Donald Blankenship – Serial Killer released from jail

It is true. He killed more people than Son of Sam and the Zodiac Killer and he got a year in jail. Why? Because he is a rich white and the death resulted from “mine safety violations”. So, you know, he never had a “direct hand” in their deaths. What a joke. He claims he lives in Las Vegas now, so I hope he wonders off in the desert and suffers a horrible death.

US mine blast: Ex-coal CEO Blankenship at end of prison term

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is finishing up a one-year federal prison sentence arising from the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Blankenship was set to be released Wednesday from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. He must serve one year of supervised release.

“I’m glad he had time to reflect on the pain he caused,” former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, whose office in Charleston prosecuted the case, said in a text message to The Associated Press ahead of Blankenship’s release. “I hope he used it wisely and will come out of prison ready to make amends.”

It wasn’t immediately clear where Blankenship will serve his supervised release. After his indictment, federal prosecutors indicated Blankenship owned homes in several states, and Blankenship said he lived in Las Vegas. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Charleston referred questions to the federal Bureau of Prisons.

A bureau spokesman and Blankenship’s attorney, William Taylor, didn’t return requests for comment


Go there and be horrified. More next week.




Rolling Back CAFE Standards – This is a real real bad idea

I have said for awhile that the US would survive the Trump Era. Apparently it is going to be expensive for us and the planet. Hopefully this will limit Trump to one term.

Rolling Back Fuel Efficiency Standards Would Cost Americans $800 Billion, Add Six Billion Tons CO2

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to roll back existing federal fuel efficiency targets of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, a move endorsed by U.S. auto dealers and auto manufacturers. But going in reverse on fuel efficiency would be a terrible deal for American drivers that would cost the economy approximately $800 billion while adding nearly six billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2050.

Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to analyze the effects of lowering U.S. fuel efficiency standards. The open-source computer model estimates economic and emissions impacts of various energy and environmental policy combinations using non-partisan, published data. It is freely available for public use through a user-friendly web interface or by downloading the full model and input dataset.

Our analysis compared a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (based on existing policies as of mid-to-late 2016, including the existing fuel efficiency standards) to a scenario that freezes fuel efficiency for new passenger cars at 2017 levels


Go there and read. More next week.


Berta Caceres – She was murdered for the environment

Sure everybody in power down there says it was a robbery gone bad but she was assassinated. I mean the cops that were suppose to be guarding her were guarding the wrong house blocks away in another neighborhood. Damn those damn dams.


Honduras: Environmentalist Berta Caceres shot dead

Berta Caceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

| Politics, Human Rights, Environment, Latin America

Honduran environmentalist leader and winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize Berta Caceres has been shot dead at her home in the town of La Esperanza.

Caceres was killed early on Thursday by two assailants who broke into her home, a member of her group, the Indian Council of People’s Organizations of Honduras, said.

“Honduras has lost a brave and committed social activist,” fellow activist Tomas Membreno said in a statement.

Caceres, a mother of four, led opposition to a proposed dam on the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the Lencas.

She had previously complained of receiving death threats from police, soldiers and local landowners because of her work.

Activist Carlos Reyes described the assassination “a political crime by the government”.


Go there read. More next week.


Canada Proposes Lake Huron Nuclear Waste Dump – A very bad idea

This is an old piece but there is a petition being circulated on line:

Please go there and sign it. I could not find a newer piece but this should shock your socks off. If it were to ever leak we would have another Fukushima on our hands.

Stopping the Great Lakes Radioactive Dump

Hundreds of environmental and public interest groups, dozens of governmental bodies and thousands of concerned residents across the Great Lakes Basin have joined in rejecting a proposal by the giant utility company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury 200,000 cubic meters of its radioactive waste on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, near its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, in Kincardine, Ontario. The proposed dump is for so-called low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes from the company’s 20 nuclear reactors. The site is 1.2 kilometers from Lake Huron on Bruce Peninsula.

On May 6, Canada’s Joint Review Panel submitted to Canada’s Ministry of Environment — the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq — its formal recommendation to approve the plan. Intervening parties have 120 days to submit comments on the JRP’s “environmental assessment” once its “conditions” have been made public. Aglukkaq will then make a recommendation to Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynne, who will make the final decision about whether the dump should be constructed.

Most of the groups, legislators and cities opposing the so-called Deep Geologic Repository (regular folks call it a hole in the ground) have decided to ignore or to just parody the forthcoming “conditions” regulating the plan. A nit-picking analysis of them, they say, only gives the impression that permanent contamination of the Great Lakes somehow an acceptable risk under certain theoretical, computer-model-derived conditions. As Dr. Gordon Edwards, founder of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, said May 19 over the phone, “We reject any permanent abandonment of radioactive waste deep underground near the Great Lakes. And this project, at this time, under any conditions is absurd.”


Go there and read. More next week.


Illinois Has A Great Governor – At least from a Global Warming standpoint

But if you live in Texas, or Oklahoma, or Nebraska your governors suck. They deny Climate change and refuse to do anything about Green House Gases. Some Republican Governors at least don’t deny the Climate is changing but again they don’t DO anything about it.


What Every Governor Really Believes About Climate Change, In One Handy Map

By Tiffany Germain, Guest Contributor and Ryan Koronowski

With all the recent talk at the federal level about the EPA’s proposed carbon regulations for new and existing power plants, it’s easy to forget about the executives that have front row seats to cutting American carbon pollution. And though climate deniers run rampant through the halls of Congress, a new analysis from the CAP Action War Room reveals that half of America’s Republican governors agree with the anti-science caucus of Congress.

Fifteen out of twenty-nine sitting Republican governors deny climate science despite the overwhelming level of scientific consensus, the enormous cost to taxpayers, and the critical place governors occupy in implementing new limits on carbon pollution. None of the country’s Democratic governors have made public statements denying climate change.

This map from the analysis categorizes governors into four groups: green for those who both accept climate science and are taking action to fight climate change; orange for those who either accept or haven’t openly denied climate science, but also have yet to take serious action to address climate change; red for those who have failed to take action or openly rejected to federal safeguards to address climate change, and red with stripes for climate deniers.


Go there and read. More next week.


Mist Fracking, Foam Fracking And Gas Fracking – These are things I did not know

But it sounds nasty to me. And then there is the use of Acid. This is really ugly stuff.



Today (Sunday, 12/8/13)  is Day 24 of the Comment Period of IDNR.   We’re almost half-way through the comment period.  Please keep making your comments daily!

Today’s Topic: Non-water and partial water fracks must be regulated based on risk, not volume


The law defines “high volume” fracking based on the number of gallons of base fluid” (at least 80,000 gallons per stage and 300,000 gallons total).   While this definition may be applicable if the fracking base is a fluid such as water, it leaves a gaping hole when gas (e.g. nitrogen, carbon dioxide) or a mixture of gas and water (foam fracks, mist fracks), are used.  And defining high volume fracking this way is especially critical in relation to Illinois’ New Albany shale where other bases are likely to be used; nitrogen gas and mist fracking is already occurring just across the border in Kentucky’s New Albany shale.

Problem: Gallons are units of volume used to measure liquids.  But what if a liquid isn’t used in fracking?  Not all fracking base material can be measured by gallons.  If non-water base fluids are accounted for as liquid gallons, the gallonage total will fall below the threshold whereby the fracking operation will be considered “high volume hydraulic fracturing”, even though the operation is comparable in scale – and therefore risk – to a high volume water-based frack in terms of chemical use, pressures, or other measures.

Revisions Needed:

The Department needs to come up with an appropriate means to express the threshold of applicability as it applies to non-water fracks. The key parameter for developing a comparable threshold should be identifying comparable risk. Simply converting the water-based thresholds from gallons to cubic feet or another unit of volume appropriate to measure gases would be completely arbitrary and wholly divorced from the real environmental and health risks posed by such non-water fracks. Thresholds for gas-based fracks must be developed independently based on an evaluation of risk and field data from gas-based fracks.

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.


What Toxics Are In That Fracking Soup – Under this regulation we may never know

Seriously, this means that they can brink “stuff” into this state with no inspection and inject it into our soils? That is off the charts.


Today (Sunday, 12/1/13) is Day 17 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.  Thanks for hanging in there with us even on this holiday weekend!
Day 17 
Topic – The term “Competitive Value” is not defined but affords fracking operators the right to withhold chemical disclosure
Section 245.720(d) of the Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act administrative rules, states: IDNR allows permit applicants to withhold chemical disclosure information under a claim of “trade secret” if they can establish that (1) the information has not been published, disseminated, or otherwise become a matter of general public knowledge, and (2) the information has competitive value.
Problems with this section:
  1. “Competitive value” is not defined in the various administrative code definitions.
  2. There is no IDNR administrative criteria provided which is the basis of “competitive value” other than, apparently, a self-identified one provided by the fracking operator.
Why these are problems:
  1. Undefined and catch-all allowances for generic “competitive value” open the door for any and all dangerous chemicals to be undisclosed simply based on the operators desire to do so.
  2. Individual ingredients in the various chemical products used during hydraulic fracturing cannot be considered trade secrets under the criteria “competitive value”. The regulations should be revised to state that information on file with IDNR must be disclosed to the public.
  3. Raising such an allowance for a fracking operator to not disclose potentially dangerous chemicals based on “competitive value” automatically gives them more power than the basic claim of the law which is to protect the environment of Illinois.
Revisions Needed:
  1. “Competitive value” must be fully defined within the rulemaking.
  2. Competitive value must not in any way supersede a determination of the public right to know and the basic legislative and Illinois Constitutional provision of a healthy and safe environment for its citizens.
  3. Any conflict between “competitive value” and the public right to know must be decided on the inherent protection of the citizens and the environment.
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Illinois Department Of Natural Resources Is Incompetant – But we kinda knew that

This was forwarded to me by Doctor Lora and other people have pointed out that this has been going on. This is why in my first post I said go to  this website:

They will deliver a printed copy to IDNR which gets you around the whole computer/internet thing.

AND Dr. Laura is suggesting that you send your comments to JCAR who must approve the final regulations before they become law. I am not sure how effective that would be but it takes so little time it can’t hurt. But still run them through IDNR repeatedly if you have to.

If you want to echo my remarks at JCAR, I think it would be very helpful, thanks,  L


Urgent — After two days of complaints from many residents concerned about fracking that their comments to the IDNR on the fracking rules weren’t going through, we learned that NO COMMENTS ON RADIOACTIVITY HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH!   According to IDNR, there was a technical problem that has now been fixed, but that doesn’t address the fact that Comments from last Wednesday, yesterday and today did not get registered.
If they can’t get their website right, how are they going to get the rules right? 
Please share the comments below that were sent in by hundreds of residents with JCAR members, just in case the IDNR is trying to suppress comments about radioactivity in all fracking waste water and debris,

— General Summary of Rules on Radioactivity
Subpart H: High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing Preparations and Operations (245.800-245.870)
245.850 Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid and Hydraulic Fracturing Flowback Storage, Disposal or Recycling, Transportation and Reporting Requirements

Comment: Subsection (d)(1) of Section 245.850 provides for testing radioactivity only one time–during the early flowback stage–and only for “naturally occurring radioactive materials”. The problems with this are identified below.
The proposed rules do not include any standards or protocols to follow if testing of flowback water shows unacceptable levels of radioactivity. 
The proposed rules do not require the testing of “produced water”, which is the water produced from a well in conjunction with oil or natural gas production. This is where radioactivity is most likely to show up. It should be noted that while these Rules have been purported to be the strongest in the nation, PA law requires the testing of produced water at two separate intervals.
The proposed rules do not require testing for added radioactive materials, like depleted uranium, which can be used in the perforation/fracturing operation.
The proposed rules do not test work areas for levels of radioactivity that would call for OSHA standards of occupational safety. 
These deficiencies, cumulatively or singly, would pose a significant risk to the public health and safety, property, aquatic life, and wildlife, in violation of section 1-75(a)(2) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act.

— Produced Water Needs to Be Tested for Radioactivity (same subpart-H, and section: 245.850)
Notably absent from this section is a requirement for the testing of “produced water”, the fluid that returns from the well later during production and is most likely to contain radioactivity. Under the proposed rules, “produced water” can be stored on site and/or can be “recycled”, yet there is no testing requirement.
Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and technologically enhanced naturally occuring radioactive material are both found in “produced water”. See Technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials in the oil industry (TENORM), Nukleonika 2009; 54(1):3?9, and sources cited therein, especially for TENORM in produced water in the U.S., available at…/full/vol54_2009/v54n1p003f.pdf. See also
NORM is also found on scale in oil pipes and on fracking equipment. (See Kentucky Resources Council Proposes Comprehensive Plan For Investigating Radiological Contamination In Martha Oil Field. August 11, 2005.
IDNR’s definitions of “flowback water” and “produced water” are different. They are treated differently by both the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act and by the DNR Rules. The Department knows that produced water will be in contact with the naturally occurring radioactive elements in the ground for a longer period that the flowback and that it is much more likely to be radioactive. Therefore it should require it to be tested and handled accordingly.
Problems: Failure to test produced water for radioactivity is problematic for a variety of reasons including:
The health and safety of workers on the site who will be unaware of the levels of radioactivity they are being exposed to.  The health and safety of workers transporting produced water who will also be in the dark regarding the levels of radioactivity they will be exposed to. 
The risk of storing radioactive material in tanks not created for storing radioactive materials.
The risk of “recycling” produced water—radioactivity cannot be removed by recycling.
The risk to the public in transporting radioactive materials
Argonne National Laboratory recently cautioned about radiological doses: “It is commonly accepted that efforts should be undertaken at all times to keep radiological doses ‘as low as reasonably achievable,’ which is referred to as the ALARA principle or requirement.” Overview of Radiological Dose and Risk Assessment (April 2011). DNR is failing to even adequately test for radioactivity and therefore, will not know the levels of radioactivity. How, then, can DNR adequately protect workers and the general public?
Revisions needed:
At a bare minimum, the rules should require that “produced water” be tested at two separate intervals across time for radioactivity. This is already required in Pennsylvania. The rules should also require that the requirements of the Illinois Low Level Radioactivity Waste Management Act be followed. 

— Rules need to include requirements or standards when radioactivity is found (same subpart-H and section:245.850)
The proposed rules include no follow-up requirements or standards if testing shows radioactivity levels in flowback to be high. In other words, these proposed rules treat flowback the same whether it is highly radioactive or not! DNR knows that naturally occurring radioactivity material occurs in Illinois oil and gas operations. See 62 Ill. Admin. Code secs. 240.860(e)(3), 240.861(k)(1)(C).
Revisions Needed: The rules must specify how flowback AND produced water will be treated if they test positive for radioactivity. The rules should also require that the requirements of the Illinois Low Level Radioactivity Waste Management Act be followed.
Frack Free Illinois
contact, Dr. Lora Chamberlain


Go there and comment. More today.


Kill The Ocean And Kill Ourselves – Jacque Cousteau said it 60 years ago

It is as true today as it was then. We are so much closer to the edge today then we were then and it is frightening.

Business urged to do more to save oceans: World Bank study


OSLO (Reuters) – Businesses should play a bigger role in helping to save depleted fish stocks as part of efforts to prevent irreversible damage to the oceans, a World-Bank backed report said on Wednesday.

The study, by 21 experts including government ministers, academics, conservationists and company leaders, said policies for protecting the oceans from over-fishing, pollution and climate change were often ineffective and fragmented.

It recommended more public-private partnerships involving companies, governments, local communities and others to protect ecosystems that are the main source of protein for a billion people, mainly in the developing world.

“A paradigm shift is needed in how we use and conserve ocean resources to address current inadequacies,” the report said.

The panel, set up by the World Bank, is one of several groups trying to find ways to deal with threats to the oceans. A separate Global 0cean Commission, for instance, is looking at how to safeguard the high seas, outside national jurisdictions.


Please go there and think. More next week.


Meditations On Being Opposed To Nuclear Power – Isao Hashimoto 2053 nuclear explosions 1945-1998

OK, I tried to load the video here and failed again. Totally. But there are enough links below to get you to the video which is really cool. It is a video that shows the location of all the “known” nuclear bomb tests up to 1998. Now, that doesn’t mean ALL the tests because it does not show the Israeli test off South Africa nor does it include the Korean attempts. Still it is so much like a War Games screen and it is real. Also very well done.


Go there and view. More tomorrow.