John Marvinstands beside Painted Post Water Train on Oct 24, 2014 (Photo by Peter Mantius)
Withdrawal Permits, Bulk Water Sales Approved Without Environmental Reviews
PAINTED POST, N.Y. — Barely a football field away from John Marvin’s modest house, 42 black railcars full of water sit waiting for the signal to begin rolling south to supply fracking drill pads across the Pennsylvania border. When the water train lurches and clanks through the village — often at pre-dawn hours — it sounds ear-splitting whistles at each street crossing.
“How is everybody supposed to sleep at night?” asked Marvin, who tends his stroke-slowed wife in the family living room. “And what happens if they deplete our water supply? Do we go to water rationing?”
Painted Post siphons water from a shallow, rain-dependent aquifer it shares with several neighboring communities, including the town of Corning. In 2012 the village signed a five-year deal reportedly worth up to $20 million with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell to sell up to 1 million gallons a day used to frack Shell’s natural gas wells in Pennsylvania. The village has called the sale a routine disposal of “surplus property.” Continue reading New York State Allows Water Grab
Vineyards in the Seneca Lake (Wikipedia)
Brushing aside warnings of dangerous geological risk, federal regulators say construction can start immediately on a methane gas storage project next to Seneca Lake that has galvanized opposition from wine and tourism businesses across the Finger Lakes in upstate New York.
The Sept. 30 decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission represents a major breakthrough for Houston-based Crestwood Midstream. The company has been waging a five-year campaign for permission to convert long-abandoned lakeside salt caverns into a regional storage hub for both methane gas and liquid petroleum gas, or LPG, from fracking operations in Pennsylvania. Continue reading FERC Approves NY Methane Storage Project
Since 2008, investors have poured several hundred billion dollars into fossil fuel-related master limited partnerships that shield income from virtually all corporate taxation. The MLP tax loophole — a sort of reverse carbon tax — has heavily subsidized the nation’s ongoing oil and natural gas fracking boom.
Solar, wind and other renewable energy companies are not eligible for the MLP tax dodge. Although bipartisan support is building in Congress to extend the tax deductions to them, insiders say legislation to do so will most likely have to wait for and be a part of a comprehensive tax reform package, which has proven elusive.
Until then, existing incentives will serve as a drag on the U.S. economy’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. As long as Congress fails to act, fossil fuels will continue to exploit their government-approved competitive advantage even as mounting evidence shows their use accelerates global warming and prompts calls to tax carbon. Continue reading Fossil Fuels Get Huge Master Limited Partnership Tax Breaks – “Green” Energy Shut Out
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