Great video – using clips from ads and news reels – to show the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline

No Gravatar

A must-see video concerning the dangers of the Keystone XL pipeline and the misinformation swirling around.

Anybody want these spills in your backyard?

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Open Letter to the President: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

No Gravatar

The odds that President Obama will read the following blog letter addressed to him are extremely slim – probably the same odds that I will be elected President of the United States during any future election.

But I’m going to post it anyway. Who Cares? – Right? It’s the joy of blogging.

Mr President,

One of the key questions on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline goes to who do you trust and who should the American people trust?

A) – We can trust the science – in both the impacts of pollution on our air – and on our water from the frequent spills we will certainly see. And we can trust the science on climate change.

Or B) – We could trust Big Oil and its lobbyists and CEOs and non-scientists.

The B option has the poorest of track records. Remember before the Gulf Oil Gusher, when the propaganda from politicians and Big Oil was telling us off-shore oil drilling was soooo safe and spills rarely, ever happen? After the one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history unfolded in the Gulf of Mexico and after we found out the level of coverup that transpired, we found out that leaks and spills were commonplace in the Gulf and the equipment is anything but safe.

The lives of so many people were impacted and of course the suffering for wildlife was extreme. We should never forget the images of animals covered with thick layers of sludge or the individuals who died on the rig. Had the Federal Government and the Minerals Management Service not so fully trusted and bowed down to Big Oil, maybe that disaster could have been prevented.

Sure – we need jobs and energy is vital to our society. But why should we continue to live in the 1930s? Even by the 1960s we had a government that pushed innovation. President Kennedy called for a man on the Moon by the end of the decade and the effort proceeded forward like a stampede, until the goal was reached.

Now, as a nation, Big Oil would have us believe we need to back up into the 1950s. We are four decades beyond Neal Armstrong’s first footprint on the moon. Where is the same level of governmental push for innovation on energy, that we saw with space exploration back in the 1960s?

What we, the people, see from the outside looking in seems to be the stifling of energy innovation, from the rather large boot of Big Oil. The strategy seems from my viewpoint to be – slow down real energy innovation until they’ve sucked as many barrels of oil out of the ground as possible. Why? – Because oil still in the ground is lost profit, when some clean, great energy source rolls into the forefront.

So again I ask – Who should you trust and who should the American people trust? In whose hands should we place our future? Should Big Oil get its way or should the health and welfare of our environment and therefore the health and welfare of the American people take the highest level of concern?

The answers are abundantly clear.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Former TransCanada employee has harsh words for company’s practices

No Gravatar

A former TransCanada Corp. employee testified last week about the company before a Canadian Senate committee and used phrases such as a “culture of noncompliance” and “coercion” and “deeply entrenched business practices that ignored legally required regulations and codes” and “significant public safety risks” – according to an articled posted Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

And of course, all of this related to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada, through the US and on to the Gulf Coast. After the hearing, Evan Vokes told the Huffington Post – “It’s organized crime, in my opinion.”

Big Oil’s safety record across the board and over many, many years is poor at best – from the Exxon Valdez to the Gulf Oil Gusher to another recent pipeline spill to many other spills and disasters in the United States and worldwide.

Who could honestly say they’d want work done around their homes by companies with sort of track record? But because it’s Big Oil, some people and some politicians will give them a pass every time. Remember in the few years leading up to the Gulf Oil Gusher how many politicians praised Big Oil as having a great safety record. That turned out to be huge strike out.

I tend to not trust people who get it all wrong to this extent. We should all be concerned with what could happen with the Keystone XL Pipeline. And because it might not be running through your state, it doesn’t mean you should not be concerned.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles – two typical quotes from industry insiders

No Gravatar

One of the common themes from Big Oil and industries that exploit animals are the typical quotes spewed by the insiders when the time comes to defend cases where animals are harmed or die.

After the recent rupture of Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas the company put out a written statement concerning the impact of the estimated 84,000 gallons of crude spilled into the area.

One sentence from the statement read –

“The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.”

This obviously is wrong, as the oil cannot pick and choose the animals it swamps – and the quote relates to the live animals found. And of course, the statement is meant as propaganda, as if no one would care if snakes were the primary victims. And what? – Were non-venomous snakes somehow spared?

In the UK, horse racing defenders are taking a page out of the greyhound racing industry. Prior to a horse dying after a Grand National race, a jockey was quoted by the Cambridge News as saying the race horses receive better treatment than “many children.”

Animal Aid reports the horse was the 23rd to die during the Grand National since 2000. In the Fox Hunters’ Chase, several horses reported pulled up or fell, described as being “potentially injured.”

So are “many children” forced to race in events such as this. And would a civilized society allow an event go on where 23 kids died over this same time frame, with many more injured?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Aerial video of Exxon oil spill in Arkansas

No Gravatar

Once again, we have another environmental disaster. But Big Oil will mark it down as no big deal.

And at some point in the not too distant future, someone will appear on a cable news show to ask – “What spill? We never have spills.”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Pack of Putrid Punditry Award: Rep. Steve Stockman

No Gravatar

I haven’t handed out a Pack of Putrid Punditry Award in a long while. But this week, we have someone fully deserving of the (dis)honor. Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas Tweeted the following recently –

“The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.”

For him, apparently it’s not good people or the beauty of nature of even that he believes God created the Earth. None of that is the best thing for him. Apparently, the best thing about the Earth for him is the fact that Big Oil can make massive profits off drilling into it. And he must think that this is the best thing, even if the process horribly pollutes the Earth.

And he must think this even in the wake of the huge pipeline oil spill in Arkansas or even the BP Oil Gusher in the Gulf.

It just doesn’t matter, as long as Big Oil and GREED win the day. This is Putrid Punditry on a whole new level. I think Mr. Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life” would applaud Stockman with a big greedy smile on his face.

Yahoo News notes a lot of people are responding on Twitter.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Once again, Big Oil shows it just doesn’t care

No Gravatar

The AP reports the delay in Exxon’s response to the 2011 oil spill along the Yellowstone River in Montana made the disaster much worse.

Fish and other wildlife were killed along 70 miles of riverbank and the cleanup lasted for months. Approximately 63,000 gallons of crude poured into the river.

BP covered up the amount of oil gushing into the water during the Gulf Oil Gusher and now we’re finding out what was happening the immediate response to this spill. I’m waiting for the typical anti-environment and pro-greed crowd to try to claim we never have oil spills.

 

On the Environment: BP suspended and Amazon deforestation rate is down

No Gravatar

On the environmental front, there are two areas of good news this week:

The Environmental Protection Agency as announced BP has received a suspension from being issued new contracts with the US government. The Associated Press reports the EPA suspension has arrised due to BP’s “lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response.”

AND – the AP also reports the rate of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has dropped to the lowest level in the past 24 years. This is really great news, but we should not be pleased until we see the deforestation stop altogether and see that trend continue into into the future.

 

Property rights teaming with the right to a healthy environment – vs. the Keystone XL Pipeline

No Gravatar

In the vary state synonymous with oil, property owners are fighting back against TransCanada and its Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Associated Press is reporting nearly half of the steel used in the construction of the pipeline is not American-made, the company is not promising to hire local employees and there is no guarantee being offered that that oil being transported to the Gulf will stay in the US. And TransCanada has engaged in land-grabbing in Texas. John Wayne wouldn’t like this and most Texans won’t like this news and most Americans across the map shouldn’t like it.

And certainly everyone with at least an ounce of concern or more for wildlife and the environment don’t want to risk this sort of toxic oil flowing down the length of our country. Texas isn’t and shouldn’t be the only state where this concern is rising to the surface.

So why is it happening at all? – Because GREED is so often backed by some powerful folks. And the local landowners and concerned citizens – who care about the environment, wildlife and property rights – are supposed to shut up and stand aside and bow down to Big Oil.

Even a majority of the US Supreme Court is telling us that our voices – because we don’t hold the power – should carry less weight than the voice of Corporate America. If you’ve got the millions to flood national TV ad time, you can do that too? – Right? … Like the propaganda-filled advertizing we see every half-hour from the likes of BP and Exxon.

These companies certainly have the right to buy ad time. But they don’t have the right to have more power over the political process or over the governmental process than each one of us. In fact, people should have more power than corporations. But what we’re seeing with the Keystone Pipeline and what we saw in the days leading up to and following the BP Gulf Oil Gusher, is part of the process.

Certainly, there are many cases where our best interests take the same path of the best interests of corporations. But WE should come first, especially when corporations are stepping over the line to stomp on our rights to a clean environment and healthy wildlife populations.

We have this from the AP story – “” A 78-year-old great-grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, whose late husband worked in the oil industry, spent a night in jail after trespassing – along with actress Daryl Hannah of “Splash” fame – on land condemned on her 425-acre farm. “” – So they stole her land and then charged her with trespassing? How can this be?

This should be an illegal warping of the process of eminent domain. But this is another case where members of the US Supreme court have burned a section of the US Constitution.

Sadly, the propaganda has too many people and putting blinders on. That constant parade of look-how-great-we-are oil company ads is giving too many viewers a warm-fuzzy for Big Oil. BP is the hero of the Gulf region and Exxon really, really cares. In the cases of people who fall for this propaganda, I hope no one shows up at their homes promising to resurface their driveways if they give them $10,000 in cash upfront.

The risk of spills from the tar sands oil is great. Ask the people who live around the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The cleanup is still ongoing.