Death of Penna. man in fracking truck accident shows need for greater traffic safety measures
Submitted Column to Wilkes-Barre PA Times-Leader, January 9, 2015 http://www.timesleader.com/news/opinion_columns/51001898/THEIR-VIEW-Frackers-pose-rural-traffic-risk
From a Letter by Edward Ciarimboli, founding partner in the legal firm of Fellerman and Ciarimboli, a personal injury law firm with offices in Kingston, Scranton and Philadelphia
A fiery crash in Susquehanna County last week took the life of a 27-year-old Marine and father of two young boys. The SUV in which Staff Sgt. Andrew Stevens was driving reportedly was stopped behind two fracking trucks when a water truck smashed into the back of him.
An increase in natural gas fracking has led to a spike in traffic fatalities in towns that find their roadways filled with large drilling rigs and fracking trucks. Drilling activity increases too quickly for many small communities to keep pace in making changes in road safety, such as building new roads, improving or widening existing roads or installing traffic signals in areas where they might now be needed. ...
... data in six drilling states show that in some places fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004, a period when most American roads have become much safer. ...
... fatal crashes on Texas highways increased 50 percent from 2009 through 2013. This increase in fatalities came after decades of declines in Texas, just as the boom in fracking operations was beginning. ...
... Pennsylvania is in the top five states in fatal crashes, with 1,211, following only Texas with 3,021, California with 2,632, Florida with 2,247 and North Carolina with 1,222. These five states accounted for more than a third of the fatal crashes in the entire country.
... traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania drilling counties rose 4 percent from 2009 to 2013, while in the rest of the state they fell 19 percent.
Crackdowns in reproductive rights to 'blue laws' keeping businesses from opening on Sunday (latter finally overturned in 1970s).
Just as we were finally breaking their grasp on the national character, St Ronnie allies with the radicals and a new, fully theocratic bulldozer starts plowing its way through long-fought for rights.
With their juggernaut of political allies, even the blatant unconstitutional, wholly religiously-based addition of 'under God' in the pledge and changing the inclusive motto 'e pluribus unum' into the divisive 'In God we trust' was allowed to stand for so long that courts accept them as legitimate due to tradition.
The 2016 field of GOP candidates is nothing more than a host of theocratic tyrants. And, worst of all, the supposed Christianity they bow down to bears virtually no relation to what Jesus taught.
The Second Coming of the Dark Ages is nigh. Keep those liberty torches handy. Be ready to hold them high.
The Religious Rights Full Page Denunciation of the United States Constitution
By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
As theocracy arrives in North Carolina and Michigan, the Religious Right, going with its penchant for hyperbolic full-page ads in major newspapers, publicly announced last week that if forced to choose between Bible and Constitution, the Constitution will lose.
Then, almost as though begging us to laugh at them, they used their various propaganda organs like the Tea Party, The Catholic Beat, Christian Examiner, World Net Daily, and so forth, to announce how heroic and great they are for putting their unconstitutional AND unbiblical beliefs on full display.
The ad, which took the form of an open letter to the Supreme Court, appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, and in other papers, offered us the voice of all the usual suspects Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Frank Pavone, Don Wildmon, Jerry Boykin, Alveda King and Alan Keyes:
We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.
Wow, that would be great but these folks have demonstrated their lack of a biblical understanding of marriage, because there is very little in the way of examples of biblical marriages that are between one man and one woman.
The irony here is that it is they wrote to the Supreme Court. The United States Constitution that they say is superseded by the Bible, establishes the authority of the Supreme Court. Therefore, if you think so little of the Constitution, why write to the Supreme Court, and then just tell the justices that if they dont do what you want, youre going to ignore them anyway?
More, incld full text of ad:
WV Energy Policy? Pipelines! Export our Resources a.s.a.p.
Hundreds of Miles of Land are Being Disturbed
We should not forfeit the future for the sake of energy today
Letter from S. Tom Bond, Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, June 7, 2015
The fossil fuel industry is finding more and more opposition as time goes by. The reasons are many. The list of new pipelines is amazing for example, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Momentum Pipeline, the Rover Pipeline on and on it goes.
These are no babies; some of them are as large as 42 inches, and they operate at up to 100 times the pressure of the atmosphere at 1440 pounds per square inch. They will be among the largest ever built in the United States.
Literally thousands of miles of pipelines are being built to transport gas at a time when fossil fuels face a political and technological storm of a variety of problems hardly meeting public attention a decade ago.
Recently the International Monetary Fund published in a white paper that fossil fuels get a worldwide subsidy of $5.7 trillion, which amounts to 6.5 percent of the world gross domestic production, mostly due to environmental costs and damage to health with coal the primary culprit.
The science papers on effects of fracking have been doubling yearly. The press and scientific experts no longer ignore health effects of fracking, ...
Banks dont want drilling on mortgaged property because of loss of value, and insurance companies dont want to pay for losses due to drilling contamination or accidents on ones property. ... huge subsidy from the poorest property owners to the industry.
Disposal of huge quantities of waste is a growing problem, ...
x p Envir&Energy
Way past time for Dover ruling and trial transcript to be required reading for all elected officials, esp school board members.
Oh, and add a calendar so they can be aware of the fact we're in the 21st century.
And a copy of both the US Constitution and the Treaty of Tripoli so they'll be clued in on the fact this is not a Christian country.
And most importantly, a copy of their OWN STATE CONSTITUTION, Article IX: http://www.sos.idaho.gov/elect/stcon/articl09.htm
Political interference impedes effectiveness of U.S. international family planning assistance:
Social Conservatives Ramp Up Efforts to Re-Impose the Global Gag Rule and Defund UNFPA, Posing Real Obstacles to Programs Effectiveness
Attempts by social conservatives to curb U.S. international family planning assistance by re-imposing the global gag rule and defunding the UN Population Fund are back. Considering that the U.S. Senate is more ideologically aligned with the House than in the past, it is now less certain that the Senate can be relied upon to defeat these attacks, as it has done every year since 2011 when social conservatives took control of the House and began writing these restrictions into the annual spending bill for international family planning programs.
Reinstating the global gag rule or defunding UNFPA would be devastating. And even if these anti-family planning attacks fail again, the threat of their return alone is already limiting the effectiveness of this important U.S. foreign assistance program, warns a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review.
Social conservatives in the U.S. Congress are not just antiabortion but increasingly anti-family planning, says Guttmacher policy expert and lead author Sneha Barot. The harmful policies these lawmakers are pursuing are based on falsehoods, and they are strongly opposed by the administration and pro-family planning members of Congress. However, the concern is that proponents of these regressive policies could force the administration to reluctantly accept one or both in the course of the inevitable political horse-trading that accompanies larger pieces of legislation.
The U.S. effort to help women in the worlds poorest countries better plan and space their pregnancies is a tremendous foreign aid and public health success story. At a total cost of only $610 million (including $35 million for UNFPA), the program currently enables 28 million women and couples to receive contraceptive services and supplies, thereby averting six million unintended pregnancies, 2.4 million induced abortions (most of them unsafe) and 12,000 maternal deaths.
However, this effort may fall short of its potential impact depending on political interference from social conservatives in Congress. Beyond proposing deep funding cuts to the effort overall, anti-family planning lawmakers are using must-pass legislation to reinstate two harmful policies:
The Global Gag Rule: Also known as the Mexico City Policy, it was first instituted by the Reagan administration in 1984; ...
There is no evidence that the global gag rule has ever resulted in its stated aim of reducing abortion; ...
Defunding UNFPA: The UN Population Fund provides global leadership in a range of crucial areas, ...
Word Games Continue: Just What Evidence Did EPA Not Find?
By David Manthos
Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a series of draft reports on their findings from five years of research and literature review on the question of whether or not fracking contaminates groundwater. But if you just read the headlines you might have been confused about what the EPA had actually concluded. As Forbes pointed out, the headlines were a bit contradictory.
But the bigger news is that even EPA was inconsistent about the findings of their own report. The press release from EPA states that their assessment (emphasis added):
"...shows hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water resources and identifies important vulnerabilities to drinking water resources." *
However, the Executive Summary of the report puts things differently (emphasis added):
We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.
These two statements may look similar, but there is a big difference between saying that you did not find find any evidence of a crime and definitely claiming that you have proven the suspect's innocence. But try telling the House Natural Resources Committee that fracking has never been proven NOT to cause contamination, and members of Congress will laugh aloud and joke about pigs not flying to Mars. Seriously (check out 1:12:10).
But buried on page 22 of the 28-page executive summary, the EPA goes on to say (again, emphasis added):
This assessment used available data and literature to examine the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing from oil and gas on drinking water resources nationally. As part of this effort, we identified data limitations and uncertainties associated with current information on hydraulic fracturing and its potential to affect drinking water resources. In particular, data limitations preclude a determination of the frequency of impacts with any certainty.
* I find last part, "identifies important vulnerabilities to drinking water resources" the important. Who got to the writers of the release, and with what incentive, to so blatantly obscure that important point?
Industry & Politicians Seek to Affect the U.S. EPA Methodologies
In praise of the science Too much politics in our federal agencies
From the Editorial on the Opinion Page, Morgantown Dominion Post, June 7, 2015
Another EPA study, another EPA overreaching finding. No, on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study that acknowledged what everyone knew. ...
One U.S. senator, who once compared the EPA to the Gestapo, described the report as the latest in a series of failed attempts by the Obama administration to link fracking to polluted drinking water. Never mind, that the EPA was formerly the devils spawn of the Obama administration, according to that senator and many in that industry.
Interestingly, that industry and its supporters are not championing another study. Also this week, a new study from University of Pittsburghs researchers found women living close to areas of high-density natural gas operations are more likely to have babies with lower birth weights than women living farther from such operations.
That study did cite instances where drinking water was affected by fracking, yet that number was small. The EPA insists that the question this study answered was not whether fracking was safe or unsafe.
Its purpose was to study how do we best reduce vulnerabilities so we can best protect our drinking water and water resources.
Men and women grounded in science dont take direction from politicians, or should not. Its counter-intuitive to act according to politics and agendas, rather than research and data.
See also: Dont Be Fooled: The EPAs Fracking Study, Explained
In TX, percentage of fraud that would be caught by photo ID: .00000013
2012 analysis showed only 10 cases nationwide. One source said the percentage "not show up on a percentage chart (at least on one piece of paper)"
Many have to miss work to apply, even additional days just to get proper docs. Some of those docs cost money. That's the equivalent of a poll tax.
Bottom line is that photo IDs are a solution to a non-existant problem. A convenient fear-mongering to gain support for voter suppression. Because GOP fears democracy.
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