Tag Archive: Tar Sands


 

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ThinkProgress

Sep 30, 2015 10:01am

CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Anti-pipeline activist Allen Schreiber of Lincoln wears a shirt inscribed with slogans opposing the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally outside the State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb.

 

TransCanada, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, has backed out of a lawsuit filed by more than 100 Nebraska landowners, the company announced Tuesday.

The energy company had been trying to gain access to private land along the proposed path of the tar sands pipeline, but had been held up legally by landowners who were opposed to letting the pipeline through their land. Now, instead of trying to gain access to that land through legal means, TransCanada will apply for a permit for Keystone XL with Nebraska’s Public Service Commission.

TransCanada says the decision will bring more certainty to Keystone XL’s route through Nebraska. But it also could cause further delays for the project, as a PSC approval can take a year or longer.

Previously, TransCanada sought to avoid the PSC approval process, choosing instead to give the state’s governor final approval over the project’s application in Nebraska. The law that gave the company the ability to choose was heavily challenged in court, but ultimately upheld.

 

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Senators Seek To Force Approval Of Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted: 05/01/2014 4:10 pm EDT Updated: 05/01/2014 4:59 pm EDT

 

HEIDI HEITKAMP

WASHINGTON –- Senate supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline say they think they have enough votes to pass a bill that would force the approval of the controversial project. A group of 56 senators — all 45 Republicans plus 11 Democrats –- introduced legislation on Thursday that would bypass the Obama administration and grant approval for the pipeline.

Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) introduced the bill on Thursday. Democrats Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Walsh (D-Mont.), and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are cosponsoring it.

Because it crosses an international border, the decision on the pipeline falls under the authority of the State Department. The State Department announced another delay on a decision last month in response to a court decision that invalidated the pipeline’s proposed route through Nebraska, saying that it would wait to decide until there is more clarity on where the pipeline will ultimately run. The legislation would grant approval to “any subsequent revision to the pipeline route” in Nebraska, without requiring further environmental analysis.

“We continue to hear delay, delay, delay from the Administration about the Keystone XL pipeline. I’m beyond sick of it,” Heitkamp said in a statement Thursday. “We have strong bipartisan support in the Senate for this project –- and I’m proud to have recruited support from 10 other Democrats last month. Now, all of those Democrats also signed onto this bill that we crafted to fully approve the construction of the Keystone pipeline. If the Administration isn’t going to make a decision on this project after more than five years, then we’ll make it for them. End of story.”

 

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ENERGY TECH

Alberta investing in CCS for oil sands


by Daniel J. Graeber
Edmonton, Alberta (UPI) Apr 18, 2013


Canada gives OK to West Coast LNG terminal
Calgary, Alberta (UPI) Apr 17, 2013 – The approval of an export license for Triton LNG Ltd. from a port in British Columbia gives Canadian energy companies access to new markets, a regulator said.
Canada’s National Energy Board gave approval for a 25-year application to send about 320 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas per day from a port to be located either at Kitimat or Prince Rupert, British Columbia.NEB said the approval is in response to the glut of natural gas in North America.

“One of the major impacts of this increase is lower demand for Canadian gas in traditional gas markets in the United States and eastern Canada,” it said in a statement Wednesday. “As a result, the Canadian gas industry is seeking to access overseas gas markets.”

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sought to add a layer of diversity to an energy export economy that depends on the United States. Asian markets are among the world’s largest consumers of LNG and Harper recently signed a free-trade deal with South Korea.

NEB said the terminal for LNG hasn’t been constructed yet and needs further regulatory approval before it can begin.

 

The provincial government in Alberta, Canada, said it set aside more than $1 billion for carbon storage and storage facilities for oil sands projects.

Provincial Energy Minister Diana McQueen said two projects tied to the oil sands sector would be able to store more than 2.7 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

“With [these projects], we are showing the world we take the responsible development of our resources seriously and we’re becoming a world leader in CCS technology,” she said in a statement Thursday.

Alberta holds some of the largest oil deposits in the world at its Athabasca deposit, located in the east of the province.

The heavier grade of crude oil found there is seen as a threat to the environment because it’s carbon-intensive to produce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An open-pit mine in the oil sands, Fort McMurray, Alberta

Pictures: Satellite Views of Canada’s Oil Sands Over Time

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Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

By Emily Atkin December 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm Updated: December 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Scientists Find 7,300-Mile Mercury Contamination ‘Bullseye’ Around Canadian Tar Sands

Just one week after Al Jazeera discovered that regulatory responsibility for Alberta, Canada’s controversial tar sands would be handed over to a fossil-fuel funded corporation, federal scientists have found that the area’s viscous petroleum deposits are surrounded by a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of mercury.

Canadian government scientists have found that levels of mercury — a potent neurotoxin which has been found to cause severe birth defects and brain damage — around the region’s vast tar sand operations are up to 16 times higher than regular levels for the region. The findings, presented by Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk at an international toxicology conference, showed that the 7,500 miles contaminated are “currently impacted by airborne Hg (mercury) emissions originating from oilsands developments.”

The Canadian government touts Alberta’s oil sands as the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world, next to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The region’s heavy crude oil is mixed with clay, bitumen, and a good deal of sand — hence the name “oil sands.” This makes for a unique and energy-intensive extraction process that some scientists say produces three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil. Environment Canada has said it expects production emissions from tar sands to hit 104 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020 under current expansion plans.

 

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“History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” laureates write.

– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Jimmy Carter with his grandson Hugo. Photo: Jeffrey Moore/The Elders

 

A group of 10 Nobel Peace Prize laureates including former President Jimmy Carter has sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry urging them to reject the “linchpin for tar sands expansion” — the Keystone XL.

The open letter, which appears in a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Politico, is the third sent by a group of Nobel Peace Laureates to Obama urging him to reject TransCanada’s tar sands carrying pipeline, and the first one to which Carter has added his name. Carter is now the first ex-president to voice opposition to the pipeline.

This additional letter shows “the growing urgency we feel for the hundreds of millions of people globally whose lives and livelihoods are being threatened and lost as a result of the changing climate and environmental damage caused by our dangerous addiction to oil,” the signatories, which also include landmine activist Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, write.

“You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change. As you deliberate the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to do the right thing for our shared climate,” the laureates write.

As for the argument some have made that if the pipeline is rejected the Alberta tar sands crude will just travel by rail, the laureates write that this is “a red herring” because “[i]ndustry experts agree that the Keystone XL project is the linchpin for tar sands expansion and the increased pollution that will follow, triggering more climate upheaval with impacts felt around the world.”

Photo: Steven Tuttle/cc/flickrSusan Casey-Lefkowitz, International Program Director at NRDC, one of the groups sponsoring the Politico ad, writes:

As leaders struggle with what the need to fight climate change means in terms of energy decisions at home, the voice of moral leaders such as these Nobel Peace laureates becomes more important than ever. And they are sending a clear message that political leadership is essential to stand up to entrenched fossil fuel interests and to take the kinds of decisions that will put us on the path of a cleaner energy future.

“History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice,” the laureates’ letter states.

The State Department recommendation on the project is expected soon. While the State Department’s review is required because the northern leg of the pipeline crosses an international border, the final decision sits with President Obama, who has indicated his decision could come in the next few months.

Next week, Carter will join two fellow members of The Elders, Pakistani pro-democracy activist Hina Jilani and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, in leading a discussion on climate leadership and activism Paris.

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Calgary Herald

Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger

Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter sits down for a conversation with Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library, on the first day of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library on April 8 in Austin, Texas. Carter is one of 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners who have issued a letter urging President Barrack Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would connect Alberta’s oilsands to refineries on Texas’s Gulf Coast.

Photograph by: Ralph Barrera-Pool/Getty Images/File , Postmedia News

WASHINGTON — Ten Nobel Peace Prize winners from as far afield as Yemen, South Africa and Argentina have signed a letter asking U.S. President Barack Obama to deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oilsands bitumen to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

The laureates, who include former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, argue that denial of a permit would send a strong signal to the world that the U.S. is rejecting a fossil fuels future.

“Let this reflect the growing urgency we feel for the hundreds of millions of people globally whose lives and livelihoods are being threatened and lost as a result of the changing climate and environmental damage caused by our dangerous addiction to oil,” the letter says.

Rejection of the pipeline would set “a powerful precedent” and “would signal a new course for the world’s largest economy,” the letter says.

“History will reflect on this moment and it will be clear to our children and grandchildren if you made the right choice.”

The letter underscores Obama’s dilemma: By allowing the assessment process to take so long, he has awakened both national and international interest in a project that normally would garner only passing concern.

 

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US Puts off Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline

 

The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely.

In a surprise announcement Friday as Washington was winding down for Easter, the State Department said federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the politically fraught decision — but declined to say how much longer. Officials said the decision will have to wait for the dust to settle in Nebraska, where a judge in February overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state.

Nebraska’s Supreme Court isn’t expected to hear an appeal to that ruling until September or October, and there could be more legal maneuvering after the high court rules. So President Barack Obama will almost surely have until after the November congressional elections to make the final call about whether the pipeline carrying oil from Canada should be built.

Approving the pipeline before the election would rankle Obama’s allies and donors in the environmental community, but nixing it could be politically damaging to vulnerable Democrats running this year in conservative-leaning areas.

“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a difficult re-election in oil-rich Louisiana. Landrieu said Obama was signaling that a small minority can tie up the process in the courts, sacrificing 42,000 jobs and billions in economic activity.

In an ironic show of bipartisanship, Republicans joined Landrieu and other Democrats like Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska in immediately condemning the announcement — the latest in a string of delays in a review process that has dragged on for more than five years.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Obama of kowtowing to “radical activists” from the environmental community, while House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the decision “shameful” and said there were no credible reasons for further delay.

“This job-creating project has cleared every environmental hurdle and overwhelmingly passed the test of public opinion, yet it’s been blocked for more than 2,000 days,” Boehner said in a statement.

But environmental groups fighting the pipeline hailed the delay, arguing that it shows the State Department is taking the arguments against the pipeline seriously.

“This is definitely great news,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president for the League of Conservation Voters. “We are very confident as they continue to examine the issues with the lack of legal route in Nebraska and the terrible climate impacts, at the end of the day the pipeline will be rejected.”

Keystone XL would carry oil from western Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. The project requires State Department approval because it crosses an international border. The State Department vowed to move forward with other aspects of its review even while the situation in Nebraska remains in limbo.

“The agency consultation process is not starting over,” the State Department said in a statement.

State Department officials said other U.S. agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, won’t be notified of their new deadline for comment until the legal situation in Nebraska becomes clearer. Driving the delay is a concern that the legal wrangling could lead to a change in the pipeline’s route that would affect agencies’ assessments, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.

 

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ABC News

US Extends Keystone Review as Pipeline Supporters Cry Foul

By Ali Weinberg

Apr 18, 2014 3:16pm

The State Department says it needs more time to make a decision about whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project, citing uncertainty about the route’s direction through Nebraska, which is currently under litigation there.

The department is delaying the deadline for eight federal agencies to submit their recommendations to on the pipeline, which President Obama had requested they do via an executive order. The original deadline was early May, but because Nebraska’s Supreme Court is hearing a case on the proposed Keystone route through that state, the agencies will have about two weeks after the case is closed to submit their recommendations.

The process ahead, including whether the State Department will have to redo its initial assessments on the project, now depends on the outcome of the Nebraska case – the conclusion of which a senior State Department official declined to speculate about Friday.

“I can’t render a judgment on when the final decision could take place. We want this to move as expeditiously as possible,” the official told reporters on a conference call.

The officials also noted that there had been an unprecedented 2.5 million public comments regarding the pipeline, which State Department staff and private contractors are still going through. Usually, the official said on the call, there are less than 100 public comments on pipeline projects.

 

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Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Although TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has received the lion’s share of media attention, another key border-crossing pipeline benefitting tar sands producers was approved on November 19 by the U.S. State Department.

Enter Cochin, Kinder Morgan’s 1,900-mile proposed pipeline to transport gas produced via the controversial hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of the Eagle Ford Shale basin in Texas north through Kankakee, Illinois, and eventually into Alberta, Canada, the home of the tar sands.

Like Keystone XL, the pipeline proposal requires U.S. State Department approval because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border. Unlike Keystone XL – which would carry diluted tar sands diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) south to the Gulf Coast – Kinder Morgan’s Cochin pipeline would carry the gas condensate (diluent) used to dilute the bitumen north to the tar sands.

“The decision allows Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC to proceed with a $260 million plan to reverse and expand an existing pipeline to carry an initial 95,000 barrels a day of condensate,” the Financial Post wrote.

“The extra-thick oil is typically cut with 30% condensate so it can move in pipelines. By 2035, producers could require 893,000 barrels a day of the ultra-light oil, with imports making up 786,000 barrels of the total.”

Increased demand for diluent among Alberta’s tar sands producers has created a growing market for U.S. producers of natural gas liquids, particularly for fracked gas producers.

“Total US natural gasoline exports reached a record volume of 179,000 barrels per day in February as Canada’s thirst for oil sand diluent ramped up,” explained a May 2013 article appearing in Platts. “US natural gasoline production is forecast to increase to roughly 450,000 b/d by 2020.”

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By Michael Conathan, Guest Blogger on November 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

A tanker offloads oil into the Portland-Montreal Pipeline alongside South Portland, Maine’s Bug Light Park.

A tanker offloads oil into the Portland-Montreal Pipeline alongside South Portland, Maine’s Bug Light Park.

CREDIT: Michael Conathan

SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE — On Tuesday, approximately 25,000 residents of South Portland will decide the future of what could soon become America’s next tar sands pipeline. Not Keystone XL; the Portland-Montreal Pipeline.

In 1941, as Germany choked off Canada’s fuel supply during the early stages of World War II, the U.S. opened a pipeline to allow imported crude to flow from Maine to Montreal. Today, that same pipeline has made Portland the second biggest oil port on the eastern seaboard. Tankers steam into Casco Bay almost daily, navigating among lobster buoys and kayakers, and dwarfing the fishing boats that once lined the waterfront of Maine’s largest city.

But as natural gas has begun to replace heating oil in the northeast, and as Canada has moved aggressively to tap the Alberta tar sands, demand for imported oil is declining. And the pipeline’s owners and operators smell a new source of business: reversing the pipeline’s flow to send tar sands to Maine for export.

In June, nearly 4,000 South Portland residents responded to the threat that their hometown could serve as the next spigot for some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet by signing a petition to get a measure known as the Waterfront Protection Ordinance included on this year’s ballot, which would amend the city code to prevent the construction of a tar sands export facility at the end of the pipeline.

Larry Wilson, the pipeline company’s CEO, has repeatedly insisted that there are no current plans to use his infrastructure to move tar sands, but such a move is clearly at least on the drawing board. Wilson has repeatedly asserted that his organization is “aggressively looking for every opportunity — and that could involve a reversal” to ship tar sands south.

Towns along the pipeline’s route from Quebec, through Vermont and New Hampshire, and down into Maine have already made official statements of opposition to the proposal. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry in June, asking him to block any move to ship tar sands through the pipeline.

Maine’s neighbors fear becoming the next Mayflower, Arkansas or Kalamazoo, Michigan. Both of those towns are still dealing with the aftermath of tar sands spills from pipelines that are wreaking havoc on public health and proving all but impossible to clean up. In the case of Kalamazoo, the process has lasted more than three years and cost over a billion dollars, and the bottom of the Kalamazoo River remains choked with tar sands as thick as molasses.

However, resolutions by the pipeline’s pass-through communities are non-binding on the company. As the terminus and the municipality where oil would be stored, treated, and loaded on tankers, South Portland is uniquely positioned to influence the company’s ability to move tar sands.

portland-pipelineLocal efforts have the pipeline company circling the wagons. Opponents of the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, united as the Working Waterfront Coalition, have outspent supporters six to one over the course of the campaign, spending $600,000 in cash and in-kind donations which have come exclusively from corporate entities and their affiliates, including the American Petroleum Institute.

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Politics and Legislation

Britain pushes for mass surveillance society

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Mar 15, 2012

Soon you can be watched everywhere you go in the UK. All your emails, texts and phone calls will be monitored and you can even be seen where cameras can’t. This could all be possible with a new anti-terrorism spy plan. Security companies will have real time access to all your personal happenings at the click of a button. Here is our report.

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/ny-passes-dna-requirement-convicted-criminals

GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

By Molly K. Hooper

Republicans attacked President Obama’s energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday’s weekly address.

http://thehill.com/video/house/216505-gop-obama-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-high-gas-prices

White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices

By Amie Parnes

The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216499-white-house-changes-optics-in-debate-over-rising-gas-prices

Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

By Jamie Klatell

While saying there is no “silver bullet,” President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

http://thehill.com/video/administration/216507-obama-fight-high-gas-prices-by-ending-subsidies-fraud

White House: Colleges must cover birth control for students

By Sam Baker

Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216485-white-house-says-colleges-must-cover-birth-control-for-students

GOP split on health-law repeal strategy

By Julian Pecquet

Two conservative Republicans on Friday blasted House leaders for scheduling a vote to repeal an unpopular provision of the healthcare reform law.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216487-republicans-at-odds-over-health-law-repeal-strategy

If You Took the Greed Out of Wall Street, All You’d Have Left Is Pavement

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

The Street has only itself to blame. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it lobbied intensely against the new Dodd-Frank Act and refused to resurrect Glass-Steagall. The cost of such cynicism has leached deep into America, finding expression in Tea Partiers and Occupiers and millions of others who think the Street has sold us out.

http://www.nationofchange.org/if-you-took-greed-out-wall-street-all-you-d-have-left-pavement-why-greg-smith-s-critique-way-too-nar

The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

John Nichols, Op-Ed:

With Wisconsin recall elections looming against four Republican state Senators — as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch — the state’s politics was thrown for another loop Friday when a targeted senator up and quit. State Senator Pam Galloway, a Tea Party favorite and one of Walker’s steadiest backers in the legislature, announced her immediate resignation from the legislature and her decision not to contest the recall election.

http://www.nationofchange.org/power-recalls-wisconsin-1331997712

Economy

Five Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

By Graham Summers

Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).

The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1331571258.php

 

Gas prices still climbing, top $4 in 6 states
Pump prices click higher to national average of $3.83 a gallon, with 6 states above $4.00

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose.

Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-still-climbing-top-165457157.html;_ylt=Ao1Q5Ln8g6oB0Kdt8qRBnJSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0dnFmNjdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzVlMDc2YjMtNWRmNS0zMmUzLWE5YzgtNjI0NzA1ZWRhOGNiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3NGFjZTk5LTZmYTAtMTFlMS1iZjdhLWM0YTZhNDQyZTAyZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Oil hits $107 after US denial of crude release
Oil rises past $107 a day after US denies plan to release crude supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil prices rose Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

In New York trading, benchmark oil for April delivery rose $1.95 a barrel, or about 2 percent, to finish at $107.06, the biggest gain since Feb. 24.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-hits-107-us-denial-203308690.html;_ylt=Aomo5PjMW6oZV0lJwGXaEKSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bzllaW1tBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2E1NDFjNTU0LTdlNGQtMzc0NC1iMjk1LWZkMjYxZWZmZWQzMwRwb3MDNQRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYzA0MmI5NjAtNmZhOS0xMWUxLWJhZGEtNmQ5MmYzZWE2NjFk;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Doomsday Survey: 51% of Americans Believe a Financial Collapse Is Imminent; 85% Say Country Is Overwhelmingly Under-Prepared

A recent survey of 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over suggests that most of us believe a doomsday scenario of some kind will occur in the next twenty five years.

With three million preppers in the U.S. getting ready for widespread disaster, gun sales sky rocketing, and retail precious metals purchases at unprecedented levels, the results of the survey performed by Kelton Research on behalf of National Geographic shouldn’t be surprising.

http://learnhowtobeprepared.com/2012/03/doomsday-survey-51-of-americans-believe-a-financial-collapse-is-imminent-85-say-country-is-overwhelmingly-under-prepared/#.T2VkYLRZfe8

 

The Fed Isn’t Providing Monetary Morphine; Its Spreading Financial Cancer That Is Killing the Markets And Democratic Capitalism In General

CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Summers.

~ Phoenix Capital Research While the vast majority of commentators look at the market action of the last three months and celebrate, I cannot help but shudder. The reason is that the stock market has been propped up solely by Central Bank and/or Federal Government intervention or the hope…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1903/390/The_Fed_Isnt_Providing_Monetary_Morphine;_Its_Spreading_Financial_Cancer_That_Is_Killing_the_Markets_And_Democratic_Capitalism_In_General.html

Preventing the Fall of Rome

Gar Alperovitz, Op-Ed:

How far continuing financial and political pressures may lead other officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets is an open question. Public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong in many areas. Toll road sales have been held up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently voiced his opposition to an attempt to privatize Midway Airport as previously attempted by Daley.

http://www.nationofchange.org/preventing-fall-rome-1331994900

 

Senate Bill Could Roll Back Consumers’ Health Insurance Savings

Lena Groeger, News Report:

This is the first year that companies are required to send out rebates. According to a report by state insurance commissioners, if rebates had been handed out last year, insurers would have had to pay consumers almost $2 billion. If they had carved out the broker fees, as proposed in the two current bills, consumers would have gotten only about $800 million. The rebates have gotten relatively modest attention. Only 38 percent of the public is even aware of the rule’s existence, according to a Kaiser poll.

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-bill-could-roll-back-consumers-health-insurance-savings-1331996903

 

Wars and Rumors of War

Panetta Disarms Marines in Afghanistan Amid Fears of Possible Rogue Marine Shooting

Uploaded by ObamaBC on Mar 14, 2012

It has been denied that Secretary of Defense Panetta’s disarming of Marines in Afghanistan March 14 had anything to do with a rogue Army sniper’s killing of sixteen Afghan civilians earlier in the week, but many are calling the move highly unusual, and one source states disarming Marines in a combat zone is contrary to military protocol. Approximately two hundred Marines were told to leave their weapons outside a tent while listening to Panetta’s speech, but many state disarming the Marines will lead to a morale problem due to a high official distrusting his own troops. Sources state the Marines felt uncomfortable being without their weapons in what is essentially a war zone. What many considered a rush to judgement given the the rogue U.S. sniper’s history of PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Leon Panetta had stated almost immediately that the soldier could face the death penalty. This was odd and hypocritical to many, given that many feel the Obama administration ostensibly armed drug cartels with Fast and Furious weapons that were used to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two U.S. citizens, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and no one has called for the death penalty in these cases, let alone actual charges being filed.
3/14/12 By Kris Zane

 

How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

By Gareth Porter

On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30850.htm

 

America and the Middle East:
Psycho Warriors Who Deceive Humanity

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30849.htm

 

Top diplomat: Saudi Arabia is smuggling arms to Syria:

Arab diplomat says Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Free Syrian Army ‘to stop bloodshed by Assad’s regime’.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51267

U.S. ‘Concerned’ About Iranian Flights to Syria:

The United States has expressed concern that Iranian cargo planes overflying Iraq may be shipping weapons to Syria.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120317/172223863.html

 

Turkey urges citizens to leave Syria, set to cut consular services:

Move comes as reports indicate 4 members of the Gulf Cooperation Council will close their embassies in Syria over the ongoing political crisis.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-syria-set-to-cut-consular-services-1.419083

 

Environmental

 

The Department of Homeland Security Plans to Build a High-Risk Virus Research Center in the Heart of America

J. D. Heyes, News Report:

“The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-plans-build-high-risk-virus-research-center-heart-america-1331990145

 

The True Cost of the Tar Sands

Video Report:

“Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation photographer whose work has been seen in shows around the globe. Recently he appeared at a TEDx event in Victoria, BC Canada with his exhibition, The True Cost of Oil. Through Lenz’s photography, this exhibit showcases the beauty of some of Canada’s pristine environments—and the dire impact that tar sands oil extraction has on them.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/photos-true-cost-tar-sands-1331993923

 

 

Misc

‘Kony 2012’ director hospitalized

Published on Mar 16, 2012 by CNN

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that one of the men behind the “Kony 2012” video was found in the street in his underwear.

 

US soldier accused of shooting Afghan civilians identified

By Carlo Munoz

The U.S. soldier accused of going on a shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead on Sunday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. official confirmed to The Hill.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216503-us-soldier-accused-in-afghan-shootings-identified

 

Big Pharma’s Evil Motives Exposed (video)

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Former Scientist, and Pharma Executive Speaks Out On The True Motives of Big Pharma Dr. John Virapen has worked more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry. As an insider, former scientist and whistleblower, he is now dedicated to expose and create awareness on how the pharmaceutical industry is operating with…

 

Democrats Push New Obama US Flag: Here Is A Picture Of It (Shocking?) (Shocking?)

 

CONTRIBUTOR: RidgeRunner.

Some Democrats are flying, selling and proposing an Obama faced American Flag. How do you feel about this? What feeling does this picture evoke in you as an American? …

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1892/295/Democrats_Push_New_Obama_US_Flag:_Here_Is_A_Picture_Of_It_Shocking.html

 

Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

Travis Waldron, News Report:

“Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo ‘Vice President’ came to the bank from a pizza restaurant).”

http://www.nationofchange.org/foreclosure-victim-wins-18-million-part-federal-mortgage-settlement-1331996983

 

Politics and  Legislation

Mosaic News – 03/05/12: Palestinian Woman Hana Shalabi Continues Administrative Detention Protest

Obama Runs From Occupy Protesters! Moving G8 Summit From Chicago To Camp David

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed: “We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the states that dot North Africa, is to withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests.”
Nomi Prins, Op-Ed: “All these dots and lines project a gamed world, where it is not sweat or merit that propels people forward, but connections and power and pedigree. That’s why there’s an Occupy Movement. As I wrote on behalf of the compelling book, ‘The economic elite vs. the People,’ ‘Occupy Wall Street has coalesced across towns, cities, and countries.”

Justifying ‘justice’: When it’s OK for US to kill own citizens

Henry A. Giroux | The Scorched-Earth Politics of America’s Four Fundamentalisms
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice and democracy. What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Cuba ‘than anyone may like to admit.'”

Obama blasts GOP candidates for ‘beating the drums of war’ on Iran

By Jonathan Easley – 03/06/12 01:52 PM ET

President Obama shot back at his Republican critics over accusations he has shown a lack of resolve in protecting Israel from a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, condemning their “bluster” in “beating the drums of war.”

“Those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said at his first press conference since October 2011. “They’re not commander-in-chief. When I see the casualness with which some of these candidates talk about war, I’m reminded of the decisions I have to make in sending these men and women into war.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/214439-obama-rips-gop-field-for-beating-the-drums-of-war-over-iran

The Hill: Holder: Clear authority to kill US citizens

By Jordy Yager
Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday said the Obama administration has the “clear authority” to kill U.S. citizens overseas who are believed to be a terrorist threat.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/214295-holder-clear-authority-to-kill-citizens

The Hill: Export-Import Bank splits Republicans

by Erik Wasson
A battle over reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is pitting conservative groups against big business and could lead to an insurrection against GOP leaders in the House this month.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/214289-export-import-bank-splits-conservatives-big-business

The Wall Street Journal: Wisconsin recall realigns campaign spending

By Alicia Mundy
Unions and conservative groups have turned the state’s battle over labor rights into a national, multimillion-dollar war that will reverberate through the presidential and congressional races this fall.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204571404577255743288370690.html?mod=ITP_pageone_2

Economy

The Best Reason for the Very Rich to be Paying A Lot More in Taxes

Paul Buchheit , Op-Ed: “The super-rich like to believe their own initiative and creativity have been the primary drivers of growth in technology and science and business and medicine. Some innovative business leaders deserve credit for putting the pieces together on specific initiatives. But the pieces themselves were put together over many years by thousands of less conspicuous people.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/best-reason-very-rich-be-paying-lot-more-taxes-1331052108

American Airlines Union President Sees Future Without Pensions

Josh Eidelson, In These Times: “Weeks after American Airlines’ parent company AMR submitted a bankruptcy proposal to its three unions, labor and management say time is running out to reach negotiated settlements. Any unions that don’t reach deals with AMR may have their new contract terms, and the number of layoffs, set directly by a bankruptcy judge.”

http://www.truth-out.org/american-airlines-union-president-sees-future-without-pensions/1331043965

Stocks Log Biggest Drop in 2012 on Greek Woes

Stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday, with the Dow posting its first triple-digit decline in 2012, fueled by fears over a Greek default and amid economic growth concerns.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46639583

Failure of Greek debt deal could cost $1.3 trillion

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-greek-deal-20120306,0,5073903.story

Wars  and  Rumors  of War

Three Blind Mice?

Uploaded by on Mar 6, 2012

Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are just about as close as anyone in the U.S. Senate. They travel together, make joint media appearances and seem to sing the same song in their appeals to the American people. That song often revolves around the need for more war.

US Mercenaries admit they are Mercenaries in Syria 06-03-12

Huge death toll doubles in Yemen ‘slaughter’

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/06/world/meast/yemen-violence/index.html

Fresh Iran nuclear talks agreed with world powers – EU

Six major world powers and Iran are to hold fresh talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, the EU has said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17274364

Obama Says Military Force is Option to Keep Iran From Getting Nuclear Weapons

Lesley Clark, News Report: “Israel is afraid that Iran — which says its nuclear program is for domestic reasons — could reach what the Israeli Defense Minister calls a ‘zone of immunity’ where Israel would be unable to take out Iran’s nuclear program. Obama argued there is time for diplomacy, ‘backed by pressure,’ to work — a call that met with little applause.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/obama-says-military-force-option-keep-iran-getting-nuclear-weapons-1331052228

John McCain Calls for US-led Strike Against Syria

Michael A. Memoli, News Report: “Republican Sen. John McCain said the United States should lead a military air assault on government forces in Syria, arguing the Obama administration’s continued efforts at diplomacy and sanctions against the Assad regime is “starting to look more like a hope than strategy.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/john-mccain-calls-us-led-strike-against-syria-1331053300

Netanyahu Tells Obama Israel May Attack Iran Alone if Necessary

Lesley Clark and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: “Highlighting their different views of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, President Barack Obama insisted Monday that diplomacy still has time to halt the effort, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reasserted Israel’s right to take unilateral military action, saying the Jewish state must remain ‘the master of its fate.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/netanyahu-tells-obama-israel-may-attack-iran-alone-if-necessary/1331048376

Monsanto

Monsanto’s Roundup Shown to be Ravaging Butterfly Population

Mike Barrett, News Report: A 2011 study published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity found that increasing acreage of genetically modified Roundup Ready corn and soybeans is heavily contributing to the decline in monarch butterfly populations within North America. Milkweed, a plant butterflies rely on for habitat and food, is being destroyed by the heavy use of glyphosate-based pesticides and Roundup Ready crops. Over the past 17 years, the monarch butterfly population in central Mexico has declined, reaching an all-time low in 2009-2010.

http://www.nationofchange.org/monsanto-s-roundup-shown-be-ravaging-butterfly-population-1331055035

Environmental

The True Cost of Tar Sands

Joe Romm, Video Report: “What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat. This powerful talk is for anyone who thinks the tar sands are just another source of oil — and that the only source of greenhouse gases from the tar sands come from burning gas and oil.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/must-see-video-true-cost-tar-sands-1331054083

Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured “Big Conservation”?

Tuesday 6 March 2012
by: Jonathan Latham , Dollars and Sense | Report
“Imagine an international mega-deal. The global organic food industry agrees to support international agribusiness in clearing as much tropical rainforest as they want for farming. In return, agribusiness agrees to farm the now-deforested land using organic methods, and the organic industry encourages its supporters to buy the resulting timber and food under the newly devised ‘Rainforest Plus’ label. There would surely be an international outcry.”

Japan’s Illegal Environmental Impact Assessment of the Henoko Base

Sakurai Kunitoshi, The Asia-Pacific Journal – Japan Focus: “Before dawn on December 28, 2011, with the end of the year looming, the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) delivered a load of cardboard boxes to the office of the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The boxes contained copies of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for a base in the Henoko district of Nago that is planned as the replacement for the US Marines Corps Air Station Futenma.”

Imperial Valley Residents Must Fight for Right to Breathe Clean Air

David Bacon, New America Media: “Today, the land surrounding the two towns is farmed in huge tracts of hundreds of acres. To make the desert productive, ranchers not only built the world’s largest irrigation canal, but also developed farming methods dependent on chemical fertilizers and strong pesticides. Even with the recent advance of some large-scale organic operations, it’s still common to drive a local highway and see a small airplane called a cropduster make circular swoops and passes over the green crops.”

One Year After Fukushima – Defining and Classifying a Disaster

One Year After Fukushima – Defining and Classifying a Disaster
This is the first in a series of articles dedicated to preserve the facts revealed about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. This coming week will mark the first anniversary of Fukushima’s multiple meltdown nuclear disaster. There is little data on how badly contaminated the now-abandoned area of forced evacuation is in the 20-kilometer (12-mile) zone around the Fukushima plant.http://theintelhub.com/2012/03/05/one-year-after-fukushima-defining-and-classifying-a-disaster/

Misc

Alleged LulzSec hackers held in international swoop

Published on Mar 6, 2012 by

http://www.euronews.com/ Leading members of the computer hacking group LulzSec have reportedly been arrested in the US.

Irish police say they are also holding a man in connection with the investigation.

Court documents in New York hacktivist are said to show that the group’s suspected leader, Hector Xavier Monsegur who is nicknamed Sabu, was charged last year with conspiracy in computer hacking and had pleaded guilty.

There are reports that he had been cooperating with police for a while.

He is said to have been an influential member of three hacking organizations, involved in high profile attacks on major firms including online payment companies.

Court papers say Sabu formed LulzSec last May, and operated by identifying weaknesses in potential victims’ computer systems.

LulzSec is a spin-off of the loosely organised activist group Anonymous.

Some alleged associates of the collective are already facing charges in other countries such as Britain.

Bust Reveals Government Runs Hacking Groups

Bust Reveals Government Runs Hacking GroupsCURATOR: BARRACUDA. The establishment media has characterized the leader of LulzSec ratting out his hacktivist comrades as betrayal, but the incident reveals something far more sinister – government is responsible for creating and…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1857/374/NL/Bust_Reveals_Government_Runs_Hacking_Groups.html

Govt. agencies, colleges demand applicants’ Facebook passwords

By Bob Sullivan

If you think privacy settings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts guarantee future employers or schools can’t see your private posts, guess again.

http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/06/10585353-govt-agencies-colleges-demand-applicants-facebook-passwords

Troops Used For Crowd Control At Texas Kite Festival

Uniformed troops from the Texas State Guard were used for the purposes of crowd control during the Zilker Kite Festival in Austin this past weekend, with video showing the troops ordering parents and children to board school buses at the end of the event.

Disturbing footage of the troops controlling the movement of attendees was filmed by Infowars reporters, in addition to a police helicopter circling above. However, the website of the Zilker Kite Festival attempted to downplay the Guard’s involvement as if it was completely normal.

http://theintelhub.com/2012/03/06/troops-used-for-crowd-control-at-texas-kite-festival/