Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘Oil’

Williston, North Dakota: America’s GOP-Dominated Rape Capital?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 2, 2013

Move over, Alaska — you’ve got competition in the “Worst Place for a Woman in America” department:

For North Dakota women, the booming state is becoming a dystopian nightmare rather than a job seeker’s utopian paradise. Rapes and assaults have multiplied in frequency at an alarming rate and Williston has begun to resemble more a 19th century Wild West town than a modern twenty-first century city. With a rate of over one hundred rapes per 100,000 residents, Williston now has a rape rate that is nearly four times the national average. A woman in Williston, North Dakota is four times more likely to report being forcibly raped than a woman living in Los Angeles and over seven times more likely than a woman residing in New York City. Williston’s per capita rape rate is higher than that of any of the 214 US cities with a population of over 100,000 residents, including Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans, cities usually regarded as among the nation’s most dangerous places.

At a time when Williston North Dakota is fighting for the dubious title of “rape capital” of North America, the state’s Republican dominated legislature and Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple have teamed up to pass the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country, which would ban abortions even in the case of rape or incest after just six weeks of pregnancy (a standard that is set so early that many women are not yet aware they are pregnant). Both the state house and state senate have also passed a resolution calling for a fetal personhood amendment that if approved by voters, would ban all abortions and possibly even most forms of contraception in the state altogether in 2014. Again, no exceptions are allowed for cases involving rape, incest or if the life of the woman is endangered by carrying the pregnancy to term. In a state where rape is on the rise, lawmakers have essentially decided that rape victims must be compelled to carry their pregnancy to term and to give birth to the rapist’s baby.

I think I’ll pass, thanks.

Posted in abortion | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Attacking Penny-Ante Cleantech Waste While Ignoring Dirty Energy’s $10-Billion-Plus Gravy Train

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 14, 2013

This article bashes a battery company that got stimulus money:

A company that received $150 million in government stimulus funds to build a facility to manufacture battery cells for electric cars has yet to begin mass-market production and misused some of the funds in questionable labor costs, according to the Energy Department’s Inspector General.

In a report released Wednesday, the IG found that LG Chem Michigan Inc. (formerly Compact Power Inc.) had yet to produce a single battery cell and was likely to miss the grant’s May 2013 deadline for completion. What’s more, the project created fewer than half of the projected 440 new jobs anticipated by proponents.

Compare this to the subsidies and protections the dirty-energy companies get every year:

In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually, while even efforts to remove small portions of those subsidies have been defeated in Congress, as shown in the graphic below.

But when the dirty-energy crowd exerts such influence over our media and our political processes, it’s not surprising to see the obsession with motes in cleantech companies’ eyes while the I-beams sticking out of Big Oil’s and Big Coal’s and Big Gas’ eyes get ignored.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Attacking Penny-Ante Cleantech Waste While Ignoring Dirty Energy’s $10-Billion-Plus Gravy Train

FrackQuake-Wracked Oklahoma In Keystone XL’s Path

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 6, 2011

Life’s little ironies:

The Keystone XL pipeline, the one that TransCanada really, really wants and climate experts like NASA’s James Hansen really, really fear would trigger runaway, irreversible warming and a “game over” scenario for humanity, runs through the part of Oklahoma most heavily visited by earthquakes of late.

And (drum roll, please) the USGS has linked these quakes to the use of a mining and oil and natural gas extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”. (In fact, Cuadrilla Resources, the company doing shale fracking in Blackpool, England, has admitted that its fracking caused the earthquakes that rocked that part of England.)

Oh, and did I mention that the pipeline sits right on top of the Ogallala Aquifer, which sits under the soil in places like Oklahoma and Nebraska?

Of course, there will those oil-company execs that will claim that we really don’t what’s causing the fracking. But that makes it even worse: If fracking’s to blame, we stop the the fracking and thus the quakes. But if fracking’s not to blame, and we don’t know what really is to blame, then how can we risk a pipeline running over the water supply of the nation’s farmers when there are earthquakes we can’t predict, much less prevent, in the area?

If Big Energy actually consistently admits that fracking’s triggering the quakes, it’s going to set up one hell of a Hobson’s Choice for them: stop fracking, or stop the pipeline. Take yer pick.
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Added by Charles as a technical visualization aid for our Transcanada spokesman:

NYT photo of ruptured pipeline

(Image from NYT of Silvertip pipeline rupture in the Yellowstone River). Recent news:

Exxon crews spent three months cleaning thousands of acres of land along the river. The rupture happened while the Yellowstone was in flood stage and deposited globs of oil in fields hundreds of feet from the riverbank and left a bathtub ring of oily grime around buildings caught in the flooding.

Posted in koch brothers, Occam's Razor, Oil | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Why Do Our Legi$lator$ Favor Dirty Energy? Ca$h. Lot$.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 11, 2011

Earlier this week, I briefly touched on how in hock our elected representatives are to Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Gas — a fact that is keeping America from fully implementing a clean-energy future.

Over at Renewable Energy World, Tor Valenza has some data on just how much dough the dirty-energy crowd tosses at politicians: “How can you tell? Easy. Go to www.dirtyenergymoney.com and find out how much $$$ your own representative or senators are $upported by oil and coal companies.”

To no one’s surprise, prominent Republicans like Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell turn out to have got a lot of money from the dirty-energy lobby, and are quite friendly to dirty energy as well as quite hostile to clean energy. But what is a pleasant surprise, is that Henry Waxman, a Democratic congressman from California, gets nearly as much as Boehner et al do, yet manages to be a very good friend to solar energy. As the late great Texas Democratic House Speaker Sam Rayburn once told a freshman congressman who wanted to be excused from vote because he wanted to please his biggest contributors: “Son, if you can’t take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against ’em, you don’t deserve to be here.”

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in solar, wind power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Do Our Legi$lator$ Favor Dirty Energy? Ca$h. Lot$.

China Rushing to Adopt Green Power, Manufacturing, and Living

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 8, 2011

If a non-trivial number of Capitol Hill legislators of both parties didn’t owe their jobs to Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear, China wouldn’t be trouncing the US in green growth:

China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.

“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.

Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.

The PRC is the largest cleantech producer in terms of money, with green technologies making up more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its annual gross domestic product. The US? We’re 17th.

It’s not just that the Chinese want a monopoly on worldwide cleantech, though that would be a nice side benefit for them. They want to flat-out survive. Human-caused global warming is a direct and growing threat to China, and the Chinese elites know it.

Seeing empty deserts where glaciers once stood not so long ago — glaciers that feed the great rivers of both China and India — was a real eye-opener for the Chinese central government. The worldwide economic downturn has been a blessing in disguise as not only has it slowed down the rate at which factories and power plants contribute to global climate change (thus buying the world an extra 18 months in which to get its act together), it allowed the central government to force the shutdown and retooling of older, polluting establishments so that they would run greener and cleaner upon reopening.

Of course, this also means that China is no longer as “business-friendly” as it once was, so various industries (such as HTI, or Hutchinson Technology) are looking towards Thailand, Indonesia and even India (Foxconn, which makes Apple’s iPads and iPods and iPhones, is going to India from China later this year) in a desperate bid to avoid having to honor environmental and labor regulations. But Thailand is an unstable mess and India and Indonesia are themselves cracking down on polluters and exploiters.

The free ride for the polluting and exploiting CEOs is over. Increasingly, they are being forced to choose between cleaning up their act or attempting to set up shop in places that are either politically unstable or have no infrastructure capable of supporting a multinational business.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in China, infrastructure, international, solar, wind power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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