carbon

Delicious pro-carbon calories for Minnesota politicians could be yours: FREE FOOD from North Dakota coal flacks March 4th

The "Coalition for a Secure Energy Future", a front group for North Dakota government sponsored coal interests, is peddling free food to Minnesota politicians, so if you are feeling hungry on March 4th just head down to McGovern's Pub on West 7th and pretend to sell out your constituents!

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Feel free to pass along this image wherever you like, originally from facebook.com/occupymn. If you want to do something socially useful with the dirty coal food, just bring it up the street to Dorothy Day.

Plenty more info is available here: Bluestem Prairie: Will scheduling woes keep lawmakers away from Coalition for a Secure Energy Future's free food?

I am compiling a bunch more information about the players in this network on LittleSis.org, hoping to get that done pretty soon. For network info see: Horse hockey: who's pushing the puck for new Coalition for a Secure Energy Future TV ad?

Pipeline Politics: MNGOP moves fast for fossils; Minnesota Range Congressman Rick Nolan certain Keystone XL will "support" 42,000 jobs

A tough fight is brewing at both the state and federal level over the direction of environmental policies. In Minnesota, Republicans are totally committed to expanding fracked gas, shale oil from Bakken, and genocidal tar sands bitumen pipelines from Canada.

The Sandpiper pipeline project in Minnesota is the current major project with ongoing public hearings, opposition spearheaded by Friends of the Headwaters, the Carlton County Land Stewards, Winona LaDuke's Honor The Earth group has worked on this; MN350 has also been working on this. The PUC calendar has other date info..

Pipelines in the MN political economy: To capture the House in 2014, Minnesota Republicans leaned heavily on independent expenditures from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which in turn leaned heavily on Northern Oil & Gas Co., a shale oil finance shop in run by a colorful family in suburban Wayzata, to pay for it all.

The joke's on Northern (NOG): as the international oil price war has taken hold their stock plummeted, but if they're going to salvage any of this they need new pipelines more than ever.

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The MN House GOP isn't wasting any time fighting for their backers' needs. One of the first House bills posted in St Paul this year, HF21 would slash pipeline review to 150 days up or down - just enough time to get ahead of ticked off locals before they know what's going on.

Democrats are split over the pro-pipeline agenda in Minnesota, and the pro-industry crowd has a plan this year. The Iron Rangers are trying to wheel out "streamlining" mining regulations, willing to work with ALEC-friendly GOP. Key players here include DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, GOP Rep. Rod Hamilton for Big Ag (especially hog corporations) & the affable GOP Rep. Paul Garofalo for twitter-friendly ALEC corporate agendas.

For the top circles of people pushing this agenda, ideally environmental concerns will get flipped around — usually pollution affects poor people & people of color (POC) communities the worst — to make it appear a hobby of oblivious, elite metro consultant people. They are interested in reframing environmental justice as an elitist hobby, all the better to roll queasy and/or suburban Democrats.

Other corporate agendas: The industrial agriculture lobby wants to max out factory farm sizes with minimal oversight. Killing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's citizen review board system is another major priority, and disinfo is already rolling out on that topic.

They've also tried running meetings without public notice (see Rural Task Force and AURI in Sept 2014 via Bluestem Prairie) in order to reconfigure obscure government organizations to their agenda.

In this context we have to wonder what you're supposed to do when your member in Congress peddles blatantly deceptive spin (Nolan represents an area where a lot of my family is from). I will highlight some major chestnuts in bold. Source from a friend on FB:

Dear [Submitter].,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on the Keystone Pipeline project.

The simple truth we must deal with is that the Alberta tar sands are already being developed and producing roughly two million barrels of oil per day which are then shipped by truck and rail. Additionally, the U.S. State Department and the government of Canada have confirmed these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval. Therefore, those of us who care about saving the environment must ensure that the heavy crudes are transported in the safest and most environmentally sensitive way possible. Pipelines – while not immune from accidents – have been shown to be a safer energy transportation method than truck and rail, producing a lower carbon footprint and preventing further rail and highway congestion. The fact is, the State Department concluded alternative rail transportation options to move the heavy crude from the tar sands would result in the release of 28-42% more carbon emissions than through the pipeline.

Moreover, the Keystone project will provide access to additional oil reserves not subject to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, while supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs across our nation, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, substantial local and state tax revenue, and an additional $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been rigorously studied and will generate urgently needed jobs and economic development across our nation. To that end, I recently joined the majority of the House in voting to pass legislation (H.R.3) to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. Unlike previous Keystone legislation I opposed in the past, this legislation requires that Keystone be compliant with all other existing EPA and other US federal agency requirements that would need to be met by a domestic pipeline application.

I am disappointed we were not permitted to amend the bill to require use of 100 percent American steel in construction because it is proven to be better and less accident prone. Nonetheless, this legislation puts an end to almost seven years of gridlock, requires the pipeline operators to comply with tough U.S. environmental protections, and allows for a route change in Nebraska that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Please know I have long been a strong supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws and regulations to protect our precious environment. To that end, during the 113th Congress I proudly cosponsored H.R.3674, the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 which would eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. Additionally, H.R.3674 would end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. At a time when energy companies are making record profits, we should not be providing them with generous subsidies.

Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to look for ways to protect our precious environment here in the Congress.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. I truly appreciate your advice and counsel and hope that you will contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance.

I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website at nolan.house.gov to receive daily updates.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Nolan

Member of Congress

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"Heavy Crude": Nolan distributes disinformation here. The product thrown down these pipelines is superheated tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit' - wiki). It is a trade-secret laden petrochemical mixture which makes the bitumen (essentially raw asphalt - wiki) just slick enough to move along. In order to smooth the political process, diluted bitumen is reframed as "heavy crude oil (wiki)" and occludes the presence of environmentally dangerous secret diluent ingredients.

The bitumen also contains tiny quartz (sand) particles which steadily etch the pipeline interiors, as NRDC/Sierra Club mention (PDF). Whenever this mixture leaks, the bitumen sinks in water while much of the more volatile diluents tend to float - making cleanups a far messier affair than with conventional or "light crude", which does actually float and is pretty familiar in Hazmat training world. See: The Dangers of Diluted Bitumen Oil - NYTimes.com (OpEd Aug 2012) re Kalamazoo River in Michigan:

After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.

Transcanada has its view on dilbit: "Is it really crude oil? Yes." but… "Dilbit and synbit approximate the characteristics of typical conventional heavy crude oil." Seems like they're having it both ways. And they're blatantly lying here: "Does it float or sink if it spills in water? Oil sands-derived crudes behave the same way as conventional crude oil, which floats in still or slow-moving water."

More on dilbit controversies: Will Canadian Crude Make the Keystone XL Pipeline Leak? | StateImpact Texas

Here is the actual Keystone XL State Dept thing on Dilbit:

Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a diluent so it can be transported by pipeline. The composition of the dilbit is only provided here generically because the particular type of bitumen and diluents blend produced is variable and is typically a trade secret. A common condensate stream (liquids derived from natural gas) is currently the primary type of diluent used for Canadian heavy crude. Diluent consists of condensates, ultra-light sweet crudes, and refinery and upgrader naphtha streams from several supply sources. Typically, dilbit uses approximately 25 percent of condensate, where companies use either their own supply sources of light hydrocarbons or purchase the above condensate stream. According to the Saskatchewan Condensate Monthly Report dated September 1, 2012 (Crudemonitor 2012b), the composition of gas condensate is mainly light hydrocarbons such as iso-butene, n-butane, iso-pentane, n-pentane, and hexanes. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (for informational/planning purposes only) for two types of diluents, naphtha and natural gas condensate, assuming a maximum diluent mix, are provided in Appendix Q. It is important to note that the chemical make-up of the diluents can vary greatly from source to source. The bitumen-diluent mixture with bitumen from the oil sands is generally similar to heavy sour crude, which is discussed in more detail. SCO may also be used as a diluent for bitumen, in which case the commodity is known as synbit (bitumen diluted with SCO). Properties of generic dilbit are shown in Table 3.13-1.

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Huh Toxicity is Class D Division 2 Subdivision A: Very Toxic Material. Interesting, didn't see that on Transcanada's page. Also "BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes". Benzene is definitely carcinogenic.

See also: Keystone pipeline's 'dilbit' moment - Los Angeles Times - Dec 2012.

A Dilbit Primer: How It's Different from Conventional Oil | InsideClimate News - June 2012

Keystone XL Primer: Secrecy Still Shrouds Diluted Bitumen Risks | InsideClimate News - Nov 2011.

"supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs": This is another block of disinformation and reaches into the more dishonest level by adding "good-paying". This has been heavily debated since it counts temporary and partial work, and general economic ripples, as partial equivalents to a full job.

The most recent mainstream coverage on this spin chunk: Will Keystone XL pipeline create 42,000 ‘new’ jobs? - The Washington Post - Glenn Kessler Jan 6 2015 (reported by wapo in 2013 originally)

See: Keystone XL Job Claims Wouldn't Live Up To Hype, Experts Say - March 2014.

TransCanada CEO says 42,000 Keystone XL pipeline jobs are 'ongoing, enduring' | PunditFact - "Girling said, 'the 42,000 jobs is in ongoing, enduring jobs.'" Sure buddy. Even his spokester had to walk that whopper back.

This figure comes from the State Department study which, for example, claims that 300+ entertainment jobs indirectly get supported by pipeline construction, and assumes that the actual construction jobs last 19.5 weeks. These are batched together to count as one full "job", and the totals for the physical pipes that have already been completed are also included in this figure.

"these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval": That is not necessarily true - on two levels. The projects have been hitting the skids and losing investors, and funding is getting pulled as rapidly as they can from early-stage projects. Saying they "will continue to be developed" when they're losing investors is inaccurate. And of course, the projects only move if they are financially feasible. If they get priced out from transportation due to lack of capacity, then the overall statement is also false.

There is not some magic way to make these projects profitable without export capacity - and even with more export capacity the whole thing is going over the cliff anyway. See:

“Citizen Interventions” Have Cost Canada’s Tar Sands Industry $17B, New Report Shows | DeSmogBlog: "The report said market forces and public opposition have played a significant role in the cancellation of three major tar sands projects in 2014 alone: Shell’s Pierre River, Total’s Joslyn North, and Statoil’s Corner Project. " Yeah sounds like they are continuing to be developed, for sure.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss - The Ecologist- Nov 27 2014: "The report suggests that that investors are being misled about the economic viability of oil sands production… CTI calculate that 92% of future oil sands production will only viable if oil prices are $95 per barrel. However, prices stand at only $85, so producers are losing money for every barrel of oil they sell - unless they are cushioned by existing higher-priced contracts, which will sooner or later expire."

Is it time to panic in the oil sands? - Macleans.ca - Nov 29 2014 - graphic shows that bitumen is lower-priced because it requires so much processing, making it even worse of a business prospect. Plenty of industry details in this story.


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As Oil Prices Drop, Canadian Oil Sands May Be Wasted Investment

Tar-sands industry loses $17.1 billion thanks to public opposition | Grist Nov 4 2014

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It is also worth noting that the anti-pipeline candidate, Green Party American Indian elder Skip Sandman got 4.3% or 11,450 votes. The diligent efforts of many at least forced Nolan to cover his flank with some better votes — frustrating but hardly wasted. Nolan received 48.5%, narrowly edging Stewart Mills at 47.1%. (Side note: the cheesy DCCC messaging to pigeonhole Mills as a rich guy seems to have backfired, this district shouldn't be that close really.)

For further nitty gritty updates: Please check out Minnesota Brown for the Ranger side and BluestemPrairie.com for industrial agriculture & related political maneuvering. Both sites did a great job covering another ranger, DFL Sen. Tomassoni, trying to double dip with lobbying gig.

Money Warz: Emperor Pipeline, Darth Banker, Luke Whistleblower & Chomsky wan Kenobi & The Trans-Pacific Partnership Death Star need yr help!

Here is a fun art project against the evil Trans Pacific Partnership treaty of Doom! Please pass the word or a couple bucks for Money Warz, a street art performance getting the Occupy Wall Street band back together on the 2nd anniversary, Sept 17 2013 - the goal is $1000 or moar... If they can get up to say $4K things could really get epic.

See earlier: July 22nd: Trans Pacific Partnership discussion & community QA with Keith Ellison, IATP & MN Fair Trade Coalition. Malaysia Round starts July 15 | HongPong.com. [I have suggested including to Ellison to post a simple bill that would ban the US trade representative from having secret files - hopefully others can pick up on the idea!]

Fortunately, much of the gear for this project including the Nosferatu mask & around 100 money trooper masks have already been created, but can be creatively extended and remixed for great lulz. Some of the puppets have already been used for great success in Albany and elsewhere - the money troopers of the Didactic Empire were the honor guard for a marriage between a corporation and a politician, which defined corporatism in widely carried stories on corporatism and campaign finance in May 2013.

Here's a blurb:

Hello,

The one percent have a dream - a global corporate coup called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - a secret trade deal to be fast tracked into law in October, no debate or amendment. And neither the public nor the media have been permitted to see this NAFTA on steroids - just the 600 corporations that are quietly writing it behind closed doors! This is what plutocracy looks like.

Please support our kickstarter to fund a huge theatrical spectacle in Times Square on the 2nd anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, to force attention and build awareness - while we still can.

Money Warz, a Star Wars parody, presents:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tedword/money-warz-tpp-death-star-ca...

Thank you!

Elliot and Ted

elliotcrown@earthlink.net

http://moneywarz.org

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Check out a few pics of these epic puppets designed and built earlier by Elliot, showing the general visual style of these amusing political icons. They remind me of Heart of the Beast & MayDay in Minneapolis.

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This Statue of Liberty is great - I'm near the original plaster cast for it right now!

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The money troopers guarded Mitt Romney, Obama and the Monopoly Man in Times Square on Election Night 2012.

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I approve the Fossil Fool!

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By the way, related predecessor project. Here is the video of the Pyramids at Another End of the World Part One:

And some other related material like the Tax Dodgers which made it into the Cooperstown NY National Baseball Hall of Fame...

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And see earlier - the thumbnail AP, even Capt. Ray Lewis was there: Anti-fracking groups rally in Albany, urge ban. Anyhow I think the TPP project is definitely worth supporting and would be a good way to reach lots of people through humor.

The Great Climate Clusterf**k: Good times in Copenhagen had by all & TheUptake is live as well

All you ever wanted to know about Copenhagen but didn't care to ask!

The only good news so far is that the Yes Men pranked Coke for their voracious consumption of limited water around the world.

Soon all of us can live in a utopia of robotic flying machines and carbon-free giant underground factories, as portrayed by Queen in 'Radio Ga Ga.'

Such is the glorious future of Copenhagen and the 'COP15' meeting now getting underway.

In a move that would have impressed Montgomery Burns, somehow one of the four major components of life on this planet, carbon dioxide, recently got ruled both a pollutant and a sweet, delicious, derivative-worthy commodity in the global late capitalist regulatory universe. (The implications for water, sunlight and oxygen are oddly undefined in this extension of the capitalist ontology). It's BAD BAD BAD, but you can definitely make derivatives out of it (and naturally the people behind this also brought you beloved credit default swaps).

Conveniently, while carbon dioxide is apparently now 'tradable,' somehow 'intellectual property' still 'exists' as well, so rich people connected to guns and lawyers will always have the upper hand, restricting access to the energy technologies that would let our civilization actually develop a viable 'carbon-free' existence. Microsoft is going to resume collecting royalties on PROTOCOLS (frickin' elaborate data handshakes) so do you really think Lockheed, Raytheon et al are going to give you a single atom of carbon tech? HAH! Have fun! Faster than Zeus zapped Prometheus, the intellectual property Nazis are gonna take your 'stolen' carbon gadgets away and slap you with Carbon-DMCA fines until birds eat your liver!

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But first in Copenhagen, a UN working group of sorts is having its 15th iteration dubbed 'COP15,' and the word is that they've run out of limousines and had to call in more from Germany and elsewhere. David Corn has plenty of details about the two negotiating tracks (basically one is a leglly binding Kyoto extension).

Bad journalists are to be silenced immediately when they ask for example this greasy professor about those pesky emails...

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Sooo the anarchists and other people 'on the scene' are not happy about various dimensions of the situation, and so big protests have gone off and mass arrests have already ensued. Appropriately enough the Dutch have wheeled out a new "pre-crime" approach, using the magic-8 ball of the paranoid security state to decide who shall be removed from the scene ahead of time. Naturally medics are first in line for pre-crime detainments.

There were some firecrackers which Olivia Zaleski inaccurately described as gunshots:

More from that report here (with apparent liberal hand-wringing &tc). One comrade on the scene posted this viddy as well:

There is a cacophony of different sides to this and I haven't cared enough to dissect the sides of street organizing. It is pretty hard to tell from the opposite side of the world whether the 'alarmist' people (i.e. the Climate Camp type people) are supporting the COP15 agenda or not, though it seems clear the anarchist direct action campaign is attempting to block as much COP15 work as possible.

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So let's cut to the chase and have some links already...The latest lead stuff from Indymedia.Denmark:

Saturday 12th began with the Flood for Climate Justice Demonstration [photo report] feeding into the main 12dec Demo which included a CJA group.  It soon became clear that it was a massive demonstration, with estimates quickly reaching 100,000 protestors; it was a part of a Global Day of Action on climate change.

Police Make Indiscriminate Mass Arrests

At around 3.15pm the police charged into the march near to where the CJA System Change not Climate Change group had joined the march, as well as people from the NTAC called demonstration who had been sent there earlier by the police from their gathering place in central Copenhagen. The police cut off about a thousand people including many who were marching as part of Libertarian Socialist bloc. By 5pm several hundred had been handcuffed and made to sit on the floor, where they remained in the cold for hours. [Pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] [report | personal account] [video: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] The police's press office reported that those arrested are between 700-900 people, later revised to close to one thousand. See CJA Press Release, of these only three were eventually charged with anything.

Following the enormous mass arrests of climate protestors, accounts are emerging of the poor conditions within the specially set up detention facilities, with people handcuffed for up to eight hours following their lengthy detention upon the streets. Despite this obvious repression climate campaigners remain determined to push the message that we need System Change not climate change.

For updates see Indymedia Timeline | icop15 aggregation | cop15live video

More timelines: Modkraft.dk [dk | en] | Motkraft. net [sv | en] | La Haine [es] | nocop Italy imc

See: Don't Buy the Lie Feature report from 10th Dec | Previous Features

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The ICOP15 aggregator is your best bet for news streams and flagged Twitter hashtags. The InCOP15 twitter is handy as well.

For whatever reason somehow TheUptake.org is all over Copenhagen and you'll be able to get video that way.

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MISC FILE: By the way, Greece is still in terrible shape with an out-of-control authoritarian socialist government crushing tons of angry students. And airstrikes in Afghanistan always seem to kill a magic number: thirty. A science fiction writer was thoroughly abused the Canadian border by the federal border troll patrol. That dude's got grist for his next dystopian nightmare eh? This article rambles a bit but notes Americans are vulnerable to fascist political shifts that cannot be perceived by many.

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On an unrelated note via this great Onion writeup on paranoia thrillers, I watched 1979's Winter Kills with Jeff Bridges. If you've already seen Three Days of the Condor and Parallax View, this rather over-the-top presidential assassination tale rawks. I love Onion reviews.

Note: I finally solved some tech problems so posting should pick up a bit -- the new CKeditor is also great for WYSIWYG work.

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