Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transportation More: Reuters Top News Fracking North Dakota Railroads Oil Trains Have Made Life Miserable In A North Dakota Town Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-why-a-small-north-dakota-town-is-taking-on-big-rail-2014-11#ixzz3K9pKFGzK

Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

A two-mile Canadian Pacific train loaded with oil 

ENDERLIN, N.D. (Reuters) - After her shift at the TraXside Cafe in the southeast North Dakota hamlet of Enderlin, all Karla Souer wants to do is go home. Unfortunately for the 38-year-old waitress the commute, which should only last a minute or two, can take a half-an-hour. That's because, chances are, there's a Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd <cp.to> train blocking the tracks somewhere on her route.

She has a lot of company. Partly thanks to North Dakota's energy boom, twenty-eight of the railroad's trains now traverse the city every day. Each carry hundreds of tank cars filled with oil or grain. Some idle as long as four hours, inconveniencing motorists, stranding pedestrians and posing logistical challenges for ambulances and firefighters.

Desperate for a solution, Enderlin's city councilors last month banned train breaks longer than 10 minutes. The railroad has, in turn, sued the city of nearly 900 in federal court. Canadian Pacific contends the order violates interstate commerce laws. The railroad's lawyers also asked a judge to grant a temporary injunction.


VIDEO — “Keystone PipeLIES Exposed” highlights KXL’s little known fake ‘facts’

One WHOPPER! – KXL will be climate neutral

No 989 Posted by fw, February 26, 2014
“The film…highlights little known facts about the KXL pipeline project such as the corporate exemption for tar sands oil from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and the limits on taxes due for foreign oil imported to foreign trade zones like Port Arthur. The film also includes footage from major tar sands oil spills in the U.S. and Canada that were only briefly in the headlines despite the enormous damages they caused.”PRWatch (Center for Media and Democracy)
An embedded version of the 23:17-minute video, below, is followed by PRWatch’s informative press release. To access the original post, click on the following linked title.

Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: New Film Refutes Jobs, Security, Gas Price, Tax, Safety, and Climate Claims  by PR Watch Admin, February 25, 2014

[Keystone PipeLIES Exposed, produced by Center for Media and Democracy PLUS, February 24, 2014 — This film debunks the claims of proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline regarding jobs, energy security, gas prices, safety, and climate change. More information about this film and research project, Keystone PipeLIES Exposed at pipeliesexposed.org

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mainstream Media Blackout of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

November 21, 2014  

Why won’t Fox, NBC, CNN, or ABC cover the TPP? These media empires (even Facebook has boosted news feeds of the top 100 media outlets, owned by only six mega-corporations to control public opinion) have decided that the public should be kept in the dark about ‘NAFTA on steroids’ so that biotech corporations can completely take over ‘free-trade’ with Pacific Rim nations.

You likely haven’t heard of the TPP or Trans Pacific Trade Agreement for this reason, but it hasn’t slowed the rising opposition to its sinister ‘fast-track’ plans among our elected officials, which would bypass many of the legal requirements for a normal trade agreement, and allowing the implementation of TPP with minimal debate. More than 550 groups, representing millions of people, have urged President Obama to vote against the TPP, but so far, those requests have fallen on deaf ears.

The US government touts the TPP as “an ambitious, 21st century trade agreement” with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. “When complete, TPP will unlock opportunities for American workers, families, businesses, farmers, and ranchers by providing increased access to some of the fastest growing markets in the world.”  MORE

A practical way to curb the abuse of Presidential power

The President is abusing his executive authority.  He will not be the last President to do so. We must permanently restore checks on Presidential power.
Our "Regulation Freedom Amendment strategy to mobilize states to force Congress to require that Congress approve major new federal regulations can unite conservatives and attract both independents and Democrats.

One key goal right now is to get as many as we can of the more than 4000 Republican state legislators, as well as  Republican Governors, Attorney Generals other  statewide officials together with a few courageous Members of Congress,  virtually all of whom dislike what the President is doing, to endorse and urge Congress to propose the Regulation Freedom Amendment to end his power to dictate regulations from Washington.

In some states we can also find Democratic legislators who don't want to be labeled "rubber stamps for federal regulators".

We have 150 legislators, 2 Governors, a former President of the NRA, a former Chair of the National Federation of Republican Women, the Chair of Americans for Tax Reform, the General Counsel of the RNC, the National Taxpayers Union, and many others who support the Amendment.  That makes persuading legislators to support the Amendment easy.  We can send interested people a list of our endorsements.

With the increased attention and resources our growing list of endorsements will generate, we can  mobilize the "anti-Washington regulator" majorities in 33 states and near majorities in 4 more to pass resolutions and enact state laws that strengthen the states' power and put pressure on Congress to end the President's power to dictate regulations from Washington.

This strategy has a chance of focusing  the debate on an issue that unites us and where voters favor our position by 2-1 margins.

It could also deter regulators soon, as early as 2015, as the effort gains momentum, even before an Amendment is proposed.

The first steps for anyone who wants to help are:

1)  to endorse the Amendment and

2) Whether they can endorse or not to forward an email to friends, especially business and political leaders asking them to take a look at the Amendment.

3) Then we can ask people who have endorsed the Amendment to call or email a state legislator or other elected official and ask them to consider an endorsement.

Please pass this email on to help persuade your friends, business leaders, political leaders and state legislators you know to endorse the Regulation Freedom Amendment..

Here is the text of the Regulation Freedom Amendment:

"Whenever one quarter of the Members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation, it shall require a majority vote of the House and Senate to adopt that regulation."

For more information, please contact us.  Thanks for your interest.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Climate Disruption Depression and 2013 Emissions Set New Records

From:  Truth Out 

"The impact of industrially packaged quanta of energy on the social environment tends to be degrading, exhausting, and enslaving, and these effects come into play even before those which threaten the pollution of the physical environment and the extinction of the (human) race."

- Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich, 1973 article in Le Monde

This month's dispatch surveys global calls for massive carbon dioxide cuts from the European Union (EU) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are still not enough to truly mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) or stem the massive wildlife disruptions that are now occurring globally, and highlights other glaring signs of an increasingly unstable climate across the globe.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has concluded that, "Coal will nearly overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017 . . . without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change."

A recently announced EU plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent by 2030 was called "too weak" by IPCC Vice Chair Professor Jim Skea, who added that this goal will commit future governments to "extraordinary and unprecedented" emissions cuts.  MORE

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline leak detection system would have likely missed the 63,000 gallon Norman Wells pipeline spill

From:  Switchboard

Anthony Swift’s Blog

TransCanada has admitted that Keystone XL’s real time leak detection system will not detect pinhole leaks and can’t be relied upon to detect leaks smaller than about 700,000 gallons a day. Despite this significant shortcoming, the only route that the State Department has seriously considered for Keystone XL would take it through the heart of the Ogallala Aquifer, our nation’s largest underground water source. Enbridge’s recent 63,000 gallon spill on its Norman Wells pipeline in Canada provides an indication of the types of leaks that can go undetected for weeks on pipelines like Keystone XL that rely on conventional leak detection systems to identify leaks. What is really surprising about the Enbridge spill is that 63,000 gallons of oil leaked from a hole in the pipeline that was “about the size of a pinhole.” The Enbridge spill shows what a big deal a small leak can be.

A spill on Keystone XL in the Ogallala Aquifer would be far worse. Keystone XL would be an 830,000 bpd tar sands pipeline placed underground, actually running through the Ogallala Aquifer itself in many places. The Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for Keystone XL states that the water conductivity - or the rate that water moves through the soil – in the Ogallala Aquifer can be as high as one hundred feet per day. This proves a substantial point, as the SDEIS concedes Keystone XL does not have the technology to detect a single leak that is less than 1.5 - 2% of the pipeline’s flow-rate in real-time. It also mentions that a pinhole leak could go on for weeks before discovery.

You can imagine the level of contamination that would occur if a similar situation occurred on Keystone XL in the Ogallala Aquifer – an undiscovered three week spill could contaminate a large three dimensional chunk of the Ogallala Aquifer nearly half a mile long. And responders will not be able to simply remove the contaminated soil – they will have to pump contaminated water out, which will draw more water into the area of the contamination. In short, a Keystone XL tar sands spill in the Ogallala Aquifer would be a disaster.  MORE