Showing posts from September 8, 2014

Oil in Tankers Not Our Responsibility, Says Kinder Morgan, Recalling Exxon Valdez Lessons

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["The current pipeline approval system is as irresponsible as licensing a pub without a drunk driver law. Kinder Morgan needs to serve its oil responsibly. It is not reasonable or logical to separate a pipeline approval from tanker regulation." *RON*]
 Glen Thompson, DeSmog Blog, 8 September 2014

This is a guest post by Glen Thompson. It originally appeared on Abbotsford Today the Watershed Sentinel and is republished here with permission.

“Once the oil leaves the dock, Kinder Morgan holds no obligation or responsibility, even 10 metres out – that’s the carrier’s liability.”

At the last two information events in Chilliwack, Kinder Morgan brought a large team of professionals and specialized aids to cover an exhaustive range of issues. Resembling a Royal Commission, everything concerning the proposed pipeline was in the tow of a Subject Matter Expert and neatly secured in a rolling briefcase.

The first audience was the full Board of the Fra…

Six Reasons BC Place Is Growing into a Giant Lemon

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[Half a billion dollars for what? Is this the Liberals' fast ferries fiasco? *RON*]

By Bob Mackin,, 4 September 2014

It was the perfect storm.

Mere hours after talks collapsed between negotiators for the B.C. government and the province's public school teachers, the Vancouver Whitecaps were hosting the Portland Timbers in a Major League Soccer match at B.C. Place Stadium. Premier Christy Clark was spotted among the announced crowd of 21,000 for the home team's embarrassing 3-0 loss. The Whitecaps claim precisely 21,000 people attend most of their games. Not 20,999 or 21,001, but 21,000.

The roof was closed, for fear of rain (more about that later). Joining the Southsiders was Rebecca Bollwitt, who is known as @Miss604 to her 55,500 Twitter followers (which is about 1,000 more followers than B.C. Place's 54,320 capacity).

"Either the roof is leaking or B.C. Place nominated me for some kind of bucket challenge," sh…

Mt. Polley Debacle: BC Miles behind US on Mine Danger Info

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[The corporatocracy wins over the public interest in British Columbia. The public here is barred from records freely available in US to help avert disasters. *RON*]

By Sean Holman,, 8 September 2014

British Columbia is one of the country's biggest mineral producers. But compared to Americans, British Columbians have very little information about the safety and regulation of that activity.

And that means journalists, activists and citizens have very little power to stop mining problems before they become mining disasters.

Just such a disaster happened last month when the tailing dam at Imperial Metals Corp.'s Mount Polley Mine collapsed, resulting in a flood of concern and questions about safety at similar operations in the province.

In response to a request from Vancouver Sun reporter Gordon Hoekstra, the government released details on the 49 "dangerous or unusual occurrences" that were recorded as happening at tailing p…

Stop the Misuse of Philanthropy!

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[Interesting; I don't know what the comparable situation is in Canada. *RON*]

Lewis B. Cullman, The New York Review of Books, 25 September 2014 ISSUE

At ninety-five, as a businessman and philanthropist, I want to call attention to little-known ploys in US philanthropy that rob our society of hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for important charitable causes—leaving money stashed away in financial institutions and doing no good for anyone except money managers and other financial intermediaries.

In the past twenty years, I’ve given away close to $500 million of my own money. After I pioneered the leveraged buyout in 1964, I watched how innovators, imitators, and swarming incompetents tore the companies they acquired apart. Then when I graduated into what I like to call my “distributive phase,” I saw how private foundations were able to take unfair advantages of the charitable deduction.

Writing in The New York Review back in 2003,1 I expl…

Charles Koch founded anti-environment group to protect big oil industry handouts

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[New documents reveal the mega-rich libertarian is the mastermind behind the Institute for Energy Research. *RON*]
Lee Fang, Republic Report, Salon, 7 September 2014
‘Lifestyles of the Rich Environmentalists,’ produced by a group called the Institute for Energy Research, is a slick web video campaign designed to lampoon Leonardo Dicaprio and as hypocrites for supporting action on climate change. The claim is that wealthy celebrities who oppose industrial-scale pollution supposedly shouldn’t fly in airplanes that use fossil fuels. The group, along with its subsidiary, the American Energy Alliance, churns out a steady stream of related content, from Facebook memes criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency, to commercials demanding approval of new oil projects like the Keystone XL, to a series of television campaign advertisements this year attacking Democratic candidates in West Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Alaska. On Capi…

Thousands of C8 suits against DuPont flood federal court

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[Industry self-regulation never works: "company scientists issued internal warnings about C8 as early as 1961." *RON*]
By Kathy Lynn Gray, The Columbus Dispatch, 8 September 2014
A decade-long legal battle accusing DuPont of being responsible for life-threatening medical problems among Ohio River residents is flooding federal court in Columbus.

Nearly 2,500 personal-injury lawsuits have been filed against DuPont as part of multidistrict litigation assigned to U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. and Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Preston Deavers.

More than 600 already are in federal court, and the rest will be transferred from Ohio and West Virginia state courts.

The lawsuits — some on behalf of people who died — say that C8, a chemical used to make Teflon at a DuPont plant in Washington, W.Va., made area residents sick after it was dumped into the water for decades as waste. The plant is near Parkersburg, W.Va., and the C8 was in drin…

Harper's caucus control described in book by MP, a former Tory

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[I've recommended this book to my local library. *RON*]
Josh Wingrove, Globe and Mail, 7 September 2014

Upset with the Conservative government’s handling of the F-35 jet purchase, Brent Rathgeber wrote a blog entry critiquing it. It was an innocuous act, save for one detail: He was a Conservative MP himself.

Soon after, the phone rang, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office on the line demanding the blog post be taken down. Mr. Rathgeber’s aide refused. “You don’t understand; I am calling from the PMO,” the staffer replied.

The standoff is one recalled in Mr. Rathgeber’s book Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada, set for release this month. Mr. Rathgeber, twice elected as a Conservative before quitting caucus last year, outlines how MPs have seen their powers fade away, reduced to “cheer-leading and barking on command” while the PMO has grown stronger over decades, under Mr. Harper and his predecessors,…

Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad job numbers

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["The labour market shed 112,000 private sector positions, the largest single-month drop in the private sector since, well, forever." Full-time jobs being traded for an even smaller number of part-time and temporary MacJobs: "Among core-age workers there were fewer full-time jobs and more part-time jobs. Young workers traded 3,000 full-time jobs for less than a thousand part-time ones." The situation is especially bad for young workers. *RON*]
By Angella MacEwan,, 6 September 2014

Last week Statistics Canada released their first set of job numbers since the "oops" of July 2014. And the news was dismal. The labour market shed 112,000 private sector positions, the largest single-month drop in the private sector since, well, forever. Coming on the heels of a mistake is unfortunate, but you have to think that Statistics Canada was extra vigilant this month and checked everything up, down, backwards, and sidewa…