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John Dolva

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David Bird, Wall Street Journal Reporter, Goes Missing After Reporting for Three Months on Oil Glut in U.S.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Bird is a liver-transplant recipient and is required to take medication twice a day. He did not take his medication with him when he left for the walk.

NBC reported that sources close to the family said one of his credit cards was used in Mexico last Wednesday. Other media outlets have been unable to confirm that report. In the same news story, NBC reported that “the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.”

However, a careful review by Wall Street On Parade of the articles Bird has written for the Wall Street Journal since last October, shows that what he was regularly reporting on was a supply imbalance caused by overproduction of shale oil in the U.S. in the face of slacking demand.

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That story would be a severe threat to the fracking industry, which doesn't need anyone saying they are already fracking too much with regard to actual market demand.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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Thank you Steve. Please keep us updated on that one.


There are a number of topics that raise concern about priorities. I read a neat article in Aftonbladet by Anders Lindberg that is about the decline in medical care in Sweden and touches also on the decline in education that I think goes to the heart of the matter. He says in part roughly (talking about neoliberalism) that market logic is replacing human sympathy as a decisive factor in the realations between humans. The same can be said about human realtionships with the world, nature, nations et.c., in general. Any relationships that seem to have a humanitarian element is merely PR opportunism. Take the situation in Ukraine for example. The far right nationalists have no right to do what they are doing and the working class must dissociate themselves from their actions for they are infact the true enemy. It seems that European power structures they are quite happy to egg them on. This is not a civiliced way to deal with the situation at all. It is instead anti Ukranian and in turn anti European. in the final analysis it is only pro Capital which by its nature is anti human.

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Singer has made common cause with aboriginals who say pollution from oil sands projects is devastating their land.

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  • 3 months later...
North Carolina law would make discussing fracking chemicals illegal
Published time: May 20, 2014 00:17

AFP Photo / David Mcnew

North Carolina legislators are considering a bill that would make it a crime to publicly disclose toxic chemicals that energy companies use in the hydraulic fracturing process, with offenders on the hook for fines or even jail time.

Known as the Energy Modernization Act, the bill would make any unauthorized disclosure of fracking trade secrets – including the chemicals used – punishable with a Class I Felony, according to an Energywire report.

Fracking, a gas and oil mining technique which involves injecting a mixture of sand and chemicals deep into the earth, has been blamed for contaminated drinking water, infertility, birth defects, cancer, air pollution, and other serious concerns. Americans opposed to fracking have not only struggled with obstacles put in place by gas and oil companies, but also with the high profits and employment that come to struggling communities along with the process.

Environmentalists have called for more transparency in the conversation over the chemicals used, although gas companies have fought back by saying that their chemicals are a trade secret and thus should be protected. Now, under the parameters of the North Carolina bill, even firefighters and individual healthcare workers could be in trouble if they openly discuss the chemicals that are injected into the ground near their home.

The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking laws, told Mother Jones.

If the bill, which has the backing of the state’s top Republicans, is signed into law, major corporations could be given the power to force emergency officials to sign confidentiality agreements, although the penalty for breaking that agreement is unclear.

I think the only penalties to fire chiefs and doctors, if they talked about it at their annual conference, would be the penalties contained in the confidentiality agreement,” Wiseman went on. “But [the bill] is so poorly worded, I cannot confirm that if an emergency responder or fire chief discloses that confidential information, they too would not be subject to a felony.”

Fracking is currently prohibited in North Carolina until the state legislature is able to agree on which regulations to impose on gas companies. Early proposals have already earned praise for creating some of the strictest regulations in the US, although critics have worried that the draft is being used as a distraction until state Republicans are able to devise a strategy that is more beneficial to corporations. The introduction of the Energy Modernization Act is already being portrayed as a step in that direction.

Environmental groups say they favor some of the provisions [in the bill],” Energywire reported. “It would put the state geologist in charge of maintaining the chemical information and would allow the state’s emergency management office to use it for planning. It also would allow the state to turn over the information immediately to medical providers and fire chiefs.”

Public health advocates warned that such perks could turn the Energy Modernization Act into a Trojan Horse that makes testing chemicals impossible. The US Environmental Protection Agency has waded into the debate as well, announcing earlier this month that it is considering forcing major companies to disclose which chemicals are used in the fracking process.

Deborah Goldberg, a lawyer at Earthjustice, which is dedicated to protecting natural resources, told Salon that the EPA’s involvement, and thus the possibility of more transparency, is essential.

We want to be sure that there is some agency that actually is collecting the information about what is being used in these shale plays across the country,” she said. “The disclosure we are getting right now is pretty spotty.”

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  • 5 months later...

WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Oil and gas companies are exploiting federal loopholes to frack with cancer-causing petroleum-based products, a report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) said.

"Despite a federal ban on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing without a permit, several oil and gas companies are exploiting a Safe Drinking Water Act loophole, pushed through by Halliburton to frack with petroleum-based products, containing even more dangerous toxic chemicals than diesel," a statement published on the watchdog's website Wednesday said.

The group found that one of the primary ingredients in fluids, used in fracking, contains a highly toxic chemical called benzene, which is more toxic than diesel fuel and harmful to drinking water supplies and public health.

According to the statement, permits are required for fracking with diesel fuel; however, companies can inject other petroleum products even more toxic than diesel without using a permit.

"This double standard illustrates what happens when Congress manipulates environmental statutes for the benefit of polluters, instead of allowing EPA [uS Environmental Protection Agency] to make public health decisions based on the best available science," EIP Executive Director and former Director of Civil Enforcement at EPA Eric Schaeffer said in the statement.

Halliburton, the company that pushed for the 2005 loophole which exempts fracking from the requirements of the 1973 Safe Drinking Water Act is one of the largest fracking companies.

The study recommends that Congress should revise and repeal the 2005 loophole by advising the US Environmental Protection Agency to require safeguards for the Safe Drinking Water Act from using chemicals that contain large amounts of benzene and other toxic chemicals.

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