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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 132,261

Journal Archives

New York Won't Keep Oil Train Details Secret

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's homeland security agency is refusing requests from freight railroads to further restrict public information about their crude oil shipments, concluding it's not sensitive security information and will be given to local emergency planners.

Federal officials reached a similar conclusion in June, ordering railroads to give state officials details about oil-train routes and volumes so emergency responders can be better prepared for their duties.

Railroads sought to keep the information secret, arguing that information on oil train routes and volumes are security sensitive. The issue followed a string of fiery accidents. A derailment and explosion in Quebec last July killed 47 people.

Jerome Hauer, Homeland Security and Emergency Services commissioner, told CSX Transportation and Canadian Pacific Railway that New York won't adopt special non-disclosure agreements.


In this April 15, 2014 file photo, an oil-tank train with crude oil from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota travels near Staples, Minn. (AP Photo/Mike Cronin,File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Seven small earthquakes rattle Oklahoma

This is the latest swarm in a state where a recent upsurge in seismic activity which may be linked to fracking

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of just about 14 hours.


Those follow four other quakes, including a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Langston recorded shortly after noon Saturday. The other Saturday morning quakes ranged in magnitude from 2.9 to 3.2.

Residents in central Oklahoma have said they want to know whether the surge in earthquake activity in the region is caused by oil and gas drilling operations in the area. Last month, Oklahoma City’s KOCO news reported that Oklahoma has had nearly double the number of earthquakes as California, local news reported after five earthquakes on Thursday morning rattled an area of the state where oil and gas drilling is prevalent.

At the Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting in May, scientists said that underground disposal of vast amounts of wastewater generated by fracking likely induce earthquakes by changing the state of stress on existing faults.


Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Jul 14, 2014, 12:50 AM (4 replies)

Who is shaping the nation's railroad safety rules?

WASHINGTON • A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes but behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules.

Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met 13 times since March with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Their universal message: Don't make us pay for increased safety because that's another industry's problem.


Since 2008, there have been 10 significant derailments in the U.S. and Canada in which crude oil has spilled from ruptured tank cars, often resulting in huge fireballs. A year ago this month, a runaway train with 72 tank cars of crude en route from the Bakken to a refinery in Canada hurtled into the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, exploded and killed 47 people.


FILE - This July 6, 2013 file photo shows smoke rising from railway cars carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec. A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes and behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules. Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met more than a dozen times since mid-May 2014 with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Their universal message: Don’t make us pay for increased safety _ that’s another industry’s problem. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Jul 14, 2014, 12:42 AM (3 replies)

Tepco Says Fukushima Reactors Undamaged by 6.8 Magnitude Quake

Source: Bloomberg

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station, crippled by a tsunami in March 2011, was undamaged by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of the area today.

Inspections and monitoring showed “no abnormality” at the power facilities including reactors and workers were safe, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The earthquake triggered a tsunami of about 30 centimeters (1 foot), it said.

The quake struck at 4:22 a.m. local time and its epicenter was about 140 kilometers (87 miles) off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture at a depth of about 10 kilometers, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said on its website.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-12/tepco-says-fukushima-reactors-undamaged-by-6-8-magnitude-quake.html?
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jul 12, 2014, 05:13 AM (21 replies)

Major New Study Says Obamacare Is Working — Even For Republicans

The Affordable Care Act has been successful at achieving some major goals in the first year of its full implementation, according to a new study from The Commonwealth Fund.

There are three important findings from the study: The uninsured rate is dropping, most people like their new insurance plans (even Republicans!), and most people are finding it easy to visit a doctor.

The study found the uninsured rate in the U.S. declined by one-quarter over the last nine months, which included the law's first, six-month open-enrollment period in which individuals could sign up for private insurance plans through exchanges established by the law.

From the July-to-September 2013 period to the April-to-June 2014 period, the uninsured rate of people between the ages of 19-64 dropped from 20% to 15%, according to the study. The research found 9.5 million people gained insurance, either through the exchanges or through the law's expansion of the federal Medicaid program.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/study-obamacare-reduces-uninsured-rate-2014-7#ixzz378RZASv1

The findings show the law has been successful at reducing the uninsured rate among the poor — which was, of course, one of its main goals:

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jul 11, 2014, 01:38 AM (0 replies)

Billionaire Koch brothers are big oil players in Alberta

The ultra-right U.S. Koch brothers, little-known to Canadians, are major players in Alberta's oil patch, where they control at least 1.1 million acres.

PEACE RIVER, ALTA.—Trevor Newton braves the driving sleet and the boot-sucking bog as he moves along an unmarked path through the Middle of Nowhere.


A trim, sandy-haired man who spends part of his time on his cattle farm near Vancouver, Newton is chairman of the board of a small oil company. And until recently, he had no idea that he was surrounded by vast tracts of land acquired by Koch — the oil giant at the centre of a political storm in Washington and beyond.

“We knew they were alongside us, but we didn’t realize the extent to which they were all around us,” Newton says through the gusting wind. “When we looked at the recent (geological) survey we found they had assembled an absolutely massive land package in the Peace River area.

“Total Koch holdings in the region would be more than 360,000 acres — an area larger than Los Angeles. Koch’s holdings in the area dominate all the other leaseholders, including Shell.”


Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:02 PM (2 replies)

Coastal Winds Intensifying With Climate Change, Study Says

Summer winds are intensifying along the west coasts of North and South America and southern Africa and climate change is a likely cause, a new study says.

The winds, which blow parallel to the shore and draw cold, nutrient-rich water from the deep ocean to the surface in a process known as coastal upwelling, have increased over the last 60 years in three out of five regions of the world, according to an analysis published Thursday in the journal Science.

Stronger winds have the potential to benefit coastal areas by bringing a surge of nutrients and boosting populations of plankton, fish, and other species. But they could also harm marine life by causing turbulence in surface waters, disrupting feeding, worsening ocean acidification, and lowering oxygen levels, the study says.

The shift could already be having serious effects on some of the world’s most productive marine fisheries and ecosystems off California, Peru, and South Africa.

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jul 4, 2014, 02:21 AM (3 replies)

The Energy Department Just Announced $4 Billion For Projects That Fight Global Warming

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that it is issuing a loan guarantee program of up to $4 billion to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.

In support of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the DOE identified five key technology areas for the loan program to support. One is advanced grid integration and storage, which essentially means technologies that better support renewable power on the electric grid. Another is drop-in biofuels, which are biofuels that can be used in existing infrastructure.

The DOE also said the program would consider supporting waste-to-energy projects, energy efficiency improvement projects, and projects that would enhance existing hydroelectric facilities.

“As the President emphasized in his Climate Action Plan, it is critical that we take an all-of-the above approach to energy in order to cut carbon pollution, help address the effects of climate change and protect our children’s future,” said DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz in a statement. “Investments in clean, low-carbon energy also provide an economic opportunity.”

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jul 4, 2014, 02:16 AM (3 replies)

Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2: NASA's New Carbon Sleuth

_ NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Jul 3, 2014, 01:31 AM (5 replies)

NASA Launches Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Satellite To Monitor Greenhouse Gases (VIDEO)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A rocket carrying a NASA satellite lit up the pre-dawn skies Wednesday on a mission to track atmospheric carbon dioxide, the chief culprit behind global warming.

The Delta 2 rocket blasted off from California at 2:56 a.m. and released the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 satellite in low-Earth orbit 56 minutes later, bringing relief to mission officials who lost a similar spacecraft five years ago.

The flight was "a perfect ride into space," said Ralph Basilio, the OCO-2 project manager, at a post-launch press conference.

Power-supplying solar arrays deployed, initial checks showed the spacecraft was healthy and two-way communications were established, he said.

The launch was delayed a day because of a failure in ground equipment 46 seconds before liftoff Tuesday morning.


OrbitingOrbiting Carbon Observatory 2: NASA's New Carbon Sleuth
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Jul 3, 2014, 01:27 AM (0 replies)
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