Thursday, June 24, 2010

BP's Next Project in Alaska, Chipping Immigrants the Rand Paul Way, Red State Backs Buck Over Clean Coal

Thomas Ricks
Dana Milbank
Eugene Robinson

"McChrystal, on the morning of his firing, made it apparent that he still didn't understand the gravity of his offense." - Dana Milbank
"Put a sock in it, Stan." - Eugene Robinson
"I welcome debate among my team, but I won't tolerate division," - Barak Obama

With the links above devoted to the demotion of Stanley McChrystal, the news cycle has already passed him by. Whether you think he should have stayed or not, nobody could fault President Obama for what he did. General Petraeus is the original booster of counterinsurgency strategies, and he was instrumental in the rise of General McChrystal and General Odierno, so nothing is lost in basic policy towards Afghanistan, and a bit of decorum is restored.

Top Ten Signs Your General Is Losing It

10. His pants keep going AWOL
9.  Each day for breakfast, eats large bowl of sand
8.  Named his helmet "Peggy"
7.  Quality Value Convenience
6.  Working on a new secret weapon: grenade launching squirrels
5.  Instead of devising a battle plan, attends a yacht race
4.  When meeting with tribal warlords, he spends most of the time touching their beards
3.  Storyline about Olivia and Sonny is going nowhere (sorry, that's a sign that "General Hospital" is losing it)
2.  Just lost a tank betting on North Korea in the World Cup
1.  Gets drunk and storms Yankees locker room in bra and panties

The NY Times has an article that is disturbing, about another BP oil drilling plan, this time in Alaska, and using untested technology to get to the oil. It is: "a controversial and potentially record-setting project to drill two miles under the sea and then six to eight miles horizontally to reach what is believed to be a 100-million-barrel reservoir of oil under federal waters."

Even though the reservoir is under the sea, this project is classified as an onshore project because of a man-made island that BP built that serves as the foundation for the oil rig. The sea here is frozen most of the time, and the ice floes create an unstable environment. So, from the rig, they will have to drill two miles down, then several miles across to hit the oil bed. Labeling it an onshore project when it obviously is an underwater drilling is bad enough;here is where our government's oversight looks weak and begins to smell fishy: "Rather than conducting their own independent analysis, federal regulators, in a break from usual practice, allowed BP in 2007 to write its own environmental review for the project as well as its own consultation documents relating to the Endangered Species Act, according to two scientists from the Alaska office of the federal Mineral Management Service that oversees drilling.

The environmental assessment was taken away from the agency’s unit that typically handles such reviews, and put in the hands of a different division that was more pro-drilling, said the scientists, who discussed the process because they remained opposed to how it was handled."
“It makes no sense, BP pushes the envelope in the gulf and ends up causing the moratorium. And now in the Arctic they are forging ahead again with untested technology, and as a result they’re the only ones left being allowed to drill there." - Rebecca Noblin
This project is the largest of its kind to be attempted. BP spent more than $200 million developing a new metal alloy for the drill casing, and of course, they haven't the faintest clue what to do if anything goes wrong. This might have merrily sailed on through until it was approved, the final environmental impact report has yet to be filed, except for the scrutiny of all applications by the press. Neither the Minerals Management Service or BP answered any questions, and it looks like they are going to become embarrassed in public all over again. BP is turning out to be the Iran of the oil companies, arrogantly ignoring the rules, corrupting officials when they can, and spinning out as much bullshit PR as they can even when it's evident that no-one believes them... Oh yeah, click on the graphic to see it at full size...

Huffington Post has an article trying to ridicule Rand Paul's idea for dealing with the immigration problem. He proposes building and underground electronic fence, and they were left to scratch their heads. That's because the second part of the idea was not disclosed: to round up all immigrants and chip them. Then, when they come close to the fence, they will receive an electronic shock, and shy away. In the worst-case scenario, the chip would contain a toxin that could be released by the electronic frequency... Basically you are fitting them like dogs and cats, and using a containment fence, only this one is used to keep them out. Ironically, the right wing said that chipping humans was a sign of the Second Coming, that implanting rfids in humans constituted the Mark of the Beast. But when used on aliens it's different, you see...

Now that the South Carolina primary is over, the right wingers are hoping to get national attention focussed on Colorado. Red seems to support Ken Buck over Jane Norton, saying that Norton's campaign will take the whole GOP down with her if she loses the primary: "The Norton camp is fully disintegrating in panic because new polling shows Ken Buck with a sixteen point lead. Norton is being advised by John McCain’s consultant Charlie Black, who is also Norton’s brother-in-law. I’m afraid if conservatives don’t unite quickly behind Ken Buck, Charlie Black and Jane Norton’s angry young campaign manager Josh Penry are going to go scorched earth on Ken Buck — if Norton can’t win they’ll make it impossible for Ken Buck to win too."

The writer seems to have a hair up his rear over Ms Norton's manager,Josh Penry: "... 
;;her campaign manager, Josh Penry, is siding with Democrats in the Colorado State Senate on noxious environmental laws that his own GOP caucus opposes. In particular, Penry is trying to force Xcel Energy to convert from coal to natural gas for power generation.

As a RedState reader notes, “[Penry hacked] off the rest of the GOP Caucus with his support (and co-sponsor of) a bill that directs Xcel to replace clean Colorado coal with natural gas." As we all know, there is no such thing as clean coal, it is an imaginary ideal made up by the coal industry in a public relations campaign. Clean coal technology hasn't been developed yet, and what we do have isn't economically viable. This is a case of a gullible right winger believing his own bullshit, that's one smelly tar-baby he has got a'hold of...

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