly Varden Range).

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Now, take a look at these same HMAs below, with the red oil & gas lease sale area, including some of the groundwater basins in blue.

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(Even though the red area may look small, there is a potential for a water drawdown and risk of water contamination over the area of the entire groundwater basin.  And, there is inter-flow between basins.)

The map below shows a Grazing Allotment map, along with an outline of the wild horse HMAs and the oil & gas lease areas in red. 

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Scientific American published an article regarding fracking wastewater wells, stating “Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation’s geology as an invisible dumping ground.”  More

Green Prince of Darkness….EXPOSED !

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        strip banner new-logo25Joseph A Olson

July 4, 2013

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“This manufactured crisis and faux consensus has been brought to you with your tax dollars by your government officials.  This has been a bi-partisan effort.  Think of the RNC-DNC Crime Syndicate as the ultimate Costa Nostra upgrade.  The IPCC, EPA, DOE, NSF and NAS are all guilty of lying, suborning scientific perjury and attempted tax collection fraud. “

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There were a myriad of factors that contributed to the demise of the British Motor Industry in the mid seventies.  The storied brands of Jaguar, Bentley, Aston Martin and MG of the automotive and Triumph, BSA and Norton of motorcycle industry all suffered under onerous labor union contracts and government ownership and controls.  All of these brands also suffered with defective electrical components producedgovernment by the Joseph Lucas Company.

 Quality control issues were so bad that a popular bumper sticker for those marquees read “All of the parts that fall off of this car are of the highest quality British craftsmanship”.

While purist can indulge a certain level of hardship with mechanical devices, they have little patience for the electrical gremlins that did not affect other manufacturers.  For this reason, Joseph Lucas was nicknamed “The Prince of Darkness”.

 Today we have a new Green Prince poised to plunge the western world into a self imposed darkness.  This Prince first creates the fiction that Carbon causes climate change, then adds the fable that green energy exists which can dispel this nonexistent problem.  The entire range of ‘green solutions’ are all nonsensical.  We’ll limit this discussion to just solar cells and batteries, saving bio-fuels and windmills for another time.

The Sun Gives Us Nothing for Free

As alluring as the premise may be, the promise of solar energy is not free.  The first solar cell was created in 1883 by Charles Fritts using a sheet of Selenium with thin Gold facings.  The Sun radiates approximately 1000 watts per square meter at maximum.  The Fritts cell produced 10 watts per square meter or 1% efficiency. The Russell Ohl patent of 1946 is considered the first modern solar cell.  Today’s solar panels are high purity Silicone with a light doping of Phosphorus and Boron to provide breaks in the Silicone for electron movement.  The Universe is a radiation chamber with EMR and particle emissions from all concentrated mass, and decay particles from individual atoms.  Solar radiation strips protons from Nitrogen atoms, creating Carbon-14.  Stripping exposed electrons is even easier.  Silicone has four rather stable outer shell electrons in an orbit that can hold eight electrons.  Boron has five outer-shell electrons, and Phosphorus has only three.  Silicone forms a cubic crystal grid, and slightly impure Silicone matrix sheets can then be embedded with Boron and Phosphorus atoms.  When exposed to sunlight, the Boron atom losses it’s easily excited fifth electron, which travels the Silicone matrix using the Phosphorus “hole” to the conducting collection grids on both sides of the photovoltaic cell and permanently exits the cell.

Only segments of the solar spectrum activate this flow and it must be captured on both sides of the panel to create a circuit.  The required capture grid blocks some of the incoming energy and the net result is 10% efficiency, or approximately 100 watts per square meter, and only within limited ambient temperature ranges which prohibit lenses or mirrors for simple amplification.  Efficiencies as high as 40% are available with exotic materials, but then one must address the ‘high cost of free’, which applies to every ‘green’ technology.  Silicone, Phosphorus and Boron are common elements, but to mine, refine and bring on line has a cost.  That cost is reflected in ‘cost payback’ of 5 to 7 years depending on the system and level of government forced subsidy.  But these costs are based on low cost carbon based energy systems providing these materials.   Regardless, this is a ONE-TIME, ONE-WAY EROSION PROCESS with a total system life of less than 20 years. More

UFOs: Motives, Money and Mysteries

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MorphCity.com

By Cassandra Anderson

May 16, 2013

Media attention and money have been flowing into interest in UFOs since Steven Greer released his filmgreerAttaBoy ‘Sirius’, featuring a baby alien, and Stephen Bassett organized public hearings in Washington, DC on the topic.  Both organizations have collaborated with each other in the past and call for the US government to reveal classified data on UFOs and ‘free’ energy systems.


Some people have speculated that the media’s interest is really a conditioning exercise to introduce a staged Project Blue Beam-type of alien invasion.  Radio show host Stan Deyo received an invitation from Greer in 2010 for a training course on how to ‘Become an Ambassador to the Universe’.  Deyo said that it was part of a deception to fool people into a global dictatorship backed by an ‘alien’ presence.

While it is reasonable to be open to the idea that life forms could inhabit some of the 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, some of the ideologies, coincidences and finances surrounding Greer’s Disclosure Project and Bassett’s Paradigm Research Group are very curious.

For example, Greer’s Disclosure Project, endeavoring to convince the government to reveal classified UFO data, was originally funded by Laurance Rockefeller whose family was involved in the creation of major criminal cartels in banking (the Federal Reserve System), oil and the medical industry.  Therefore, it is difficult to not be suspicious of Laurance’s interest and it is perplexing to believe that the government would declassify secret documents when it has reportedly gone to great lengths to keep the information secret.  The program was also supported by Hillary Clinton when her husband was president, but she later put the kibosh on it and told Greer it was too dangerous (watch the video below to see Greer talk about it in his own words).

 

The White House responded to one of the petitions for disclosure a few years ago by denying that there is any evidence of aliens, which is exactly the response that one would expect, so it doesn’t make sense that both organizations are still pursuing standard government denials. More

Grovelling for Petrodollars

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  W.R. McAfee

© 2012 All Rights Reserved

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Historically, buying and selling oil was done  in US-dollars through oil exchanges—bourses—in London and New York.

The bankers’ global depression set-up World War II and their own central banks funded all participants as well as America’s industry via confederates such as J.P Morgan and Goldman; the U.S. supplying the war machinery, provisions, and munitions for the allies in return for  payments in gold.

By one count, more than half  of the world’s gold wound up in America after WWII.

Following Bretton Woods, the US dollar—immune to inflation and then referred to as “good as gold”—was printed and exported worldwide to be used to grab war-weary nations by the economic short hairs.  This, some have argued, was the beginning by the bankers to launch world monetary, resource, and economic consolidation.

A few decades later, the world’s vaults were bulging with dollars; the US having sent/spent more dollars abroad than at home.

Today, analysts pretty much agree that outside the US, of the savings, or reserves, of all other countries—in gold and all currencies—that a massive 66% of this total wealth is in US dollars. More

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