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April 20, 2014

BP Doubles Initial Size Estimate of Lake Michigan Oil Spill

BPEstimate

BP Doubles Initial Estimate of Lake Michigan Oil Spill (via Desmogblog) Thu, 2014-03-27 16:03Steve Horn Three days after spilling crude oil into Lake Michigan, BP has doubled its spill estimate to between 470 and 1228 gallons. The leak happened at its refinery in Whiting, Ind. Although some of the oil has been cleaned…

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Walking With the Ghosts of Exxon

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It’s 5 a.m. on the 4th of July, and the alarm goes off. I open one eye and think surely I must have set it for the wrong time, but then I remember. Today I’m heading to Prince William Sound with Shannyn Moore and Zach Roberts. Our goal is to document the lingering effects of oil, still present in the Sound after the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in the spring of 1989. It’s 2010, and a child born then would be 21 years old now. It’s hard to believe. I was not in Alaska back then. I,…

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Exxon Valdez – Lessons Learned & Lost

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 15 Years Later

In recognition of today’s 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (March 24), this seems a good time to reflect on lessons learned, and lessons lost. 1. Oil spill “cleanup” is a myth: Once oil has spilled, the battle is lost — it is impossible to effectively contain, recover, and cleanup. Exxon spent more than $2 billion trying to clean up its Alaska spill, but recovered less than 7 percent. BP spent $14 billiontrying to clean up its 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, and although they collected some at the wellhead, burned and dispersed some (with toxic chemicals), it recovered only 3 percent from the sea…

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Exxon Spill – 25 Years of Tears

25Years

Time has a strange affect on events in our lives. I feel I’m looking through a glass of water when I look back 25 years to this day, March 24, 1989. I’d left Seattle University and the Ballard Lochs on the M/V Westward heading north through the Inside Passage of British Columbia for the sac roe herring fishery in Sitka. No time in my life is etched as clearly as that spring. There is a certain magic about following Spring to Alaska. Per my not so scientific study, I’ve determined Spring moves at about 9 nautical miles an hour, about…

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Don’t Tread On Grammar: Reader Response

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So, a while ago I made this No Pebble flag using art by the inimitable Ray Troll. It’s a riff on the Gadsden flag. Someone didn’t like it too much. I got this in my e-mail.  Which, of course I forwarded to Jeanne. After some grade school corrections from Jeanne, I created this. Remember kids, fund public education.

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Chevron & Ecuador: The Real Story

Cofan Leader

Last week, The New York Times reported: Chevron won a major victory. A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that a two-decade legal effort to punish the company was marred by fraud and corruption, making it increasingly likely that the oil company would be ultimately successful in beating back the legal and financial challenge. There’s $9.5 billion up in the air, and the oil giant Chevron will do anything to make sure it doesn’t have to pay up. Greg Palast, who has covered the story for BBC Television says,“The judge is completely, utterly full of s**t.” Palast, who  investigated the story for…

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Bird of the Week – Boreal Owl

Male Boreal Owl, Fairbanks

Mrs. WC is somewhat famously “the owl lady.” We have three educational owls living with us, which is why there are mice thawing in our refrigerator at this very minute. But this is a wild owl, a male Boreal Owl, photographed in Fairbanks a few years ago. WC was trying to photograph the female, who was on eggs in an owl box, waiting for her to stick her head out. Instead, this handsome little devil flew out. Great, WC thought to himself, you’ve put the female off of her eggs. But when WC looked back at the box, she was…

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Alaska is More Progressive Than You Think

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OK, can we just stop for a minute, and revel in something? First let me start by saying that I have long tried to convince the unconvinceable that Alaska is bluer than its current slate of lawmakers would lead one to believe. Now I’ve got backup. Public Policy Polling came out with some numbers that reflect a change on The Last Frontier. It’s the kind of change that says, “You know, we’ve been thinking about it, and maybe we don’t really want to be a backward, redneck, socially intolerant oil colony after all.” Here are some highlights: -For the first…

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Parnell to Choose New Dem Rep.

The Alaska State Capitol building, Downtown Juneau, Alaska.

Beth Kerttula, Democratic House Minority Leader from Juneau, has stepped down to accepted a position as a visiting fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford, which began Feb. 3, leaving a hole in the legislature. Last time something like this happened, it was Sen. Kim Elton of Juneau who departed to take a new job in Washington D.C. That move set off a Kavalcade of Krazy™ in which then Governor Sarah Palin attempted to install a Republican who “didnt realize he was a Republican” ‘to fill the Democratic seat. Then a Democrat who’d just become a Democrat weeks before…

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Starfish Horror Show on PBS Newshour

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Like something out of a ecological horror film star starfish are literally tearing themselves apart. A disease that has yet to be classified causes the starfish arms to twist and then rip away from the rest of the body allowing its insides to pour out. Scientists are currently researching what may cause it. Before you go screaming Fukushima read this article from DeepSeaNews.com - it’s been happening long before that. Studies so far believe that there is likely a viral connection. The disease, whatever it is, effects many different types of starfish, though doesn’t seem to spread through close contact. A…

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