Friday, June 29, 2018

Coal has cost West Virginia $ billions: deteriorating roads, pension, health care, surface mining, liabilities. “We could be spending lots of money putting people to work cleaning up the mess that has been made by the coal industry.”

We’ve had a lot of economic growth but haven’t had real development because of the nature of resource extraction,” Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, told me. Most profits from extraction are funneled outside the state or to already wealthy executives within it. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, recently visited West Virginia while compiling a report on the U.S. and noted state residents’ startling lack of access to broadband and drinkable water.

“West Virginia has billions of dollars in legacy costs from coal mining: deteriorating roads, pension liabilities, health care liabilities, and liabilities due to surface mining,” Boettner said in an interview. “We could be spending lots of money putting people to work cleaning up the mess that has been made by the coal industry.”

Far better for West Virginia than temporarily propping up coal plants, Boettner said, would be more robust federal investment. He pointed to the RECLAIM Act — a bill introduced last year that would release $1 billion to help reclaim abandoned mine lands, fuel investment in Appalachia, and diversify the economy away from extraction — as an example of a measure that would help the state. Both of West Virginia’s senators have supported the RECLAIM Act, though Boettner said it hasn’t been a major priority for either of them. (The legislation has languished in the House after its passage through the House Natural Resources Committee, and a Senate version sits in a similar limbo.)

West Virginia’s traditionally low fuel prices have skyrocketed in recent years because of the state’s over-reliance on coal-fired power generation amid the rise of natural gas, Boettner explained. Remedying fuel costs and the other economic issues facing West Virginia demands changes much more far-reaching than subsidies to coal plants. “Instead of more corporate welfare for the coal industry, our state’s congressional delegation in Washington should be looking for ways to give West Virginians more energy sources,” he said. “I think we’re sort of whistling past the graveyard of the clean energy revolution.”

The Trump Administration Is Reshaping the Country Under the Guise of National Security. The Energy Sector Is Next.

"The Trump administration is unilaterally reshaping the United States under the cover of national security. The White House’s justification for its “zero tolerance” policy of separating families at the border was based on the president’s powers over national security.

President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban was justified on grounds of national security, as are his vague “extreme vetting” proposals for visa applicants. Now, his Energy Department is looking to reshape the energy industry and reverse the trend away from coal-fired power plants. Their justification?

National security.

Yet in the case of the energy industry, nobody is buying the rationale, and the radical intervention into energy markets has produced an odd-bedfellows coalition of opposition that includes the oil and gas industry, renewable energy companies, and environmentalists.  

On the other side, in support of the White House, stands the coal and nuclear industry, headed up by Murray Energy and First Energy, who’ve long lobbied for just such a lifeline.

Speaking at the World Gas Conference this week in Washington, Energy Secretary Rick Perry assured the government and industry representatives present that the U.S. is working to “honor the right of every nation to use every available fuel at its disposal. I wish I can tell you the entire developed world is on board with our vision. They are not.”
Neither is much of the oil and gas industry that was gathered before him. 

Thanks to his plan to bail out struggling power plants — a measure opposed by the likes of the American Petroleum Institute — Perry now finds himself caught in the crosshairs between two dueling arms of the fossil fuel industry."


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mother Nature/Mother Bear? Mountain Men Top Hats, coal & oil "The Revenant" and human extinction‬‬

My nephew Joe Pitcherella at Yellowstone Park

 My brother and nephew live just outside of Jim Bridger National Forest. It has mountains like the mountains in "The Revenant".  But not the snow that it had up until about 1975.

"The Revenant" began filming in Canada. But the snow didn't come. The snow and mountains you see in "The Revenant" are at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. 

I'm too old to write for myself. I write for my children, grandchildren, my family, neighbors, town, all people. Either we bring massive economic and social changes or we have no future.

The trials of the real life Hugh Glass are disputed. Some say there were no mountains, it was summer not winter and he just wanted his rifle back.  Everyone agrees the bear part happened and he dragged himself across the wilderness to civilization.

The effort, profits, murder of indigenous people and destruction of habitat was for 19th Century men's fashion. Beaver fur was in demand to make hats. 

Hats that make men appear higher.  Above the men that can't afford the luxury of a top hat.

Beaver fur made John Jacob Astor (July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) the first multi-millionaire in the United States. 

We continue to exploit and ravage the earth and indigenous people for oil, gas and coal.

The BEAR is fighting back. We survived the BEAR'S hurricanes, droughts and fires. But the BEAR is just getting started.

Driven by greed, we begin the most perilous & violent times of man on earth. "The Revenant"

You can't eat money" - Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

US Southern Command war on Russian armed Venezuela good for Trump/Exxon Mobil, Koch & Gazprom/Putin. Oil skyrockets.

A war with Venezuela would jack up the price of oil for Exxon Mobil, Gazprom & Koch brothers. 

The corporate news would fawn over Trump's leadership and defense contractors could have their "shock and awe".  

All pipeline construction will be accelerated.

Get ready. 


"There is no U.S. economic blocked on Venezuela. Yet the economy of a rich nation is in shambles, because the Maduro government has given away your oil and much of your sovereignty to Cuba," said Rubio, who is fluent in Spanish.  

'For Nicolás Maduro, who I am sure is watching, the current path you are on will not end well for you.' 

The address, taped in Washington, aired on Globovisión, which is expected to continue playing the speech Tuesday. 

Hours after the speech's initial airing, Venezuelan state security agents took two political prisoners who were under house arrest into custody 

On Sunday, Maduro's government carried out a violent-marred election widely seen as fraudulent for a new all-powerful constituent assembly... 

Rubio noted in a Tuesday statement that Vice President Mike Pence had spoken to one of the prisoners, high-profile opposition leader Leopoldo López, by phone Friday. The other prisoner is former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma. 

'There should be no doubt that his arrest is a direct challenge to President Trump," Rubio said."  


Updated 10:17 PM ET, Mon July 31, 2017


General John F. Kelly United States Marine Corps Commander, U.S. Southern Command:

"For years, Kelly has been asking Congress for more money for SOUTHCOM. 
In July of 2014, he told Defense One that “near collapse of societies in the hemisphere with the associated drug and [undocumented immigrant] flow” were existential threats. “If the average American doing a little blow on the weekends thinking there is no harm in it knew the harm is it results in countries being destroyed,” he said, things may change. As it is, “We don’t get very many assets.” 
A number of countries in the region are seeking intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance resources elsewhere, turning to Israel, Russia and China for drones. 

The Middle East’s wars still touched his region, but Kelly said claims that terrorist groups such as ISIS are taking advantage of the instability to infiltrate either the U.S. or its backyard are divorced from reality. Officials have observed a slight increase in recruits travelling to Syria — from roughly 100 last year to 150 or so, Kelly estimated — but he downplayed the danger. His concern now, he said, was ISIS’s encouragement for recruits to stay home — so-called “lone wolf” attacks. 

'It seems like the Islamic extremists and terrorists have shifted a lot of their message, and that is, ‘Hey, rather than come to Syria, why don’t you stay at home and do San Bernardino, or do Boston, or do Fort Hood,’” he said. 'Even just a few of these nuts can cause an awful lot of trouble in the Caribbean.”


Here’s What America’s Longest-Serving General Most Fears


"Venezuela’s political chaos, violence and a full-blown economic depression risks taking down one of Russia’s most important allies in the Western Hemisphere. 

Years of high oil prices and a pro-Kremlin government brought billions of dollars worth of Russian investment and military sales into the country — which now gives Venezuela one of the most capable air forces in Latin America. 

While China has hedged its bets and reached out to Venezuela’s opposition, Russia remains closely tied to the government, such as via the oil industry. Were the crisis to deteriorate further, Russia could not intervene to the same extent as it did in Syria due in large part because of distance. 

Nevertheless, the possibility of a total Venezuelan collapse is gaining attention in the Russian military press. One noteworthy recent article by Konstantin Strigunov in the July 2017 of Voenno-promyshlennyi kur’er, or Military-Industrial Courier, an influential Russian journal covering military affairs, sketches out options in a hypothetical Venezuelan civil war."
The National Interest

July 30, 2017


The Russian military armed Venezuela when oil prices were high. 

Oil prices have collapsed making tough times for Russia Gazprom, Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries. 

A war that would skyrocket oil prices makes sense for both Trump and Putin. 

And General John F. Kelly United States Marine Corps former Commander of the Southern Command is now Chief of Staff of the Trump Administration.