Gas drillers were caught lying to public officials. About 66% of the signatures were falsified. Company blames a PR firm, which, it seems, specializes in fudging petitions.
The drillers used the petition to lobby a local government in Colorado to pass fracking laws. Shit is fracked up and bullshit.
Pro-fracking petition with fake signatures embarrasses gas association
A full two-thirds of those denied signing or endorsing a petition opposing a ban on fracking in Fort Collins. Not only was the petition a big fat lie, it was a laughably amateur effort to deceive the city’s lawmakers. From the Coloradoan:
Cali Rastrelli’s name is signed at the bottom of a petition submitted to the council. At the top, the petition says in bold letters, “Vote NO on the Fort Collins fracking ban.”
“Big Bill Pizza” is written in the blank where the signer could enter their business or organization.
“I haven’t signed any petition in the last month,” said Rastrelli, a Colorado State University student who lives in student housing. “I didn’t put my name on this.”
North Carolina politician Buck Newton is bent on submitting to oil and gas companies. Local media has soured on the Republican, yet NC residents remain silent. The bill (in part) exempts oil and gas frackers from regular permitting procedures, such as avoiding pollution monitoring. Faster drill permits means faster fracking development for the state. (I also note that Duke Energy, which contributed to Buck Newton’s campaign, is lobbying to raise electricity rates. In other words, drillers want free money from two sources - free gas from drilling, and free money from residents’ electric bills. Clever.).
North Carolina hopes recent legislation introduced into its general assembly will send a “very clear signal” to oil and gas companies that the state wants shale gas exploration in the state, a state representative told Rigzone in an interview Monday.
State Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, the sponsor of Senate Bill (SB) 76, the Domestic Energy Jobs Act, told Rigzone that, while the ban on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has been lifted, the state hopes to provide certainty to the energy industry by fixing a specific date in which permits for shale gas drilling can be pulled.
North Carolina officials hope to send a signal in two ways – one, that the legislature is very serious about pursuing shale exploration, and two, that the state is working “with all deliberate and purposeful speed” to get itself ready to issue permits.
Early indicators show North Carolina to have shale gas reserves that may be on the order of the Fayetteville play in Arkansas, with approximately 1.4 million surface acres with shale deposits of an average thickness of 200 feet. North Carolina has three basins with shale potential. The Deep River Basin, the one that is most talked about, has wet gas reserves.
Obama administration green lights killing 170 wolves in Wyoming after private businesses win years of lobby efforts. Techniques will be aerial gunning and gassing pups in dens. Via. (Connection to climate change).
Food stamps to be cut via new Farm Bill. But, RT gets the story wrong. RT points to aggressive lobbying by Walmart as the cause, but this doesn’t make any sense.
Walmart is the largest grocer in America, and they accept food stamps. Why would they undermine their own business? They also point to Monsanto and the Sugar lobbies as sources for food stamp cuts. Again, this is nonsensical. These two industries’ revenues depend - in part - on low cost, affordable foods. Why would they undermine their own business?
It’s true that Walmart et al influence politics and legislation such as food regulations and farm bills. But, they certainly would not push for squeezing food stamps out of the budgets. RT would be wise to point their light of truth on the real reason for eliminating food stamps: the Republican party. It’s an open part of their platform.
“…hundreds of federal scientists in charge of environmental monitoring are being laid off as part of the 1,500 government professionals affected by Conservative budget cuts.
“Doctors, biologists, chemists are being shown the door. These scientists monitor environmental changes that can threaten the health of Canadians,” said MP Hélène LeBlanc…
“Prime Minister Harper has dropped any pretence that he cares about Canada’s natural environment, reducing the federal government’s oversight role to miniscule proportions,” said May, who represents British Columbia’s Saanich-Gulf Islands in Parliament.”
In 2011, Republicans voted 77 times to undermine Clean Air Act protections, including votes to repeal the health-based standards that are the heart of the Clean Air Act and to block EPA regulation of toxic mercury and other harmful emissions from power plants, incinerators, industrial boilers, cement plants, and mining operations.
In 2011, Republicans voted 37 times to block action to address climate change, including votes to overturn EPA’s scientific findings that climate change endangers human health and welfare; to block EPA from regulating carbon pollution from power plants, oil refineries, and vehicles; to prevent the United States from participating in international climate negotiations; and even to cut funding for basic climate science.
In 2011, Republicans voted 31 times to undermine Clean Water Act protections, including votes to strip EPA of authority to set water quality standards and enforce limits on industrial discharges; to repeal EPA’s authority to stop mountaintop removal mining disposal; and to block EPA from protecting headwaters and wetlands that flow into navigable waters.
Report shows Republicans voted in favor of stripping environmental laws to help the oil and gas industry.
“Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Ed Markey released a new report that provides an updated analysis of the anti-environment record of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. In 2011 and in the first half of 2012, the Republican-controlled House voted 247 times to dismantle environmental and public health protections.
The report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee, found that the House averaged one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011 and in the first half of 2012. Nearly one in five of the 1,100 legislative roll call votes thus far this Congress – 19% – were votes to undermine environmental protection.
The report also found that the oil and gas industry has been the largest beneficiary of this anti-environment record in the House. The House has voted 109 times on legislation that would enrich the oil and gas industry. This includes 45 votes to weaken environmental, public health, and safety requirements applicable to the oil industry, 38 votes to prevent deployment of clean energy alternatives, and 12 votes to expedite review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Regulatory capture occurs when a state regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special interests that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for large firms to produce negative externalities. The agencies are called “captured agencies.
“During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to “create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.” Last week, President Obama fulfilled that promise with the rollout of Ethics.gov, which “brings records and data from across the federal government to one central location, making it easier for citizens to hold public officials accountable.”
Ethics.gov is available to the public and allows anyone to access and search the records of seven different databases:
• White House Visitor Records;
• Office of Government Ethics Travel Reports;
• Lobbying Disclosure Act Data;
• Department of Justice Foreign Agents Registration Act Data;
• Federal Election Commission Individual Contribution Reports;
• Federal Election Commission Candidate Reports; and
• Federal Election Commission Committee Reports.
According to a White House press release, the database includes millions of White House visitor records, records for entities registered with the Federal Election Commission such as PACs, records for each candidate who has either registered with the FEC or appeared on a ballot list prepared by a state elections office, lobbying registrations, and much more.
On his Sunlight Foundation blog, John Wonderlich, who is Policy Director for the Sunlight Foundation and an advocate for open government, wrote that while Ethics.gov fulfilled the president’s pledge, “neither money and politics research nor executive branch oversight are going to be revolutionized by this search page — at least not yet.” He added that while it will not happen immediately, the site could become a primary destination for investigative journalists or ethics officials.”
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change. "Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt." - John Updike
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