Saturday, August 14, 2010

DEP: Natural Gas Emergency Responders Locating In PA To Improve Response Times

 “CUDD Well Control’s presence in our state will ensure fast and expert response to emergency situations at well sites,” said DEP Secretary John Hanger. “Recent accidents in our state have shown that the natural gas industry lacks the training and equipment to respond quickly to accidents. This creates a tremendous danger to the public and the environment.
            “When an accident occurs, we cannot wait 10 or more hours for a crew to fly in from halfway across the country. Pennsylvanians must be confident that highly trained emergency services are available nearby to respond to a gas well emergency as quickly possible.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

Walsh, president and CEO of Bozeman-based Simms Fishing Products, traveled to Washington, D.C., to watch the president sign the U.S. Manufacturers Enhancement Act.

"In short," she wrote, the new law "supports quality Montana workers, making quality Montana products. Just ask President Obama -- he wore Simms fishing gear last summer while fly fishing on the East Gallatin River and stayed warm and dry the entire time."

From, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, MT

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pipelines and tax dollars

I have watched Texas and Eastern tear up the countryside in Montgomery County a few years ago. I was to widen a transcontinental gas line from 30 inches to 60 inches. It’s not pretty. Although it’s a rare occasion we also need to keep in mind that high pressure gas lines, mostly old high pressure gas lines do sometimes explode. When they do go up it looks something like a B-52 bombing run.  Just look for those little warning signs along road ways that indicate gas lines. Or maybe there is a dotted line on your subdivision plan indicating an easement for a pipeline. The 16 inch line in the Daily Local News article Another gas company plans pipe expansionis tiny for a high pressure gas line.

The cozy relationship of BP and Federal Regulators was revealed when journalists reported on BP’s Gulf disaster.  Keep in mind that the person who set up regulation in the Minerals Management Service was President Regan’s Secretary of the Interior James Watt. See Tracking down Minerals Management Service's dysfunctional history of drilling oversight” Denver Post. James G. Watt Speaking before Congress, once said "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations."  Watt is quoted in another Denver Post article "Watt applauds Bush energy strategy" as saying;  "Everything Cheney's saying, everything the president's saying -they're saying exactly what we were saying 20 years ago, precisely, …Twenty years later, it sounds like they've just dusted off the old work." Also in the Denver Post article Tracking down Minerals Management Service's dysfunctional history of drilling oversightis a quote "If you went into one of their offices, you'd probably find them watching 'Leave It to Beaver' and rubber-stamping permits.".

State and local governments might have good regulations but may have a difficult time enforcing their mining and drilling regulations, mostly because they are underfunded. What I mean is, the mining and drilling operations don’t even bother paying off inspectors because they know there are not enough inspectors to make a difference in their operations and they can ignore the laws.  Extraction industries ignoring our local environmental laws is something that I believe from my personal experience is routine in Pennsylvania. They assume, mostly correctly, that nobody is watching them.  And there is also the Richard Legree axiom “If no one knows it’s a law, the law ain’t broken”. 

The mining, drilling and pipeline construction will permanently mar the landscape and negatively affect endangered species. Drilling for gas in PA using fracking endangers our drinking water supply in two ways. The first is immediate infusion of poisons into well water and local headwater streams. The other is more pervasive and long lasting. The drilling platforms, pipelines and roadways are constructed in forests that are in the headwaters of the Delaware River that supply water for many downstream municipalities including Philadelphia.  Think of each of thousands of drilling platform as a new housing subdivision within our forests and you will have an almost accurate picture of the drilling operations.  The drilling operations are and will degrade the forested headwaters of the Delaware River and affect our drinking water.

Exxon got a tax refund last year.

I think the bigger question is, why do we keep throwing our tax dollars away on the dying energy extraction industries and instead invest tax dollars in new non-carbon based industries?  OK, I guess I know the answer. The Republican Party and Conservative Democrats are wholly owned subsidiaries of the energy extraction industries.

To separate conservative politicians from liberal or centrist politicians in the United States you need only to look in their wallets.  Conservative politicians will have money from extraction industries and or health insurance companies in their very heavy wallets. 

Conservatives count on low voter turnout combined with Fox News to win. We can challenge it by voting but the overwhelming majority of us don’t bother to vote.         

A 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline, Line 20, owned and operated by Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation (TETCO), failed catastrophically on March 23, 1994

Before and After in Delaware River Headwaters

Drilling in Dick Cheney Wyoming- the same type rigs are used here