Alternative Energy, alternative fuel, BP, cleanup and recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, cricketdiane, crude oil, crude oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Oil Crisis, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Petroleum
According to the ETA, 2010’s top 10 most polluting cars are:
1. Lamborgini Murcielago
2. Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
3. Bentley Motors Brooklands
4. Bentley Motors Arnage
5. Bentley Motors Azure
6. Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
7. Aston martin V12 Vantage
8. Cadillac Escalade
9. Bentley Motors Continental
10. Aston Martin DBS
The ETA’s top 10 least polluting cars are:
1. Toyota iQ
2. Honda Insight
3. Volkswagen New Polo
4. Toyota Yaris
5. Toyota Prius
6. Nissan Pixo
7. Suzuki Alto
8. Honda Civic Hybrid
9. Ford Fiesta
10. Mazda 2
Lean and green: The Toyota iQ can do 72.4 miles per gallon of fuel
The group (ETA) looked at 5,000 models, ranking them on power, emissions, fuel efficiency and noise creation, in order to help consumers choose the greenest vehicles.
The Environmental Transport Association (ETA) lobbies for sustainable travel and ethical motoring, in an attempt to increase environmental awareness and reduce carbon emissions.
My Note –
A couple days ago, Mr. T. Boone Pickens was on a CNN show – probably Larry King, and stated that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago and the second best time to plant that tree is today (paraphrased – but close). I want to say –
We planted a tree thirty years ago and now we have “trees” of green technologies, alternative fuels and alternative energy systems, new battery technologies, electric cars and various other solar, wind, geothermal and clean coal systems that did not exist in enough study and capacity before that. We have these things. We have better hydropower generating turbines, systems for ocean wave and tidal generating power systems, for geothermal systems and for transportation choices where the work has already been done to design, to study, to create manufacturing systems for them, to alter them to fit specific situations and extremes – and on and on . . .
So, those trees have been planted long ago. Most of them are mature now in forests of many trees also planted throughout these years. What we don’t have is the need for them as evidenced by the fact that they are not adopted, not funded, not pushed forward, not accepted and not wholly put into use.
I don’t know how to fix that. There are multiple choices which simply could be on the menu both for leaders when deciding and for individuals although most of those new technologies are not handily available for individuals to pursue – and for whatever reason, when decision-making occurs – these are not on the menu of choices (especially for leaders at any level of funding and decision-making.)
That is a continuing problem which brings me back to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the filthy air from our transporting ourselves one by one with cars and encouraging developing economies to do the same, polluted lands and air and water such that many days in a multitude of places where walking outside is dangerous and eating fish from those waters is damaging to health and playing in the dirt is a nightmare whether gardening or digging to China with a spoon. We have mines exploding, oil rigs sinking, bizarre sudden flash flooding in places where it had never been, horrendous fires and drought that shouldn’t be occurring, deep and violent snows and blizzards, melting ice in glaciers that would’ve been in place for another 100 million years before changing, and tremendous loss of life in every preventable arena.
Still, here we are – same choices, same menu. What I see with some clarity is that there are two really big problems that must have immediate attention. One of those problems is how we organize ourselves and our resources to approach quickly and efficiently to challenge disasters successfully. And, second – that everything possible, everything known, everything that could be and everything from throughout the world and throughout history along with everything that is just now be created – needs to be on the list of options available to use in the situations in front of us – whatever those situations might be and however dire (or far-reaching.)
If we could fix those two things, we could probably fix the rest of them. We would have the tools to move forward and solve the problems and crisis that are occurring, in a much more proficient and successful (and timely) manner. We could incorporate decisions to include things that are available into the mix which right now are being expected for some other time, some other place, some other event, some other situation somewhere in the future. But, they are available and could be used right now.
I don’t care how used to the same old answers our systems and leaders may be – without embracing these new things (some of which are twenty or thirty years old) as part of the available assets to bring to bear upon these things creating crisis around us – we are sure to continue sustaining the incredible, disheartening and expensive losses that we’ve been seeing throughout this time.
That is, after all – why the new ways to do things and new concepts and new ideas and new solutions were created in the first place. They were an answer to the known difficulties and failures and problems and crisis parameters where we failed at times before this. They are the innovations and solutions created to solve it.
Just a quick nifty note –
And, it was my understanding that President Obama was going to address the people of the United Kingdom also and I haven’t found it yet. It would’ve been after the address to America and before meeting with the BP executives and chairman of the board. I don’t know – maybe he didn’t – I’ll keep looking.
However, there is this -(in about four places) -on SkyNews
The boss of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando tells Sky News that Florida is hoping for a big tourism boost.
My Note –
Here is one of the things I was wondering today – what are the states doing with the money they were given to prepare and protect the coast before the oil came this close – and did they spend it or use it for budget deficits – or spend it on advertisements trying to con people that everything is fine?
Also – each state has emergency funds of their own in their budgets and access to other funds for emergencies – and about eight times now, at least – President Obama has said for the states to bring forward their national guard and they aren’t doing it – Why? And, then they complain about not having the people to tackle this – why aren’t they bringing the resources to bear upon this that are available to them at the state and local levels?
Every two towns could share a tractor to get the oil up off the beach like the one in several news stories being used on one beach. That definitely is within their means to do. Any of the towns, counties and parishes could be buying the tiger dams or NOAQ type protective booms / containment type systems and place them – any of these cities, towns and counties could be purchasing the types of equipment that are needed and placing them along with bringing up their National Guard which takes a bit of time to call up, stage and place.
It is ridiculous.
So, I found this –
State reports details of spending on Gulf oil spill response
Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 12:32 PM Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 12:33 PM
: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 12:33 PM
BP gave the state a $25 million grant to address short-term expenses. The items below refer to how the state has spent or intends to spend that money. About $2.5 million of the BP money spent by agencies in the early stages of the response is not included below.
The state also has Pollution Removal Fund Authorizations to spend $16.7 million from the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a federal program overseen by the National Pollution Funds Center under the Coast Guard.
Here is a breakdown of how state agencies are spending these BP and federal trust fund resources as of June 15.
Department of Wildlife & Fisheries
Trust Fund: $5,769,078 for preventing and minimizing negative impacts of fisheries and wildlife, public safety protection, maritime security and crime prevention and detection. Assist with identification of fisheries and wildlife impact areas.
BP grant: $3.1 million for enforcement and situational awareness including patrol vessels. $1.6 million for fisheries including motors, trailers, trucks, landing craft; ATVs and a bioremediation contract. $1.2 million for Wildlife division including a crew boat, quarter barge, airboats, bay boat and outboard motors.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell
BP grant: $5 million for state legal costs.
Department of Public Safety & Corrections
Trust Fund: $1.5 million for State Police for designated primary responders, command staff related to event, financial liaison with federal and responsible party funds. $349,290 for corrections division for wildlife preservation in the cleaning of contaminated birds and wildlife.
BP grant: $960,595 for State Police for equipment and supplies including emergency response and patrol vehicles and inflatable flotation device, 20 kilowatt trailer-mounted generator, thermal imaging equipment and atmospheric monitoring equipment. $1,580,000 in IT support including wireless communication that expands capacity and coverage for first responders in coastal areas, point-to-point wireless links, computer hardware and software, credentialing system and wireless monitoring system. $340,000 for the Office of State Fire Marshall which includes emergency response vehicles, office equipment and a variety of safety equipment (chemical gloves, boots, level b suits) and GPS devices.
Department of Health & Hospitals
Trust Fund: $3,179,985 to monitor seafood safety to protect health of consumers and viability of the seafood industry. Guarantee safety of drinking water. Monitor beaches.
Department of Social Services
BP grant: $3.1 million to implement a comprehensive technical support plan for businesses and workers and fund coastal organizations with capacity to provide education, financial analysis and support for claims assistance.
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Trust Fund: $1,250,000 for state emergency Operations Center support, parish coordination support, communications support, state’s Mobile Command Post.
BP grant: $985,000 for mobile command center. $1.5 million for water and MREs. $400,000 for transportation for hurricane assisted evacuation. $15,000 for high resolution imagery.
Louisiana National Guard and Department of Military Affairs
Trust fund: $394,178 to support removal activities of National Guard, staging areas for Guard units, support of local civil authorities and support of emergency response mission.
BP grant: $2 million in supplies and equipment.
Department of Environmental Quality
Trust Fund: $1,802,310 to identify oiled resources, map oiled shorelines, identify sensitive areas and resources and monitor status of cleanup.
BP grant: $529,200 to outfit ground teams and aerial assessment teams with specific air monitoring devices equipped to detect hydrocarbons (oil), select inorganic compounds, and radiation sources.
Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration
Trust fund: $1,807,200 to formulate defense strategies for coastal areas, evaluate response options for oil spill removal in wetlands and on barrier islands and support other agency responses.
Department of Natural Resources
Trust fund: $541,822 to assist in direct planning and coordination of response activities, GIS mapping tools, proper disposal of recovered oil and related waste, discharge oil analysis.
Department of Transportation and Development
Trust fund: $97,058 for support of first responders related to truck permit issuance, structural capacity analysis concerning heavy equipment needs and for operating equipment as needed.
Department of Economic Development
BP grant: $220,000 for increased public services.
Department of Agriculture
Trust fund: $34,967 to monitor drinking water for cattle and potential impact to agriculture in affected areas.
BP Announces Second Block Grant of $25 Million to the State of Mississippi
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center:+1 985-902-5231
My Note –
Oh my – look what the Republicans are doing –
For once – and for all – I wish they would stop.
Aiding coastal parishes fight Gulf oil spill the focus of Senate panel
Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 8:19 AM Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 8:22 AM
BATON ROUGE — A Senate committee is weighing whether to side with the Gov. Bobby Jindal and strip Gulf oil spill response money in a state budget bill for coastal parishes in favor of seeking direct payment from BP.
The $24.9 million provision for the parishes is likely to be changed when the panel passes the budget legislation today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Mike Michot said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said that the parishes should get their response money directly from BP rather than trying to tap the state’s $25 million grant from the company. The state has spent some of the BP money, and the Governor’s Office released details Monday of what state agencies want to buy with the remainder.
Even if such plans were made, the timing of when money would trickle down to the parishes, and whether it would arrive in time for the parishes to use it during the defense phase of the oil spill, is unclear.
BP in May gave five southeastern coastal parishes $1 million each and also granted $500,000 each to Orleans and St. Tammany parishes, but local officials say that money will run out soon, if it hasn’t already. Personnel overtime, fuel costs and emergency operations center costs are among the financial drains. Rather than giving new grants, BP started a program to assess the details of the needs of each parish on a monthly basis.
Parish officials recently reported a lack of money to pay for hazmat suits, skimmers, suctions, extra spotting vessels, water current or oil-impact analyses, boom and vessel repairs and other items.
The resource shortage complicates their problems, because they need to act fast when materials become available. Some parishes are considering hiring materials brokers that would bear the financial responsibility up front with the expectation of parish payment later, if BP makes a reimbursement.
The state is getting federal financial backing for extensive National Guard operations with about 1,100 personnel to spot oil sheens and build land bridges, special dams and sand barriers.
Mississippi and Alabama have used their BP grants to give money directly to their coastal counties.
Jindal’s office on Monday released a list of items that Louisiana agencies plan to purchase using the state’s $25 million BP grant. For example, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will spend $3.1 million for “enforcement and situational awareness” including patrol vessels; $1.6 million for motors, trailers, trucks, landing craft and a bio-remediation contract; and $1.2 million for a crew boat, barge, airboats, bay boats and outboard motors.
The Department of Social Services will spend $3.1 million to “implement a comprehensive technical support plan for businesses and workers” and assist coastal organizations in relief efforts. The Department of Public Safety needs about $1 million for emergency response equipment such as patrol vehicles, generators and atmospheric monitoring devices and $1.6 million for wireless communication and information technology support.
Louisiana state agencies also have been provided $11 million through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a program run by the National Pollution Funds Center under the Oil Pollution Act. The fund can be tapped to provide upfront money to national, state and local agencies while the federal authority pursues compensation from the companies responsible for the spill.
The fund has been a primary source of public and private compensation for about 11,000 oil spills since 1990, but its has been a mostly ancillary tool for financing the Deepwater Horizon response in favor of direct appeals to BP. Congress is working on legislation to make the federal oil spill fund larger and easier to tap.
Louisiana House members two weeks ago added an amendment to the state supplemental budget bill for the current year that authorizes $24.9 million divided among the coastal parishes from the state’s Oil Spill Contingency Fund, which is a depository for the state’s BP grant, federal aid and potentially other sources of pollution control financing.
My Note –
So, I guess the list above this article in the more recent article from the same source is essentially what they’ve decided to do. Where are cattle drinking from the oil polluted water (sea water) of the Gulf of Mexico? They are insane and it is no wonder there is oil in the marshes. They knew to protect it – they had the money to do it. They had the boats and local fishermen and volunteers that would help do it. What they hell are they doing?
and, the Federal government is covering the costs of the National Guard but the states aren’t calling them up all this time – even when they’ve been told to do it? Are they considering why the state police need an array of toys like that list above when the same money could’ve kept the crude oil from the marshes, bays, beaches, coves and ports in Louisiana?
These state and local politics, agency politics and systems of misadjustment to the current situation are costing more damage than BP has already – which is certainly hard to fathom but nevertheless the truth.
What started as a small, horrendous but possibly manageable situation is made worse at every level by the ways in which it is being accepted and handled or not handled effectively at all. The states had the money to work with throughout this process and they know what else can be done to access money for handling it. Why would they misdirect the funds and resources in the midst of something as long-reaching in consequences and as disastrous in immediate consequences as this?
I think their priorities are askew.
So, we have oil industries and spill response contractors that did have a huge array of options available to them and simply didn’t incorporate any of them into the plans or logistics or put them on standby where something might happen. We have states that are choosing to pretend that this money is available to do something else rather than fight the oil spill including the use of it to study things that have absolutely nothing to do with the problems at hand and to buy toys for agencies and police / security forces in their state that won’t be required for this since most of it is redundant with material assets already on the ground through the Coast Guard, NOAA and others.
And, we have political parties getting into the mix for their own agendas that resemble little or no good sense about the dangers of the situation that is unfolding and what might be needed for it in an immediate and timely manner who are using the situation and the funding for the situation to pursue their own goals rather than the public good.
And, we have a botched up command and resource system that is hindering the proper, appropriate and timely placement of needed equipment where it is needed with what seems like mostly a very close-minded and inept system incapable of effectively interacting with the event nor with participants and feedback of what is needed, what is working and where it is required.
Let’s see what else I can find –
(AP) – 6 days ago
NEW ORLEANS — BP PLC will give $75 million in grants to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi as they respond to the nation’s worst oil spill.
BP COO Doug Suttles said in a statement Thursday that the energy giant was making the funds available at the request of the governors in each of the three Gulf states.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says the grant will fund additional protection for the most environmentally sensitive stretches of his state’s coastline. It will also prevent Mississippi from using its own money to fight the oil spill.
The leak began April 20 after an oil rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. The government has estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million gallons are leaking per day, although those estimates could soon be revised.
My Note –
Well, this one makes sense –
Thank God somebody is thinking straight.
I hope it works.
Wonder what it will take to get the state legislators and leadership to do that.
Steel pipe boom for Perdido Pass ahead of schedule, says firm
Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 5:00 AM Updated: Monday, June 14, 2010, 8:06 PM
A $4.6 million project to erect a sturdy boom of steel pipe at Perdido Pass is ahead of schedule and could be finished in another week, said John Baker, president of Thompson Engineering, the firm designing the system.
Meanwhile, work to fill a mile-wide breach on Dauphin Island created by Hurricane Katrina was described Monday by a BP spokesman as imminent.
BP PLC owns the Deepwater Horizon well, which has been spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20.
Little oil washed ashore Monday along the coasts of Mobile and Baldwin counties, with only a few tar balls reported on Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores.
The Perdido Pass project calls for extending a barrier of large pipes filled with foam for more than half a mile to prevent oil from pushing into wetlands and waterways to the north.
The water current and wave action in the pass are too strong for conventional boom to be effective.
Crews are working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Baker said. “It is a fairly dangerous operation in that type of environment to work at night.”
The floating pipes will be suspended from chains attached to two rows of pilings driven into the bottom of the pass, Baker said.
“We’re working 24/7 on pipe manufacturing and fabrication,” said Tony Smith, construction manager for Thompson Engineering.
Smith said he tried out a section of the boom Monday afternoon: “It floated just exactly like we predicted. So far, so good.”
The Baldwin County Commission identified more areas that need protection from oil and accepted another $3 million grant from the state to help do that.
The commission also voted to send a letter to Gov. Bob Riley, suggesting mechanized cleaning of all area beaches by BP contractors.
In May, BP gave states affected by the spill $25 million. Of that, Baldwin County got $3 million and used about $2 million of the money to buy protective boom and hire a contractor to place it in environmentally sensitive areas.
Well, except for this –
“The Mobile County Commission voted Monday to send a letter to BP asking it to hire more local boat owners to help with cleanup efforts. The commission will also send a letter requesting an additional $3 million to promote tourism in the county.”
(from the above article)
Although this doesn’t have to do with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – it is an interesting oversight of the vagaries occurring in the politics of the current situation – using funds intended to help with things –
This one is about the use of Federal Stimulus Money intended to help make green buildings and energy saving buildings and building systems –
Look how they are using it – (Napa Valley, Calif.)
Builders whose projects consume 15 percent less energy than the state standard will be getting a 25 percent reduction in the cost of their building permit, officials said.
The city is setting aside $100,000 from its $700,000 federal economic stimulus grant to reduce building fees. The biggest slice of the federal grant, $250,000, will pay for the hiring of a sustainability coordinator for two years.
At the same time, the city will impose a new fee that is 25 percent of the regular building permit fee to cover city costs for plan review and construction monitoring.
Napa has jettisoned the word “green,” preferring to label the new rules as promoting “high-performance buildings.”
Napa passes tougher green rules for new homes
By KEVIN COURTNEY, Register Staff Writer | Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:00 am
My Note –
What a pathetic joke. They are spending more for one person’s income than for the entire program.
And assessing a new fee for the same amount as the one they are using $100,000 to defray not charging. It is bullshit. Somebody needs to arrest those jackasses for embezzling and mismanagement of Federal Stimulus funds. It is not the purpose for which they were intended and it is not a fair use of those funds in the ways they are approaching it. These are not for hiring one friend of the council at $250,000 a year to manage a theme.
The hearings with BP executive Tony Hayward just started. They are really questioning the wrong person. Some people from BP were on that rig who made the decisions which directly caused that explosion. They need to be there answering those questions or put in jail or both.
Those are the executives who literally killed those eleven men, injured seventeen others, destroyed the rig, and destroyed the entire coastal waters of the United States of America. There hasn’t been a terrorist aside from those involved in the 9/11 event who have done as severe a job on such a wide swath with as far-reaching damages. They need to be prosecuted – or is it only jay-walking and misdemeanors committed by the “small people” and the “little people” that are against the law in America?
Mr. Barton was so cavalier yesterday and today, that despite this horrendous despicable damage – continues to support using the courts for the payouts to people harmed by the oil disaster. It wouldn’t be just his opinion as he stated, considering that Michelle Bachman (R) Minnesota was on John King USA, on CNN last night repeating exactly the same thing. He needs to use an opinion that actually was thought through by him and not given to him by the party to whom he owes his life and allegiance rather than to the United States of America and the people of the United States.
Of course they (at the Republican Party) want the previous course of action through courts for which they want tort reform to reduce the amounts that can be given even when corporations are found guilty and at fault. The results of the twenty years of court cases in the Exxon Valdez spill, have only recently been completed with reductions in the payouts which left families completely devastated by this event to less than $8,000 each despite having lost everything including twenty plus years of their lives, their livelihoods, their health, their well-being and their opportunities to live as they had for many generations.
And that is what the Republican Party policy makers and conservative thinktanks want for this situation. In the meantime, the oil companies would continue as usual with the same nothing but devastation going to the families, communities and individuals affected by this for the next twenty or thirty years as their lives are decimated.
I don’t know how the Republican Party moved so far away from the principles and guidelines upon which it was founded. Something twisted that thinking to believe as they do now which serves no one but corporate entities without conscience in pursuit of their profits at any cost to human lives, to our nation, to our way of life, to our freedoms, in destruction of our personal rights and liberties, to the detriment of our health and well-being and to the destruction of our families and communities.
I was surprised to hear Mr. Barton claim an opinion that was so thoroughly the same as that propaganda which came from Ms. Bachman last night. Does he have two brain cells that can work together or is he waiting for the Republican Party to tell him how to wipe his own ass, as well? And to tell him what it means, and to tell him how to do it and to tell him what he knows about why to do it and when to do it and what to use to do it and what he thinks about it? When does it stop?
Maybe it is time to replace people like Mr. Barton and Ms. Bachman with a simple machine that can repeat the Republican Party talking points – we could use one of those automatons the Japanese have been creating and give their seat to someone that can actually do the job instead of furthering their desire to serve a political party rather than the people of the United States and our national interests.
It was never in our national interest to exclude all other types of energy sources and transportation fuels for predominantly one exclusively.
– cricketdiane, 06-17-10
Shutup Mr. Gingrey
If you and your Republican friends had ever been concerned about foreign oil – we would all be driving cars using either electricity made at home, solar power made at home, hydrogen power made at home, steam power made at home, or natural gas made at home. You asshole.
Negative-Emissions Vehicle Concept From China’s SAIC: A Plant On Wheels!
(from the article – )
By nature, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atomsphere, and release oxygen. This is good. This is how the ecosystem is supposed to work. Plants like this. Human bodies like this. In contrast, petroleum burning vehicles consume oxygen during combustion and emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Now if you’re thinking, “wait, that’s great–everything will balance out right?”, you’re partially correct (Rremember, humans consume oxygen and emit carbon dioxide too). The problem is, too much of a good thing is not such a good thing in this case. Specifically, automotive carbon emissions are at a level determined to be unhealty for the environment in general.
For this reason, automakers and government organizations have been focusing heavily on reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by motor vehicles. So far, the best examples of green cars have managed to eliminate emissions. Hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in electric vehicles boast zero emissions. These technologies are becoming a reality right now, but the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) of China has gone a step further with a concept that acually consumes C02, rather than emitting it.
Here’s how the YeZ works. A photoelectric converter is incorprated into the car’s leaf-shaped canopy, and collects energy from the Sun. This energy is converted to electricity, which powers a fully electric drivetrain. Wind power is even harvested from small windmills on all four wheels.
The vehicle’s body is constructed with metal-organic framework materials which absorb water and carbon dioxide (yes, this is the negative emissions bit). The YeZ then does three really cool things with the two naturally occurring resources. It generates electricity, air conditioning refrigerant, and… oxygen! The oxygen is diffused back into the air, where it should be. This process makes it the most plant-like car concept yet.
My Note –
So, since the technology does exist, and it is available – why don’t we just harvest this technology and put it into use on our streets and highways along with what we already know from other designed alternative energy concepts? Why does America have to be last on the list or not show up to the party at all when it comes to making things better? Why are we last to innovate, last to create technological advances and last to adopt them? What happened to the culture of being the best, the first, the greatest? Why are we coming in dead last and often, not getting into gear at all?
It isn’t as if these things don’t exist as every single Republican whose opportunity for airtime has been at least partially used to tell us that nothing is ready to go and won’t be for years along with their executive friends in oil industries – who also surpass the Republican Party members in using their airtime to express how hopelessly stuck with them that we are for some time to come – according to their views of it. And, each of them fill pages of talk online, written materials, talking points, policy position papers and fill hours of committee time, legislators’ time and media airtime explaining how nothing can possibly be changed for many, many years to come – certainly not in the next twenty years or thirty years or fifty years. But that may not have even been true thirty years ago when they first started saying the same things – it certainly isn’t true now.
– cricketdiane, 06-17-10
Every technology available to us from around the world could be created in any plant facility in America and made available to everyone in the public for a reasonable price including cars that run on electricity, battery systems based on the new designs, solar cells for home electricity systems, cars made to take the carbon dioxide out of the air and remove it while traveling and using it for part of the energy / fuel needs, systems for sequestering and harvesting all of the many pollutants including methane from landfills to use for our county energy needs and reclaiming chemicals from industries rather than polluting with them, along with making natural gas tractor trailer trucks and buses converting them away from the diesel fuels that are making our planet and our nation uninhabitable.
All of it can be done. Hydrogen vehicles have already been designed, hydrogen power systems for homes have already been created, non-turbine wind driven power systems have been invented that take wind power and convert it to electricity, solar flexible films and roofing materials have already been made and tested, wave and tidal systems have already been innovated in a variety of ways to harness that power for electricity and there are numerous geothermal and solar designs and wind turbine designs and a variety of transportation mega-moving engine designs that don’t require one drop of petroleum. Why the hell can’t we stop using the same old choices as if they are the only ones – when they haven’t been the only choices for at least a hundred years and certainly are not the only choices now?
Relying on only petroleum has made our nation vulnerable and weakened. No terrorist could have done as efficient a job of bringing our nation to its knees as have the financial corruption, bankers, Wall Street firms and Republicans with their oil companies supporting them.
Having any one source or one thing that is necessary for our survival and growth as a nation leaves us at the mercy of that industry or supplier. Our leaders have always known that and it never mattered before today or we would be doing something else now.
During the Mercury missions of our space program, battery systems were designed which we could’ve been using in our cars every day since then. But, no – our business leaders, politicians and elected members of the United States didn’t want to do that.
Now – at what point does the bullshit stop.
188.8.131.52.1 PM10 LevelsThe current NAAQS for PM10 were established in 1987. The primary (health-based) and secondary (public welfare based) standards for PM10 include both short- and long-term NAAQS.The short-term (24-hour) standard of 150 :g/m3 is not to be exceeded more than once per yearon average over three years. The long-term standard specifies an expected annual arithmeticmean not to exceed 50 :g/m3 averaged over three years.
Currently, 29.3 million people live in PM10 nonattainment areas, including moderate and serious areas. There are presently 56 moderate PM10 nonattainment areas with a total population
of 6.6 million.
There are 8 serious PM10 nonattainment areas with a total affected population of 22.7 million.
According to the Act, serious PM10 nonattainment areas must attain the standards no later than 10 years after designation. The initial serious PM10 nonattainment areas were designated January 18, 1994 and had an attainment date set by the Act of December 31, 2001. The Act provides that
EPA may grant extensions of the serious area attainment dates of up to 5 years, provided that the area requesting the extension meets the requirements of Section 188(e) of the Act.
Five serious PM10 nonattainment areas (Phoenix, Arizona; Clark County (Las Vegas), NV; Coachella Valley, South Coast (Los Angeles), and Owens Valley, California) have received extensions of the December 31, 2001 attainment date and thus have new attainment dates of December 31, 2006.
Many PM10 nonattainment areas continue to experience exceedances. Of the 29.3 million people living in designated PM10 nonattainment areas, approximately 24.5 million people are living in nonattainment areas with measured air quality violating the PM10 NAAQS in 2000-2002. Among these are 8 serious areas listed in Table 1.2-1 and 6 moderate areas: Nogales, AZ,
Imperial Valley, CA, Mono Basin, CA, Coso Junction, CA,B Ft. Hall, ID, and El Paso, TX.
Current PM2.5 monitored values for 2000-2002 indicate that 120 counties in which almost 65 million people live have annual design values that violate the PM2.5 NAAQS. In total, this represents 23 percent of the counties and 37 percent of the population with levels above the NAAQS in the areas with monitors that met completeness criteria. An additional 32 million people live in 91 counties that have air quality measurements within 10 percent of the level of the standard. These areas, though not currently violating the standard, will also benefit from the additional reductions from this rule in order to ensure long-term maintenance. There are another 204 counties where 21 million people live that had incomplete data.
Figure 2.1.2-1 is a map of currently available PM2.5 monitoring data, highlighting monitor locations near or above the annual PM2.5 NAAQS. As can be seen from this figure, high ambient levels are widespread throughout the East and California.
Acid deposition, or acid rain as it is commonly known, occurs when SO2 and NOx react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and oxidants to form various acidic compounds that later fall to earth in the form of precipitation or dry deposition of acidic particles.120 It contributes to damage of trees at high elevations and in extreme cases may cause lakes and streams to become
so acidic that they cannot support aquatic life.
In addition, acid deposition accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation’s cultural heritage. To reduce damage to automotive paint caused by acid rain and acidic dry deposition, some manufacturers use acid-resistant paints, at an average cost of $5 per vehicle—a total of near $80 million per year when applied to all new cars and trucks sold in the United States each year.
Acid deposition primarily affects bodies of water that rest atop soil with a limited ability to neutralize acidic compounds. The National Surface Water Survey (NSWS) investigated the effects of acidic deposition in over 1,000 lakes larger than 10 acres and in thousands of miles of streams. It found that acid deposition was the primary cause of acidity in 75 percent of the acidic lakes and about 50 percent of the acidic streams, and that the areas most sensitive to acid rain were the Adirondacks, the mid-Appalachian highlands, the upper Midwest and the high elevation West. The NSWS found that approximately 580 streams in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain are acidic primarily due to acidic deposition.
Hundreds of the lakes in the Adirondacks surveyed in the NSWS have acidity levels incompatible with the survival of sensitive fish species. Many of the over 1,350 acidic streams in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands (mid-Appalachia)
region have already experienced trout losses due to increased stream acidity. Emissions from U.S. sources contribute to acidic deposition in Eastern Canada, where the Canadian government has estimated that 14,000 lakes are acidic. Acid deposition also has been implicated in contributing to degradation of high-elevation spruce forests that populate the ridges of the
Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia. This area includes national parks such as the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Parks.
EPA released its final “Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust” (the EPA Diesel HAD), referenced earlier. There, diesel exhaust was classified as likely to be carcinogenic to humans by inhalation at environmental exposures, in accordance with the revised draft 1996/1999 EPA cancer guidelines.
In accordance with earlier EPA guidelines, diesel exhaust would be similarly classified as a probable human carcinogen (Group B1)., . A number of other agencies (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organization, California EPA, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) have made similar classifications.,,,,
The Health Effects Institute has also made numerous studies and report on the potential carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust., ,  Numerous animal and bioassay/genotoxic tests have been done on diesel exhaust., . Also, case-control and cohort studies have been conducted on railroad engine exposures ,, in addition to studies on truck workers., ,. Also, there are numerous other epidemiologic studies including some studying mine workers and fire fighters.153, 154
For the EPA Diesel HAD, EPA reviewed 22 epidemiologic studies in detail, finding increased lung cancer risk in 8 out of 10 cohort studies and 10 out of 12 case-control studies. Relative risk for lung cancer associated with exposure range from 1.2 to 2.6. In addition, two meta-analyses of occupational studies of diesel exhaust and lung cancer have estimated the smoking-adjusted relative risk of 1.35 and 1.47, examining 23 and 30 studies, respectively.,
That is, these two studies show an overall increase in lung cancer for the exposed groups of 35 percent and 47 percent compared with the groups not exposed to diesel exhaust. In the EPA Diesel HAD, EPA selected 1.4 as a reasonable estimate of occupational relative risk for further
As described in the Diesel HAD, these studies include some of the same health effects reported for ambient PM, such as respiratory symptoms (cough, labored breathing, chest tightness, wheezing), and chronic respiratory disease (cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis and suggestive evidence for decreases in pulmonary function). Symptoms of immunological effects such as wheezing and increased allergenicity are also seen. Studies in rodents, especially rats, show the potential for human inflammatory effects in the lung and consequential lung tissue damage from chronic diesel exhaust inhalation exposure.(my note – this document has some other information which includes known studies on humans which indicated these same symptoms.)
The Diesel HAD notes that acute or short-term exposure to diesel exhaust can cause acute irritation (e.g., eye, throat, bronchial), neurophysiological symptoms (e.g., lightheadedness, nausea), and respiratory symptoms (cough, phlegm). There is also evidence for an immunologic effect such as the exacerbation of allergenic responses to known allergens and asthma-like symptoms.164,165,166,167 The Diesel HAD lists numerous other studies as well. Also, as discussed in more detail previously, in addition to its
contribution to ambient PM inventories, diesel PM is of special concern because it has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
The Diesel HAD also briefly summarizes health effects associated with ambient PM and the EPA’s annual NAAQS of 15 :g/m3. There is a much more extensive body of human data showing a wide spectrum of adverse health effects associated with exposure to ambient PM, of which diesel exhaust is an important component.
As indicated earlier, a number of recent studies have associated living near roadways with adverse health effects. Two of the studies cited earlier will be mentioned again here as examples of the type of work that has been done. A Dutch study (discussed earlier by G. Hoek et al., 2002) of a population of people 55-69 years old found that there was an elevated risk of heart and lung related mortality among populations living near high traffic roads.
Diesel particulate exposures have been measured for a number of occupational groups over various years but generally for more recent years (1980s and later) rather than earlier years.
Occupational exposures had a wide range varying from 2 to 1,280 :g/m3 for a variety of occupational groups including miners, railroad workers, firefighters, air port crew, public transit workers, truck mechanics, utility linemen, utility winch truck operators, fork lift operators, construction workers, truck dock workers, short-haul truck drivers, and long-haul truck drivers. These individual studies are discussed in the Diesel HAD.
The highest exposure to diesel PM is for workers in coal mines and noncoal mines, which are as high a 1,280 :g/m3, as discussed in the Diesel HAD. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has estimated a total of 1,400,000 workers are occupationally exposed to diesel exhaust from on-road and nonroad equipment.
Many measured or estimated occupational exposures are for on-road diesel engines and some are for school buses., , , .
Mobile sources as a whole account for 78 percent of the total benzene emissions in the nation.
Benzene is an aromatic hydrocarbon that is present as a gas in both exhaust and evaporative emissions from mobile sources. Benzene accounts for one to two percent of the exhaust hydrocarbons, expressed as a percentage of total organic gases (TOG), in diesel engines., 
For gasoline-powered highway vehicles, the benzene fraction of TOG varies depending on control technology (e.g., type of catalyst) and the levels of benzene and other aromatics in the fuel, but is generally higher than for diesel engines, about three to five percent.
Nonroad sources as a whole account for an average of about 17 percent of ambient benzene in urban areas and about 9 percent of ambient benzene in
rural areas across the U.S, in the 1996 NATA assessment.
The EPA’s IRIS database lists benzene as a known human carcinogen (causing leukemia) by all routes of exposure.201 It is associated with additional health effects including chromosomal changes in human and animal cells and increased proliferation of bone marrow cells in mice., 
A number of adverse noncancer health effects including blood disorders, such as preleukemia and aplastic anemia, have also been associated with long-term occupational exposure to benzene.
Inhalation is the major source of human exposure to benzene in the occupational and nonoccupational setting.
At least half of this exposure is attributable to gasoline vapors and automotive emissions. Long-term inhalation occupational exposure to benzene has been shown to cause cancer of the hematopoetic (blood cell) system. Among these are acute nonlymphocytic leukemia,I chronic lymphocytic leukemia and possibly multiple myeloma
(primary malignant tumors in the bone marrow), although the evidence for the latter has decreased with more recent studies.204,205 Leukemias, lymphomas, and other tumor types have been observed in experimental animals exposed to benzene by inhalation or oral administration.
Exposure to benzene and/or its metabolites has also been linked with chromosomal changes in humans and animals206 and increased proliferation of mouse bone marrow cells.207
My Note –
When the recent hearings occurred on the health risks to workers and coastal populations in communities along the Gulf of Mexico of the crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico to those populations – the members of the various agencies acted as though they aren’t very sure that there are any studies of such things and that respirators are not required. Then what is the information above – which is only one piece and there are certainly others that are even more recent as well – but the studies’ results didn’t change because the oil companies decided it should be something else.
There is more information on this document and others that suggest the agency representatives of that hearing earlier this week – were either lying or misinformed or intentionally misleading the public and legislators. As far as I can tell, there is no way that the people on Grande Isle, for instance – could be sitting in anything closely resembling clean air. Is it possible with crude oil and oil mixed with dispersants and increased soot and increased diesel exhaust and increased particulate matter in the air all the way around them?
What do they think people will do if they know the truth? Wouldn’t it be possible to simply help people make the necessary actions to be protected – from using hepa filters on the air conditioners to using respirators outside?
Or better yet, getting up out of the way of the health risks of staying in the fumes that are known to be dangerous, sickening and carcin0genic?
What is genuinely bizarre to me is the idea that Republicans are admitting that they have known all this time that relying on foreign oil was making our nation vulnerable and yet they never diversified to support other forms of energy and fuel>
What is also genuinely bizarre to me is that the people in authority who should know better and who would otherwise be getting people out of harm’s way are pretending the harm not only doesn’t exist, but then pretending that others should come into the area for their vacations too. There are pictures on CNN – have they not seen them? Do they get cable?
I kind of wish they could all get their boats and come up to Georgia to fish but really I don’t think we can eat any of the fish from our rivers, lakes, streams and some of our coastal areas here already so it wouldn’t do them much good. Its been that way a long time and the air in Atlanta as well as many of our outlying rural areas make 1969 Los Angeles air look clean in comparison so I’m not sure they would be trading up. I think I heard there are fish in Minnesota that can still be eaten but I’d look it up first before believing it.
Apparently Wall Street Harvard-trained guys and gals have been teaching the physics about controlled burns to the EPA and Coast Guard – what goes up, just stays up and keeps going up. And, the health agencies must have been taught by the oil industry that it all just disappears magically after awhile with no harm to anyone and where something dies with oil in its mouth doesn’t mean that oil contributed to that deadness.
Somebody needs to tell those folks that the shrimp, the oysters, the clams and the other sea animals are dead and the beds where they lived are poisoned now. They are going to be dead for a long, long time and if any are alive in any measure, they will be poisoned for a long, long, long, long time. It would be kinder than letting them believe the pretense that it will all be fixed within a few years. It won’t. I wouldn’t eat any of it and I wouldn’t let anyone I know eat any of it – not even five years from now. I’d stay away from anything that has come from that area of the Gulf of Mexico ocean waters because it has been poisoned with crude oil petroleum, petroleum mixed with dispersants and diesel / petroleum soot and chemicals. I wouldn’t eat fish or shrimp or crab that had been boiled in gasoline either.
I’m sorry it is that way but they decided to host an oil industry that could destroy it and it destroyed it. They knew that was a possible event and that is what has happened. The dead birds can’t be told to get up and live. The dead sea turtles can’t be brought back. And, the oyster beds, shrimping areas and other ocean life zones which used to house and nurture that wildlife are now poisoned right now today and forever beyond this day.
As far as I know, the oil industry and the Republican Party included, have yet to make one dolphin in the world, and have yet to create one shark, whale, oyster, shrimp or sea cucumber for that matter and not one jellyfish, octopus or squid or seahorse or starfish or reef coral has been made, designed, breathed into life or re-made by them either.
Personally, I think that states along the Gulf Coast are not ready for what is coming. There are nine ways to Sunday that this is a disaster and an increasing disaster expanding by the hour and by the day. None of the things being used are even in the neighborhood of being close to fixing any of it. The only thing that is assured and is an absolutely known quantity, is that it will affect the health of people who live in those areas and those who are working in boats standing six feet above the spill where the fumes are concentrated. There is no where to go for safety to get clean air. They aren’t protected with respirators and other breathing equipment and eye protection. They will be hurt by it for many years and they aren’t leaving the area. So, that is a given.
Long before the storms come, things could be done – but they aren’t doing them. State legislators are sitting up in there mahogany covered offices with their nice desks and air conditioning while making decisions to maneuver money away from where it is needed most to do something else with it and for some reason screaming about getting more money. They could bring the best of their minds and resources to bear upon the situation and implement those things that would work – but they aren’t doing that any more than the marine spill response contractors are doing it. Their intentions are something else.
And, a day will come – whether it is two years from now, or two months from now or five years from today – when they will know what was made worse by doing it that way. At that point, these contractors and legislators and lobbyists and public relations specialists and political policy makers will be enjoying some Caribbean cruise or Mediterranean vacation – not uprooted by this disaster at all. But they will know and it will haunt them. I sure wish they would do something different right now – but that seems far removed from the reality they enjoy.