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Thread: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency declared

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    And now we have voting rights as my top issue of the 2014 election, determining who wins.
    Voting rights that go back to the Civil rights era that the SCOTUS took away.
    We cant have that happen - you'll just make republicans look bad and democrats look good.

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    A large number of EPA regulations exist to prevent a problem from forming in the first place, the inspections are designed to ensure the polices are being followed.
    Thank you very much, but I know what the EPA is for. The post was in response to a certain person.
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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by orphani View Post
    If I understood your comment out of context, my apologies.
    I agree that there is always a balance that must be struck between human need, and the resulting environmental; and consequently human cost. But the idea of balance in this case is farcical. Accidents do happen, but when obvious potential hazards are overlooked they are invited to occur. I understand that there are those in the industry that take safety seriously, but they are undermined by a culture that minimizes the potential environmental dangers by taking what they consider calculated risks to increase profits. West Virginia law does not require routine inspection of chemical storage facilities, as other states do, because of anti-regulatory opposition in state government, supported by the coal, and chemical industries. Do you think chemical storage facilities should be inspected to meet safety standards, or is that just a knee-jerk reaction? I hope you see that as a no-brainer- senator Manchin doesn't seem to.
    Now as far as the mining industry not bearing responsibility; the coal mining industry, and the chemical industry are completely intertwined in West Virginia. In fact, the chemical that spilled was used for washing coal, and the current owner owns the Rosebud mining co. in PA. And to the extent that the industry, and politicians fight sensible regulations, like creating 100ft buffer zones for streams in the valleys so they're not buried under debris, they have to bare responsibility. Already 1,900 miles of head water streams have been covered, and the resulting contamination is inexcusable.

    The coal industry is already dying. It now only employs about 4% of West Virginians, and West Virginia ranks about 46th in state poverty, so the heavy price they are paying, and will continue to pay, long after coal companies leave, in environmental, and health issues (west Virginia ranks very high in the number of cancers) is hardly balanced by the economic advantages very few enjoy.
    I don't disagree with much of what you've said here - I think your issue is more with the political environment in the state rather than the business environment in the state - citizens need to hold their politicians and government to account when their lack of proper planning and oversight leads to disasters like this. I was simply pointing out that ending mining in the state is not a responsible or logical response to a chemical spill.

    As for coal dying out, seems to me that the Obama administration has been pushing coal, both internally and exporting it to overseas markets, while out of the other side of their mouths they complain about Canada's oilsands development which is far less environmentally impactful than American coal. So, again, it is political manipulation that is the root of many environmental concerns. Business does what it can to make money at the least cost and the highest profit margin - that's how it should be, within reason - governments need to do their jobs and hopefully, here, they will after the fact.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    The company responsible has gone bankrupt, the people of West Virginia do not have a company that they can go after to seek restitution from.

    That type of behavior is very common among industrial companies that can cause environmental damage. The mining industry has vast numbers of toxic sites that lay abandoned after the mine closed down, the company that did the mining is no longer operating as well, the profits flowed to other companies, the clean up of the site left to taxpayers
    All the more reason for governments and politicians to do their jobs.

    If you look at Canada's oilsands development, you will find that the companies exploiting these resources are required by law to maintain resources to put the land back to natural status and scientists have indicated that the land redeveloped after the oil is taken out is healthier and safer, more sustainable, than before development. That's what responsible government oversight in conjunction with good business practice gives people who demand it.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    Just add the oil spill to the growing number of "peripheral influences" in each state this year.
    West Virginia may also be interested in Christie, since Sen. Rockefeller heads that committee.

    I can't blame Nixon for the EPA since I supported the cleaning up of the Superdumps.

    I believe in attacking an opponent's strength.
    Secretary of State Natalie Tennant needs to stress her state credentials and position Rep. Caputo as the DC insider she is, part of the dysfunction.
    Tennant needs plenty of appearances with supporters Sen. Manchin, Sen. Rockefeller, and Gov. Tomblin .
    If I was Tennant, I would stay as far away from Rockefeller as possible. Last I seen his approval rating was just above 30%. Manchin and Tomblin are great and play up her links with Robert Byrd if any and if not, make them up. I wouldn't ask Obama to visit West Virginia either. That would be my advice. If she plays this right she could come back and win.

    Nixon governed as a liberal, he was far more liberal than even Obama which is center left in most cases with the exception of the ACA. Remember Nixon not only gave us the EPA, OSHA, the Endangered Species Act, he imposed wage and price controls, supported affirmative action and funds for education. He started revenue sharing and visited China opening up that Nation.

    This is where all most most people on sites like this one make their mistake, they look at the R and the D and not how they govern. If an R is next to their name they are conservative, if a D, liberal. They do not look at or pay attention to how they govern. I voted for Nixon in 1972, cast my absentee ballot from Long Binh, Vietnam as we were getting ready to turn it over to the ARVN. I think back in 1968 that Humphrey or Wallace would have ended up being a lot more conservative in the way they governed, not rhetoric mind you. But governance.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    I'm going to go and say that it has far more to do with the way Democrat's changed their civil rights stance in the 60s, however, even that would be false as it swung back and forth for 40 years. Actually, coal production in the US today is several times what it was the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. Our net export is significantly higher today then 5 years ago. So what's this war on coal you talkin' bout?
    In politics so much is perception. The EPA and the environmentalist attack the coal industry and both are associated with the Democrats. I don't know about production, but to listen to the folks of Eastern KY and West Virginia talk, they certainly do perceive it as a Democratic war on coal. But if you get past WV votes for president from 2000-2012, that state is about as Democratic as one gets. 2 Democratic senators, a Democratic Governor and Democrats in almost all stateside offices, a Democratic state legislature and senate. Outside of their votes for president, WV is still a very Democratic state.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    All the more reason for governments and politicians to do their jobs.

    If you look at Canada's oilsands development, you will find that the companies exploiting these resources are required by law to maintain resources to put the land back to natural status and scientists have indicated that the land redeveloped after the oil is taken out is healthier and safer, more sustainable, than before development. That's what responsible government oversight in conjunction with good business practice gives people who demand it.
    To maintain resources to put the land back to the natural status is a significant amount of money, that only larger companies can afford to do, and of course most likely would do. That reduces jobs, and competion
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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Cue: Republicans blame Democrats and vice versa.
    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBY View Post
    Except for Uncle Sam.


    Democrats have been missing an opportunity to convert the mining/Appalachian/moonshinin/ weed-growin states
    like TN, KY, WV to join them.They did get VA.

    I like DEMs like Bashear, and he will be huge this year with ACA .
    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    West Virginia and Eastern KY, coal country are not going back to being Democratic because of the Dems war on coal. The Dems are costing that region their livelihood. Forcing people to lose their jobs is not a good way to get them to vote for you. Virginia is becoming much more like Maryland than a deep south state. I still haven't found any polls on KY concerning the ACA. I suppose sooner or later there will be one. Ky isn't as red as most people think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Nick View Post
    We cant have that happen - you'll just make republicans look bad and democrats look good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    I don't know how this spill will effect the senate race. I haven't seen anything recent on West Virginia. Yeah, there is more than just blaming the Democrats, it is blaming the EPA. In fact that is how most Democrats get elected in West Virginia, they blame the EPA for the loss of coal jobs. Besides, West Virginia is a red state in presidential election only.

    In the West Virginia state Senate the democrats hold a 24-10 lead, in their legislature the Democrats hold a 53-47 advantage, the Democrats have both senators and a governor. West Virginia has voted solidly for Democratic presidential nominees before 2000, but has gone Republican since then. WV went for Clinton twice, they even went for Dukakis.

    See? I told you so.
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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    All the more reason for governments and politicians to do their jobs.

    If you look at Canada's oilsands development, you will find that the companies exploiting these resources are required by law to maintain resources to put the land back to natural status and scientists have indicated that the land redeveloped after the oil is taken out is healthier and safer, more sustainable, than before development. That's what responsible government oversight in conjunction with good business practice gives people who demand it.
    It doesn't look like the companies are doing enough although it does seem that the government is now getting involved.
    Some doctors refused to treat emission-area residents: report

    EDMONTON - Some Peace River area doctors are afraid to speak out about health impacts of oil and gas activity and in some cases have declined to treat area residents who wondered if their health problems were related to emissions, says one of two independent health experts hired by the Alberta Energy Regulator.

    Doctors fear negative consequences to their careers if they speak out, and in one case, one lab refused to process a test, says Dr. Margaret Sears, an Ontario expert in toxicology and health who will appear this week at a special hearing into complaints about emissions from the Baytex oilsands operation 32 kilometres south of Peace River.
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    Re: West Virginia chemical spill cuts water to up to 300,000, state of emergency decl

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I don't disagree with much of what you've said here - I think your issue is more with the political environment in the state rather than the business environment in the state - citizens need to hold their politicians and government to account when their lack of proper planning and oversight leads to disasters like this. I was simply pointing out that ending mining in the state is not a responsible or logical response to a chemical spill.

    As for coal dying out, seems to me that the Obama administration has been pushing coal, both internally and exporting it to overseas markets, while out of the other side of their mouths they complain about Canada's oilsands development which is far less environmentally impactful than American coal. So, again, it is political manipulation that is the root of many environmental concerns. Business does what it can to make money at the least cost and the highest profit margin - that's how it should be, within reason - governments need to do their jobs and hopefully, here, they will after the fact.
    You know John, wouldn't it be wonderful if we lived in a world where our best understanding of justice was implemented in the minds of all people. If from every corporate boardroom someone said "well, it may not be the most profit maximizing strategy, but in the long run its the right,and moral thing to do". If that were the case we wouldn't be having this conversation. But that's not the world we live in; in this world we have to fight for the right to have clean water, clean air, and a future for our children that doesn't include a decimated planet. When you take a clear unbiased look at carbon fuels, and what the science is clearly telling us; it says we are robbing our children's futures for short sighted gains. The USA has relinquished its role as a leader in new carbon free technologies to pursue a path in carbon extraction that guarantees a risky future. Just like a child grasping for the cartooned, sugar filled, Cocoa puffs; it will take a wise parent leading them to a healthier diet of; tread lightly on our planet, it's the only one we have.

    When Halliburton kills a recommendation for transparency in West Virginia's state legislature by state EPA to make public the chemicals it pumps into the ground in it's fracking operations, you feel the boot of power on the neck of our Democracy.
    I'll leave it with a statement from Eric Waggoner, a long time West Virginia resident.



    Eric Waggoner
    Chair, English department, West Virginia Wesleyan College



    To hell with every single screwjob elected official and politico under whose watch it all went on, who helped write those lax regulations and then turned away when even those weren't followed. To hell with you all, who were supposed to be stewards of the public interest, and who sold us out for money, for political power. To hell with every one of you who decided that making life convenient for business meant making life dangerous for us. To hell with you for making us the eggs you had to break in order to make breakfast.

    To hell with everyone who ever asked me how I could stand to live in a place like this, so dirty and unhealthy and uneducated. To hell with everyone who ever asked me why people don't just leave, don't just quit (and go to one of the other thousand jobs I suppose you imagine are widely available here), like it never occurred to us, like if only we dumb hilljacks would listen as you explained the safety hazards, we'd all suddenly recognize something that hadn't been on our radar until now.

    To hell with the superior attitude one so often encounters in these conversations, and usually from people who have no idea about the complexity and the long history at work in it. To hell with the person I met during my PhD work who, within ten seconds of finding out I was from West Virginia, congratulated me on being able to read. (Stranger, wherever you are today, please know this: Standing in that room full of people, three feet away from you while you smiled at your joke, I very nearly lost control over every civil checkpoint in my body. And though civility was plainly not your native tongue, I did what we have done for generations where I come from, when faced with rude stupidity: I tamped down my first response, and I managed to restrain myself from behaving in a way that would have required a deep cleaning and medical sterilization of the carpet. I did not do any of the things I wanted to. But stranger, please know how badly I wanted to do them.)

    And, as long as I'm roundhouse damning everyone, and since my own relatives worked in the coal mines and I can therefore play the Family Card, the one that trumps everything around here: To hell with all of my fellow West Virginians who bought so deeply into the idea of avoidable personal risk and constant sacrifice as an honorable condition under which to live, that they turned that condition into a culture of perverted, twisted pride and self-righteousness, to be celebrated and defended against outsiders. To hell with that insular, xenophobic pathology. To hell with everyone whose only take-away from every story about every explosion, every leak, every mine collapse, is some vague and idiotic vanity in the continued endurance of West Virginians under adverse, sometimes killing circumstances. To hell with everyone everywhere who ever mistook suffering for honor, and who ever taught that to their kids. There's nothing honorable about suffering. Nothing.

    To hell with you. This is the one moment in my adult life when I have wished I could still believe in Hell as an actual, physical reality, so that I could imagine you in it.

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