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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

USA GOVERNMENT WANTS RAILROAD CARS TO HAUL NUCLEAR WASTE – BUT WHERE ?

 04 Sep 2014

On 3 Sep 2014 the Wall Street Journal reported that the USA government is soliciting ideas for trains suitable for hauling radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Even though, at present, they have nowhere to go. Companies in that industrial sector were asked for ideas on how rail cars should be configured /obtained for hauling 150-ton casks filled with transuranic “spent nuclear fuel”. The government latest plan is to have an interim test storage site in the year 2021(it has not been disclosed where), and a long term geologic repository by 2048, even though currently no one acknowledges where the sites will/would be. Officials of U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) didn’t respond to messages that sought detailed comments. The responsibility of regulating shipments is jointly shared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Transportation (DoT).

The USA government issued a Request For Proposal(s) for developing/testing/certifying the necessary rolling stock . Proposals were also solicited regarding whether the rail cars should be brought or leased, given that the cars are expected to last for 30 years, and used on regular tracks, at standard speeds, with a payload of 150 ton casks. Additionally, casks must be accommodated, and positioned in the train, so that a safe distance is maintained between the radioactive cargo and a crew (yes they are still radioactive). It was not specified if one or more casks will be transported per train.

Spent nuclear fuel is very long term radioactive (transuranic), and must be placed in specially designed long term thermally/ radiologicaly hot casks when removed from reactors. Where to long term store such waste is another matter. Problem is nobody, but nobody, wants it in their back yards”(NIMBY). Spent nuclear fuel is already being sent by USA military by rail from reactors on navy ships for storage at Federal labs. More than 2,300 tons was hauled by the civilian power industry from the year 1979 to the year 2007 (equivalent to 15 casks). James Conca, senior scientist at Geoscience and Environmental Consulting firm UFA Ventures, Inc, says a Nuclear Waste Disposal Site has been monitored by him, and that it is necessary to do so.

Trains for transporting nuclear waste are not new to France where more than 10 shipments were made, to the chagrin of Germany into their territory. The matter of how and where to dispose of spent nuclear fuel that is dangerously transuranic remains a terrible legacy to leave future generations, but we must do so in the most environmentally sound, and responsible way. There are sound reasons to believe that the Spent Fuel Cooling Ponds of most Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) today, are already to the brim with many “transuranic loads” and that, is a terribly unsafe place to store them for many reasons we have outlined before. The NPP Industry has gotten us into a fine mess with no real long time solutions, but now wish for the government to help them get rid of their mess. OH!-they always resent/reject government intervention in their industry, but this is another matter. Self-serving hypocrites!

Another source of chagrin to those interested in energy matters, is the surreptitious way in which the USA government is proceeding, apparently without oversight, or regard for public opinion, on a matter of such transcendental importance. Have you read about these matters before the WSJ article? In a blog perhaps. We contacted the government source referenced in our previous article and were told that “the contractor” (whoever that is, could not be disclosed) had drafted the article. Yes!- the people that received the award, drafted an incoherent news release blessed/disseminated by DoE. How do you like them apples? Gone is the dogma of a transparent government, responsible and responsive to the people. Alas!-one more casualty of governmental gridlock. That reminds me of “The Grid”, but that is another matter.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. Do you wish to know more about Dry-cask storage of High-level nuclear waste ? Interesting illustrations too, but very sketchy info.

References: Dry Cask of spent nuclear fuel  (high-level waste)

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/dry-cask-storage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_cask_storage

http://www.nrc.gov/waste/high-level-waste


September 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM Comments (0)

USA DOE FUNDS SOUTHERN STATES NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

22 Aug 2014

On 19 Aug 2014, in Cincinnati – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) today awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies. Sixteen(16) southern states and two(2) territories comprise the membership of SSEB: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. The authority for the sole-source award to the Southern States Energy Board is provided under Section 16 of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act. The value of the agreement is $10,438,070.00, and has a project period of 5 years.

Under the agreement, the board will convene a committee of appropriate state personnel (one representative from each state) to be known as the Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group. The working group will include representatives from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The group will meet twice each year to discuss transuranic waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy and other appropriate agencies and organizations. The Southern States Energy Board will provide the working group with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Group members will work with the Southern States Energy Board to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic waste campaigns that traverse the southern region.

DOE media contact: Lynette Chafin 513-246-0461, Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov

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OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE  DOE RELEASE AND COMMENT

On 19 Aug 2014, Cincinnati, USA – The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement ($10.49 million grant) to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is “to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies” HMM! That sounds so beneficial, but is it? Or is it just another boondoggle for DoE to create credible Board(s) to support their stance regarding the thorny issues of nuclear (transuranic) waste transportation overland, and its final disposal. We believe such is the case.

SSEB MEMBERSHIP will be comprised by 16 southern states and two (2) territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands): Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. DoE’s authority for the grant to the SSEB is provided under Section 16 of the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act”. DoE’s grant is $10,438,070 million, and has a project period of 5 years. That works out to about $ 1 million per meeting.

The Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group (TWTWG) shall include one(1) representative from each of the 14 following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, and The Group will meet twice each year to discuss Transuranic (nuclear) waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy (USA DoE) and other appropriate agencies and organizations. It is clear SSEB will provide TWTWG with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant” (whatever, and wherever that turns out to be ). TWTWG Group members will work jointly with the SSEB to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic (nuclear) waste campaigns (overland/overseas shipments?) that traverse the southern region of the USA. We noticed this Group leaves out two (2) states, and two (2) territories of the SSEB membership.

LINGERING QUESTIONS

1. Why is this initiative aimed at the southern states and two territories?

2. Don’t northern states have an even greater transuranic waste disposal problem?

3. Why does nuclear shit always flow south?

4. Who will appoint representatives to the SSEB, and the TWTWG?

5. Where will the SSAB, and its little sister TWTWG Boards meet?

6. Who will each board be answerable to?

7. Given that nobody wants such nuclear waste (Not In My Back Yard-NIMBY!); what is the USA national policy regarding “Cooling Ponds” at Nuclear Power Plants (many of which are already filled to the the brim with transnuclear “spent fuel rods”), even though cooling ponds are the worst possible “Transuranic waste repositories”, are highly vulnerable to the vagaries of nature such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, rising sea-levels (witness Fukushima Dai no.1 Mar 2011) and even terrorist activity.

THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INDUSTRY TO PAY THE PIPER, and to take action regarding their transuranic nuclear waste accumulation, before another Fukushima event happens. By the way, already full “spent fuel cooling ponds” are an acute problem in many countries such as the USA, France, and Sweden, both heavily nuclear dependent for a long time, and that have many Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) approaching, or exceeding their planned 40 year lifetime usage, and many already beyond 60 years. Unfortunately many countries have began sweeping transuranic waste under the carpet. However, Let us remember it has a radioactive half-life of about 250,000 years. We shall pass, but it will go on.

We have a strong sense of “we have been here before” (deja-vu).  Remember the much touted 2010 BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON AMERICA’S NUCLEAR FUTURE  mandated by Pres. Obama of former DOE Secretary Dr. Steven Chu?, well, it turned out to be a sham. Dr. Chu promptly divided the committee into two(2) groups answerable ONLY to him. The committee met once to hear Dr. Chu’s instructions; then quietly faded away. It is all games people play when they seek only to deceive. The Blue ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was recorded by this Journal. Oh, it was a best laid of plans, but it was dead on arrival on Dr. Chu’s desk. – Just read on.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

e-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

 

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                                                                                  Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

                                                                                                         U.S. Department of Energy

20 Jan 2010

Advisory Commission Charter

1. Commission’s Official Designation. Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (the Commission).

2. Authority. The Commission is being established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and as directed by the President’s Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy dated January 20, 2010: Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. This charter establishes the Commission under the authority of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

3. Objectives and Scope of Activities. The Secretary of Energy, acting at the direction of the President, is establishing the Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including all alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and materials derived from nuclear activities. Specifically, the Commission will provide advice, evaluate alternatives, and make recommendations for a new plan to address these issues, including:

a) Evaluation of existing fuel cycle technologies and R&D programs. Criteria for evaluation should include cost, safety, resource utilization and sustainability, and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter-terrorism goals.

b) Options for safe storage of used nuclear fuel while final disposition pathways are selected and deployed;

c) Options for permanent disposal of used fuel and/or high-level nuclear waste, including deep geological disposal;

d) Options to make legal and commercial arrangements for the management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste in a manner that takes the current and

e) Options for decision-making processes for management and disposal that are flexible, adaptive, and responsive;

f) Options to ensure that decisions on management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste are open and transparent, with broad participation;

g) The possible need for additional legislation or amendments to existing laws, including the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and

h) Any such additional matters as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for consideration.

The Commission will produce a draft report to the Secretary and a final report within the time frames contained in paragraph 4.

4. Description of Duties. The duties of the Commission are solely advisory and are as stated in Paragraph 3 above.

5. Official to Whom the Committee Reports. The Commission reports to the Secretary of Energy.

6. Agency Responsible for Providing the Necessary Support. DoE will be responsible for financial and administrative support. Within DoE, this support will be provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy or other Departmental element as required. The Commission will draw on the expertise of other federal agencies as appropriate

7. Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years. The estimated annual operating cost of direct support to, including travel of, the Commission and its subcommittees is $5,000,000 and requires approximately 8.0 DoE full-time employees.

8. Designated Federal Officer. A full-time DoE employee, appointed in accordance with agency procedures, will serve as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). The DFO will approve or call all of the Commission and subcommittee meetings, approve all meeting agendas, attend all Commission and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest. Subcommittee directors who are full-time Department of Energy employees, as appointed by the DFO, may serve as DFOs for subcommittee meetings.

9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings. The Commission is expected to meet as frequently as needed and approved by the DFO, but not less than twice a year.

The Commission will hold open meetings unless the Secretary of Energy, or his designee, determines that a meeting or a portion of a meeting may be closed to the public as permitted by law. Interested persons may attend meetings of, and file comments with, the Commission, and, within time constraints and Commission procedures, may appear before the Commission. Members of the Commission serve without compensation. However, each appointed non-Federal member may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses incurred while attending Commission meetings in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations.

10. Duration and Termination. The Commission is subject to biennial review and will terminate 24 months from the date of the Presidential memorandum discussed above, unless, prior to that time, the charter is renewed in accordance with Section 14 of the FACA.

11. Membership and Designation. Commission members shall be experts in their respective fields and appointed as special Government employees based on their knowledge and expertise of the topics expected to be addressed by the Commission, or representatives of entities including, among others, research facilities, academic and policy-centered institutions, industry, labor organizations, environmental organizations, and others, should the Commission’s task require such representation. Members shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy. The approximate number of Commission members will be 15 persons. The Chair or Co-Chairs shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy.

12. Subcommittees.

a) To facilitate functioning of the Commission, both standing and ad hoc subcommittees may be formed.

b) The objectives of the subcommittees are to undertake fact-finding and analysis on specific issues.

c) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or Co-Chairs, will appoint members of subcommittees. Members from outside the Commission may be appointed to any subcommittee to assure the expertise necessary to conduct subcommittee business.

d) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or co-Chairs will appoint Subcommittees.

e) The DoE Committee Management Officer (CMO) will be notified upon establishment of each subcommittee.

13. Recordkeeping. The records of the Commission and any subcommittee shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 and approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

14. Filing Date.

Date filed with Congress: _____March 1, 2010__________

Signed

_________________________

Carol A. Matthews

Committee Management Officer

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                                                          DOE’s BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE BEGINS TO ACT-NOT REALLY

25 Mar 2010.

As a necessary first step, DOE WITHDREW FROM YUCCA MOUNTAIN NUCLEAR REPOSITORY 3 Mar 2010: Department of Energy (DOE)Filed a Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application with the Nuclear Regulatory for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain with prejudice( without legal recourse). Translation – Yucca Mountain is dead.

Last 29 Jan 2009, The U.S. DOE at the direction of President Obama established a Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, and to provide recommendations for developing a safe long-term solution to managing the Nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The Commission will hold its first meeting in Washington, D.C. on 25 and 26 Mar 2010, produce an interim report within 18 months, and a final report within 24 months.

BLUE RIBBON NUCLEAR COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP

1. Co-Chair:  Lee Hamilton- Represented Indiana’s 9th congressional district from January of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

2. Co-Chair: Brent Scowcroft – Former Lt. General (29 year service); Pres. The Scowcroft Group, Has served as the Natl. Security Advisor Pres. Ford and George H.W. Bush. From 1982-9

3. Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.  4. Vicky Bailey – Former Commissioner Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former PUC Commissioner; Former DOE Asst Secretary for Policy and International Affairs.  5. Albert Carnesale, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor – UCLA.  6. Pete V. Domenici, former U.S. Senator (R-NM) Senior Fellow- Bipartisan Policy Center. 7. Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc.  8. Chuck Hagel, Former U.S. Senator (R-NE).  9. Jonathan Lash – President World Resources Institute.  10. Allison Macfarlane, Assoc. Professor, Environmental Science, George Mason U. 11. Richard A. Meserve, President Carnegie Institution for Science, and former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 12. Ernie Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  13. Per Peterson, Professor / Chair, Dept of Nuclear Engineering, UC-Berkeley. 14. John Rowe – Chairman and CEO Exelon Corporation. 15. Phil Sharp- President- Resources for the Future.

This elite panel should look into using THORIUM for Power Generation as part of the solution.  In 2008, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008, which would have mandated the US Department of Energy (DOE) to examine the commercial use of Thorium in US reactors. The bill, however, did not reach a full Senate vote. The Thorium fuel cycle, with its potential for breeding fuel without fast neutron reactors, holds considerable potential long-term benefits, and since it is inherently safer, and 3 to 5 times more abundant as an ore than uranium; it is a potential key factor in sustainable nuclear energy for the world (Please see p.37).

The Blue Ribbon Commission, led by Lee Hamilton and Brent  Scowcroft, will provide / make recommendations on issues including alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste;  Also to consider U.S. expansion of  nuclear energy.

Lee Hamilton said: “This will be a thorough, comprehensive review based on the best available science. I’m looking forward to working with the many distinguished experts on this panel to achieve a consensus on the best path forward.”

Gen Scowcroft said: “The United States responds to climate change and moves forward with A LONG OVERDUE EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY(emphasis provided) we also need to work together to find a responsible, long-term strategy to deal with the leftover fuel and nuclear waste… I’m pleased to be part of that effort along with Congressman Hamilton and such an impressive group of scientific and industry experts.” So! It is not just nuclear waste disposal, but also expansion of nuclear energy. Good! Do you suppose they will consider the Reid -Hatch (2008) proposal to mandate use of THORIUM as the “Fuel of the future”. It is not surprising that our heavily lobbied Senate failed to even consider it in 2008; but this is 2010, and many things have changed in Washington.

If properly developed, Thorium 232 technology can solve a lot of the world’s problems: It “eats-up” nuclear waste, it is much more available than uranium, and is potentially safer, does not proliferate uranium production which can be made into nuclear weapons, etc.

gonzedo


August 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM Comments (0)

“FATCATS” FAVORITE TAX BOONDOGGLE – CORPORATE “INVERSION”

14 Aug 2014

In the USA, policymakers say they are attempting to halt a recent rise in the corporate practice known as “INVERSION”. A glaring example is a 207% spike in health care industry inversions during 2013. Why are such corporations renouncing the USA? TAX AVOIDANCE, that’s why! Profits made in the United States are subject to USA Corporate taxes of of almost 40 % ; On the other hand, profits earned in foreign markets often have a much lower lower tax rate; so, Corporations then claim that country as its primary home to achieve a lower tax rate. It is recognized that some some inversions in the USA occur naturally from traditional business mergers. Naturally, USA taxpayers are loudly expressing a rejection of such practices In response to online petitions, Walgreens decided last week that it would not seek an inversion as part of its purchase of the Swiss-based company Alliance Boots. Strangely, in Spanish “inversion” translates simply: “an investment”. The “fatcats” are never satisfied. We say again they seem to have no sense of ethics/morality, but are driven by greed. They seem to forget the lesson of the early Industrialists of America who ultimately gave much of their profit back to the people. It seems that near the end of their life, they realized you can’t take it with you, and wanted to leave a good legacy. Even so, none of them ever gave up their USA citizenship to evade taxes.

WHAT IS A “FOR PROFIT CORPORATION”? By definition, they are Anonymous Societies referred to as: Inc., and  as “SA” in most of the world. The important thing to know is that corporations enjoy sundry governmental protections and privileges granted them by the government in which they incorporate. In the USA for instance, such protections/privileges vary broadly by the State of incorporation (their corporate home). Pres Obama recently said of corporations: “a fortunate few (who) play by their own rules” That is a truism, and perhaps the main reason why corporations exist. There are also Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs); These corporations pay no taxes at all, and in the USA are governed by Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (3). Naturally, there are millions of NPOs in the USA; These include Churches, beneficent, and other Civil Societies (as NPOs are known in other parts of the world). No wonder our Treasury Department is in its current quandary.

 WHAT POLITICIANS ARE SAYING ABOUT CORPORATE INVERSION

President Barack Obama, In a recent video addressed, criticized corporate tax inversions calling them a: “renunciation of citizenship…Rather than double down on the top-down economics that let a fortunate few play by their own rules, let’s embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together, as one nation and as one people”.

Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman, called the increase in inversions a symptom of a broken tax system. He added: “The USA tax code is infected with the chronic diseases of loopholes and inefficiency. These infections are hobbling America’s drive to create more good-wage, red-white-and-blue jobs here at home. They are a significant drag on our economy and are harming USA competitiveness”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Says that members of the Finance Committee are frustrated, but that the issue needs to be dealt with as a matter of USA competitiveness. Senator Hatch said: I am greatly concerned about these corporate inversions…I believe the best way to solve this problem is to reform our corporate and national tax law in a manner that will make our multinationals competitive against their foreign counterparts…That would mean, among other things, a significant reduction in the corporate tax rate and major changes to make our tax system more competitive” – Easy to see he wants to favor For Profit Corporations in the USA ever more.

TAX RATE REDUCTION IN THE USA is the main target of the Republican congressional Reps; Democrats on the other hand, are looking for ways to augment tax revenue. Given the adversarial/ intractable divide between the USA political parties, no change can be anticipated in the near future. Folks, we are talking about huge “Lobbying contributions” that will continue to stagnate/prevent change. It is unfortunately true that “we have the best government that money can buy” The USA Treasury Department holds little hope of congressional action; accordingly, it is looking into how to slow inversions by the diligent application of using existing tax laws. They want to seem optimistic/diligent, but we know better that to expect them to succeed, they have few successes to brag about. It’s hard to estimate how much a rule change could affect the government’s tax revenue bottom line. Estimates vary broadly over the course of a decade. Some think the USA stands to gain $20 billion in revenue if most new inversions are prevented. We think it would be much higher. Sigh!-wish it were so! In Texas we have an old-timer’s advice: Dance with the one that brung you! You fatcats know exactly what that means!

Thanks to America-Aljazeera for their quotes.

Sincerely,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

RELATED ARTICLE: “FATCATS” RENOUNCING THEIR USA CITIZENSHIP TO EVADE PAYING TAXES ( #16-2014)

 


August 14, 2014 at 1:30 AM Comments (0)

“FATCATS” RENOUNCING THEIR USA CITIZENSHIP TO EVADE PAYING TAXES

 7 Aug 2014

In the USA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), prompted the number of Americans renouncing USA citizenship to a near all-time high in the first half of 2014; just before the new rules that make it harder to hide assets from tax authorities came into force. Some 1,577 people gave up their nationality at USA embassies in the six months through Jun 2014, according to the Federal Register data published 6 Aug 2014. It is only the second time there’s been more than 500 “renouncers”(Tax evaders) based on records starting in 1998. The FATCA asset-disclosure rules became effective on 1 Jan 2014, and prompted 576 of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas to give up their passports in the second quarter of 2014. The appeal of USA citizenship for such renouncers faded, as more than 100 Swiss banks turn over data on USA clients to avoid prosecution for helping tax evaders.

IN 2010 THE USA ESTABLISHED THE FATCA LAW. Congress and Pres. Obama in effect threatened to cut off banks and other companies from easy access to the USA market if they didn’t pass along such information. It was projected to generate $8.7 billion over 10 years, according to the USA congressional Joint Committee on Taxation; However, The start of FATCA was delayed by 18 months to give foreign banks time to comply with the law, after financial institutions including ; CanadaToronto-Dominion Bank and Allianz SE of Germany, complained that it was too complex. Even so, June 30, 2014 was the deadline for turning over information on Americans considered in breach of USA tax rules, while July 31,2014 marked the end of the second wave of deliveries and includes documents that show which American clients were compliant.

Matthew Ledvina, a USA tax lawyer at Anaford (Antigua and Barbuda-AG) in Zurich said: “FATCA and the Swiss bank disclosure program has intensified the search for USA nationals beyond all measure…It’s shocking the levels of due diligence they are going through to ensure they have cleaned house…Swiss banks are trawling through records going back to the 1990s to find clients with USA addresses and telephone numbers, and those who received schooling in the country…Those identified as USA persons are either being asked to leave or be placed in special USA-only sections of the institution” Ledvina added that as many as 106 Swiss banks entered a USA Justice Department program to volunteer information on how they helped clients hide money from the Internal Revenue Service – Yeah! we remember, and they got away by paying cents on the Dollar.

The USA is the only “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development” nation that taxes citizens wherever they reside, stepped up the search for tax evaders after UBS.AG paid a $780 million penalty in 2009 and handed over data on about 4,700 accounts. Shunned by Swiss and German banks and with FATCA looming, almost 9,000 Americans living overseas gave up their passports over the past five (5) years.

FATCA LAW requires USA financial institutions to impose a 30% withholding tax on payments made to foreign banks that don’t agree to identify and provide information on USA account holders. It allows the USA to seek/obtain data from more than 77,000 institutions and 80 governments about USA citizens’ overseas financial activities.

SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS NOT SO SECRET ANYMORE. Julius Baer Group Ltd. HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss unit, are excluded from the program as they are already under investigation in the USA, the second-biggest Swiss bank that was part of the probe, was fined $2.6 billion in May 2014 after it pleaded guilty to aiding tax evasion. Americans with a net worth exceeding $2 million, and an average income tax of at least $157,000 over the previous five years, must pay an exit tax on unrealized capital gains when they renounce USA citizenship. USA citizens aren’t the only ones giving up their ties to America. The Treasury Department is also trying to limit the benefits from corporations adopting foreign addresses to avoid taxes, a process known as “an inversion”.

Thanks to Bloomberg for Their 7 Aug 2014 Story.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENT

FATCA – a “BIG DEAL”, Hardly! At first, we were surprised, and pleased about the application of the FATCA Law (we make the “FATCAT” analogy because in the USA, a “fatcat” is an extremely wealthy person). The fact that such law is in effect (since Jan 2014), provides some hope that at least some of the International tax-loopholes may begin to be closed; However, let us do the numbers: FATCA is projected to generate $8.7 billion in owed taxes over 10 years…but, that, is less than a billion per year. Folks that is a minuscule amount given that Switzerland alone (there are many other “tax heavens”) holds $2,300 billion in assets. One might say FATCA represents a Band-aid on a bleeding tax artery. And then, there is an even bigger tax-dodge: The Treasury Department is also trying to limit the benefits from corporations adopting foreign addresses to avoid taxes, a process known as “an inversion”. Yeah! Things are “inverted” all right! The wealthy pay little or no taxes, then complain about how “liberal”, and wasteful” those of us who do pay taxes are. In my book, a person who renounces their citizenship is a non-descript scoundrel who has no flag, allegiance, or shame! There have been over 9,000 such greedy “renouncers” in the past five (5) years. They probably vacation in our country under their new citizenship- No shame!

THEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO PROFIT FROM FATCA. Mathew Ledvina, a USA tax lawyer at Anaford (Antigua and Barbuda-AG) in Zurich (talk about an elusive group), speaks very optimistically about FATCA (par 3). In our opinion, he only wishes to make the new law sound very threatening to tax evaders, but not to worry, because he is there to show them how to avoid tax liabilities – at a low price. In our opinion he is just advertising his services. He could care less about the ethics of tax dodging, and specializes in how to do it legally. Notice he too lives, and practices outside the USA. His USA Law license and citizenship should be revoked ASAP as a “Persona non-grata”.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail; gonzedo@yahoo.com

Related articles: INDIA TAX EVADERS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF P.M. MODI VS THE SWISS CONNECTION; http://energymaters.com/?p=1574


August 8, 2014 at 9:30 PM Comments (0)

MEXICO’S LOW OIL PRODUCTION PROMPTS FOREIGN PERMITS – FIRST TIME IN 78 YEARS

 30 Jul 2014

Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) cut its output forecast to its lowest in at least 24 years, as the output of its mature oil fields are shrinking faster than it had previously expected. PEMEX is counting on a landmark law enacted last year that opens Mexico’s energy industry to private/foreign competition for the first time since 1938, in an effort to help stem declining output. The entrance of foreign oil exploration, development, and production Corps such as Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. could bring in $50 billion of annual private investment by 2020, According to Gabriel Casillas chief economist at Mexico’s “Grupo Financiero Banorte”. The questions not yet answered are if/how would these foreign oil concerns be compensated. The devil is in the details.

PEMEX’s CHIEF OF EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION, GUSTAVO HERNANDEZ said: “We have been working to review the declines of each of our fields that contribute to national production…In the recent review we obtained a better idea of the declines of the fields and have adjusted the production expectation downward.” Hernandez’s concerns reflect the fact that the production forecast was recently lowered to 2.41 million barrels per day (bpd) from a prior projection of 2.5 million bpd – the lowest annual output since 1990, when PEMEX produced 2.55 million bpd.

PEMEX CFO MARIO BEAUREGARD SAID on 20 Jul 2014: “We want to reverse the decline in our oil production and need to invest more money in some of our projects…PEMEX has identified potential partners, and plans to move very fast in establishing joint ventures once additional energy legislation is approved…We must redefine our future strategy as a value generating operator, and not as a state monopoly…he quoted PEMEX CEO Emilio Losoya: “PEMEX faces the biggest challenge in its history as the company transitions from a government monopoly to a competitive entity”…PEMEX’s 2015 capital expenditures budget will be an estimated $29 billion, up from this year’s $27.7 billion”. Not a significant increase, given the dire situation of PEMEX.

The passage of Energy Reform legislation that sets a framework for the issuance of oil and natural gas contracts to foreign interests is being debated by the Mexican Congress (as of the last week of Jul 2014) by lower house committees after being approved by the Senate on 21 Jul 2014. The final bill will be sent (If/when) to President Enrique Pena Nieto for approval. The legislation would allow foreign oil companies to help produce an estimated 113 billion barrels of untapped Mexican crude. The company produced paltry average of 2.45 million bpd in the second quarter of 2014.

Thanks to Bloomberg for their 25 Jul 2014 story.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENT

SO HOW DID MEXICO GET IN THIS QUANDARY?

THE STORY GOES BACK TO 1936, when there were strong rumors of world war, and demands of oil and Nat gas in Mexico were relatively low, and were being met by foreign oil developers/exploration Corps, principally from the USA. Even so, “Gasolina Americana” was being imported and sold in Mexico. But… That year, then Mexico’s president Lazaro Cardenas and his government, decided that Mexican oil was a “Natural patrimony” that belonged to all Mexicans; so, that year Mexico enacted laws that in essence said: NO MAS! to all foreign interests in their oil/gas industry. The law was called “La Expropiacion Petrolera”, and wildly approved by most Mexicans. In essence, all foreign Corps were ordered to leave the country, leaving all equipment/refineries? etc. where it was (en-situ), and to cease/desist in all claims against Mexico. That was 78 years ago.

PEMEX IS BORN - Like in all bureaucracies friends of the Cardenas regime found a “bird nest on the ground” and were quick to seize the opportunity for prosperity and even riches. As time passed PEMEX grew, and developed a notorious lack of transparency in its dealings and employment. Soon its governance became “compartment-ized”, and turfs zealously defended. No one, especially those in government, paid much attention (oversight), and whistleblowers were quickly ostracized (dismissed and blackballed). There always was plenty of room for paternalism, and nepotism that survives today. Over the years, all its dependencies began to blame one another for their lack of efficiency and shortfalls. Such is the destiny of most monopolies, especially true /understandable when one considers a monopoly that controls all aspects of production (forward to the customer), from Exploitation to refineries (in many diverse parts of the country), to PEMEX gas/oil/ lubricants “service stations”.

PEMEX NEVER FORESAW criminality, sabotage, and improperly trained personnel in their refineries, and oil wells. During the last twenty years or so, there has been a rash of “MILKERS”. These are well financed and organized bands of oil/gasoline thieves who under the cover of night install pipes to/from existing PEMEX underground pipes conducting crude/gasoline to refineries/markets. Thieves normally build what appears to be a factory building a few hundred meters away from the duct, and quietly fill “pipas” oil transport vehicles. It is rumored that most such stolen oil quickly finds buyers from the USA, who of course buy it at discount prices, and everybody profits from Mexico’s patrimony. The worst part is, such criminals often make connection errors (taps) at the PEMEX pipe, and that has resulted in many hard to control fires in distant places. POTENTIAL SABOTAGE has been reported at several refineries. There are those who claim it is done in revenge by workers who feel overworked and underpaid. Hard to prove either way, but losses are extreme both in equipment and often human lives. It is not hard to see how criminality has had a negative effect on overall production; Additionally, there is a steady stream of PEMEX fuel transport trucks (PIPAS) accidents, and fuel spillages, but that is a never ending story.

BACK TO THE POLITICS OF OIL EXPLORATION and EXPLOITATION. Approval of the energy reform law is far from a “done-deal” in Mexico (as of Jul 2014). The Mexican Senate has approved such a measure, but the details are not yet known. It is in the Mexican Congress where it the bill faces strong opposition by some of Mexico’s five (5) parties. At issue are the details. The devil is always in the details. Some Diputados (Congressmen/ladies).are still at odds with “selling our patrimony”; that aside some realize that to attract foreign capital in a reasonable way; different contractual agreement should be made, according to the level of risk taken by the foreign investors. Such rationale goes something like this:

Pay for Services Rendered to Mexican equipment. Question arises: how much? per hour, per day?, per year? per occurrence?. Contractual language is of of the essence when contracting for millions of Pesos, and multi-year terms. “Time and materials” is an invitation to the foreign capitalists to steal.

Exploration / Exploitation in Known Production Fields. Such work normally requires less capital risk, but may require specialized equipment and know-how to do profitably. Foreign venture capital may require a negotiable share of the product. Perhaps an incentive fee for good results.

Deep-Water Exploration/Exploitation. Is a very risky capital venture, and one of the reasons Mexico does not want to even try it. Deep water exploration rigs are always available, but at great cost and risk to the operator and to the environment. Remember the BP Fiasco ? The environmental and legal repercussions have not yet ended after several years of litigation. It is thought Deep-Water Exploration/Exploitation negotiations may entail a minority share of the products going to Mexico.

Mexican Senate acts like it is a done deal, and as though they are certain President Pena Nieto will approve any such laws. It is hard to deduce why that is so. Perhaps because President Nieto already made a trip Davos, Switzerland, see:>energymaters.com/?p=1429 and there may be something for many other high-profile Senators who support the proposal.

It seems strange that  Mexico, and many other nations, now show a revived interest in oil/gas exploration and exploitation, no though is given to the fact that all hydrocarbons are considered the cause of the Climate Change Paradox, and will no doubt accelerate sea level rise, and many other “un-natural” climatic events that threaten our planet. It is Renewable energy (green energy” we should be planning for, and how to best improve the technology and application as best can in all energy deficient countries.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez,

Your Friend in Texas.

e-mail >gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. The author lived in northern Mexico during  his early years, now lives 150 miles north of the Nuevo Laredo Mexico border, and keeps up with Mexican TV News. Mexican TV provides very good political coverage.  Like most modern democratic governments, it sometimes seems like a three (3) ring circus.  It can be interesting !, if one is so inclined. We have a two (2) ring circus in the USA, where frank political discourse is seldom heard.

We are happy to inform that the month of June 2014 this Journal was read in 100 countries including the USA. This was a new water mark!. We believe many people all over the world are dissatisfied with mainstream media (Press, TV, and radio).  Thank you for passing out the word about this publication. We strive to tell it like it is, and to make a difference.

 


July 30, 2014 at 1:42 AM Comments (0)

INDIA TAX EVADERS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF P.M. MODI VS THE SWISS CONNECTION

13 JUN 2014

On 27 May 2014, India’s ’s new Prime Minister (P.M.) Narendra Modi on one of his first acts (on his first day in office), was to make it a priority to recover billions of dollars (in Ruppies) stashed overseas to avoid taxes. P.M. Modi immediately created an investigative team of former judges and current regulators to find the concealed financial assets, known in India as black money”, to return them home. At stake is what’s estimated to be as much as $2 trillion, more than India’s annual gross domestic product. P.M. Modi enthusiastically said: “It will send out a loud and clear signal to all tax evaders” But will it?

ARUN KUMAR, AUTHOR OF THE BOOK “THE BLACK ECONOMY IN INDIA” and an economics professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, calculated the $2 trillion figure said: “There was always a lack of political willpower, and I hope it will be different this time. India is joining countries including the U.S. and Britain in cracking down on rich people who haven’t reported offshore funds”. India ranked third in the world (for money illegally moved overseas in 2011), behind China and Russia. According to Kumar, India (Asia’s third-largest economy) loses an estimated 60 trillion rupees ($1 trillion) each year from its formal sector, such as banks, and almost 6 trillion rupees of that is moved out of the country, Kumar analyzed independent studies and World Bank and International Monetary Fund data on trade flows. His $2 trillion estimate is the total amount Indians currently have stashed abroad illegally, without paying taxes or disclosing the funds to authorities. Kumar added: Tax revenue on those assets could exceed $600 billion, based on a 30 % rate plus penalties, that’s six (6) times the amount India’s federal government estimates it will need to borrow this year to meet expenses. India’s (GDP) yearly fiscal deficit will widen this year to the highest among BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) — in part, because taxes, as a proportion of GDP are low.  A May 29 International Monetary fund (IMF) estimate showed. “The black money within the country is easier to get at than that stashed abroad…Probing money moved abroad is a rather convenient way of diverting public attention from addressing the larger issue of unaccounted money within the country”- Well…maybe.

SEPARATELY, IN A 2013 REPORT BY “GLOBAL FINANCIAL INTEGRITY”, a Washington-based group researching cross-border money transfers, said that high-net-worth individuals, and private companies are the “primary drivers of illicit (money) flows”. Indians had moved $644 billion to tax havens as of 2011, according to their estimates. (note the wide variance with Arun Kumar’s estimates). One has to wonder if this organization is on the payroll of the tax evaders, and only trying to minimize the extent of the problem.

INDIA’S PRESIDENT Pranab Mukherjee TOLD LAWMAKERS ON 13 JUN 2014, that India will proactively engage with overseas governments to hunt black money, while outlining goals of the two-week-old government, which is also seeking to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, simplify investment rules and abolish obsolete laws. The government defines black money as assets that haven’t been reported to authorities at the time of their generation or disclosed at any point during their possession. A large portion is converted into gold and held in households domestically. It’s legal for Indian residents to hold money in foreign bank accounts as long as they disclose it and pay taxes.

P.M. MODI’S SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE TEAM, Will Focus On The Black Money held In Offshore Accounts, and was set up to comply with a Supreme Court directive. The new investigative panel headed by M.B. Shah, a former judge in India’s top court, who has yet to figure out its scope and methods. The panel held its first meeting on 2 Jun 2014, and decided on a “road map” for implementing the court order, according to a government statement.

ENTER: THE SWISS CONNECTION Paulson-Ellis, who used to run the Bank of India business’, said: “This is a particularly good time to collaborate with international agencies chasing unaccounted cash…Private banking systems are being exposed and forced to share client details with U.K., U.S., EU and Swiss authorities. If India can be a part of that dialog, it will get better access to information than was possible historically…P.M. Modi, needs to back words with action”. But …Ellis is now co-head of “Global Emerging Business” at Banco Espirito Santo SA (Inc) in London, so how sincere can he be? Question is: Is he a part of the problem? or, a part of the solution?

SWISS SAY “HSBC does not condone,” the bank said (in an e-mailed response) last week.  Mario Tuor, a spokesman for Switzerland’s State Secretariat for International Financial Matters in Bern, said: “Individuals are responsible for their own tax affairs”. Adding that his government can only cooperate within the framework of Swiss law, and it doesn’t allow cooperation based on stolen data, referring to data stolen in 2011 by a former Bank employee. See there!- our hands are tied – Sure, we know!

TAX HEAVENS Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the British Virgin Islands were among tax havens where illegal funds were stashed, A.P. Singh, then director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, said in 2012.that Indians were reported to be the largest depositors in Swiss banks, without providing details.

Siamak Rouhani, an official at the Swiss embassy in New Delhi, said on Jun 2014 (in an e-mail):“Switzerland understands and shares India’s wish to fight tax evasion and is committed to complying with the relating international standards”- Yes, we know!- carefully worded language that only seeks to obscure the facts.

SOME INDIANS ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT RECOUPING THE BLACK MONEY. According to Ashutosh Kumar Mishra, New Delhi-based Executive director of “Transparency International India” (a group that monitors corporate and political corruption) said India needs to raise the issue in international forums and put pressure on foreign banks to disclose information about those who are evading taxes through their branches, he said. “The problem of black money cannot be solved in a day…Lack of proper implementation is what has derailed all well-intentioned announcements like this”  Others said…

Bizay Sonkar Shastri, a spokesman for the BJP (Party) said: “The few steps the previous Congress government had initiated was all eyewash…It’s a priority for us, and we will pursue it with all sincerity and seriousness…Unaccounted money reduces the tax base and the ability of the government to tackle the fiscal deficit.

Ashima Goyal, a member of a panel that advises the Bank of India on monetary policy said:“This probe team is very timely. It can also draw upon international treaties drawn up for this”.

MONEY TRANSFERS THRU “HOOK OR CROOK”- hawala. Some undisclosed money is moved out of the country through the global transfer system known as hawala The system is based on trust or family connections and can involve mispricing of goods, financial loopholes and hidden accounting procedures to deliver cash in one country and pick it up in another. Using hawala is illegal in India. Shell companies (in paper only) are set up Tax Heavens to route some of the cash back to India by investments in stock markets, through participatory notes, foreign direct investments, and other instruments. We suppose that is also a method of “spreading the wealth”.

Thanks to Bloomberg for their 13 Jun 2014 story

OUR TAKE AND COMMENT

We said it before. Switzerland Banks are the key to world-wide corruption, and fraud. Our previous article on this subject dealt with USA banking firms doing business with their Swiss counterparts to evade paying taxes for earnings in the USA. Unfortunately, either by USA Internal Revenue System (IRS) collusion, or their legal inability to prosecute such slick trans-national banks, the tax evaders got away by paying a few cents on each dollar, and then only against those tax evaders who surfaced then.

In May 2014 India’s new prime Minister Modi started his tenure by declaring war on those who stashed profits overseas to avoid taxes by appointing a new Investigative Panel headed by Mr. M.B. Shah, a former judge in India’s top court; Unfortunately, he too seems to be scratching his head, wondering how to successfully recoup monies owed to the Indian government by these super-slick tax evaders who are making it very difficult to defray India’s governmental expenses. It seems quite clear Mr. Shah, and other judges/businessmen, in India agree that the Swiss connection is deeply involved. Problem is: How to “pin the tail on the donkey”. Many fear that P.M. Modi’s initiative may be not really “A loud and clear signal” to tax evaders, but rather “political-posturing” so that he may later say: Well…we tried from day one. The proof to his strength of purpose will be the resolve he shows in the days to come. We wish him the best!An anecdote: A man said to another: “I never turn on the light in the kitchen at night, because the roaches all come out”.  HMM! No wonder it is “lights out” in India too.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail > gonzedo@yahoo.com

RELATED ARTICLES: THE SWISS CONNECTION – KEY TO WORLD-WIDE CORRUPTION AND FRAUD    Feb 2014 http://energymaters.com/?p=1429


June 13, 2014 at 7:46 PM Comments (3)

USA EPA ADMINISTRATOR “TELLS IT LIKE IT IS” TO FOSSIL-FUEL FIRED POWER PLANTS, BUT…

2 Jun 2014

Washington-2 Jun 2014 - While awaiting Pres. Obama Executive Order on new EPA Regulations later today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Gina McCarthy offered a blunt defense of the Obama administration’s new rule to cut carbon dioxide pollution, touting its benefits against mounting criticism from the coal industry and some members of Congress. Arguably the most important step any country has taken to combat climate change, the new rule focuses on fossil fuel-burning power plants. They account for 40% of U.S. emissions, making them the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions, the main driver of global warming. The proposed rule seeks to reduce power plant emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Carbon dioxide emissions have already fallen more than 10% since 2005, which would make the effective reduction more like 15% to 17%, experts said.

On 2 Jun 2014 Speaking to a a room full of staff members, and environmental allies, at the EPA headquarters in Washington. Ms. McCarthy said: “Given the astronomical price we pay for climate inaction, the most costly thing we can do is to do nothing…There are still special interest skeptics who will cry the sky is falling. Who will deliberately ignore the risks, overestimate the costs, and undervalue the benefits. But the facts are clear. For over four decades, EPA has cut air pollution by 70% and the economy has more than tripled.”

MS McCARTHY STUCK TO THE SAME THEMES. She opened her speech with an anecdote about seeing Parker Frey, an active but severely asthmatic 10-year-old boy, on a recent trip she took to a Cleveland clinic. McCarthy said Parker’s mother lamented that on some days, the air quality is so poor that it was dangerous for the boy to play outdoors. “In the United States of America, no parent should ever have that worry,” she said. “That’s why EPA exists. Our job, directed by our laws, reaffirmed by our courts, is to protect public health and the environment. Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks not just to our health, but to our communities, our economy and our way of life…Special Interests who warn of severe economic consequences of the rules have historically decried all environmental protections have cried wolf to protect their own agenda. And time after time, we followed the science, protected the American people, and the doomsday predictions never came true. Now, climate change is calling our number. And right on cue, those same critics once again will flaunt manufactured facts and scare tactics.”

The EPA has proposed individual state targets based on each state’s fuel mix, with coal states starting and ending at a higher emissions level than those that use more of cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable (green energy). The states can then pick from a menu of options in order to achieve the cuts. The Obama administration has long held that combating climate change is about protecting public health and economic growth, and to underscore that, the president will make his own comments later in the day in a press call with the American Lung Assn.

SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL, himself from the coal-heavy state of Kentucky, called the new regulations: “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class.” Before the rules came out, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would cost the economy $50 billion annually and hundreds of thousands of jobs. We suppose that is what Ms. Gina McCarthy was talking about when she said: “same critics once again flaunt manufactured facts and scare tactics”.

Thanks to the LA Times for their timeliness and excellent quotations.

OUR COMMENTS

We were happy to see the EPA administrator sound emboldened by Pres. Obama’s use of Executive Powers to bring Fossil-fuel fired power plants to the realization that their days of wantonly polluting our air/water always, placing profit above the health of our citizens, are at an end. BUT! this proposed plan is just hoopla, and EPA CYA propaganda. Ms. McCarthy talks the talk, but does not walk the walk!

After reading the new 2030 Plan Proposal > http://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change  I’ve come to the conclusion that EPA has an excellent grasp of the primary polluters, where they live , and how bad they are (they have always known), Problem is: EPA IS NOT YET MANDATING ACTION ON A SPEEDY TIMELINE. Hence they are once again “Proposing” pollution abatement but based on a 16 year timeline, while soliciting voluntary action “By 2030″. Why? no boy! that is too little too late!

Letting each State seeking its own solutions is “pie in the sky”. Hell! here in Texas ( the country’s worst air polluter) not a darn thing will happen because the offenders own the State legislature, and our Governor proposed the law to make Texas independent from EPA, and to defer all such actions to the Texas Commission Environmental  Quality (TCEQ).  This proposal is ONE MORE “LOOK GOOD ACTION” by Ms. McCarthy et-al.  She promises a lot, but delivers little. Ms. McCarthy should be replaced ASAP. We have recommended that many times in the past.

We expected President Obama to provide serious and specific action concomitant with his Executive Powers, but he wasted a wonderful opportunity to bring about swift action. Pre. Obama had public opinion, the supreme court, and Executive Powers under the Clean Air Act (a trifecta); hence the obligation to take meaningful action, and he squandered the opportunity; Further, by even failing to make the announcement himself, after promising to do so, he opened himself to Republican critics in the House, and the Senate. It is an understatement to say we are greatly disappointed. In the meantime, the Fossil-fuel industry has revved-up it propaganda machine into survival mode.  It angers us to see how gullible they think we are.

Respectfully,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail >gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. We are happy to announce that the month of May 2014, This publication had the largest readership in its history, and was read in 65 countries; that alone, enjoyed about 9,000 views/visits; that too was a high water-mark for our publication. Another encouraging fact is that many of our readers are “visitors” people that “make a difference”, and frequently return to look in on us. We encourage you to place our publication among your “favorites”, and look in on us from time to time; we average about two (2) posts per month. Thank you for your viewership; most specially, to viewers in other languages for tolerating the inevitable cultural translation glitches This publication attempts to “make a difference”, and modestly feel that we do.  Sometimes it may feel like that we are not making an impact on developments, but let history be the judge of that. I am not discouraged! The truth always triumphs in the end. Thank you once again.

gonzedo

 

 


June 2, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments (0)

PRES. OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE EPA REGS TO CURB POLLUTION FROM COAL-FIRED UTILITIES

27 May 2014

WASHINGTON – 26 May 2014 -President Obama is expected to announce on 2 Jun 2014 an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants; In a speech that government analysts all over the world will probably scrutinize to determine how serious the president is about fighting global warming. The regulation will be Pres. Obama’s most forceful effort to reverse 20 years of relative inaction on climate change by the United States, which has stood as the greatest obstacle to international efforts to slow the rise of heat-trapping gases from burning coal and oil that scientists say are the cause of climate warming. Scientists have also warned that collective action, with carbon cuts by all the major economies is essential to achieve the drastic reduction in carbon pollution necessary to stave off the most destructive impacts of global warming.

PRES. OBAMA EARLIER TRIED, WITHOUT SUCCESS, to move a Climate Change bill through Congress in his first term, but even now such legislation would not stand a chance of getting past the resistance of Republican lawmakers who question the science of climate change. So, Pres. Obama is taking a controversial step: He is using his executive authority under the 1970 the Clean Air Act by means of an E.P.A. regulation taking aim at coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. The new EPA rule comes at a crucial moment in the fraught international effort to slow global warming. In March, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, released a report warning that human-caused climate change is leading to food and water shortages, extreme heat waves and droughts, rising sea levels, and stronger storms.

IN CHINA THERE IS GREAT ANTICIPATION Mr. Qi Ye, director of the Climate Policy Center at Tsinghua University in China said: “I am closely watching this. This standard is the real test of how serious the Obama climate action plan really is…If the standard is really stringent, that will make a difference in the domestic debate in China,” Mr. Qi added that while he did not expect the Chinese government to publicly comment on the E.P.A. rule, a strong regulation — like one that led to a 20 % cut in coal plant pollution — could stimulate policy changes. “It will have an impact,” The Tsinghua university is one of about half a dozen institutions that the Chinese government has tasked with immediately analyzing the new rule, according to Chinese experts.China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies and greenhouse gas polluters, are locked in a stalemate over global warming. While today China pollutes more than the United States, Chinese officials insist that, as a developing economy, China should not be forced to take carbon-cutting actions. China has demanded that the United States, as the world’s historically largest polluter, go first. Chinese policy experts say that Pres. Obama’s regulation could end that standoff.

IN RUSSIA CLIMATE CHANGE IS SNUBBED Vladimir Milov, former Russian deputy minister of energy and president of the Institute of Energy Policy, a Moscow think tank said: “It (Russia) is a very climate-change-skeptical society.” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is an open skeptic of climate science; of course, Russia, is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas, and so has generally been dismissive of efforts to forge a climate change treaty. Sorry to say, Russia appears to be living in an “isolationist bubble”.

EUROPEAN UNION’s GÜNTER HÖRMANDINGER, Environmental counselor to the European Union delegation in Washington said: “We’re very excited to see the new rule on existing power plants. We see this as absolutely the backbone of U.S. climate strategy…Once it’s out, I will be rushing to understand it and report back to Brussels,” Mr. Hörmandinger, is an Austrian who has spent the past four(4) years studying the Clean Air Act. The European Union, enacted a carbon-cutting policy after the Kyoto Protocol (1997), has been among the critics of the United States’ Climate Change Non-Policy

IN MEXICO SENIOR CLIMATE POLICY ADVISER, MR. MARIO MOLINA said: “I think it can be done legally, going back to the Supreme Court decision that led to US-EPA.’s authority to regulate carbon emissions” Mexico enacted an ambitious climate change law in 2012, and has urged other Latin American nations to pass similar legislation.

IN PERU’S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, MR.MANUEL PULGAR-VIDAL commented about US Senator Marco Rubio (Florida Republican who is viewed as a potential presidential candidate): “Senator Rubio shows us that there are still people who are skeptical of the science, even though we are already suffering the consequences of climate change…The government faces resistant actors, skepticism from political leaders it’s the same in the international arena”. It is true that Senator Rubio questioned the science of climate warming in May 2014 on ABC News’s “This Week.” (The things an intelligent man will say to follow party line!).

IN SAUDI ARABIA, WORLD”S LARGEST OIL PRODUCER/EXPORTER is paying close attention; They have sought to block global action on climate change; Naturally, all economies that are deeply dependent on producing fossil fuels fear that lowering the global demand for oil and gas presents a grave economic threat.

IN LEBANON, MR. WAEL HMAIDAN, DIRECTOR OF “CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK” said: “Everyone knows that the U.S. is key to achieve any solution to the climate change crisis…Many OPEC countries, who do not want to see the world wean itself from fossil fuels, realize this.”

“THE ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES” ISSUES AN URGENT PLEA Ronald Jean Jumeau, the UN ambassador from the island nation of Seychelles, and a spokesman for the Alliance of Small Island States said: “We are anticipating the rule with more urgency than those in the small island nations that could be threatened if sea levels rise. A series of scientific reports have concluded that as the planet warms, melting polar ice will drive up sea levels two to four feet by the end of the century, threatening the very existence of some of those islands. The path we’re on right now is that our country will disappear…This (ruling)will slow things down and give us more time to adapt and restructure our economies. Taking action now gives us more breathing room”. Sadly, they seem resigned to what many countries will not. Sea-level is rising inexorably, and will continue to accelerate. Entire Island communities, with many centuries of tranquil lives, have already been evacuated. The map of the earth land mass will look very differently 100 years hence. It is already changing dramatically; still, many think that is a transitory phenomenon.  Sorry, it is not.

IN THE USA, KING COAL STRONGLY OPPOSES NEW RULING Chiefly the nation’s coal industrialists, are preparing to fight with lawsuits, and global analysts are assessing/waiting with baited breath to see if the “Clean Air Act US-EPA rule will stand against such attacks.

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT PLANNED FOR DEC 2014 IN LIMA PERU, leaders from many nations will gather in Lima, Peru at a meeting aimed at drafting a treaty, to be signed in 2015, which would legally bind the world’s major economies to cut their carbon pollution. The goal is to avoid the debacle of the “1997 Kyoto Protocol”, the world’s first attempt to forge a climate change treaty, was effectively rendered null when the United States Senate refused to ratify it. Now, as Pres. Obama exercises his authority under the “Clean Air Act”, governments around the world are taking notice, and are eagerly awaiting to see the new USA EPA coal burning standards.

Thanks to the NY Times for their 26 May 2014 article

 

OUR COMMENT

FINALLY! Pres. Obama will mandate action in compliance with the authority given him under the Clean Air Act. We hope/anticipate EPA will issue standards and regulations to abate airborne and other pollutants released by the some 600 coal-fired utilities in the USA. The shame of it is EPA has known all along who these utilities are but has been unable to elicit voluntary action by these folks to clean up their act. -NO! NO! Not if it costs money, has been their mantra.  There are many technologies available that they could institute and have not. Profit is their only motivation.

Now it is not only the “eyes of Texas”, it is the entire world waiting to see what we (the USA) will do. It is crucial that we do the right thing because carbon output reductions by all the major economies is essential, to begin to impact climate change. Many world economies look upon the USA as a leader. I only regret that by rejecting the Kyoto Accord, we have provided such a bad example for many years. Oh! Yes, all humanity lives upon “spaceship earth” (the blue marble), let us hope we can keep it looking good.

BIG COAL/OIL DON”T CARE  It is to be expected that many coal/oil producing/exporting countries choose to place profit ahead of their social responsibility. They need to reconsider their socio-political stand. Their children (and ours) will ask questions in the future that cannot be answered without a sense of shame. In the USA the Coal cartel is ready to put up a huge legal/political fight; that is too bad, because they will waste money on lawyers, and corrupt politicians in a futile attempt to reverse Presidential and Supreme Court designs, plus the clearly expressed desires of most Americans (see Gallup Poll). The coal Industry would be better-off to spend their profits on extreme coal-fired plant improvements, or transition to Nat Gas, or better yet, start investing in green energy.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail> gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However, if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.

RELATED RECENT ARTICLES

USA SUPREME COURT FINDS AGAINST 27 COAL BURNING STATES’ POLLUTION—30 April 2014;http://energymaters.com/?p=1489

ENGLAND SEVERE AIR POLLUTION SPECIAL DANGER TO CHILDREN AND OTHERS—3 Mar 2014 — #6-2014; http://energymaters.com/p=1471

Gina McCarthy- EPA Admin Was Grilled By Senate Committee on Environment—16 Jan 2014; http://energymaters.com/p=1414

EPA SCHEDULES 11 PUBLIC MEETINGS ON COAL-FIRED UTILITIES NEXT 2 MONTHS —18 OCT 2013—#16-2013; http://energymaters.com/p=1287

US SEC OF ENERGY E. MONIZ “INTERPRETS” THE WHITE HOUSE ENERGY PLAN (NOT REALLY)—31 AUG —#15-2013; http://energymaters.com/p=1278

US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SECRETARY MONIZ SHOWS HIS TRUE COLORS IN VIENNA—2 JUL 2013—#13-2013; http://energymaters.com/p=1238

GALLUP POLL – UP WITH GREEN ENERGY; DOWN WITH COAL—02 April 2013; http://energymaters.com/?p=1185

And many, many, earlier articles related to coal-fired utilities and the damage they cause to our environment.


May 28, 2014 at 1:11 AM Comment (1)

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) LAMBASTES NITRATES INDUSTRY

21 May 2014

WASHINGTON – The USA government has no way of fully knowing which chemical facilities stock ammonium nitrate, the substance that exploded in 2013 at a Texas fertilizer plant and killed 14 people, congressional investigators say. Outdated federal policies, poor information sharing with states, and a raft of industry exemptions point to scant Federal oversight. About half of the facilities that are in the federal database were located in six states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. They include chemical plants or any location that stores ammonium nitrate, a widely used fertilizer, such as farm supply retailers or fertilizer distribution warehouses. The report found regulatory gaps in environmental and worker protections, and urged broad changes to USA safety rules. Pres Obama pledged to stiffen enforcement following the explosion on April 17, 2013, in the town of West, in Texas. These GAO findings come as a federal working group established by Pres. Obama prepares to submit its report later this month that outlines ways to improve oversight

AMONG GAO’s FINDINGS ARE:

The GAO faulted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for decades-old chemical safety regulations that have failed in large part to cover ammonium nitrate. Facilities that store ammonium nitrate are rarely inspected by OSHA, including the one that blew up in Texas, in part because the agency relies on EPA regulations that do not list ammonium nitrate as a hazardous material. OSHA had put in place some requirements for storing the fertilizer back in the 1970s, but prior to the Texas explosion the agency did not widely publicize them to the fertilizer industry.

HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT’s database captured only a fraction of the ammonium nitrate storage facilities in the U.S. The federal database shows that 1,345 facilities in 47 states store ammonium nitrate. But spot checks of similar state records found that the federal list missed as many as two-thirds of the storage sites, said the report, which faulted companies’ noncompliance, legal loopholes or poor federal coordination with states.

THE NITRATES INDUSTRY often views the rules as applying only if the material were used to make explosives. The audit said the agency may be unwisely granting exemptions to retailers that store and blend fertilizer for direct sale. As a result, prior to last year’s explosion, OSHA had cited just one facility for violations of its ammonium nitrate storage requirements in its more than 40-year history,

Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are at fault for decades-old chemical safety regulations that have failed in large part to cover ammonium nitrate. Facilities that store ammonium nitrate are rarely inspected by OSHA, including the one that blew up in Texas, in part because the agency relies on EPA regulations that do not list ammonium nitrate as a hazardous material. OSHA had put in place some requirements for storing the fertilizer back in the 1970s, but prior to the Texas explosion the agency did not widely publicize them to the fertilizer industry.(SO – OSHA BLAMES EPA, EPA BLAMES OSHA).

GAO CONCERNED MANY PEOPLE NOW LIVING CLOSE TO EXPLOSIVE DANGER The government audit tracked a month-long reporting effort last year by the AP that drew upon public records in 28 states. The AP investigation found that schools, nursing homes and hospitals were within the potentially devastating blast zones of more than 120 facilities storing ammonium nitrate. In addition, the investigation concluded that the existence of other facilities nationwide remained a mystery due to poor information sharing. (More like “Hush-money” at work).

The EPA, OSHA and the Homeland Security Department generally agreed with the GAO findings. They emphasized that states are not required to report their data to federal agencies, and that new efforts to improve coordination will be spelled out in the coming task force report. OSHA officials also said they were re-evaluating ways to target high-risk facilities for inspection, even with their limited financial resources.

The GAO report noted that U.S. safety standards typically fell short compared to those in Canada, France, Germany and Britain, which in many cases bar the use of wood or other combustible material in ammonium storage facilities.

GAO CONCLUDED:Without improved monitoring, federal regulators will not know the extent to which dangerous conditions at some facilities may continue to exist”.

David Michaels, an assistant Labor Department secretary said defensively: We believe that we have already made significant improvements to reduce the likelihood of ammonium nitrate incidents” (OH YEAH! Does your Mama know where you are?).

FOUR IMPORTANT DEMOCRATIC SENATORS AND TWO REPRESENTATIVES ARE CONCERNED; on 20 May 2014 called the safety lapses “unacceptable”, and in a letter urged Pres. Obama to take action to address GAO’s findings. Signing the letter were chairs or senior members of the relevant congressional committees on labor, environment, or the budget: Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.; and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The letter to Pres. Obama said: “Almost every state has communities that are at risk of experiencing a similar disaster…Last year’s devastating ammonium nitrate fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, is a tragic example of what can happen when there are inadequate protections.” GAO also urged Congress to eliminate an annual budget provision that exempts from safety inspections facilities with 10 or fewer employees, which make up about 4% of the 1,345 locations, and others not yet registered.

We are grateful to AP for shining the light of scrutiny on the Nitrates Industry.

OUR TAKE AND COMMENT

The nitrates industry just does not want to see the dangers they impose on nearby populations to save money. The town of West, in Texas is proof of that. What they need is for the EPA and OSHA to knock on their forehead and say: “Hello, anybody home?” Then warn them about their community responsibilities, and threaten them with stiff fines for non-compliance, and liabilities to nearby communities/people; but that, will require the enactment of Federal laws, and EPA/OSHA regulations /standards that are clear, and unambiguous. Democratic Senators and Congressmen have expressed concern, and the Obama administration wants to do something (whatever that may turn out to be) to skirt Republican “Do nothing” intransigence. It would be futile to expect State governments to enact such rules/regulations because clearly they have been lobbied to do nothing for over 40 years.

So, once again it is up to the White House to attempt to get the Nitrates industry monitored/standardized. We wish them good luck!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail> gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.

 

 

 


May 21, 2014 at 10:38 PM Comments (0)

US-EPA PROPOSES STEPS TO CURB PETROCHEMICAL REFINERIES TOXIC AIR OUTPUT

16 May 2014

WASHINGTON – On 15 May 2014, The USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to update the toxic air pollution standards for petroleum refineries to protect neighborhoods located near refineries. After receiving input from stakeholders including community groups, industry and the States. EPA’s common-sense proposal aims to (further) reduce toxic pollution from “flaring” and other processes, and includes new monitoring requirements. PROBLEM IS, AND HAS BEEN that exposure to toxic air pollutants, such as benzene, can cause respiratory problems and other serious health issues, and can increase the risk of developing cancer at/near the approximately 150 petroleum refineries around the USA.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said: “This proposal will help us accomplish our goal of making a visible difference in the health and the environment of communities across the country”. The common-sense steps we are proposing will protect the health of families who live near refineries and will provide them with important information about the quality of the air they breathe”

EPA’S PROPOSAL WOULD (FOR THE FIRST TIME) REQUIRE: (1) monitoring of air concentrations of benzene around the fence-line perimeter of refineries (YES, BUT WHAT ABOUT NEIGHBORHOODS LOCATED NEAR REFINERIES.) to ensure that emissions are controlled, and that these results would be available to the public. (2) upgraded emission controls for storage tanks including controls for smaller tanks; (3) performance requirements for flares (continued burning of waste gases) to ensure that waste gases are properly destroyed; and (4) emissions standards for delayed coking units (fractional distillation units for crude oil that are currently a significant unregulated source of toxic air emissions at refineries).

EPA ESTIMATED TOXIC AIR EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS If/when these proposed updates are fully implemented, including benzene, toluene, and xylene, would be reduced by 5,600 tons per year. Volatile organic compound emissions would be cut by approximately 52,000 tons per year. EPA says “no noticeable impact on cost of petroleum products” These cost-effective steps will have no noticeable impact on the cost of petroleum products at the approximately 150 petroleum refineries around the country. (oh yea! – wait till we hear the petrochemical industry tell it).

EPA IS ISSUING THIS PROPOSAL AS PART OF A PROCESS OUTLINED IN THE CLEAN AIR ACT that requires the agency to evaluate the emissions standards currently in place to determine (1) whether there is any remaining risk to public health or the environment and (2) whether there have been any new developments in practices, processes and control technologies. In a series of recent enforcement cases, EPA has compelled the use of innovative pollution control practices such as flare gas recovery and flare efficiency that are reducing toxic air pollution in communities. These efforts demonstrate that the proposed standards are practical and achievable today. More information about these cases: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/national-enforcement-initiative-cutting-hazardous-air-pollutants  QUESTION: IF EPA IS ALREADY “COMPELLING” SOME REFINERIES, WHY DO THEY NEED ONE MORE YEAR OF FOOT-DRAGGING TO ENFORCE THE “CLEAN AIR ACT” ON THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY NOW.

EPA will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The agency plans to hold two (2) public hearings, near Houston and Los Angeles (dates still in consideration) and will finalize the standards in April 2015 (that is nearly a year from now).

OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS:

EPA cannot reasonably expect that the petrochemical industry will look kindly at any change that adds cost to their production. When the EPA says: “steps will have no noticeable impact on the cost of petroleum products” they must mean to the consumer, but that is questionable. Surely it will add many costs to the petrochemical industry.  It should also be considered that the air toxicity in crude oil processing refineries such as those existing/proposed for Port Arthur/Houston area are normally the “killing kind” (or at least life altering); Unfortunately, more so to those producing it. Refineries have never shown any concern for the long term health of their employees, let alone the residents of nearby neighborhoods these industrialists are exceptionally greedy, slow to change, and indifferent to the airborne, and other pollution they create. Pray say: what would they do with even more truly nasty pollutants removed from the Keystone heavy crude? Probably what they do now – As little as possible. Regrettably the Texas coast from Corpus Christi north to Beaumont is already heavily polluted by Industrial or petrochemical pollution, or both.

TEXAS IS THE USA’s LARGEST GREEN HOUSE GAS PRODUCER. The dirty-air fact is that Texas was the only state in 2010 that refused to meet New US-EPA greenhouse gas emission rules, placing some of the nation’s largest refineries in operational limbo. The US-EPA, in an effort to ensure those facilities could continue to operate, had been issuing permits piece-meal since 2011.

Regrettably, EPA has already granted the State of Texas authority to regulate its own green house gasses (GHGs) in 2014 when they conceded authority to the “Texas Commission on Environmental Quality  (TCEQ)”. In 2013 Texas state legislature approved a law giving the TCEQ the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking for the EPA, on 4 Feb 2014 Mr.Curry said: “US-EPA and the TCEQ began working to develop a program that would meet federal requirements. Initially, Texas had wanted to have a six-month turn-around on all permits, but the US-EPA refused to put a cap on how long it would take to issue a permit; Curry added: “The state also wanted to include a hearing process in its program, but the federal agency declined; In addition, Texas had to establish appropriate emission thresholds. Once those and several other issues were resolved we were able to shift authority to Texas, though the US-EPA will periodically review this program It’s a program that the state(Texas) will have forever as long as it operates correctly” As long as it operates correctly?-  Say what?; Who will determine that?- Oil/other Industrialists, of course!

TCEQ RUBBED IT IN: “We do not agree with the US-EPA’s move to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but will follow the direction of the (Texas) Legislature so that permits can be issued in a timely manner, and to continue the successes of the strong Texas economy”. Naturally, they do not want anyone looking over their shoulder as they connive with their mentors.

SO WHY IS EPA GOING THROUGH THESE MOTIONS? We suppose they are just following a preconceived plan even when they know what to expect. Still, we hope a sufficient number of citizens impacted will attend the forthcoming hearings. Frankly it seems to us EPA is foot-dragging on this very important health issue to give the Big-Oil/Industrialists a break for as long as possible, with no real regard for the immediacy of the toxic air pollution to our people; specially in California, and Texas. It will be interesting to see the differences expressed between California (a leader in pollution controls), and its antithesis: Texas.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail> gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.

 


May 16, 2014 at 4:22 AM Comments (0)

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