Today we feature four separate reports covering fracked radioactive waste disposal, benzene leaks in southern NM, Trump’s perilously stupid corona virus policy, and a report on Biden being the perfect Trump foil.
A New Approach to Saturday Posts
Developing a post can take 4-5 hours and a good deal of reading of online reporting. In the course of scanning and reading dozens of articles each week, I find several that are worth your review, but that don’t fit into the schedule. So, I am going to try out a new approach to Saturday, offering a series of brief introductions to the best articles I’ve reviewed the past week. By not developing an in-depth post, I will save myself valuable hours, and by curating online reporting I hope to make your self-education a bit easier, knowing that whatever appears on Saturday is likely worth your review.
The Rolling Stone article below covering the dumping of radioactive waste from fracking…yes, produced water again…is the most shocking report I’ve read in years. Utterly and entirely shameless.
I also offer two videos, one from the Sunrise Movement and the other a CNN report that exposes Trump’s complete ignorance about the corona virus. Together the two videos take just 13 minutes.
Please comment below on how today’s post worked for you and make suggestions as to how to improve on the idea.
Retake on KSFR LIVE, today 8 am–9 am in studio, on 101.1 FM. Roxanne and I can take your questions, but more importantly we want to take your donations for KSFR, as it is pledge week.
CALL BETWEEN 8:00 — 9:00 am TODAY 428-1393
Journey Santa Fe with Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 11:00AM-12:00PM at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., Santa Fe). Members of YUCCA are currently in the Permian Basin to document the extreme extraction taking place. Their presentation will include a report-back from the oil fields as well as an update on their plans for a student strike and direct action on Earth Day, April 22. Yesterday, I lamented the absence of serious, sustained civil disobedience. Along with XR-Santa Fe (Extinction Rebellion), YUCCA represents the group that is most seriously mapping out direct actions that could have an impact. With more folks helping out, their impact could be more powerful and more sustainable. Come find out what they are thinking.
For Your Reading Pleasure
Rolling Stone Article Exposes Widespread Radioactivity Leaks Related to Fracking Water: UNBELIEVABLE!
Marlene (Penny) Aucoin and her family were showered with radioactive toxic waste water that exploded from a drilling operation near their property on January 21, 2020. The Aucoin family lives just outside Carlsbad city limits in southern Eddy County, where oil and gas operations have increased significantly in the last year.
The incident occurred the exact same day that Rolling Stone published an in-depth exposé on the radioactive toxicity of this water and the cavalier manner in which gas and oil companies expose truck drivers (and many others) to this toxic waste. One driver became concerned about his exposure and began collecting samples of the “brine” he was transporting. The brine would soak his feet and hands on a daily basis.
He took the brine to the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University. And what they found more than confirmed his concerns.
The two most common isotopes are radium-226 and radium-228, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires industrial discharges to remain below 60 for each. Four of Peter’s samples registered combined radium levels above 3,500, and one was more than 8,500…. regulations have only gotten weaker. ‘Legislators have laid out a careful set of exemptions that allow this industry to exist,’ says Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Environmental Network, an Ohio community-organizing group. ‘There is no protection for citizens at all — nothing. ‘ ”Rolling Stone, America’s Radioactive Secret, Jan 21, 2020
Rolling Stone does a brilliant job of tracing the gas and oil industry’s history of creating radioactive brine and the EPA’s 1980 ruling that this waste should not be classified as hazardous waste, as that would have forced the industry to submit to regulation that would have made extraction no longer cost-effective. To give you an idea just how out of control this situation is, in Louisiana, used pipes from fracking operations were donated to community playgrounds to build fencing, pipes with 20,000 times the level of allowable radon. The brined water is routinely dumped into rivers, this even before Trump’s executive order allowing the practice. In 13 states it is also used extensively on roads to treat road ice and dust and brined water is the primary ingredient in AquaSalina, a home de-icing product sold at Lowe’s with the label “Safe for the Environment and Pets.” This collusion for profit is outlined in great deal in this MUST READ piece.
Click here to read the Rolling Stone piece.
Worst Benzene Emissions Problem in the US: Artesia, NM
The worst benzene emissions problem in the US was in Pennsylvania, but that facility exploded into flames and has not been returned to operation. The second worst is operating in Artesia, NM, with over 3,000 low-income Hispanic people breathing this air day in and day out. It should be criminal.
The second worst for benzene pollution at the end of the third quarter of 2019 was the HollyFrontier Navajo Artesia refinery in Artesia, New Mexico, where monitors at the plant’s fenceline detected benzene at amounts four times the EPA standard. Earlier in 2019, this refinery’s first annual average net benzene concentration was 290 micrograms per cubic meter, or over 32 times the EPA action level. When examining individual sampling periods, HollyFrontier’s Artesia refinery had by far the highest measured benzene reported to EPA, with a net sampling period concentration of 998 micrograms per cubic meter for the periods ending on 6/19/18 and 7/31/18, over 30 times the minimal risk level for acute exposure to benzene. “Monitoring for Benzene at Refinery Fencelines by Environmental Integrity Project
Click here to read the full Environmental Integrity report.
NY Times: “As Trump Botches Coronavirus, I Long for…Giuliani”
It takes a good deal for anything to cause one to long for Rudy Giuliani, but Donald Trump is up to the task. In the span of a week, he promised a vaccine within months, told people who have corona virus and feel okay to go to work, and used a press conference slated to reassure the American people to brag about himself and to attack Democrats, then to inexplicably blame Obama, and lastly to say, “healthy people should be able to fully recover.” Too bad if you happen to be one of millions of Americans who are old or frail; not Trump’s concern.
What Trump never did was evince a shred of compassion or empathy. And his way of reassuring the American public was to minimize what is at stake in defiance of experts throughout the world.
Click here to read the full Trump-Corona virus report.
Biden Comes With a Background Perfectly Suited for Trump to Exploit
This TruthDig article offers details that should frighten you: a Biden candidacy ensures a second term for Trump. The author lays out one problem after another that would offer Trump easy targets in debate and social media. We may have no choice in the end, but while we still do, it is worth considering if this is the best path.
Click here to read this excellent synopsis.
For Your Viewing Pleasure
The article on the significant chinks in Biden’s armor should alarm you. This video below should inspire you, as it features the faces and voices of America’s future: our youth. They are not inspired by Biden, but they will walk through walls for Bernie.
Trump: No End to the Offenses
It’s just stunning, the stupidity and arrogance of this man. While I continue to hold out hope for Bernie, and while I respect those who wrote to say that they will NEVER vote for Biden, no matter what, Retake will not go down that path. Several readers commented that Biden is as bad as Trump, just a typical neo-liberal.
I couldn’t disagree more. Biden may be a neo-liberal, but Trump is a mentally unstable, pathological liar, xenophobic white supremacist with a dangerous view of democracy and a serious inclination towards fascism. Another four years of Trump is simply not tolerable. All the more reason why I hope you do whatever you can to help Bernie over the next few weeks because the guy featured below is beyond the pale.
Paul & Roxanne
Hi Paul. You and Roxanne are veritable perpetual motion machines of research and expository writing. Are you both on pharmaceutical speed? Just joking, but this new strategy of yours is great, like going to a cafeteria of solid information and sampling what your hunger demands.
Cliff notes for the perpetual student in me. It is also tragic that your time and ours has to be consumed with the gaining of knowledge of how NOT to live a life and NOT do things from hubric impulse.
Wish I had more time to read and think, but there is just no rest for the wicked revolutionary in me. I am successfully feeding more than a thousands birds a day, with about 12 species identified so far.
I almost always read the articles that you include in the blog, so sending a brief intro and a link for each piece has almost no effect on what I actually receive. I’ve also subscribed to Common Dreams, the Intercept, Truthout, and TruthDig largely based on earlier articles you featured.
That said, I most likely wouldn’t have found the Rolling Stone article on radioactive brine on my own. It makes enormously difficult reading (more than Chris Hedges, to put it in perspective.) It also gives us good ammunition to agitate for a fracking ban etc. That service, finding the appalling for us so we know more about what to fight and know stronger, overwhelmingly stronger, arguments, is what I look to you for. Keep it coming. After all, this is a war.
I also agree with you about Bernie and Biden—I’ll support Bernie to the last possible minute and vote for Biden if necessary while trying not to throw up. I won’t donate, but Bloomberg’s putting out sharp TV ads for Biden, so that’s covered. Except I don’t think Biden can defeat Trump. Yes, “we” outnumber “them,” but on top of selective voter suppression with hours of wait time to cast ballots and the no show youth vote that Sunrise worked so hard to turn out without much effect, Biden is just too weak. Mixing up his wife and his sister?! Trump will eat him alive in debates. All that quid pro quo effort to get dirt on the Biden’s was a sheer waste of criminal intent. Bullying and strings of flagrant Pinocchio’s topped off with more bullying, the usual Trump MO, will be more than sufficient.
The corporate media has been going after Bernie big time, and no one is calling them out. Bernie just got endorsed by Jesse Jackson, but that was offset by all of the big time complicit democrats endorsing Biden. They helped get trump elected so interfering in our democracy, to protect their owners, and the corrupt corporations, is not much of a stretch.
The corporate media and oil and gas has been pulling the wool over our eyes about the radio activity and toxic brine. Even worse the bottom could fall out of the Fracking Scheme, and we will be left to clean up the mess. By we I mean the children of New Mexico, the generation that did not get an education, because money was diverted to corporate tax breaks, and supporting oil and gas.
Trump has been sucking up to the Saudis for years, keeping the oil prices artificially high to suit trumps economic shell game.
Today in the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/08/oil-price-to-plunge-as-much-as-20-as-saudis-vow-to-step-up-production
We are not hearing about all of the deaths, and maiming. The regulations have been pretty much stripped.
Best use of Corona Virus to market something!