Showing posts from February 4, 2015

California Regulators Allowed Oil Industry To Drill Hundreds Of Wastewater Injection Wells Into Aquifers With Drinkable Water

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[State regulators break federal law by giving natural gas drillers permission to dump fracking wastewater into drinkable aquifers while the state suffers through one of its worst droughts ever. *RON*]
 Mike Gaworecki, DeSmogBlog, 3 February 2015

The fallout from the ongoing review of California’s deeply flawed Underground Injection Control program continues as new documents reveal that state regulators are investigating more than 500 injection wells for potentially dumping oil industry wastewater into aquifers protected under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act as well as state law.

Last July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered an emergency shutdown of 11 wastewater injection wells in California. In October, nine of the wells were confirmed to have been illegally dumping wastewater into protected aquifers.

Now a letter from Steve Bohlen, the State Oil and Gas Supervisor for California’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Reso…

EPA Keystone Review Links Oil Sands to Carbon Emission Jump

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[This ought to make Obama's rejection of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline project an open-and-shut case. *RON*]
by Jim SnyderMark Drajem, Bloomberg Business, 3 February 2015

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said developing Canadian oil sands would significantly increase greenhouse gases, a conclusion environmental groups said gives President Barack Obama reason to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

“Until ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of oil sands are more successful and widespread,” developing the crude “represents a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions,” the EPA said Tuesday in a letter to the State Department, which is reviewing the project.

The proposed pipeline has pitted Obama’s allies in the environmental movement against the U.S. energy industry. Obama has said he’ll reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone if it would lead to a significant …

The One Percent’s Great Escape

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[Getting ready for a sort of Preppy Grapes of Wrath. *RON*]
Consortium News, 2 February 2015

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that the rich “are different from you and me,” which remains true today except now they don’t even want to be around regular people, seeking more and more remote locations to escape from the increasingly angry commoners, as Michael Winship explains.

By Michael Winship

My friend Craig Zobel just premiered his new movie at the Sundance Film Festival. Z for Zachariahis based on a young adult novel from the 1970s about a post-apocalyptic world and a woman who lives on a farm in a remote valley. A geographic anomaly, the valley has been isolated and protected from the nuclear radiation that devastated the rest of humanity. But then a man arrives and, a while later, another. You’ll have to see it.

Craig’s movie is the latest in a long line of such stories about faraway, idyllic places trying to fend off human wrongdoing – from Aristop…

Surprise! The War on Terror is Incredibly Expensive

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[It would be a good study to investigate which corporations benefit the most from this publicly funded largess, and which firms politicians fasten themselves onto like ticks upon retiring from the publicly funded life.  Clearly everyone wins except all of us. Meanwhile, make sense of this: There Are Far Fewer Terror Attacks Now Than In the 1970s*RON*]

By Christopher Inoa | February 3, 2015 - 01:53PM

The global “War on Terror” that started in 2001 and has sent American troops to both Afghanistan and Iraq has cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion dollars, reports Forbes. That number, along with an infographic by Statista, comes from data collected by The Mercatus Center, citing a report from the Congressional Research Service.

According to Veronique Del Rey of the Mercatus Center, “When it comes to funding national defense, policymakers tend to ignore war costs so an accurate assessment on the burden on taxpayer of overseas military ventures is …

Draft of Arrest Request for Argentine President Found at Dead Prosecutor’s Home

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[Well, this looks terrible for Argentine President Kirchner. But, tell me, what does it mean that neither hide nor hair of the draft request for the Kirchner's arrest was seen for two weeks after the murder investigation (presumably involving more than a cursory glance at Nisman's apartment) was launched into the prosecutor's death? And what kind of professional killers would be stupid enough to leave this behind? Much more to come on this story I should think. *RON*]

By Simon Romero, New York Times, 3 February 2015

BUENOS AIRES — Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor whose mysterious death has gripped Argentina, had drafted a request for the arrest of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, accusing her of trying to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here, the lead investigator into his death said Tuesday.

The 26-page document, which was found in the garbage at Mr. Nisman’s apartment, also…

If you connect the measles it spells out "My parents are idiots"

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E. Flake, The New Yorker, 2 February 2015

Teen health levels linked to income inequality

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[Inequality kills. Health inequalities in youth affect education, employment prospects and life expectancy. And since I know some people still think eating junk food is just a 'lifestyle choice' of the poor, know that this is not true. See Eating Healthy vs. Unhealthy Will Cost You $550 More Per Year, Study Reveals. This situation is not improved when your provincial premier floods more than a million acres of prime agricultural land for a totally unnecessary hydroelectric project at a time when the price of imported food is skyrocketing because our petrodollar is plunging in value. *RON*]

CBC News, 3 February 2015

External Links

Abstract on health and socioeconomic inequities, The Lancet

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external links.)

The gap in physical and mental health between rich and poor teens has widened across North America and Europe, a Canadian researcher has found.

McGill University psycho…

When Company Is Fined, Taxpayers Often Share Bill

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[This kind of corporate impunity totally negates the point of punitive damages and is especially egregious since this is by no means a victimless crime, but one that involved the reckless endangerment of human life. Via my friend Harry. *RON*]

By Patricia Cohen, New York Times, 3 February 2015

When a Montana judge ordered Hyundai to pay $73 million in punitive damages last year to the families of two teenagers killed in a car crash, she found that the South Korean automaker had “recklessly” ignored scores of warnings over more than a decade about the steering defect blamed for the accident.

But even if Hyundai is eventually forced to pay the full amount of the damages, the punishment could be substantially reduced through a tax loophole that permits the company to save millions of dollars by deducting any court-ordered punitive damages as an ordinary business expense. The result, critics say, is that taxpayers are in effect subsidizing corporate…