On August 7, President Obama reluctantly authorized the use of force in Iraq. He said it was to protect U.S. personnel and the Yazidis under attack from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Obama’s return of U.S. forces to Kurdish Iraq was part of a massive lobbying effort by a series of high ranking former U.S. military officers and diplomats on the Kurds’ payroll. Like the generals and admirals who took to the airwaves to promote George Bush’s Iraq war, a similar cast of characters is urging U.S. support for the Kurds. Continue reading Obama’s Iraq War – The Kurdish Connection
Anti-fracking protestors, a recent march in Albany, call for Gov. Andrew to ban tracking statewide. (Photo: 350.org)
ALBANY, N.Y. — Towns across New York State and as far away as Texas and Colorado may soon feel the aftershocks of a landmark decision June 30 by the highest court in New York that towns have the authority to ban drilling for natural gas.
The 5-2 ruling by the state Court of Appeals has emboldened opponents of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, for fracking, and they hope to make the most of it.
“Any town that has held off banning fracking for fear of getting sued by the frackers just got a neon green light to proceed with a ban,” said Chip Northrup, an energy investor turned anti-drilling activist from Cooperstown. “While they are at it, they should ban frack waste, since most New York towns are more liable to being dumped on than fracked.” Continue reading Landmark Decision for Local Control – Major Setback for Fracking Supporters
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)
Carlsbad, New Mexico – A vast salt mine under the New Mexico desert was the Department of Energy’s last nuclear waste storage solution. On Valentines night, one of the now suspect 500 waste drums from DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) blast open inside DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Casks filled with 3.2 million cubic feet of deadly radioactive wastes remain buried at the crippled plant. That huge facility was rendered useless. Investigators believe the waste drums from Los Alamos were incorrectly packed under DOE supervision and one of them exploded.
“As part of the ongoing efforts to identify the cause of the event at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, we are evaluating all possible causes including the waste packages themselves,” a statement issued by DOE says. “All possible scenarios will be thoroughly investigated until the cause of the event has been determined.” Investigators are examining “the possibility that a chemical reaction may have occurred within a drum, causing a potential release.”
The disaster at WIPP is rooted in careless contractors and lack of DOE oversight, according to a DOE report released on April 24. Continue reading Breaking Bad: A Nuclear Waste Disaster