Friday, November 17, 2017

Keystone Pipeline Leaks in La-la Land

courtesy: Trans Canada
Just days before the Nebraska utility commission is expected to decide right of way requests for an expansion of the Keystone Pipeline through the state, it leaked 210,000 gallons of bitumen onto agricultural land in Marshall County, South Dakota Thursday morning. Trump approved the expansion after his predecessor in office decided against granting necessary federal permits. The spill is relatively small--there have been 17 larger ones since 2010 according to AP-- and the owner, Trans Canada Corp., was quick to point out that no groundwater was contaminated. One of the major objections to the pipeline's expansion across Nebraska is the potential contamination of water aquifers. The expanded pipeline if built would carry up to 830,00 barrels per day of toxic bitumen slurry. The Repugnant dominated state legislature passed a law in 2011 that prevents the commission from factoring pipeline safety or the possibility of leaks into its decisions. Nevertheless, the Commission has received over half a million public comments on the company's application. In September Trump declared the pipeline would be "environmentally better".

Another classic example of greed motivated double-think from the so-called administration in Washington: his gang announced that it would reverse the ban on importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe. ; Obama's government banned importation from that chaotic country because elephant's were endangered by lack of conservation efforts. ; Trump functionaries announced that dropping the ban would actually help endangered elephants, “by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.” Mugabe's pockets are already swelling (he is being forced to resign by his own ruling party, Zanu PF after decades of dictatorial rule).

Corruption does not stop at the White House door.  The US House approved with a bipartisan vote an out-of-control appropriations bill of $700 billion to fund the warmongers at the Pentagon.  It aims to increase their military spending by $80 billion. The rationale: the increased spending is needed to protect the country from an arrogant, unstable President--talk about sick! The bill includes spending for 28 more anti-ballistic missiles stationed in Alaska that presumably could be used to shoot down a North Korean ICBM. The increase is more than enough to pay for Medicare for All and free college education which are routinely dismissed by reactionary politicians as 'too expensive'. Insane? Just ask the people of Flint, MI who still do not have potable drinking water.
Representatives approved with bipartisan support an