Friday, April 22, 2011

In North Carolina, the Pig Manure is Hitting the Fan

The 10 million hogs in NC generate 40 million gallons of untreated waste containing antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and other chemicals that leach into the environment. Voluntary regulations for this waste have had little effect in controlling this pollution and the problem has gotten out of hand with a deleterious impact on public health and waterways.

Natural Gas Drilling Is at a Crucial Turning Point

ProPublica has been investigating the details behind hydraulic fracturing in the natural gas industry since 2008, and what they've discovered is that the industry is not as clean and safe as proponents claim. This is a critical health and safety issue for huge swaths of the US where fracking is proceeding with reckless abandon despite warnings that the chemicals used in the process are introducing toxics and radiation into our drinking water supply. Reports have also begun to emerge that Natural Gas drilling might create almost as much greenhouse-gas release as coal.

Pickens Thinks New Yorkers Don’t Understand Fracking

T. Boone Pickens, who is a magnate in the oil and natural gas business, delivers a message to New Yorkers and the rest of the country about the safety of hydrofracking: don't worry. It's safe! If it's so safe then why did former VP Dick Cheney make sure that the chemicals used in the process were exempt from Clean Drinking Water Act oversight? And, Mr. Pickens, how about letting the public know exactly what chemicals are used in the fracking process. That would actually make it easier for people to test water supplies for contamination by knowing what compounds to look for...

GOP Struggles to Dent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

It seems that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was created by the Dodd-Frank financial reforms to protect the public against predatory loans and other unethical and illegal practices has emerged from the budget fight in a strong position despite attempts by the GOP to undermine the bureau and cut its' funding. This is good news for working Americans and I personally hope that President Obama will nominate Elizabeth Warren to be the permanent head of the CFPB.

Fla. GOP Pushes Controversial Voting Law Changes

Florida Republicans are moving to cut in half the amount of time allotted for early voting in the state, in an attempt to hurt the Democratic ticket in 2012. Over three quarters of Florida voters turned out in 2008 and there were long lines despite two weeks of early voting. These maneuverings clearly are an attempt to reduce turnout that might benefit Democrats, as higher voter participation did in 2008, and is being pushed by the state's conservative Governor Rick Scott.

Chomsky: Is the World Too Big to Fail? The Contours of Global Order

Noam Chomsky connects the Grand Area doctrine that was established as the US emerged from WW II as a dominant global force, to the Iraq War and now the intervention in Libya, as well as  a host of 20th Century United States military and geopolitical actions.