New Fracking Bill being introduced will eliminate hazardous chemicals loophole.

                   As any normal person knows Fracking is very contreversial. Fracking is well known for polluting natural water and land areas. There are at least 23 known carcinogens used in the Fracking process and 5% of all wells fail immediately. The failure is caused by a leak in the concrete. The Natural Gas Drilling Industry refuses to recognize any of this. They are also not required to list the chemicals used because of an exemption in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) and U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Ca.) introduced a bill to end the chemical exemption. The Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion Regulations Act (CLEANER) takes aim at eliminating the hazardous waste exemption. The Bill currently has 43 co-sponsors, all Democrats. The Bill faces an uphill battle because of the Republican majority in the House.

The RCRA was amended to exempt waste from the production and development of oil, natural gas and geothermal waste. This has allowed the Fracking Industry to run amuck. They have destroyed whole habitats, as well as families drinking water in everyone of the 34 states they are currently drilling in. Republicans have defended the Natural Gas Drilling Industry high and low. They have gone so far as trying to remove the Federal EPA from their state. They have knowingly lied to the press, releasing contaminated water tests to homeowners and telling the press that there was no pollution.

The industry has spent millions of dollars on lobbying. Governor Tom Corbett (R-Pa) has recieved about $1.5 million dollars from the Natural Gas Drilling Industry. When a lawmaker recieves that much money from an industry, how can they be expected to make the correct decisions for the people. I thought it was illegal to recieve money from a business that you would make legislation for. Conflict of Interest. But for now the Fracking Industry has a free pass to pollute our water and destroy our environment. It is good knowing someone is trying to hold them accountable.

This isn’t my grandparents America.

                 Our grandparents would not recognize the America we live in. The Government has let the people down now more than ever. Fracking is causing pollution to water and air across the country and Natural Gas Drillers are not being held responsible.

Because of an exemption in the Clean Water Act, Natural Gas Drilling Companies don’t have to report the chemicals they use. The Federal EPA does not control what happens in states, that is left mainly to the states EPA. Across the country the EPA was pressured to stop their investigations. Corporate money has shown its true hold on our government in the Fracking issue.

President Obama, who I am an ardent supporter of has done nothing for these Americans who are suffering. Democrats have done little more and Republicans share more of the guilt than any party. The lack of action from the Obama administration really bothers me. I know Democrats are not perfect, I have said so on many occasions. But this is an issue they should be perfect on. To let a government agency like the EPA be shutdown by corporate interests is inherently wrong.

The people have lost their voice in many cases. We lost it to lobbyist throwing money at Legislators and then pulling their puppet strings. The people don’t control our government, large entities like the Koch Brothers, ALEC, NRA and Exxon Mobile seem to control our everyday life. The Supreme Court exacerbated this problem with their Citizens United decisions. Corporations have the rights of people, but don’t get punished like the people when they break the law. The corporations have had their thumb on our head long enough. It is time for this to change.

New Gas Drilling Legislation on Governor Corbetts desk weakens negotiating rights for landowners.

            New Oil and Gas Drilling Legislation seriously weakens landowners negotiating rights with Fracking Companies. The National Association of Royalty Owners said last minute changes to a Senate Bill would allow drilling companies to use decades old mineral leases to force current landowners to accept Marcellus Shale drilling under their property.

Trevor Walczack, Vice President of the association’s Pennsylvania chapter, said Corbett shouldn’t sign the bill. Although his group normally favors oil and gas drilling. Unfortunately Governor Corbett’s history suggests he will side with Natural Gas Drilling Companies, he has sided with corporations more often than not. Walczak said the bill would ultimately be similar to forced pooling. A drilling company can force some landowners to accept drilling if many of the surrounding households have agreed.

The Legislation would apply to people with existing oil or gas leases. Heirs to leases signed many years sgo for traditional drilling would be forced to accept fracking. Which can extend under neighbors lands and the neighbor would be forced to accept Fracking on their land as well. Fracking has led to a Natural Gas boom in Pennsylvania and millions of dollars in royalties for leaseholders.

Pollution caused by Fracking has been well documented in States that have had Fracking for several years. Water from a faucet catching on fire, cancer clusters, headaches among many other symptoms from the pollution. The EPA does not have clearance to check the chemicals used for Fracking. But samples taken have shown at least 23 known carcinogens. Governor Corbett has basically let these Natural Gas Drilling companies to drill in Pennsylvania tax free. Republicans and Democrats in the State House and Senate have been at odds about Fracking for quite some time. It figures our Pennsylvania lawmakers would try to take away citizens negotiation rights. Why not pollute and make billions while not paying a dime? That is where this is headed.

2014, the year we remove Governor Corbett from office.

              Governor Tom Corbett took office in 2010 and no one really knows how. I don’t know anyone who voted for him. Pennsylvania generally votes democrat. We voted for President Obama by about 6% points. Corbett has a pretty spotty record since taking over as governor and he is behind in the polls to any Democratic challenger.

He has cut funding to education, instead of taxing Natural Gas Drilling, which could easily make up the money for education. He has been implicated in receving illegal benefits from these companies. He has also recieved over $1 million from Natural Gas Drilling Companies since becoming governor. Under his watch Pennsylvania is ranked 49 in the country in job creation.

His once popular privatization of the State’s Liquor Stores is losing steam. His Pension Reform Plan has been deemed unconstitutional. It seems every move that he makes is wrong for the state. As a typical Republican he is blaming the people for the lack of jobs, saying that companies cannot hire people because they cannot pass a drug test. He is out of touch with his constituents.

Democrats in the state have attempted to keep his radical agenda in check. Voting to keep his more extreme measures in check, while attempting to work with him on his more bipartisan bills. His attempt to give education money back the year before election stinks of desperation. Hopefully our state votes intelligently this time around and removes One Term Tommy from office. He is in office to help corporations make more money and protect them from responsibility. Just look at the Frackers who are free to do as they will. This is Corporate Pennsylvania now.

Oklahoma Senator holds constituents hostage over tornado aid.

                      Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said that federal aid to tornado ravaged parts of his home state will be different than a Hurricane Sandy Aid Bill he voted against last year. He said everyone was getting in and exploiting the tragedy that was Hurricane Sandy. President Obama said he has already signed a federal disaster declaration for parts of Oklahoma, where tornadoes have caused dozens of fatalities and caused billions of dollars in damage.

             Inhofe said that the Sandy Relief Bill was supposed to be in New Jersey but the Virgin Islands were receiving money, to fix roads and putting roofs on houses in Washington D.C. Both Inhofe and Coburn voted to slash aid to Sandy victims, with Inhofe saying he considered the full proposed aid amount to be a slush fund.

            While Northeastern states like New Jersey and New York suffered some of the worst damage from Hurricane Sandy. The storm affected 24 other states as well, as it carved a path of destruction from the Caribbean Sea to the Great Lakes. Hurricane Sandy is believed to have cost $50 billion, making it the second most expensive storm in U.S. history.

              Senator Tom Coburn is effectively holding his constituents hostage looking for budget cuts in order to approve Tornado Aid. He will not support Tornado Aid, disaster relief unless he gets budget cuts. This disaster is of course turning political just like any other issue Republicans touch. Americablog said Tom Coburn is taking his constituents hostage as budget cutting human shields. With complete contempt for the children who were killed and the people who were left homeless.

           Maybe its time for Senator Coburn and Republicans to be voted out of office. He and his cohorts are not taking care of their constituents. A good place to begin cutting the budget would be the Oil industry. Why won’t they propose cuts to the subsidies given to this industry to make room for the aid bill? Big oil is making a lot of money, these people lost everything. Senators where are your priorities? But these 2 goons tried to Filibuster medical funds to 9/11 first responders. Say what you will about Democrats, but when people need help they don’t hold anyone hostage. They don’t use disastee to further their agenda.

Governor Corbett blames high unemployment numbers in Pa. on jobless using drugs.

                    Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania explains away poor job numbers, saying that most unemployed are on drugs. He is battling an uphill battle trying to keep his post as governor. He has a negative job approval rating and the states slow economic recovery are both working against him. The states unemployment rate dropped to 7.9%, but the number of people working in Pa. tumbled about 14,000 employees in March, following a drop of 6,000 in February. Private job creations has remained flat for over a year, growing by 1,000 jobs and leaving the state ranked 49th in the country in job creations.

              In trying to explain away Pennsylvania’s less than stellar jobs performance, he argued that the state gained 111,000 private sector jobs, since he took office. He insists Pennsylvania is doing better than other states on his watch. He grew defensive when interviewed and complained that a lot of bussineses are having trouble filling job openings because many Pennsylvanians use illegal drugs.

               A Quinnipac University Polling Institute Poll released recently found Corbett trailing potential Democratic opponents by at least 9 percentage points. His approval rating has been in steady decline. He has been linked directly to several scandals and many of his ideas have been met with cynicism because of his overly friendly relationship with the Natural Gas Drilling Industry. His aattempts to alter the state pension funds have been called unconstitutional and have been held up. His cuts to education have been well documented, as well as the fact he has received over $1 million from Natural Gas Drillers since becoming governor.

       Earlier this year a Pennsylvania state senator introduced a bill requiring drug testing of all recipients and applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Pa. The state is currently conducting a pilot program. 19 counties across the Commonwealth have started testing only those who have been convicted of felony drug offenses.

               This isn’t the first time Governor Corbett has attacked the jobless. During the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he said many jobless are just going to sit there and not seek work until their unemployment benefits run out. It also worth noting that since Corbett took over as governor, Pennsylvania’s record on jobs has deteriorated. In 2011 the year Corbett took office, just 1.8% of workers in Federally regulated industries failed drug tests. Typical of a Republican to bland the people for his failings.

            Pennsylvania has been torn under Governor Corbett. Republicans and Democrats are in constant state of disagreement. Of the 100 people I have asked, I know alot of people who hate President Obama, 83 of them said they are unhappy with Corbett and will vote for someone else. It is not the most sophisticated poll, but it does show a small concensus about his performance. I guess he is not called One Term Tommy because he will be reelected.

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Detroit tar sands refinery explosion.

           On April 27 a major explosion rocked the Marathon Detroit Refinery in Detroit, Michigan. It sent a thick plume of smoke into the sky and pollution into the air. It caused a brief evacuation for the neighboring town of Melvindale. It was quickly withdrawn. The worst part of this, is the growing list of oil related incidents it joins. It is already proving to be a devastating year in terms of toxice fumes and pollution.

          As of now officials aren’t sure what caused the explosion. It happened when a mixture of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia blew up a tank during maintenence work. Reportedly there were no deaths or injuries. As economically ravaged as Detroit is, they could ill afford this unfortunate incident and the resulting environmental pollution. The refinery processes dirty Canadian tar sands, the sane type that would run through the contreversial Keystone XL pipeline,  if it ever gets built.

             According to an environmental study by scientist at the university of Michigan conducted, the Marathon refinery was already notoriously toxic prior to the explosion. The study shows that the zip code was the most heavily polluted in Detroit. Detroit is the most polluted area in all of Michigan. Nearby residents commonly suffer from leukemia, asthma and multiple types of cancer.

                 The Marathon refinery had received 13 air pollution violations since 2001. Althoughnone resulted in a penalties because Marathon took quick corrective action. On the other hand, sampling performed by residents and overseen by Global Community Monitor, and environmental group out of California, in 2010 found high levels is benzene, a known carcinogen. Hydrogen sulfide was found near the plant. In one case more than 20 chemicals, including benzene, were detected in a residents basement. The EPA investigation traced the contamination to Marathon’s dumping of waste water into the city sewer systems.

                 Many residents around the Marathon refinery are beginning to accept buyouts. Marathon has been squiring houses in a decaying neighborhood in Oakwood Heights. Many others ate still awaiting offers in order to get away from the pollution.

           I have barely heard mention of this on the news. Just because there were not any fatalities doesn’t change the fact that this is bad news. The oversight on these potentially hazardous plants is not working. Apparently these is another case of corporate money buying freedom to do as you will. These again relies on our government to correct the growing problems in the oil industry. Democrats are already on board, but of course Republicans are more concerned with protecting their corporate handlers. There have been enough problems with oil companies this year, lets get some oversight.

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