Archive for July 4th, 2011

by jhwygir

For up-to-the-moment news from an affected landowner, please read Alexis Bonogofsky’s twitter timeline.

Of greatest interest today, she reports that Exxon did not send out their specialized crews today.

Nice, huh?

While MSNBC reports that Exxon officials are now saying the spill could extend beyond the 10 miles they’ve originally reported.

You don’t say? And I’m loving those qualifiers (could? Really? We’re in flood!)

Please take notice of the wildlife photos on that MSNBC story.

On that note, Ms. Bonogofsky, ranch owner of Blue Creek Farms has also reported on the immediate loss of wildlife from her Yellowstone River ranch.

I cry for her loss. It is heartbreaking to hear of this devastation. I wish there was something I could do.

Watch Mike Scott, who is co-owner with Alexis of Blue Creek farms, question Exxon in this KTVQ-NBC Billings report and video.

And again – on that note – ranch owners Alexis and Mike were kicked out of the press conference and public officials did nothing to stop this banishment.

The agriculture industry is being ruined down there along the Yellowstone and public officials are allowing Exxon to clean up their image by keeping affected landowners out of press conferences? Shame to any and all who escorted Alexis and Mike out of that press conference.

by lizard

America, you’ve been good to me. I exited my Mother’s womb through her vagina in 1978 with a golden ticket that said “Welcome to America, land of freedom and opportunity, now don’t fuck it up.”

I did my best to be a good kid, got good grades, played sports, and developed socially acceptable heterosexual urges, which later evolved into a lawfully recognized union between myself and my wife, allowing us to officially propagate our genetic material, which we successfully accomplished, twice (and both my kids also received golden tickets).

But somewhere along the way I grew disenchanted, America, with your shiny image, and began to scrutinize the messy underbelly of your well-crafted top-side.

Down there it’s a different story. Despite the best of intentions, we never got too far away from the old world, and America is just a 235 year old extension of the age-old desire to gain as much power and control as possible. In this narrative the peasants never mattered, but their existence was still required, so a general upgrade of their respective cages was granted. This was known as “The Enlightenment”.

It wasn’t until the Great Wars that the divine role of America became solidified in the national consciousness. This new strain of unassailable exceptionalism is an impenetrable armor that casually dismisses any historical comparisons of other failed empires to the long skirts of Lady Liberty’s brash style of Imperialism.

Because it can’t happen here. Until it does.

But you, sweet America, are a brightly-feathered peacock on 24-hour display, and with powerful media engines massaging thought into certain shapes, this warped game of value late-capitalism is forcing us to play may still take decades to prove itself as catastrophically unsustainable as many of us already know it is.

by jhwygirl

The story develops – this from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Pruessing (Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. president) also said that the 12-inch pipeline had been temporarily shut down in May because of concerns over the rising waters on the Yellowstone. He said the company decided to restart the line after examining its safety record and deciding the risk was low.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees pipelines, last year issued a warning letter to Exxon Mobil that cited seven safety violations along the ruptured Silvertip pipeline. Two of the warnings faulted the company for its emergency response and pipeline corrosion training.

And this…

The 20-year-old pipeline was last inspected in 2009 using a robotic device that travels through the line looking for corrosion, dents or other problems, Pruessing said. Tests to determine the pipeline’s depth were taken in December, and at the time, the line appeared to be 5 to 8 feet below the riverbed, he said.

So Exxon inspected the line and provided the report. These are guys with a history of safety violations – yes, here in Montana too.

Please notice the language “the line appeared to be 5 to 8 feet below the riverbed”. Did they inspect it or not? How could you be off by 5 to 8 feet? Or was that a guess?

Why the government hasn’t learned its lesson over self-regulation is beyond me. At minimum, the permitting process should included ongoing fees for inspections, and the government should be hiring 3rd party contractors to do these inspections.

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