Showing posts from August 14, 2014

Spain Cranks Up Political Repression

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[A glimpse into our global future under the corporatocracy, which has always been a natural partner of totalitarianism. Of course, Spain has always been politically repressive and run by a collusive oligarchy. But all this is also a straight-line extension of social and political trends we see everywhere around the world today.  Just compare the statements of the Spanish government on protesters with those of Joe Oliver on environmental activists. *RON*]

Posted on August 14, 2014 by Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism

Yves here. In contrast with the way that political repression is gradually becoming the new normal in America, Don Quijones chronicles how rapidly it is being put in place in Spain to curb protests against austerity and bank-favoring policies. The extreme form of shredding democracy to protect commercial interests was Chile, where as a writer put it, “People died so markets could be free.”

By Don Quijones, a freelance writer and transla…

Mount Polley bankruptcy could leave BC public footing cleanup bill

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[Good legal insights into this fiasco. E.g., did you know that, under BC law, Imperial Metals is probably not financially responsible for clean-up costs incurred by its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Mount Polley Mining Corporation? "For its part, the provincial government must make it very clear to Imperial Metals, as well as those who may be considering carving the company up, that it will not go along with any financial maneuvers that will hurt or endanger the interests of the people of BC or hinder the clean-up and financial reparations." *RON*]
Peter Ewart, Common Sense Canadian, 13 August 2014
Republished with permission from

The clean-up costs for the massive tailing pond spill at Imperial Metals’ Polley Mountain mine have been estimated by some to range between $50 and $500 million. In addition, legal action will undoubtedly be launched by individuals, businesses, and First Nations in the region which could result in h…

Kinder Morgan deal at the centre of price fixing court battle

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[Kinder Morgan settles out of court on charges of colluding to fix prices. All the companies involved deny any wrongdoing despite the established fact that "Mr. Kinder and his backers were able to secure Kinder Morgan at an attractive price of $107.50 per share without a single competing offer, even though the price was below the value recommended by the special committee Kinder Morgan’s board set up to evaluate offers." *RON*]

By Henny Sender, Financial Times, 13 August 2014
Rich Kinder, the Kinder Morgan founder who on Sunday unveiled a $44bn consolidation of a family of companies to create the US’s third-largest energy company, owes no small part of his $10bn-plus personal fortune to a 2006 deal that is now at the centre of a courtroom battle.

The one-time Enron executive who bought its physical pipeline assets to form Kinder Morgan spearheaded a management-led buyout of his company that year for $14.6bn, a deal that valued his then 18…

Electricity flows to northwestern British Columbia as new line powers up

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[Sneaky. The story title and most of the story says "Hurrah for Hydro, bringers of light to a long-ignored corner of our province!" Then the second-to-last line mutters "Oh, and by total coincidence, this power will also feed the Red Chris mine." *RON*]
By The Canadian Press in Huffington Post, 13 August 2014

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's newest hydro transmission line is now carrying power to a previously unlit corner of the province.

The 344-kilometre-long Northwest Transmission Line has been fully energized — just over two years after the $750-million expansion was launched.

The 287-kilovolt line links the Skeena Substation near Terrace to a new substation near Bob Quinn Lake in northwestern B.C.

BC Hydro says the line will deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy that will stimulate the economy and provide renewable power to the remote region.

A run-of-river hydro project has already connected to the line, while Imper…

The Klabona Keepers blockade the Red Chris mine over water concerns

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[It's not difficult to predict that we'll see more protests in the wake of the Mount Polley tailing pond disaster. Though work has commenced on construction for this project, the article notes that "To date, no IBA [impact and benefits agreement] has been signed and the mine does not have all of the permits required to open." *RON*]
By Brent Patterson,, 13 August 2014

The Klabona Keepers of the Tahltan First Nation have blockaded the site of the Imperial Metals' Red Chris copper and gold mine near Prince George, B.C. The Keepers are a grouping of elders and families who live on and use the Tahltan’s traditional lands near Iskut known as the "sacred headwaters of the Stikine, Nass and Skeena Rivers." The mine is scheduled to open in October or November of this year.

Yesterday, the Klabona Keepers stated, "In response to the Mount Polley mine tailings disaster and our serious concerns over the pending…

B.C. government using affordability excuses to underfund education and health

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[Ivanova makes two points: 1) the rate of growth in the economy (i.e., ability to pay) has far outstripped actual expenditures (i.e., willingness to pay) for health, education, and child welfare 2) the government decides on the tax rate and, so, self-defines its "ability" to pay. (Christy Clark, incidentally, has her son schooled privately.) She might have added that the government has decided that it has a very large ability to pay for corporate welfare. *RON*]
By Iglika Ivanova,, 14 August 2014

Affordability is becoming the new buzzword of the B.C. government. In the dispute with teachers, for example, the Minister of Education has repeatedly argued demands for lower class sizes and improved class composition, as well as fair wages, are unaffordable and unrealistic (see here). When parents and businesses make the case for more public funding for child care, fed up with the high fees and long wait lists, the official governm…