“. . . the laws appear to be easy to circumvent because they allow public agencies to route money through third parties – including a public official’s own private firm — removing, in effect, any onus for meaningful disclosure.”
It began with sinkholes. Two of them, gaping mouths to nowhere opening up as if to swallow the town of Wink, Texas. As they expanded, there were fears they might collide, morphing into one giant void and swallowing up the city. Now, an unprecedented study reveals Wink and its vast sinkholes are just a tiny part of a much bigger problem. . . .
Reuters –Exclusive: EPA gives giant refiner a ‘hardship’ waiver from regulation
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Environmental Protection Agency has exempted one of the nation’s largest oil refining companies, Andeavor (ANDV.N), from complying with U.S. biofuels regulations – a waiver historically reserved for tiny operations in danger of going belly up, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The exemption, which applies to the three smallest of Andeavor’s ten refineries, marks the first evidence of the EPA freeing a highly profitable multi-billion dollar company from the costly mandates of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard. The law requires refiners to blend biofuels such as ethanol into gasoline or purchase credits from those who do such blending.
The decision, which has not been previously reported, raises the question of whether other big and profitable oil firms with small refineries – such as Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM), Chevron Corp (CVX.N) and Phillips 66 (PSX.N) – also have or could receive the waivers, which are granted by the EPA in secret. . . . (more)
“This week, the Louisiana House of Representatives introduced new legislation aimed at criminalizing the activities of groups protesting the extraction, burning, and transport of oil and gas.
. . . .The Louisiana bill, unlike the ALEC model, does not require that any disruption to a facility’s functioning take place for penalties to apply — an individual could face huge fines or prison time without ever having set foot on the property.“
There are now multiple fake organizations, and they’re opposing clean energy for Louisiana. You may have seen Facebook posts for these groups. Perhaps you received a mailer, or saw a TV commercial. These are well-funded groups, and they’re not friends of Louisiana. But first, some context.
In 2015, Southwestern Electric Power Company (a Shreveport-based electric company) developed a long-term plan to buy lots of renewable energy. These plans in the electric industry are called “integrated resource plans”, and you can read SWEPCO’s plan, here. To implement its plan, SWEPCO is partnering with a sister-utility in Oklahoma to construct the nation’s largest wind farm in western Oklahoma; the “Wind Catcher” project will total 2,000 megawatts – that’s about 4x more power than the entire city of Lafayette. According to SWEPCO, “When the project is complete, SWEPCO will provide 26% of its energy from renewable resources, up from 8% today” and it will “save SWEPCO customers more than $4 billion.” So who would be opposed?
The second group is called “Renewable Louisiana” – they’re 100% modeled off another group called “Renewable Arkansas“ – similar logo, same slick videos, etc. They’re masquerading as a pro-solar group, but their sole purpose is to oppose the Wind Catcher project, and are doing nothing to support solar. They’re tricking pro-solar folks to oppose wind energy. Neither group is registered in Arkansas nor Louisiana. Renewable Arkansas claims to be a “project” of a group called “Americans for Affordable Energy”, except, that group is registered in North Carolina to a PR firm in Virginia, which has deep ties to coal, natural gas and nuclear industries.
Is your head spinning yet? These are“dark money” groups, so we don’t know for sure who’s paying for it all, but there are clearly some good theories. They paid significantly to grow their Facebook pages to nearly 3,000 people, each. Check out their Facebook pages and ask who’s funding them.
” [Ali] Winston helped to uncover a secret predictive policing program that had been ongoing for 6 years by the New Orleans PD in cooperation with CIA-connected Palantir Technologies. The program had been designed to operate behind the cover of a philanthropic partnership orchestrated by political operative James Carville so as to avoid having to disclose the details to citizens and even to their elected representatives in the city council. “