Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tar Sands Spills - Happening NOW not sometime in the Future

Lots of people think that the tar sands issue is a thing of the future.
It's not.

The evidence is already piling up that the pipeline is not a good idea.
Tar sands going across the US - is not a good idea!!!

It's VERY IMPORTANT to know this

04.02.13 - 8:00 PM
by Abby Zimet

The news from Exxon's Arkansas pipeline spill just keeps getting worse. Not only are dead and what officials are calling "oiled" ducks turning up - coated in oil so thick it's "like removing gum from someone's hair" - but Exxon, thanks to a legal technicality, won't be paying to clean up any of their mess. What's running through their pipelines is diluted bitumen from Alberta tar sands heavy crude, which under a 1980 law is mysteriously not classified as oil. That means that companies transporting it do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund that covers the costs of inevitable debacles like the one now inundating Arkansas. So they get a free ride/subsidy for trashing our backyards. And yes. Same goes for Keystone. 
Before you read the rest.

Minnesota Tar Sand Spill
Wednesday March 26
NEW YORK/CALGARY March 27 (Reuters) - A mile-long train hauling oil from Canada derailed and leaked 30,000 gallons of crude in western Minnesota on Wednesday, as debate rages over the environmental risks of transporting tar sands across the border.

The leak - the first major spill of the modern North American crude-by-rail transit boom - came when 14 cars on a 94-car Canadian Pacific train left the tracks about 150 miles north west of Minneapolis near the town of Parkers Prairie, the Otter Tail Sheriff's Department said.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, the country's second-largest railroad, said the company was investigating the incident. CP Spokesman Ed Greenberg said only one 26,000-gallon tank car had ruptured, adding it was a mixed freight train carrying crude and other materials.

The company did not comment as to what kind of crude the train was carrying.

But Minnesota Pollution Control Agency spokesman Dan Olson said up to three tank cars were ruptured and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 gallons - or 475 to 715 barrels - leaked out.

And then add

Dan Olson, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, today confirmed that the substance spilled is, indeed, tarsands from Alberta, Canada

Arkansas – Tar Sand Spill
Saturday March 30
Exxon cleans up Arkansas oil spill; Keystone plan assailed
(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that spewed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.

Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said on Sunday that crews had yet to excavate the area around the pipeline breach, a needed step before the company can estimate how long repairs will take and when the line might restart.
The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.

Exxon also had no specific estimate of how much crude oil had spilled, but the company said 12,000 barrels of oil and water had beenrecovered - up from 4,500 barrels on Saturday.

Will this be YOUR backyard someday?????
"In case you're wondering, here's what the Arkansas oil spill looks like in one backyard. Clean in no time I bet!" wrote Bill McKibben on his twitter feed
CALGARY, Alberta, June 19 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc on Tuesday closed a major Alberta pipeline that transports oil sands-derived crude after a spill at a pump station, the second oil leak to foul regions of the Canadian province in under two weeks.

Enbridge, Canada's second-largest pipeline company, said it was forced to turn off its 345,000 barrel-a-day Athabasca pipeline after anestimated 1,400 barrels of oil leaked from a piece of equipment at station near the northeast Alberta town of Elk Point on Monday.

 Posted: 06/08/2012
SUNDRE, Alta. - Crews were scrambling Friday to contain and clean up a pipeline spill that is believed to have sent up to 475,000 litres ofcrude oil flowing into a rain-swollen Red Deer River system in west-central Alberta.

Plains Midstream Canada says when the spill was discovered Thursday night it closed off its network of pipelines in the area.

"It's going to be a major environmental concern for sure."

The region around Sundre is considered pristine wilderness by many in Alberta.

Oil spill outrages Montana residents
Up to 42,000 gallons surge overnight Friday into the Yellowstone River, and some say Exxon Mobil's cleanup needs more oversight.
July 04, 2011|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times

An oil spill in Montana's Yellowstone River surged toward North Dakota on Sunday as outraged residents demanded more government oversight of Exxon Mobil's cleanup.

An estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels, or up to 42,000 gallons, spilled through a damaged pipeline in the riverbed, Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers said. The break near Billings could be related to the river's high water level, officials said.

Tar sands crude may cause more wear and tear on pipes because of its chemical makeup, including corrosive and abrasive agents, said Tom Finch, the pipeline administration's technical services director for the western regional office.

"If the question is, did we know it was carrying tar sands oil? Hell, no," he said in an interview on Thursday. "If companies are changing the kinds of materials in pipelines to mixes that make them more likely they will leak or rupture, that raises huge concerns."

Exxon has apologized for the spill, which it estimates at 42,000 gallons, and pledged to restore a river prized for its near pristine waters, scenic beauty and abundance of wildlife.

North Dakota
TransCanada has said its Keystone I pipeline spilled 500barrels (21,000 gallons) of oil in North Dakota on Saturday morning. Friends of the Earth says the incident is the 12th spill from the Keystone I pipeline, which is not even a year old.FOE describes more about this weekend's spill:

    According to eyewitnesses, Saturday's rupture of the Keystone I pipeline sent a six-story high gusher of oil into the air. The spill occurred at a pumping station, but the spray contaminated soil and water in a nearby field before it could be contained.


The first Keystone tar sands pipeline, constructed less than a year ago, has sprung its twelfth leak, spilling up to 2,100 gallons of rawtar sands crude oil in Kansas on May 29th when a pipeline fitting around a pressure transmitter failed. This comes just three weeks after a broken pipe fitting on Keystone resulted in a 60’ geyser of tar sands crude, spewing 21,000 gallons in North Dakota.

Toxic Spill Cleanup Continues Near Refinery
Oil Found In Sand Creek In Commerce City
Posted: 11/30/2011
Environmental Protection Agency officials say small dams erected on a bank overnight appear to be containing an oily muck that's seeping into a Denver-area creek. Officials are trying to keep it from reaching theSouth Platte River, which is a major source of drinking water, wildlife habitat and agricultural water for Colorado and the Midwest.

The oil seep is located near Interstate 270 and Vasquez Boulevard, about one mile west of the Suncor Energy Refinery in Commerce City.

Suncor Energy emergency response crews found the seep Monday afternoon after responding to a complaint from a resident, who called around 11:30 a.m. to report a visible sheen on Sand Creek.

The slick stretched about 200 yards on Monday, said John Gallagher, vice president of refining for Suncor.

from the Suncor Energy tar sands refinery in Commerce City,


The campaign has highlighted a disastrous accident in Marshall, Mich., where a pipeline carrying heavy crude from western Canada burst in 2010, releasing 20,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo Riverand adjacent floodplains. Controllers at Enbridge Inc., which owns the pipeline, ignored repeated alarms and didn't turn off the pumps for 17 hours, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, leading to the largest onshore spill in U.S. history

But about a month into the cleanup, some fish researchers got a surprise. One of them jumped from a boat into the river. With each step he took, little globs of black oil popped up.

That kicked off a search for sunken oil.

"And everywhere they looked, they found it," Hamilton recalls.

EPA's Midwestern chief Susan Hedman says they had to develop new techniques to remove all of this submerged oil.

A year-long effort to clean up the largest tar sands spillin U.S. history has established one thing – raw tar sands crude is unlike anything we’ve had in our pipelines before.  Last year, Enbridge’s Lakehead pipeline spilled over 840,000 gallons of raw tar sands into the Kalamazoo River watershed. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been struggling to deal with the new challenges that a tar sands spill present.

The cost of thespill has reached $800 million and is rising, the NTSB said, making the pipeline rupture the most expensive on-shore oil spill in U.S. history. The pipeline’s contents — heavy crude oil from Canada’s oil sands — have made the spill a closely watched case with implications for other pipelines carrying such crude.

The NTSB also blamed “weak federal regulations” by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for the accident, which spilled at least 843,444 gallons of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo in Marshall, Mich. The oil spread into a 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo and a nearby wetlands area.

09/16/10 12:02 AM ET   AP

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — Federal officials say more than 250,000 gallons of oil have been recovered from the site of a pipeline leak near Chicago.

But U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on-site coordinator Sam Borries said Wednesday that it's still too early to say how much oil has spilled.

The pipeline's owner, Enbridge Energy Partners, said the pipeline would be returned to service early Friday. It was shut down shortly after the leak was discovered Sept. 9.

The pipeline is part of a system that transports oil from western Canada to U.S. refiners, and regional gas prices increased after it was shut down.

Enbridge executives say the company is making good progress cleaning up the spill area in Romeoville, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago

And it doesn’t stop there

Significant Pipeline Incidents
This Significant Incident data set is designed for historical trending and includes adjustments to account for commodity cost fluctuations and general inflation.
PHMSA defines Significant Incidents as those incidents reported by pipeline operators when any of the following specifically defined consequences occur:
  1. fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization
  2. $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars
  3. highly volatile liquid releases of 5 barrels or more or other liquid releases of 50 barrels or more
  4. liquid releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion

Where does it stop?
Or do the fossil fuel companies now own this land – our land – the land that was made for you and me?

ALEC - Twenty Years of Pro-Gun Propaganda

Think about it – just think about it - - - - -

Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986,
culminated with the one-two punch of the Brady Bill—mandating background checks on gun buyers— in 1993,
and the “Assault Weapons Ban” of 1994.

Since then there has been a complete reversal of fortunes for gun control.
Congress allowed the “Assault Weapons Ban” to expire in 2004,
and passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005,
which protects firearms makers from lawsuits.  

Think about it – just think about it - - - - -

During that time, 
ALEC has been "educating"  your ALEC Legislators on “gun control”
Twenty years of pro-gun propaganda –


In February of 1995 – An ALEC document sent out to all ALEC members –included this statement.

While the proportion of violent crimes perpetrated with guns decreased 3.7 percent from 1980-92, when incarceration rates were rising, firearms availability (firearms per capita) increased by 18 percent. Therefore, the increase in the availability of guns did not manifest itself in the greater use of guns for crime.   


November 22.1995 FYI
An ALEC document sent out to all ALEC members – written by the Heartland Institute included such statements as this.
“strict gun controls will do little if anything to improve matters."

For each life lost from a deadly gunshot, as many as 65 are protected by a gun.
Protected by civilians or by uniformed officers of the law?
The real truth is that most murderers and their victims have criminal records.
Their victims have criminal records – Really – ummmm. Sandy Hook
Between 1973 and 1992, when gun ownership in America increased by 45 percent, the homicide rate fell by 10 percent.
Why? probably because of:
Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, the 1989 Semiautomatic Rifle Import Ban, culminated with the one-two punch of the Brady Bill—mandating background checks on gun buyers— in 1993,  and the “Assault Weapons Ban” of 1994.  
The authors cite a 1993 study by criminologists Gary Kleck and E. Britt Patterson that found in 90 of 102 gun control law/violence relationship categories they researched, there was no "significant correlation between gun laws and violence."
Common Sense would say – Less guns – less violent crime – but then ALEC can’t tell that to their members – the NRA would object..
More Americans die from accidental drownings, inhalation and ingestion of foreign objects, and complications from medical procedures.  [as compared to gun accidents]
Maybe all added together – but what is the comparison of EACH to gun accidents?
But then you've got statistics - I've got statistics:
In 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings.  This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour.1

73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010.

What the authors tell us here is what our common sense tells us: Placing firearm ownership restrictions on the public will have little effect on "criminal armament," and "consequently, no noticeable impact on crime."
Oh – there is common sense – their version of common sense – where’d they get this one – out of an NRA fortune cookie?
"Firearms are nowhere near the root of the problem of violence and arguably are almost completely divorced from it... as long as some people have little or nothing to lose by spending their lives in crime, dispositions to violence will persist — and increasingly strict gun controls will do little if anything to improve matters."
"Firearms are nowhere near the root of the problem of violence"
Firearms are divorced from violence – really????   
"some people have little or nothing to lose"
….   What about the rest of us “people”?????


In 2001
ALEC noted in an article – which again was sent out to all ALEC legislators as part of their ALEC membership – on gun show loopholes.
Starting off with this:
A growing number of school shootings and high profile violent crimes have grabbed the headlines over the past several years. Because of the inherent tragedy of these types of events, there is a natural desire to act, to “do something” in response.
Ending with this:
State legislators need to look at the facts pertaining to gun shows and understand that they are not the “arms bazaars” for violent criminals that gun control proponents would have us believe.     Any new laws would only punish honest, law-abiding citizens and business people and dramatically expand the scope of federal and state firearms laws with potentially disastrous civil liberty ramifications for all.
Gotta look out for those “business people”

In 2002
ALEC concocted this argument – which again was sent out to all ALEC legislators as part of their ALEC membership

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” To the Framers,     Promotion of the militia was a serious federal purpose, but the right was not limited to militia use.
Yeh – let’s re-write the Second Amendment.
By the 1960s, the Second Amendment had become politically incorrect, and some judges and prosecutors concocted the hypothesis that “the right of the people” to have arms really means “the power of the State” to have a militia. If the Amendment protects only the “collective” nobody and gun owners have no rights which the rulers are bound to respect, then all gun control laws are constitutional. Under this logic, the First and Fourth Amendment “right of the people” peaceably to assemble or to be free from unreasonable searches only protects persons selected by the government.
Let’s push it a little bit farther,   they are not acknowledging that the First and Fourth Amendments do have limitations and restrictions on them.  I can’t yell FIRE in a crowded theater without getting arrested.  And I sure as hell, in today’s politically charged “terrorist society” can't stop a search and seizure or even fight one after it has occurred.  Both of those rights have been restricted to me – but no restrictions / limitations on gun owners - why not to gun owners?  Oh, yeh – they are the blessed in our society.  Gun owners are the ones who are going to shoot you and me - when they fight the tyranny of the government.

Then they quote
George Mason’s “to disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
Then they quote
As Samuel Adams proposed in 1788, the Constitution should “never [be] construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
Then they
However, the Supreme Court’s    held instead that the Second Amendment protects a firearm if it “is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” The Court never suggested that the possessor had to be in the militia.
Resulting in NRA propaganda at its best - sent out to all ALEC legislators as part of their ALEC membership
August 2007
Inside ALEC article ended with this statement regarding ownership of guns:

the right to the means with which to defend themselves
from those who would do them harm.

Well – I guess I could concoct a definition of “those who would do them harm” that would not please all the ALEC legislators that received this twenty year stream of pro-gun propaganda as part of their American Legislative Exchange Council membership.

Saw this on Crooks and Liars and I have to throw this in - cause this is what started me thinking about this entry - being a Democrat and all. 



In an interview with NPR, former NRA lobbyist and founder of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Dudley Brown compared deer hunting season with election season, when gun owners would be free to “hunt Democrats”:

    Brown complains universal background checks are just a step towards identifying gun owners so the government can seize their weapons, and he calls the 15-bullet limit on ammunition clips arbitrary. He’s promising political payback in next year’s election that could cost Colorado Democrats their majorities.

    “I liken it to the proverbial hunting season,” Brown says. “We tell gun owners, there’s a time to hunt deer. And the next election is the time to hunt Democrats.”

Don’t know who/what ALEC is? 
It is time you did!!! 
For lots of info check out this webpage >>>>>>>  ALEC Exposed 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

ALEC-er Inhofe - PROUD to Be Climate Denier

Sen. James Inhofe is taking criticism of his climate change denial as a compliment.

The Oklahoma Republican is one of the central targets in the newly released climate change documentary "Greedy Lying Bastards," which examines attempts by the fossil fuel industry to thwart emissions standards and mispresent the facts in the face of changing global climate conditions. The film airs Friday at a special screening in Tulsa, Okla.

"I was not surprised to see myself front and center on the promotional material for this climate change movie," he told the Tulsa World, "and quite frankly, I'm proud of it."

Inhofe has long called climate change a "hoax," insisting "we're in a cold spell" when it snows, despite the body of scientific evidence showing that humans contribute to global warming.

Another extremist with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC-er - "Good to oppose the black guy in the White House"
The politics are going to overwhelm the policy.
It is good politics 
to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, 
especially for the Republican Party.

South Carolina
Representative Kris Crawford

From the South Carolina Campaign Finance Webpage

Individual Reports
Candidate Campaign Disclosure
2012, October 10th, Pre-Election Report
Candidate: Crawford, Kristopher R
Position Sought: State House Representative
District/Locale: 63
Election Type: General
Election Date: 11/06/2012
Filing Type: Amendment 2
Filing Date: 10/29/2012

A member of the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council.

Friday, March 29, 2013

2012 - CEO's Get EIGHT % Raise - Did U?????

Coming off a year in which the Standard & Poor's 500 gained 13% and companies ended up sitting on record amounts of cash, CEOs are back to collecting big raises. While many CEOs fell short of performance targets and saw their bonuses get cut as a result, lucrative salary gains and stock awards powered by a rising stock market are more than repairing any hit. Meanwhile, big raises continue even as many companies are laying off employees.

All told, CEOs scored an 8% pay increase in 2012, taking the median to $9.7 million, for the biggest increase in two years.

Right Wing Report Proves DFL Governor is GREAT for MN

There is a right wing nut job out there reviewing state economic conditions each week based on erroneous and misleading reports from ALEC.

ALEC statistics and conclusions  – they are misleading and spurious – twisting the numbers to fit ALEC's pre-determined conclusions.

This week the right wing nut job decided to pick on Minnesota.

The rankings listed in the report below
are what happens
when you DO NOT have a Democrat
in the governors office.

March 29, 2013 

Each week this year (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas) we will examine the fiscal and economic health of one of the U.S. states. Our 14th state in this series is Minnesota. Here are the top five (or more) things you need to know about the Land of 10,000 lakes: 
  •     There are actually 15,291 lakes in Minnesota.
  •     The American Legislative Exchange Council ranks each state’s economic outlook based on 15 factors. Minnesota ranked 41st (50th being the worst) in 2012, a slight drop from its 37th place slot from 2011. One of the reasons for this poor ranking is Minnesota’s high tax rates. Minnesota has the 12th highest top personal income tax rate in the U.S. (7.85 percent) and the sixth highest top corporate income tax rate (9.8 percent). The state takes in $3,546 in total revenue per capita, ranking it 6th in the nation.
  •     Minnesota spends $5,681 per resident, ranking it 24th (from highest to lowest spending) in the nation. Minnesota’s total state debt is between 25 and 30 percent of its gross state product, ranking it 25th among the states (50th being the state the most in debt).
  •     The Minnesota state worker pension system is only 80 percent funded. Its state worker health care program is zero percent funded (the national average is eight percent funded). According to Pew, the state has $58.8 billion in liabilities, but is $13 billion short of cash. In each of the years between 2005 and 2010, the state failed to pay its full annual pension contribution.
  •     The state drink in Minnesota is milk. The state muffin (yes, there is one) is the blueberry variety.

Minnesota Governors 1999 through 2011
Arne H. Carlson                
January 7, 1991 - -  January 4, 1999                 Independent-Republican/ Republican   

Jesse Ventura
January 4, 1999 - -  January 6, 2003                 Reform/Independence    

Tim Pawlenty                    
January 6, 2003 - -  January 3, 2011                 Republican

The rankings listed in the report above
are what happens
when you DO NOT have a Democrat
in the governors office.

Now we do!
Governor Mark Dayton – Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

And things WILL change
And who gives a damn about ALEC statistics – they are misleading and spurious – twisting the numbers to fit ALEC's conclusions and ALEC policies are creating economic disasters for states that use them.