Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Would Republicans String Up The Koch Brothers If Oklahoma Disappears Into A Giant Sink Hole?


In the video above, the relationship between swarms of Oklahoma earthquakes and fracking, seems obvious. Koch brothers-protected fracking is starting to devastate a wide swathe of the middle of the country-- and Republicans are willfully oblivious to the dangers their ideological policy agenda is causing in red states like Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas.
Whether those stresses are natural or triggered by human activity is currently being studied.

“You can't not ever connect an individual earthquake to an act of drilling or waste water injection. However, I think it's counter intuitive to think there's not some relation,” said Lewchuk.

Monday, the governor of Kansas named a task force to study if oil and gas activities can cause earthquakes, calling it "a matter of public safety." Some of the quakes picked up by seismographs in Oklahoma are centered near the Kansas border. The Kansas task force will present its findings to the governor in April.

Texas is also now investigating its quakes. In the past few months, dozens of quakes have rattled cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth and north to the Red River. Texas' Railroad Commission is working with the USGS to find the cause.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is being taken to court for allegedly causing earthquakes. Twenty-eight homeowners from Arkansas claim the company's injection wells caused thousands of earthquakes. As a result, they claim their homes have been significantly damaged.
I'd like to introduce Tom Steyer to Tom Guild. But I only know the latter Tom. This morning that latter Tom-- Time Guild, a candidate for congress in a district that has been wracked with earthquakes this week-- told me that "There is growing concern in Central Oklahoma over the increasing frequency and strength of earthquakes. This is historically unusual for this part of the country, and seems to parallel increased horizontal drilling in the state. We need to get to the bottom of the cause(s) for this disconcerting phenomenon and do whatever is reasonable and necessary to protect the people of Oklahoma. If this is scientifically confirmed to be manmade in whole or in part, we need to put in place any reasonable and necessary regulations to ensure the safety and well being of our people."

As the NY Times explained this morning, the former Tom, is "a billionaire retired investor is forging plans to spend as much as $100 million during the 2014 election, seeking to pressure federal and state officials to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads against governors and lawmakers." So far, a great deal of his political war chest-- $11 million-- has been spent to elect astounding corrupt corporate whore Terry McAuliffe governor of Virginia. Let's hope he'll let Tom Steyer call the shots on issues of climate change. According to reporter Nick Confessore, Steyer "is rallying other deep-pocketed donors, seeking to build a war chest that would make his political organization, NextGen Climate Action, among the largest outside groups in the country, similar in scale to the conservative political network overseen by Charles and David Koch." He put up $50 million of his own money and asked other super-rich folks concerned with the destruction of the earth by the bad rich people to pony up a matching $50 million. In the battle between well-meaning and evil billionaires… well I'd rather see Citizens United struck down and public financing of elections enacted.

“A small number of the richest individuals in America are attempting to use their enormous wealth to purchase government decisions to advance their own personal interests,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a group that favors tighter limits on money in politics. “This is about as far away as we can get from ‘representative government.’ ” Mr. Steyer poured tens of millions of dollars into a successful 2012 ballot initiative in California that eliminated a loophole in the state’s corporate income tax and dedicated some of the resulting revenue to clean-energy projects. He also has helped finance opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, appearing in a series of self-funded 90-second ads seeking to stop the project.
Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.

…This month, NextGen asked supporters to pick one congressional candidate, from five running this year, for the group to target in its next ads. Four of the five candidates were Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. But the fifth was a vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who has close ties to the oil and gas industries and has been an outspoken supporter of the Keystone pipeline.

It is unclear how aggressively his group will move against other Senate Democrats: Asked whether Democratic control of the Senate was necessary to advance his climate agenda, Mr. Steyer said, “As long as we have this partisan divide on energy and climate, it’s got to be important.”

But he is also seeking to upend the partisan split that has come to infuse the climate debate. In their advertising and research, Mr. Steyer and his aides have sought to craft appeals that would reach beyond affluent white liberals on the coasts. Ads in California were tailored to Hispanic voters by emphasizing the negative health impacts of power plant emissions. In the Virginia governor’s race, NextGen sought to show that a Democrat could win with a message emphasizing “green” job creation over one emphasizing threats to the state’s coal industry.

David Topper, a New York private equity investor who attended the meeting at Mr. Steyer’s ranch, said: “You need to be agnostic as to party. If I find someone who has the right position on climate change, do I care if he owns six guns? Not at all.”

Unlike some on the left, Mr. Steyer has embraced the political toolbox that was opened to wealthy donors and other interests in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which made it easier for businesses, unions and rich individuals to pour unlimited money into elections.
Meanwhile, the "imperial presidency" the Republicans never stop whining about lately, is taking some baby steps-- even as they prepare to green-light the Keystone XL Pipeline and destroy President Obama's legacy the way the War in Vietnam destroyed Lyndon Johnson's. This is the Good News Bears/finger in the dike story the White House sent out this morning:
In his State of the Union address, the President outlined a comprehensive agenda to make America a magnet for middle class jobs and business investment. The President highlighted the autoworker, who, implementing the Administration’s historic fuel economy standards, “fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.” And the President pledged, “in the coming months” to “build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.” The President also called on Congress to do its part “by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.” Today, the President laid out additional details for his plan to improve the fuel efficiency of American trucks-- bolstering energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring manufacturing innovation.

  •         Directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to Set the Next Round of Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. Today, the President is directing the EPA and the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop and issue the next phase of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards by March 2016. Under this timeline, the agencies are expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by March 2015. This second round of fuel efficiency standards will build on the first-ever standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (model years 2014 through 2018), which were proposed and finalized by this Administration and will save vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs and save a projected 530 million barrels of oil.

  •         Partnering with Private-Sector Leaders to Deploy Advanced Vehicles. In addition, the President highlighted the success of the National Clean Fleets Partnership that he launched to speed the deployment of clean, energy-efficient vehicles and the infrastructure to support their use. This public- private partnership helps the nation’s largest fleet operators reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating alternative fuels, electric vehicles and fuel-saving measures. To date, 23 major national companies, such as ARAMARK, Coca-Cola, Staples, UPS, AT&T, Enterprise Holdings, and Waste Management have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership. Collectively, the National Clean Fleets Partners operate more than one million commercial vehicles nationwide. The President has directed his Department of Energy to provide each company that wants to partner with specialized resources, technical expertise and support in developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.

  •         Expanding Fuel Choices for American Drivers. In addition to taking executive action to make America more energy independent and cut carbon pollution, the President is also renewing his call for Congress to end subsidies to oil and gas companies and create an Energy Security Trust Fund to fund research and development for advanced vehicle technologies. And he is proposing to support investment in advanced vehicles and infrastructure through a new tax credit and an extension of tax credits to support cellulosic biofuels.
Let's hope Landrieu is at least a warning to Democrats that people take this crap seriously. But just in case Steyer's $100 million goes to a bunch of corporatist whores like McAuliffe, which is what I expect-- and not into any actual progressives like Tom Guild-- you can contribute $5 or $10 to his grassroots effort here. What Steyer is doing in amazing and noble. If we expect billionaires to save us, we might as well discard our democracy altogether. And, by the way, at a debate in Bucks County Monday night, the independent Democrat, Shaughnessy Naughton, went after the garden variety ex-CIA agent the DCCC recruited, Kevin Strouse, on the fracking issue.
"The 8th district needs a leader who understands the value of the Delaware," Naughton added. "Mike Fitzpatrick has a 25% rating from the League of Conservation Voters and Kevin Strouse wants to let the frackers decide if they should frack. I am the only candidate in this race who has been willing to stand up and say, 'Not on my watch.'"

In August of last year, Strouse was quoted in a local newspaper as supporting natural gas drilling. [Midweek Wire 8/28/13] At the debate, Strouse changed his position and said that while he supports the current moratorium on fracking, which is set to expire in 2018, he is willing to “let the experts decide” on whether or not fracking would have environmental consequences.

Strouse’s campaign has received at least $10,400 from Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests heavily in fracking projects across the country.

"The 8th District deserves a strong, progressive voice that won't be influenced by whichever special interest group can write the biggest check," said Josh Morrow, Naughton's campaign manager. "The Delaware River is one of the region's most important resources, and Shaughnessy is the only candidate in this race who will fight to keep it clean."

"The Delaware River is one of Bucks County’s-- and Pennsylvania’s-- most valuable resources and provides drinking water to more than 15 million people," Naughton said. "The general public still doesn't know what chemicals are used in fracking, and I’m not willing to take that gamble with the purity of our drinking water."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - that Maddow clip is devastating. Reality is a real problem for the GOP.


Post a Comment

<< Home