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Showing posts from March 16, 2014

B.C. environmental groups in court to argue against water use for fracking

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[The government and the gas companies appear to have cooked up a loophole that allows them to circumvent in The Water Act in order to allow gas companies to use as much BC water as they want for fracking. This allows the gas companies to state that they are doing "nothing illegal." *RON*]

By Steven Chua, The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 03/16/2014

VANCOUVER - A coalition of environmental groups will be in a Vancouver court Monday arguing against the use of river and lake water for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

The Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club of B.C. have taken court action against B.C.'s Oil and Gas Commission and energy company Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA).

The coalition alleges the commission has allowed millions of litres of fresh water annually to be drained from lakes, streams and rivers, where it's then mixed with chemicals and sand and injected under high pressure into the …

Site C tender has environmental group glaring at BC Hydro

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[Our government review and approval processes are a farce. *RON*]

By The Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 03/16/2014

VANCOUVER - An environmental group is calling BC Hydro's posting for companies to help build Site C Dam worker camps in northeastern B.C. a "bullying tactic."

Earlier this month the Crown corporation announced it was looking for contractors despite the fact there has been no approval to build the dam seven kilometres southwest of Fort St. John.

Wilderness Committee director Joe Foy says it makes the environmental approval process look like a rubber stamp.

BC Hydro spokesman David Conway says it's standard practice to start looking for worker accommodations while review processes are underway.

He says construction of Site C will not take place unless the project receives environmental certification.

The posting says that BC Hydro will pay $200,000 to up to three finalists regardless if they are awarded the project.

The co…

The Wages of Men

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[Self explanatory. *RON*]
Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal, New York Times, March 16, 2014

For reference: Here are changes in hourly real wages of men, 1973-2012, at different percentiles of the wage distribution, calculated from Census data by the Economic Policy Institute. As you can see, wages have fallen for 60 percent of men.
I was curious to see how the House Budget Committee report on poverty deals with this fact, which surely plays some role in the persistence of poverty despite government efforts. The answer is, it never so much as mentions falling real wages.

Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap

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[Poverty and life expectancy: "the contrast between McDowell and Fairfax [counties in W. Va.] shows just how deeply entrenched these trends are, with consequences reaching all the way from people’s pocketbooks to their graves." See also Paul Krugman, Don’t Prosper and Die Early - "when people call for raising the Social Security and Medicare ages, they’re basically saying that janitors must keep working because corporate lawyers are living longer." *RON*]

By ANNIE LOWREY, The New York Times, March 15, 2014

Fairfax County, Va., and McDowell County, W.Va., are separated by 350 miles, about a half-day’s drive. Traveling west from Fairfax County, the gated communities and bland architecture of military contractors give way to exurbs, then to farmland and eventually to McDowell’s coal mines and the forested slopes of the Appalachians. Perhaps the greatest distance between the two counties is this: Fairfax is a place of the haves, …