Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Map: Public Lands Threatened by Fracking

From:  Food & Water Watch

COMMENT - The National Parks were planned so extractive industries could trade lands with those controlling lands in National Trusts, both Forests and Parks,  and increase their profits.  Arthur C. Pillsbury was burned out of Yosemite because he was becoming a danger to the powers that be on this issue and because he was determined that the Parks, if they existed, be used to educate people on the need for preservation.  He was forced out in 1927 when Mather realized he could blow the whistle on them. 

America's public lands are our national treasures, but that hasn't stopped the oil and gas industry from fracking in national forests and around national parks.

The map below shows oil and gas formations where fracking could occur (or is already occurring), and where they overlap with our public lands. To protect these precious places from fracking, we need to permanently ban fracking on federal lands.

This is a map you have to see.  Go to the site. 

Key: Fracking and public lands

About 20 percent of all potential U.S. oil and gas lies beneath public lands, and corporations are eager to extract it for profit. Already, fracking companies have leased over 34 million acres of public land (an area seven times the size of New Jersey), but that is just the beginning — over 200 million more acres that overlay oil and gas deposits could be fracked in the future.  MORE

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The hazardous truth

From:  The VC Reporter 

One year later, a deeper look at what happened at the Santa Paula waste water site

By Kit Stolz 11/19/2015 

11-19-15 Feature
Aerial shot of Santa Clara Waste Water the day after the explosion, November 19th.

On Nov. 18, 2014, an explosion, fire and mile-long plume of toxic gas badly injured three firefighters and 12 employees at the Santa Clara Waste Water site near Santa Paula. Over 50 people, including a motorcyclist passing on Highway 126, were sent to the hospital for treatment after breathing in a cloud of black toxicity that included chlorine dioxide, a poisonous gas.

The three Santa Paula firefighters who were enveloped in the cloud have not recovered a year later and remain on medical leave. The fire truck they drove to the site at 3:45 in the morning was badly damaged in the explosion and subsequently had to be written off, after repeated attempts to decontaminate it, and despite its $500,000 cost.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, which led to a daylong evacuation and the declaration of a local emergency by Sheriff Geoff Dean, the closure of Hwy 126, and a “shelter in place” order at the county jail on Todd Road; the Ventura County District Attorney seized documents, computers and cell phones from the top executives at the company.  MORE

Did Exxon Just Admit It’s Still Funding Climate Deniers?

From:  EcoWatch 

COMMENT - And they are admitting this?  Wow.

Viewers were treated to a rare moment of candor at the end of a recent PBS NewHour interview with Kenneth Cohen, ExxonMobil‘s vice president of public and government affairs.

NewsHour host Judy Woodruff pressed Cohen about an accusation New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman made during a taped interview that aired just before Cohen’s segment. Schneiderman—who had announced the week before that he was investigating ExxonMobil over whether it had misled the public and shareholders about climate change risks—had charged that ExxonMobil funds climate change denier organizations to malign mainstream climate science.
“Has Exxon been funding these organizations?” she asked.

“Well, the answer is yes,” Cohen replied. “And I will let those organizations respond for themselves.”  MORE

Another Historic Day in the Battle to Stop the Tar Sands

From:  EcoWatch


November 23, 2015 10:41 am

Today people slowed the beast again but this time we did it at the source.

After a string of pipeline victories and over a decade of campaigning on at least three different continents, the Alberta government has finally put a limit to the tar sands. Today they announced they will cap its expansion and limit the tar sands monster to 100 megatons a year (equivalent to what projects already operating and those currently under construction would produce).
Aerial view of seismic lines and a tar sands mine in the Boreal Forest north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta. Photo credit: GreenpeaceAerial view of seismic lines and a tar sands mine in the Boreal Forest north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta. Photo credit: Greenpeace

As momentous an occasion as it is when an oil jurisdiction actually puts limits on growth, 100 million tons of carbon a year at a time when science is demanding bold reductions is still far too much. While historic, the government’s cap needs to be viewed as a ceiling rather then a floor and a ceiling that we will need to work like crazy to ratchet down until it meets the science. MORE

US air strike 'hits 238 IS oil trucks' in Syria

From:  BBC

Oil rig in Syria
Getty Images - IS receives a large portion of its funding from seized oil facilities
A US air strike has destroyed more than 238 fuel trucks controlled by Islamic State (IS) militants in north-east Syria, the US military has said.

It is thought the pilots found the trucks parked up together, waiting to be loaded at an oil production point near Hassakeh and Deir al-Zour.

Warning shots were reportedly fired to scare away the civilian drivers, before the destruction of the trucks began.

IS makes large amounts of money from oil it produces from seized facilities.

Baker Hughes rig count rises for the first time in 29 weeks

From:  Business Insider 

Jul. 2, 2015, 1:04 PM

The number of US oil rigs in use just rose for the first time in six months.

On Thursday, we learned that US oil rigs in use rose by 12 to 640, the first increase since December 5, 2014.

Last week, the total count of oil and gas rigs climbed for the first time in several weeks, by two to 859. The oil rig count fell for a 29th straight week, by three to 628, the lowest since August 6, 2010.

This week's combined oil and gas rig count was up 3 as 9 natural gas rigs were shut down.  MORE

Epic oil glut sparks super tanker 'traffic jams' at sea

From:  CNN

Here's a traffic jam that will actually make drivers smile.

It's no secret that a massive supply glut has caused global oil prices to crash this year. Ferocious production from OPEC and near-record U.S. output is adding to sky-high oil inventories around the world.
But what's less widely known is that the oversupply problem has gotten so bad that oil tankers waiting to be offloaded are piling up off the U.S. Gulf Coast because there's nowhere to put the crude.

So-called "floating storage" of crude oil soared to nearly triple the normal level last week, according to ClipperData, which tracks global shipments of crude.  MORE

Drunk Russian sailor crashes 7,000-ton ship into Scotland -- at full speed

From:  CNN

COMMENT - You are not going to believe what Big Oil thinks is responsible behavior. 

Drunk Russian sailor crashes ship at full speed 01:03
(CNN)What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

Don't put him in charge of a 7,000-ton, 423-foot (129-meter) cargo ship, for starters.

That's how a Russian mariner who drank half a liter of rum before work, according to investigators, managed to crash into the coast of Scotland last winter -- at full speed.

The Lysblink Seaways was on its way from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Skogn in Norway when it slammed into the rocky shoreline near Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula at about 2:30 a.m. on February 18.  MORE

Lax Regulatory Enforcement Leaves Thousands at Risk of Lead Poisoning in California

From:  Truth Out 

Sunday, 22 November 2015 00:00  
By Daniel Ross, Truthout | Report 

As much as 33,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil is being removed from a cleanup site at Jordan Downs in Watts, Los Angeles. Community advocates say the cleanup doesn’t meet health and safety standards. (Photo: Legal Aid Foundation)As much as 33,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil is being removed from a cleanup site at Jordan Downs in Watts, Los Angeles. Community advocates say the cleanup doesn't meet health and safety standards. (Photo: Legal Aid Foundation)

California's regulatory agencies have repeatedly failed in their testing, enforcement and cleanup of various lead-contaminated sites in the state, an investigation by Truthout has revealed.

The investigation comprised three separate sites in and around Los Angeles: the Quemetco lead-acid battery recycling facility in the city of Industry, the Jordan Downs housing project in Watts (a toxic cleanup site), and a former police department firing range in Pasadena.

The pattern of lax regulatory enforcement at contaminated sites comes at a time when scientists recognize that lead - one of the World Health Organization's 10 chemicals of major public health concern - has no safe levels, especially for fetuses and children.  MORE

Monday, November 23, 2015

Taking on Big Oil - Agents Green On The Job

SANTA BARBARA, California-November 17, 2015-The Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation (ACPF), today introduced its first Agents Green, Marian Walker and Gail Lightfoot. Agents Green is a membership the Foundation has organized to provide training and support to activists who want to make reducing the impact of poisons and encouraging Green Commerce their career.

Agents Green will make it their business to directly provide their clients with services, including reducing the second most common health risk children face today. Agents will also be a community resource for educating on how to avoid poisons impacting people and our environment.

Sustainable activism, making activism your career, is moving the world today. Efforts for alternative energy, such as Wipomo in San Diego and MetroFarm in the San Francisco area, express the passion of their originators and employees for alternatives in energy and commerce.

This same idea was the basis on which the career of Arthur C. Pillsbury was founded. In 1895, while standing waist high in a meadow of wildflowers in Yosemite, he was filled with the determination to show people the glories of nature and so persuade them to his preservationist viewpoint. This became his life's work, allowing him to make enough money to build cameras which extended human vision. These included the first lapse-time camera for plants (1912), and the first microscopic motion picture camera (1926).

Pillsbury made and showed the first nature movie in 1909.

His business, the Pillsbury Picture Company, was an early example of Green Commerce built on the idea of sustainable activism. He would later tell his son, “Discover your passion and then find a way to it make your living.”

Following your passion as an activist is tough and activists know this. Agents Green is a way for activists with a passion for helping people and directly affecting the level of poisons in their local air, water and land to make activism their career.

Gail Lightfoot said about Agents Green, “I was an activist for most of my life and now I can make money providing a service which heals and educates. Fantastic.” Gail, a former US Senate Candidate for the Libertarian Party, is also a retired nurse.

The first target for Agents Green is Super Head Lice. California is one of 25 states where head lice, the second most common childhood health issue is now resistant to the products which are commonly used. These include petroleum products. Products originating from petroleum hold the potential for petroleum poisoning. The child can be impacted and the residue is released into the water, then impacting both the air and land.

Petroleum products are used in thousands of products, including pesticides. These account for 20% of the income to petroleum companies.

Agents Green uses products which are entirely natural and cause no harm to children or the environment. The product used to eliminate head lice, which works equally well on Super Head Lice, smells like peppermint and eliminates both nits and the lice in ten minutes.

Head lice impact school attendance and often fail to remove the lice. The resulting resistant strains are now being treated with harsher poisons through doctor's prescriptions. Agents Green is determined to provide better treatment and reduce the trauma suffered by children and their parents.

Marian Walker decided to join because of her own experience with head lice, saying, “I experienced the aggravation and worry of a child with head lice while I was raising my own daughter. It was terrible to go through. Changing that for others, now that I understand the risks of conventional treatments, is exciting.”

Head lice have been with humanity for over a million years and cannot survive anyplace but on the human scalp. Lacking a human host, they die. But they are stubborn little vampires which cling to the hair close to the scalp, feeding on human blood by digging in with their claws.

Into the 20th Century typhus was carried by head lice infected with the typhus microbe. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this happens rarely today but, “outbreaks of this disease still occur during times of war, civil unrest, natural or man-made disasters, and in prisons where people live together in unsanitary conditions.” As diseases also become resistant concerns on how humanity will be impacted are being raised.

Today populations experiencing exactly these conditions are moving into both the United States and Europe.

Marian and Gail will be contacting community groups, their County Health Departments, school nurses and groups who work with children to make presentations on the need to be proactive on the problem and provide
information on the need to reduce the use of poisons in this and other products. ““Every choice for clean alternatives to petroleum poisons can reduce damage to the environment and the profits flowing to Big Oil. Your choices matter,” said Dave Lincoln, the organization's Director for Research.

Agents Green has solutions for every imaginable need. Find out more about Agents Green by visiting their website at If you are interested in becoming a Green Agent for your community fill out the application on the site and contact us.

The Arthur C. Pillsbury site is available at:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Two Versions of the US Destruction of a Hospital in Afghanistan

From:  Truth-Out

Monday, 16 November 2015 00:00  

By Laura Gottesdiener, TomDispatch | Op-Ed 

Army Gen. John Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, testifies for a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Oct. 6, 2015. Campbell told lawmakers that the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz was “mistakenly struck” as a result of “a U.S. decision made within the U.S. chain of command.” (Doug Mills / The New York Times) Army Gen. John Campbell, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, testifies ​at​ a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, October 6, 2015. Campbell told lawmakers that the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz was "mistakenly struck" as a result of "a US decision made within the US chain of command." (Doug Mills / The New York Times)

When people ask me what my new job is like, I tell them that I wake up very early and count the dead. When I say "very early," I mean a few minutes after four a.m., as the sky is just softening to the color of faded purple corduroy. By "the dead," I mostly mean people across the world that my government has killed or helped another nation's government kill while I was sleeping.

Once I was a freelance reporter, spending weeks or months covering a single story. Today, I'm a news producer at Democracy Now! and, from the moment I arrive at the office, I'm scouring the wire services for the latest casualties from Washington's war zones. It's a disconcerting job for someone used to reporting stories on the ground. As I cull through the headlines - "Suspected US drone strike kills 4 militants in Pakistan"; "US troops dispatched to Kunduz to help Afghan forces" - I've never felt so close to this country's various combat zones. And yet I'm thousands of miles away.

Usually, I try to avoid talking about our wars once I leave the office. After all, what do I know? I wasn't there when the American gunship began firing on that hospital Doctors Without Borders ran in Kunduz, and I didn't get there afterwards either. Nor was I in Yemen's Saada province a few weeks later when a Doctors Without Borders health clinic was bombed.  MORE

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Turritella FPSO heads for the Gulf of Mexico

From:  OffShore Magazine

COMMENT  - Pay attention to this kind of movement.  FPSOs are dangerous but cut costs and red tap for the companies using them.

Offshore staff

SINGAPORE Shell is one step closer to achieving first oil at its Stones development from the world’s deepest floating production facility. The Turritella FPSO recently set sail from Singapore, where it was built at the Keppel yard, and is on its way to its new home in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, this facility will connect to subsea infrastructure located in the Lower Tertiary play, beneath 9,500 ft (2,896 m) of water, which Shell says breaks the existing water depth record for an oil and gas production facility. 

Stones is located about 200 mi (320 km) southwest of New Orleans in the Walker Ridge area.  MORE

Friday, November 13, 2015

About ISIS

Victims of ISIS: Terror survivors share their stories (RT Documentary)

Oakland sues Monsanto for ‘long-standing contamination’ of San Francisco Bay

From:  RT 

© Robert Galbraith
Agrochemical giant Monsanto knowingly contaminated Oakland’s storm water and the San Francisco Bay with a highly toxic chemical for decades, a new lawsuit filed by the California city claims. Oakland wants the company to pay for the environmental cleanup. 
The State Water Resources Control Board determined that the presence of highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) in Oakland’s storm water threatens the San Francisco Bay’s ecosystem and interferes with the bay’s use and enjoyment by Californians, the city said in a statement.

PCBs were widely used for five decades to insulate electronics and were incorporated into paints, caulks and other building materials until they were banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1979. Despite the 36-year prohibition, the chemicals are a common environmental contaminant in water and in the tissues of marine life all the way up the food chain to humans.  MORE

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Vandana Shiva: Agri-Corporations Attempt to Hijack COP21

From:  EcoWatch


In 2008, before the climate summit in Copenhagen, I wrote the book Soil Not Oil. It was a time when the intimate connections between climate and agriculture, air and soil were not being recognized in any forum, neither in the negotiations on climate change nor in the climate movement. As we head into the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, agri-corporations are attempting to hijack climate talks once again.

Today we are faced with two crises on a planetary scale—climate change and species extinction. Our current modes of production and consumption are contributing to what climate change scientists term anthropogenic emissions—originating from human activity. If no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gases, we could experience a catastrophic 4C increase in temperature by the end of the century.
Our current modes of production and consumption are contributing to what climate change scientists term anthropogenic emissions—originating from human activity. Photo credit: The Corvallis Advocate
Our current modes of production and consumption are contributing to what climate change scientists term anthropogenic emissions—originating from human activity. Photo credit: The Corvallis Advocate
In addition to global warming, climate change is leading to the intensification of droughts, floods, cyclones and other extreme weather events that are costing lives. What can we do to mitigate this? Like the problem, the solution must be anthropogenic.  MORE

Monsanto Slammed With Yet Another PCB Contamination Lawsuit as Company Profits Slump

From:  EcoWatch


Embattled agritech giant Monsanto is facing fresh litigation over harm caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic chemical that the company manufactured decades ago.
The city of Oakland, California filed a lawsuit that holds Monsanto accountable for allegedly contaminating of the city’s storm water as well as the San Francisco Bay with PCBs.

Although PCBs have been banned for decades, the toxic compound is still detected shows in the environment today. This warning sign was displayed near New York's Hudson River in 2013. Photo credit: NOAA
Although PCBs have been banned for decades, the toxic compound is still detected shows in the environment today. This warning sign was displayed near New York’s Hudson River in 2013. Photo credit: NOAA

Before focusing its operations on agrotechnology and supplying the world with its genetically modified seeds, Monsanto was the primary manufacturer of PCBs, a chemical that was once widely used to insulate electronics. Commercial production of PCBs, however, were banned in 1979 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over human health and environmental concerns.  MORE

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

INEOS signs agreement with ExxonMobil, Shell to supply ethane from U.S. Shale gas

From:  PennEnergy

Sources: INEOS, ExxonMobil, Shell
The Fife Ethylene Plant is one of Europe's largest and most modern ethylene facilities. The plant started production in 1985, and is one of only four natural gas-fed steam crackers in Europe.

INEOS signs agreement with ExxonMobil Chemical Limited and Shell Chemicals Europe BV to supply ethane from U.S. shale gas from Grangemouth to the Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland.

·  The Fife Plant will receive U.S. ethane from shale gas via the new import terminal at INEOS Grangemouth. 

·  The deal ensures the competitiveness of the Fife Ethylene Plant.  MORE

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tenure is disappearing. But it’s what made American universities the best in the world.

From:  Washtington Post 

By Sol Gittleman October 29

In the midst of a debate over tenure — with many arguing it is time to do away with an outdated tradition — Sol Gittleman, a former provost of Tufts University, takes a look at the history behind the tradition.
Gittleman, the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor, has been a professor of German, Judaic studies and biblical literature.  He argues that tenure helped make American higher education better. His essay in full was printed in Tufts Magazine

“The single most important factor preventing change in higher education is tenure.” Wow. That was the sentiment expressed in 2010 by Mark C. Taylor, then chair of Columbia University’s department of religion, and every critic of higher education in the United States seemed to agree with him.  MORE