Ever wonder how many asthma attacks are caused by the oil and gas industry?


AP/Carlos Osorio

❝ New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry.

The report, Gasping for Breath, is the first to quantify the effects of smog caused by oil and gas production and distribution. The authors used industry data submitted to the EPA’s National Emissions Inventory, particularly looking at methane and volatile organic compounds, which can interact to create smog. This chemical reaction is facilitated by ultraviolet rays and heat — which is why smog is a bigger problem in the summer than the winter.

VOCs, which include gasoline, benzene, and formaldehyde, are particularly concerning. Not only are they often heavier than air, allowing them to pool in low-lying areas, where people live and breath — many VOCs are known carcinogens.

❝ While the report looks specifically at the year 2025, when most currently proposed regulation is expected to be fully in effect, the level of impact is roughly the same today, according to Lesley Fleischman, the report’s lead author. That’s because most of the facilities expected to be in production in nine years are already being used.

“There is reason to think that the impact today is on the same scale,” Lesley Fleischman, the report’s lead author said. “The vast majority of emissions are from existing sources.”

Meanwhile, oil and gas production continues to grow

Every major organization associated with the producers of oil and gas – of course – rejects plans to reduce this crap getting into the air we breathe. Profits are more important than people. Especially in one of the oldest and most powerful extractive industries in the United States.

One more reason not only to holler at your Congress-critter to support doing something about the problem; but, make certain they’re not taking money from the industry they should be trying to regulate. For our health and safety.

A principled decision by the US government offers Native Americans an opportunity for justice


Lucas Reynolds

❝ Shortly after federal Judge James Boasberg denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Department of Justice and Army Corps of Engineers issued a joint statement that, in effect, temporarily halts all construction bordering Lake Oahe on the Missouri.

❝ The tribe had sought an injunction to stop the routing of the Dakota Access oil pipeline underneath the Missouri River, the source of the reservation’s drinking water, on the grounds that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had failed to conduct a proper environmental and cultural impact study. While acknowledging that damage had been done to an area sacred to the tribe, Boasberg said that the tribe had not made its case for an injunction…

❝ Shortly after Judge Boasberg’s decision, the three government agencies stepped in, suggesting that a change in process may be in order when it comes to how the courts and federal law view Indian land.

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act,” the joint announcement stated. “However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.”

❝ The agencies called for “serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.” The statement announced “formal, government-to-government consultations” this fall that would examine what the federal government can do “to ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights,” and whether new legislation was needed to meet the goal of meaningful consultation

“The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws,” the statement said. “Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time…”

❝ Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II expressed elation and gratitude.

“Our hearts are full. This an historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and for tribes across the nation,” Archambault said in a statement. “Today, three federal agencies announced the significant decision to respect tribal sovereignty and stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Army Corps land…”

“Our voices have been heard,” said Archambault. “The Obama administration has asked tribes to the table to make sure that we have meaningful consultation on infrastructure projects. Native peoples have suffered generations of broken promises and today the federal government said that national reform is needed to better ensure that tribes have a voice on infrastructure projects like this pipeline…”

Please RTFA. Judge Boasberg’s decision is worth reflection. Even though I believe like too many in the American legal profession he forgets to consider the spirit of laws intended to protect people and their property at a higher priority than corporate wealth and profit.

The full statement from David Archambault 11, Standing Rock Chairman is inclusive and reflects his thanks to all across this nation who support his tribe, Native Americans, and the broader fight against rich and powerful interests.

President Obama’s decision should be recognized as an act of courage. Albeit not one taken frequently enough against the most reactionary elements in American society. I only hope it succeeds in reversing the decades of repression against those fighting for equal rights and authority in this nation – and Native American people in particular.

U.S. Dairies slaughter 500,000 cows to drive up milk product prices – fined just over $100 apiece!


500,000 young cows killed to raise milk product prices

❝ Some of the nation’s largest dairy producers will pay $52 million to settle an antitrust class action with consumers in 15 states and the District of Columbia…

In the underlying lawsuit, lead plaintiff Matthew Edwards sued a cadre of dairy giants, including Land O’ Lakes, the National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America and Agri-Mark, in Federal Court in September 2011.

The dairy producers were accused of conspiring to prematurely slaughter more than 500,000 cows between 2003 and 2010 to limit the production of raw milk and drive up prices for yogurt, sour cream and other dairy products.

The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for almost 70 percent of the nation’s milk, conspired together in a classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic food item onto honest consumers and families,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman…“We’re pleased that this settlement will return some of what consumers lost due to this massive fraud perpetrated for ill-gotten gains.”

❝ The class includes all consumers who from 2003 to present purchased cream, half & half, yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream in California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

❝ Cheryl Leahy, general counsel for animal rights organization Compassion Over Killing, said her organization “was proud to have spearheaded the research” that led to this class action litigation.

“Not only was the price of milk artificially inflated, but this scheme ultimately cost 500,000 young cows their lives…”

❝ No proof of purchase is required to submit a claim. Two levels of fixed cash payments will be set based on class members’ purchases and the number of claims submitted…

Affected consumers can submit claims or objections…at http://www.boughtmilk.com.

Of course, our half-assed politicians and friendly neighborhood attorneys here in New Mexico never thought price-fixing a commodity like milk and milk products was important enough to join the class action.