About Me

My photo
For me it is All About Being of Service & Living the Life of the Give-Away....

Being Mindful of those who are unable to speak for themselves; our Non-Two Legged Relations and the Future Generations.

It's about walking on the Canka Luta Waste Behind the Cannunpa and the ceremonies.

It's about Mindfulness and Respect. It's about Honesty and owning up to my foibles.

It's about: Mi Takuye Oyacin

Friday, February 28, 2014

TROLL: You Know You Are One When........

You're at work (or home) and you sit TROLLing your co-worker's website(s) looking for negative things said about you........

Time to get a fucking life, Sunshine!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Great Barrier Reef: Good News!

At last, some FANTASTIC news for our Great Barrier Reef! Construction giant Lend Lease has announced its withdrawal from the biggest proposed coal port in this World Heritage Area!

In recent years, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have done the same. We’ve still got a long way to go to protect our Reef and climate from plans to expand coal exports through the Reef, but this is another sign that companies should move away from Reef wrecking projects.

Join the movement to #SaveTheReef: www.SaveTheReef.org.au

Congrats to our friends at Australian Youth Climate Coalition and SumOfUs for making this incredible win happen.

KXL Update

 Trans Canada is requesting a permit be issued by the USA to build a pipeline to carry crude oil from the Tar Sands in Alberta into the US and beyond.

The State Department invites members of the public to comment on any factor they deem relevant to the national interest determination that will be made for this permit application. These comments will be considered in the final national interest determination. The public comment period will end on March 7th

and share!

Oil Company's Taxes & Subsidies.....

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The Mississippi River Was a Toxic Mess Long Before the Oil Spill

he nation's most polluted river. Image: Wikimedia
The Mississippi River, maybe the nation's best-known waterway, also happens to be one of the filthiest. Thanks to the obscene amount of pollution that gets dumped into it, scientists and conservationists have dubbed the Mississippi "the most tainted coastal ecosystem in the world" and the "most polluted river in the river in the country."

It's a massive, bona fide toxic cesspool. Yet everyone's freaking out because a barge spilled a little bit of oil into it last weekend. An oil barge owned by General Electric crashed into a towboat between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and spilled an estimated 31,500 gallons of light crude oil into the river. This is about the size of an average recreational swimming pool.

The incident closed 65 miles of the river to boat traffic, and snagged headlines around the world. Any amount of pollution is certainly not ideal; crude oil is toxic, and will be poisonous to the local marine life. Any local marine life, that is, that has managed to survive a decades-long barrage of toxic chemicals that have been dumped into the illustrious waterway. A 2012 report from Environment American Research and Policy Center found that over 12.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals—arsenic, benzene, mercury, and nitrates among them—were dumped into the river in a single year. 

It gets worse:
"Over 125 million pounds of toxics were released into waterways tributary to the Mississippi in 2010—more than half the total released in the entire United States," the report says. Since one gallon of oil weighs about 7 pounds, by way of comparison, the solitary oil spill loosed 217,000 pounds of oil into the Mississippi. In other words, every year we dump approximately 576 times more toxic pollution into the Mississippi, and nobody cares.

That is a truly colossal amount of pollution, much of it more toxic than oil. A lot of it is fertilizer runoff from the hundreds of miles of adjacent farmland the river traverses—and yes, it's the same nitrate-rich stuff that's causing the giant dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi is pretty much a nonstop flowing pollute-a-thon every day of the year. Yet a single, relatively small oil spill nabs the headlines. 

Why? It's almost certainly thanks to the optics: a boat crash followed by an oil spill in the nation's biggest river makes for an easy hook. Americans love getting outraged about oil spills, after all, even if we're not so keen on doing much to prevent them from happening again. But the fact that the Mississippi is an unpluggable font of toxic sludge? That's just depressing. I'll take my tales of environmental degradation beginning and an end, thanks.

This is sort of the same problem we face in telling stories about global warming—here's this terrible phenomenon, and it's systemic, and a huge hassle to address, and it's pretty much the same story every time we hear about it. Humans are spewing out too much carbon pollution, and it's screwing up the climate. It's a sort of sustained outrage that eventually ossifies into banality.

With the Mississippi, farmers and industry are dumping out too much fertilizer and industrial waste, and generally treating the river more like a sewer than a historic, ecologically vital waterway. We'd have to enact unpopular rules to constrain runoff or better regulate pollution—our agricultural system would have to evolve. 

But change is hard, and our attention spans are short, so this is easier than considering dead zones, arsenic, fracking waste, and millions of pounds of toxic runoff: Oil spill shuts down big river.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Non-GMO Seeds for Sale

This is the site that has information about the 2014 Non-GMO Sourcebook. You can access the companies listed on the site for free or you can purchase the printed directory for $27.95. http://www.nongmosourcebook.com/
The Non-GMO Sourcebook features a directory of non-gentically modified agricultural and food products and suppliers

Another Day, Another Oil Spill

Oil Spill Shuts Down 65 Miles Of The Mississippi River

By Katie Valentine on February 24, 2014 at 9:10 am

In this aerial photo, river traffic is halted along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Vacherie, La., due to a barge leaking oil in St. James Parish, La., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

In this aerial photo, river traffic is halted along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Vacherie, La., due to a barge leaking oil in St. James Parish, La., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. 

CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

An oil spill has shut down 65 miles of the Mississippi River in New Orleans, as authorities work to clean up the oil.

The spill occurred on Saturday when a barge carrying oil crashed into a tugboat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Authorities closed the stretch of river on Sunday and still can’t say exactly how much oil was spilled, though a light sheen of oil is being reported. No injuries were reported from the crash.

In St. Charles Parish, public drinking water intakes along the Mississippi were closed as a precaution, but a news release Sunday assured the public that the water supply “remains safe” in the parish. As of Sunday night, the closure was stalling 16 vessels waiting to go downriver and 10 waiting to go upriver. 

This isn’t the first time the Mississippi River has experienced an oil spill due to a barge crash. Last year, a barge carrying 80,000 gallons of oil crashed into a rail bridge, spilling oil and causing a sheen as far as three miles from the crash site. That spill closed the Mississippi River for eight miles in each direction. In February 2012, an oil barge crashed into a construction bridge, spilling less than 10,000 gallons of oil into the river. In 2008, according to the AP, a major spill occurred on the Mississippi, when a barge broke in half after a collision and spilled 283,000 gallons of oil into the river, closing it for six days.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Don't let Bayer overturn the ban on bee-killing pesticides

Don't let Bayer overturn the ban on bee-killing pesticides

Goal: 750,000
Wow. Bayer has just sued the European Commission to overturn a ban on the pesticides that are killing millions of bees around the world. A huge public push won this landmark ban only months ago -- and we can't sit back and let Big Pesticide overturn it while the bees vanish.

Bayer and Syngenta, two of the world's largest chemical corporations, claim that the ban is "unjustified" and "disproportionate." But clear scientific evidence shows their products are behind the massive bee die-off that puts our entire food chain in peril.

Just last month, 37 million bees were discovered dead on a single Canadian farm. And unless we act now, the bees will keep dying. We have to show Bayer now that we won't tolerate it putting its profits ahead of our planet's health. If this giant corporation manages to bully Europe into submission, it would spell disaster for the bees.
Sign the petition to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their bee-killing lawsuits now.

The dangerous chemical Bayer makes is a neonicotinoid, or neonic. Neonics are soaked into seeds, spreading through the plant and killing insects stopping by for a snack. These pesticides can easily be replaced by other chemicals which don’t have such a devastating effect on the food chain. But companies like Bayer and Syngenta make a fortune from selling neonics -- so they’ll do everything they can to protect their profits.

The EU banned these bee-killers this past May, after a massive public campaign and a clear scientific finding from the European Food Safety Authority that neonics pose huge risks to bee populations. Bayer fought against the ban every step of the way, using tactics taken from Big Tobacco -- pouring millions into lobbying and fake science to stop decision-makers from taking action. 

Now, we have to defend this landmark ban for the bees, and our food supply. Sign the petition now to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their aggressive lawsuits!

We have to stand up for the European ban now, from Europe and from around the world. The current ban only lasts for two years before it's up for review, and Bayer is now determined to stop it before it even comes into force in December 2013. If it is allowed to intimidate the European authorities with impunity, then the pressure to overturn the ban will be huge. This will be a massive victory for the poison industry, and a devastating loss for the bees, and all of us. It will make every environmental regulation more difficult, because companies that can't win on the facts can use their enormous profits to fund expensive, baseless lawsuits.

Bayer is an enormous company with a ton of public-facing brands. Neonics are a big part of its bottom line, but it can't afford poor publicity on a global scale. And if word gets out that Bayer is wrecking our ecosystem and threatening a creature responsible for pollinating a third of all our crops, the company will have to back down.

SumOfUs staff and members have literally just gotten of the plane from a convention in Chicago where we took the fight for a ban in the US right to the industry itself -- so we know how important it is to hold the line.

Sign the petition to tell Bayer and Syngenta to drop their bee-killing lawsuits now. Let's build on this landmark victory and take the bee-killing pesticide ban global.
More information:

EU insecticide ban triggers legal action, Nature News, 28 August, 2013



St-Henri train derailment spills 3,500 litres of diesel fuel

Halifax to Montreal freight train was carrying merchandise and grain, four cars hop the tracks

CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2014 12:37 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 23, 2014 4:17 PM ET
Work crews lift the disassembled wheels from the car of a CN freight train that derailed in St-Henri early Sunday morning.
Work crews lift the disassembled wheels from the car of a CN freight train that derailed in St-Henri early Sunday morning. (CBC)
Emergency crews are cleaning up after the overnight derailment of a CN freight train near the intersection of Saint-Jacques and de Courcelle Streets in St-Henri spilled around 3,500 litres of diesel fuel.
No one was hurt in the incident but firefighters and Urgence-Environnement had a busy morning trying to recover the fuel, which spilled from one of the train’s two locomotives.
The train was transporting containers full of merchandise and tanks of grain from Halifax to Montreal. Two tankers of grain and both locomotives came off the rails but remained upright.
André Ménard, a spokesman for the provincial environmental emergency agency Urgence-Environnement, told Radio-Canada that around 3,000 litres of fuel were recovered and the other 500 litres were absorbed by the soil without risk to the water supply and sewer system.
The Transportation Safety Board and CN are now investigating the derailment.
“It’s too early to suggest a cause,” said Louis-Antoine Paquin, a spokesman for CN.


Local residents protest the diesel fuel spill from a locomotive that derailed in the heart of St-Henri early Sunday morning. (CBC)
Paquin sought to assure nearby residents that there were no dangerous materials on the train, which had two drivers working at the time.
“We never take these incidents lightly and we’re keeping safety officials informed of developments,” he said.
CN workers spent Sunday morning trying to get the cars back on the track.

Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit to Stop Fracking Near His Home

Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:18 PM PST

Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit to Stop Fracking Near His Home


Lying rich jerk
attribution: http://www.polluterwatch.com/blog/exxon-ceo-rex-tillerson-believes-science-when-convenient
Rex Tillerson finally tells the truth about fracking. It lowers property values.
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson may be the world's biggest fracker (Exxon is the biggest natural gas producer in the U.S.) but he isn't stupid. He'll frack my backyard and tell me it's good for me and he'll frack your place too, but don't let any frackers near his home. He knows damn well that fracking lowers property values, but he wouldn't admit it until the frackers came to his place. He just joined a lawsuit to stop the fracking because it would lower the value of his property.
Tillerson has joined a lawsuit that cites fracking’s consequences in order to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower next to his and his wife’s Texas home. The Wall Street Journal reports the tower would supply water to a nearby fracking site, and the plaintiffs argue the project would cause too much noise and traffic from hauling the water from the tower to the drilling site. The water tower, owned by Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation, “will sell water to oil and gas explorers for fracing [sic] shale formations leading to traffic with heavy trucks on FM 407, creating a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” the suit says.
Though Tillerson’s name is on the lawsuit, a lawyer representing him said his concern is about the devaluation of his property, not fracking specifically.
When he is acting as Exxon CEO, not a homeowner, Tillerson has lashed out at fracking critics and proponents of regulation. “This type of dysfunctional regulation is holding back the American economic recovery, growth, and global competitiveness,” he said in 2012.
Thousands of North Carolinians, like me, living in Moore, Lee, Chatham, Orange, Wake and Durham counties want to keep fracking out of our communities because fracking is incompatible with biotech, IT, retirement, higher education, world class hospitals, and the wonderful farm to market movement that has developed in central North Carolina. Our properties, our universities and schools, our farms, our retirement communities, our hospitals and our businesses deserve the same protection from loss of property values and environmental damage as Rex Tillerson's. And our children deserve clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

Originally posted to North Carolina BLUE on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Dallas Kossacks.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oil Sands...... Tailing Into Water Source

Oilsands Tailings Seeping Into Groundwater, Athabasca River: Federal Study

derrick on February 20th, 2014 7:09 pm - No Comment Yet

By The Canadian Press

New federal research has confirmed that water from vast oilsands tailings ponds is leaching into groundwater and seeping into the Athabasca River.

Previous studies using models have estimated the leakage at 6.5 million litres a day from a single pond.

But the Environment Canada study used new technology to actually fingerprint the mix of groundwater chemicals in the area.

It found the mix of chemicals from tailings is different from that in naturally occurring bitumen deposits.

That tailings mix, which contains toxic chemicals, is found in groundwater around mining operations, but not in areas away from development.

It’s also found in groundwater just underneath the Athabasca River.

The study, conducted under a new federal-provincial oilsands monitoring program, was accepted for publication in late January by the journal Environmental Science and Technology.


 · February 18

Report stated - Crude Oil and Salt/Produced Water - 1.5 m3 and 73.5 m3 respectively - Release from pipeline impacted area of 1000m2, some of which entered a small slough. Licensee was able to scrap up contaminated snow on top of the ice and a full recovery of contaminated product was successful. No reported impacts to wildlife.



During California's worst drought on record, some farmers are using precious water to grow hay that is then shipped to China

Related Stories

While historic winter storms have battered much of the US, California is suffering its worst drought on record. So why is America's most valuable farming state using billions of gallons of water to grow hay - specifically alfalfa - which is then shipped to China? 

The reservoirs of California are just a fraction of capacity amid the worst drought in the state's history.

"This should be like Eden right now," farmer John Dofflemyer says, looking out over a brutally dry, brown valley as his remaining cows feed on the hay he's had to buy in to keep them healthy.

In the dried-up fields of California's Central Valley, farmers like Dofflemyer are selling their cattle. 

Others have to choose which crops get the scarce irrigation water and which will wither.

"These dry times, this drought, has a far-reaching impact well beyond California," he said as the cattle fell in line behind his small tractor following the single hay bale on the back.

"We have never seen anything like this before - it's new ground for everybody."

Landscapes of dry Tulare County in Central California (left) and lush Imperial Valley in Southern California (right) The drought-stricken Central Valley (left) contrasts with the lush Imperial Valley, which gets water through a canal from the Colorado river.
California is the biggest agricultural state in the US - half the nation's fruit and vegetables are grown here.

Farmers are calling for urgent help, people in cities are being told to conserve water and the governor is warning of record drought.

But at the other end of the state the water is flowing as the sprinklers are making it rain in at least one part of southern California.

The farmers are making hay while the year-round sun shines, and they are exporting cattle-feed to China.

The southern Imperial Valley, which borders Mexico, draws its water from the Colorado river along the blue liquid lifeline of the All American Canal.

It brings the desert alive with hundreds of hectares of lush green fields - much of it alfalfa hay, a water-hungry but nutritious animal feed which once propped up the dairy industry here, and is now doing a similar job in China.

"A hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California," argues Professor Robert Glennon from Arizona College of Law.

"It's a huge amount. It's enough for a year's supply for a million families - it's a lot of water, particularly when you're looking at the dreadful drought throughout the south-west."
Manuel Ramirez from K&M Press is an exporter in the Imperial Valley, and his barns are full of hay to be compressed, plastic-wrapped, packed directly into containers and driven straight to port where they are shipped to Asia and the Middle East.
This image obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows snow and water equivalents in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California abnormally low for January 2014 compared to the same time in 2013
"The last few years there has been an increase in exports to China. We started five years back and the demand for alfalfa hay has increased," he says.

"It's cost effective. We have abundance of water here which allows us to grow hay for the foreign market."

Cheap water rights and America's trade imbalance with China make this not just viable, but profitable.

"We have more imports than exports so a lot of the steamship lines are looking to take something back," Glennon says. "And hay is one of the products which they take back."
It's now cheaper to send alfalfa from LA to Beijing than it is to send it from the Imperial Valley to the Central Valley.

"We need to treat the resource as finite, which it is," he says. "Instead, most of us in the states, we think of water like the air, it's infinite and inexhaustible, when for all practical purposes it's finite and it's exhaustible."
Piles of hay behind 'Product for China only' sign
Alfalfa farmer Ronnie Langrueber believes he's doing his bit to help the American economy out of recession.

"In my opinion it's part of the global economy," he says, adding that only a fraction of the hay goes to China. 

"We have to do something to balance that trade imbalance, and alfalfa is a small part we can do in the Imperial Valley to help that."

He believes the whole "exporting water" argument is nonsense - that all agricultural exports contain water - and that there are few better uses for it.

"Is it more efficient to use water for a golf course for the movie stars?" Langrueber said.
"Or is it more efficient for farmers to use it to grow a crop and export it and create this mass economic engine that drives the country?"

Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates all buy Californian hay. The price is now so high that many local dairy farmers and cattle ranchers can't afford the cost when the rains fail and their usual supplies are insufficient. 

But they have to buy what they can. 

Cattle rancher John Dofflemyer certainly sees it as exporting water abroad - he resents the fact hay is sent overseas.

Hay trucks are a common sight heading north up the road from the Imperial Valley - despite the high prices, the cattle farmers have to buy what they can.
Even with recent rains in northern California there's still a critical shortage of water.
Drought is often an excuse for politicians to build dams or reduce environmental controls, but it's no long-term fix.

In those places awash with water - where global trade distorts the local market - decisions need to be made by those without something to gain.
That's where it gets even more complicated.

NE Judge Stands w/ Town Against Keystone XL

And now for some good news (this is what happens when we "Stand Our Ground" on behalf of our communities): 

Nebraska Court finds the proposed route for Keystone XL unconstitutional!

In what is a major victory for farmers, ranchers and other landowners, Nebraska’s District court has declared the route for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through that state to be unconstitutional. This significant court decision means once again that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline does not have an approved route through the State of Nebraska. READ MORE: http://bit.ly/1bqmLpL

3rd Spill in West Virginia!

Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM PST

Yet another coal-related spill flows into a West Virginia creek as clean-up of two others continues

Randy Huffman, secretary of the
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection,
has been striking a new more environmentally protective tone.
Ken Ward Jr. at the Charleston Gazette has reported another spill of coal-mining waste. According to state authorities, run-off from melting snow sent debris from sediment control ponds into a local creek in McDowell County Wednesday. No drinking water supplies were expected to be tainted by the "blackwater" spill at the Antaeus Gary former coal slurry impoundment. The site was abandoned in 2002 after a major accident, reclaimed to the tune of $7.5 million by the Department of Environmental Protection and slated to be re-mined for leftover bits of coal.
This was the third spill in coal-related operations in West Virginia in six weeks. The messes left by the spill of a coal-washing chemical by Freedom Industries and a coal-slurry spill by Patriot Coal Corp. are still being cleaned up.
The extent of the most recent spill was not announced, but state regulators indicated that they did not consider it to be major.
Over the past couple of weeks, as environmental advocates and the media have focused on the spills, regulators seem to have moved from what early on was a whatever tone in their public statements more in the direction of what they should have been saying (and doing) all along.
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, for instance, has talked about prevention as opposed to acting only after an incident occurs.
"It's easy to get trapped into accepting that, whether it's the companies or the regulators or even the community," Huffman said, "but you don't protect the environment by reacting after the fact." After a series of blackwater spills from 2001 to 2003, two reports by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement recommended that the DEP take more steps to prevent such incidents. The DEP rejected the OSM recommendation, saying in 2009 that the number of coal-waste spills was on the decline.
But among other things, OSM officials reported that they found it hard, using DEP inspection reports and databases, to definitively count the number of blackwater spills. Huffman said Wednesday he believes the number of spills continues to decline, but that he didn't know if the DEP had fixed the data problems outlined by the OSM.
In fact, the DEP not only rejected the OSM's recommendations, it also dismissed those in two reports from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board after a lethal chemical accident in 2008 and one in 2011 in which nobody died. The recommendations, which proposed among other things that more focused attention be given to regulating coal-related facilities, have still not been adopted. But Huffman seems to have upped his game.
As legislation responding to the Freedom Industries leak makes its way through the Statehouse, Huffman said he wants lawmakers to remove the long list of industry-proposed exemptions to a bill to set new safety standards and inspection requirements for chemical storage tanks. Only very small tanks for things like home heating oil should be exempt, Huffman said. Any other tanks should only end up exempt if their owners can show they are governed by another equally stringent set of safety guidelines, Huffman said. Also Wednesday, Huffman said he previously had sent agency inspectors who police a wide variety of industries out into the field for additional reviews to ensure any potential problems that might impact water supplies were addressed immediately.
Better late than never. But we'll see what happens when the media spotlight switches off. It's not as if West Virginia doesn't have a history plagued by spills that have failed to move regulators into preventive mode.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

2nd Pipe Spills into NC's Dan River: ARSENIC!

SECOND PIPE IN TROUBLE: North Carolina regulators are gravely concerned that a second pipe at the Duke Energy coal plant responsible for contaminating the Dan River two weeks ago is spilling arsenic-tainted groundwater into the river. http://ow.ly/tNwWb

State regulators already warned Duke five days ago that the second pipe could fail and trigger another spill of arsenic 14 times more dangerous than what's considered safe for human contact. Duke's response: "we determined that no immediate action was necessary."

What's incredibly infuriating is that Duke's fourth quarter profits jumped 58% thanks to state-approved hikes in electricity rates for consumers. The company has already said any costs associated with the cleanup will likely be passed on to ratepayers, not its shareholders.

Click SHARE or LIKE if you find Duke Energy's behavior completely unacceptable! TELL US >> Are you in North Carolina? What do you think of Duke Energy's response so far?

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Oil Train Spills

Oil Train Accidents Spur Worry About Future Of Shipping Crude By Rail

 Main Entry Image


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — At least 10 times since 2008, freight trains hauling oil across North America have derailed and spilled significant quantities of crude, with most of the accidents touching off fires or catastrophic explosions.

The derailments released almost 3 million gallons of oil, nearly twice as much as the largest pipeline spill in the U.S. since at least 1986. And the deadliest wreck killed 47 people in the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Those findings, from an Associated Press review of U.S. and Canadian accident records, underscore a lesser-known danger of America's oil boom, which is changing the global energy balance and raising urgent safety questions closer to home.

Experts say recent efforts to improve the safety of oil shipments belie an unsettling fact: With increasing volumes of crude now moving by rail, it's become impossible to send oil-hauling trains to refineries without passing major population centers, where more lives and property are at risk.

Adding to the danger is the high volatility of the light, sweet crude from the fast-growing Bakken oil patch in Montana and North Dakota, where many of the trains originate. Because it contains more natural gas than heavier crude, Bakken oil can have a lower ignition point. Of the six oil trains that derailed and caught fire since 2008, four came from the Bakken and each caused at least one explosion. That includes the accident at Lac-Megantic, which spilled an estimated 1.6 million gallons and set off a blast that levelled a large section of the town.

After recent fiery derailments in Quebec, Alabama, North Dakota and New Brunswick, companies and regulators in the U.S. and Canada are pursuing an array of potential changes such as slowing or rerouting trains, upgrading rupture-prone tank cars and bolstering fire departments. Company executives were expected to offer a set of voluntary safety measures in the coming days at the request of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

"I'm absolutely positive the railway industry will come up with techniques to define how to minimize risk," said Allan Zarembski who leads the rail-safety program at the University of Delaware. "The key word is 'minimize.' You can't eliminate risk."
Since 2008, the number of tanker cars hauling oil has increased 40-fold, and federal records show that's been accompanied by a dramatic spike in accidental crude releases from tank cars. Over the next decade, rail-based oil shipments are forecast to increase from 1 million barrels a day to more than 4.5 million barrels a day, according to transportation officials.

By rail, it's roughly 2,000 miles from the heart of the oil boom on the Northern Plains to some of the East Coast refineries that turn the crude into gasoline. Trains pulling several million gallons apiece must pass through metropolitan areas that include Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo.

Some cities such as Chicago have belt railroads that divert freight traffic from the metropolitan core. But elsewhere, railroad representatives said, the best-maintained and safest track often runs directly through communities that were built around the railroad.
Trains sometimes have no option but to roll deep into populated areas. That's the case in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Albany, N.Y., and Tacoma, Wash.

Experts say the explosive nature of Bakken oil derailments caught everyone off guard — from regulators to the railroads themselves.

"I don't think people understood the potential for a problem if there were a derailment," said Jason Kuehn, a former railroad executive and now vice president for the industry consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

A major accident was narrowly avoided last month in Philadelphia, where six tanker cars carrying oil derailed near the heart of the city on a bridge over the Schuylkill River. The CSX freight train had picked up North Dakota oil in Chicago and was headed for a refinery in South Philadelphia. Nothing was spilled, but the accident rattled nerves.
Sandy Folzer, a retired professor in Philadelphia, said she worries about oil cars travelling alongside commuter rails.

"During rush hour, I imagine there are a couple hundred people on each train," Folzer said. "That scares me, that there's explosive material so close to where commuters are."
Proposals to route trains away from population centers are modeled on rules adopted after the 2001 terrorist attacks to restrict cargoes even more hazardous than oil — explosives, radioactive material and poisonous gases.

When the rules were being written, California regulators pushed their federal counterparts to include oil. But Transportation Department officials said they were "not persuaded."

Federal safety officials say it's time to reverse that decision, given the huge growth in tank cars carrying crude and ethanol, another flammable liquid involved in recent derailments and explosions.

The rules gave railroads broad discretion, and routing decisions are not automatically reviewed by regulators. But the Federal Railroad Administration is authorized to reject any routes found to be too risky. That has never happened since the rules took effect, said FRA Associate Administrator Kevin Thompson.

Even where trains can be re-routed through less-populous areas, critics say that simply shifts the risk to smaller communities with fewer resources to handle a fiery accident. Rural and suburban municipalities in Maine, Illinois and Vermont already have pushed back against the proposal.

In Hartford, Vt., Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg said it was "a fantasy" to think that moving hazardous shipments through rural areas would resolve safety problems.
John Hanger is former Pennsylvania secretary of environmental protection and now a Democratic candidate for governor calling for safer crude transportation. He is critical of regulators for suggesting that "lives are more precious in urban areas because there are more people there. That's an ethical, moral calculation that has to be avoided at all costs."

The routing rules in place for other hazardous materials list 27 factors to consider, including shipment volumes, nearby population densities and proximity to "iconic targets" or environmentally sensitive areas.

Rail companies weigh whether routes are "practicable" and consider economic impacts such as rail network congestion. While that can involve trade-offs, transportation consultant Steven Ditmeyer said railroads have made huge strides since the industry was deregulated in 1980.

"You cannot avoid the economic issues," said Ditmeyer, an adjunct professor at Michigan State University. "Because the risk is so high, the railroads do have an incentive to run a safe railroad."

But pointing to Lac-Megantic, he said, "sometimes they screw up."
Associated Press Writer Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report.


Oil well in North Dakota out of control, leaking:
Blowout occurred late Thursday. Reuters report from Friday 4:22 PM said (well) "was leaking between 50 and 70 barrels per day of fracking fluid that contains chemicals, water and sand, a company spokesman said."  

Local news report from Friday 6:01 PM says: "an oil spill near Watford City that's spewing 200 barrels of oil an hour."..."Lynn Helms with the Department of Mineral Resources says the bottom piece of a 3 part "blow out preventer" broke."

"Right now, he thinks the cold weather may have caused the piece to break."

Cold weather? in Fucking North Dakota? Shocking. Who are the clowns running this shit?

So, if the company says 50-70 barrels of fracking fluid per day, and local news and DMR rep says 200 barrels of oil per hour, what is the real amount and material being spilled? 50-70 barrels of 'fracking fluid' is a bit different than 4,800 barrels of crude oil.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yellowstone to Slaughter 600-800 WIld Bison

Yellowstone National Park shipped 20 of America’s last wild bison to slaughter yesterday morning. Twenty-five bison were captured Friday in the Stephens Creek bison trap, located inside the world’s first national park. After being confined in the trap for five days, 20 of the bison were handed over to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, who are required to slaughter them under a controversial agreement between the tribes and the Park. Five bison remain locked in the trap as of Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly three hundred wild bison were rounded up at Wind Cave National Park, SD, for the annual cull in 2005. Photo credit: National Parks Service
Yellowstone plans to slaughter between 600 and 800 bison this winter, according to park spokesman Al Nash. “We’re going to seek opportunities to capture any animals that move outside the park’s boundaries,” he said. Yellowstone has set a “population target,” or objective, of 3,000 to 3,500 animals.
The current buffalo population numbers approximately 4,400 (1,300 in the Central Interior and 3,100 in the Northern range). The Central Interior subpopulation also migrates north into the Gardiner basin and has not recovered from the last Park-led slaughter in 2008 that killed over half of the Central Interior buffalo. The government’s “population target” makes no distinction for conserving subpopulations in this unique buffalo herd.
Each year, officials execute the Interagency Bison Management Plan that forcibly prevents wild bison’s natural migration with hazing, capture, slaughter, quarantine and hunting. Photo credit: Buffalo Field Campaign
According to Dan Brister, Executive Director of Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), “This number was politically derived to limit the range of wild buffalo and has no scientific basis. It does not reflect the carrying capacity of the buffalo’s habitat in and around Yellowstone National Park.”
This is the first time Yellowstone has turned bison over to the tribes under the slaughter agreements. According to James Holt, a Nez Perce Tribal Member and a member of BFC’s board, “It is disheartening to see tribes support these activities.”
“Buffalo were made free, and should remain so,” Holt said. “It is painful to watch these tribal entities take such an approach to what should be the strongest advocacy and voice of protection.”
“It is one thing to treat their own fenced herds in this manner, it is quite another to push that philosophy onto the last free-roaming herd in existence,” Holt continued. “Slaughter Agreements are not the answer.”
Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 8.46.38 AM
Buffalo fall through ice during a hazing operation in 2006. Photo credit: Buffalo Field Campaign
Brucellosis is the reason used by Yellowstone to justify the slaughter of wild bison. There has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting the livestock disease to cattle. Other wildlife, such as elk, also carry brucellosis and are known to have transmitted it, yet they are free to migrate, and even commingle with cattle with no consequence.
Year after year, Yellowstone and Montana officials executing the ill-conceived Interagency Bison Management Plan forcibly prevent wild bison’s natural migration with hazing, capture, slaughter, quarantine and hunting. Millions of U.S. tax dollars are wasted annually under activities carried out under the IBMP.
The wild bison of the Yellowstone region are America’s last continuously wild population. Like other migratory wildlife, bison cross Yellowstone’s ecologically insignificant boundaries in order to access the habitat they need for survival. During 2007-2008 more than 1,300 wild bison were captured in Yellowstone National Park and shipped to slaughter.
A dead bison is lifted off the ground near Gardiner, MT, April, 2011. Photo credit: Stephany Seay/ Buffalo Field Campaign
Nearly 7,200 wild bison have been eliminated from America’s last wild population since 1985. Bison once spanned the North American continent, but today, fewer than 4,400 wild bison exist, confined to the man-made boundaries of Yellowstone National Park and consequently are ecologically extinct throughout their native range.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Alabama's Oil Train Wreck


Liked · November 12, 2013 · Edited

YOU PROBABLY NEVER SAW THIS: A train carrying 2.7 million gallons of crude oil derailed and exploded in rural Alabama last week, but got scant media coverage. http://ow.ly/qKAtc

The derailment was one of the worst crude oil accidents in the US, dumping untold amounts of oil into surrounding wetlands and igniting flames 300 feet into the sky. Since there were no fatalities, the news received little media attention but it underscores yet again how dangerous transporting dirty crude across long distances can be.

Help us publicize this story by clicking SHARE or LIKE!

(Photo of the accident by Bill Castle / Associated Press / November 8, 2013)