My Twitter Feed

July 25, 2014

VP Joe Biden Addresses Netroots Nation in Detroit

10450610_10204317784454300_5050990430078603820_n

Detroit, Michigan – Vice President Joe Biden addressed the progressive activist Netroots Nation convention in the ballroom of the Cobo Center in Detroit on Thursday, explaining that he was 45 minutes late for his scheduled speech because of the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, shot down over Ukraine earlier in the day. “About three hundred souls were lost,” Biden said, acknowledging that some of those may have been American citizens. He described the situation as “grave,” saying, “The families need consolation and our prayers.” The Vice President explained that he had been engaged with a national security team, and on…

Read More

Park Service Gets it Wrong on Drone Law

drone_attack_s1.d32st7sy2wows8s8c8wkggk4g.6ylu316ao144c8c4woosog48w.th

When I worked as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) about 20 years ago, I came to realize that the concept of “wilderness” was a subjective one. Everyone experiences wilderness and wildness in different ways, and their perspective of what constitutes wilderness is often connected to noise level. For example, certain border lakes in the BWCAW allow for the operation of 25 hp or less motors (while almost all of the 2,000 or so lakes prohibit any motorized craft). For some people, even that was too much; but for others, 25hp or less meant no…

Read More

Bridge The Gulf with Alaska’s Riki Ott

Mudflats-Ott

Ed. Note: Please check out the wonderful work that’s being done at Bridge The Gulf. They’re one of the few groups really looking into the long term effects of BP’s oil spill and much more – witnessing what happened in Alaska thanks to Exxon unfold in the Gulf.  Interview by Bridge The Gulf’s Cherri Foytlin “I will share my personal story of flying over the Exxon Valdez and seeing this little three-football-field-long tanker in a sea of oil, and going, ‘Okay, I am going to spend the rest of my life working on this and I am not going to go…

Read More

“Silencing Alaskans Act” Likely to Return

0213a52e02daf4d6492b7be837c32b39_ducttape1-695

House Bill 77 Sought to Deny Citizens a Voice in Resource Development Alaska is defined by our natural resources – spectacular wildlife, abundant fisheries, vast reserves of oil, gas and other minerals, and endless acres of forests, wetlands and water.  Under our constitution, these resources belong to all Alaskans for our “common use.” They are protected through a sensible set of laws that protect the public’s interest and ensure our resources are developed prudently and sustainably for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans. Because of the tremendous value we put on these resources, Alaskans were outraged when Governor Parnell and…

Read More

Palin Slams GOP Successor in Alaska

"Try to not bankrupt the state like you bankrupted your campaign. Now kiss the ring."

Hey, Alaska! Sarah Palin is back. She left our state’s politics in the dust after quitting office in 2009, but yesterday she returned to her favorite local media platform—The Bob & Mark Radio Show—to slam her successor and one-time Lt. Governor, Republican Sean Parnell. The bone she had to pick with him relates to her signature legislation as governor, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES). The oil tax system that ushered Alaska’s bank account into golden days of plenty, with a savings of more than $17 billion, ACES funded subsequent investments in roads, schools, and critical infrastructure projects. Under ACES,…

Read More

Bird of the Week – Bonaparte’s Gull

Bonaparte's Gull, Adult Breeding Plumage

A couple of folks asked what WC meant by saying gulls had lots of different plumages. We’ll use today’s bird, the Bonaparte’s Gull, to illustrate the point. Here’s an adult Bonaparte’s Gull in breeding plumage: Note the deep black hood extending to the back of the skull, the black bill  and the pale grey back. If you could see the legs, they’re fire engine red. Then there’s this bird: This is the same species, except the adult is in non-breeding plumage. The head is white, except for a small black spot behind the ear; the bill is solid black. The…

Read More

First Comes Exxon, Then Comes God – Mayflower Arkansas hit by Tornado

MayflowerTornado

Mayflower: Deadly Tornado Sweeps Through Arkansas Town That Endured ExxonMobil Tar Sands Pipeline Spill in 2013 (via Desmogblog) Mon, 2014-04-28 16:59Steve Horn On March 29, 2013, ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline ruptured in Mayflower, Arkansas, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) pouring down the town’s streets. Now, just over a…

Read More

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…

Read More

Walking With the Ghosts of Exxon

36227_1505068516232_6422895_n

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More