Mining & Fracking Whirl: 3 Feb 2015
Naelyn Defends “Oak Flat”(Apache) Ancestral Land
*Worldwide. As the corporate oil crisis deepens, will governments “earn the wrath of society by doing what they have always done—bailing out their friends in big business—or admit that they got energy policy wrong and make late and painful changes”? Answer: “Just let them fail. It will be good for the economy and jobs, and even better for our safe planetary existence.
*USA and Europe. Seems there’s a nascent movement among farmers on both continents to shun GMO crops and return to the old fashioned seeds that produce reliable results—and at a lower price. May it flourish.
*USA. The Environmental Protection Agency says falling oil prices means increased activity in Alberta tarsands oil production means an upsurge in greenhouse gas emissions means increased global warming.
*USA. Four pipeline explosions this month—Enterprise Productions pipeline in WVA, GulfSouth’s pipeline in MS, Bridger Pipeline in MT, and a ND pipeline–which the US Senate apparently didn’t notice. Koch brothers ’ alleged role in all this?
*USA. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) says it’s time the US Department of Transportation “should move its behind, finalize and enforce safety rules for tanker cars”, those DOT-111s which can erupt into flames when punctured. Rep. Peter DeFazios (D-OR) agrees. But then Sen John Thune (R-SD) says the gubmint is “moving too quickly” on “phasing out or retrofitting” the dangerous old things.
*USA. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has postponed until mid-May ruling on halting traffic of those DOT-111s. They’re waiting to see what action the US Dept of Transportation might take.
*USA. United Steelworkers struck Sunday “at nine U.S. refineries and chemical plants [Shell, Marathon, Tesoro, LyondellBasell]” as negotiations continue (sort of) for a “new national contract covering [30,000] workers at 63 plants.” Update: Soon’s the strike was called, oil prices fell—$1.50/barrel. Update: Despite so-called “right -to-work” laws, union memberships rose 50,000, or 12%, in IN in 2013-14.
*USA. Chevon and BP will “work together to explore, appraise and, possibly, develop 24 offshore leases in a deepwater part of the Gulf of Mexico known as the lower tertiary . . . [where oil] “tends to be hotter, . .under more pressure, . . .thus more difficult and costly to bring to market”. What could possibly go wrong?
*USA. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Extractives) has now decided he’s “going to war with [President Obama] over coal”.
*USA. It’s gotten so bad (or not, depending on your point of view), that The Onion has addressed fracking.