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Reposted from National Parks and Wildlife Refuges by Ojibwa

 photo DSCN6067_zpsxhbho8qx.jpg

Last Tuesday (April 28), we drove up to Avalanche and then walked up the road to Red Rock Falls. The photos are below the Orange Snow Bank:

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Reposted from LakeSuperior by LakeSuperior

National environmental organizations and Democrats [often motivated by Tom Steyer campaign contributions] have created a mythology about the Keystone XL Pipeline claiming this to be an "export pipeline" and alleging that crude oil deliveries from the proposed pipeline would go to China or everywhere else other than the United States.

Sierra Club sends out fund solicitations showing cartoon graphics of tankers labelled "China" being loaded by KXL crude and Steyer's NextGen shows dramatic footage in a polished political ad making this claim alleging the crude oil will go to China.   Michael Brune goes to a congressional committee and on national television making similar claims alleging that the United States will not receive any benefits from the alleged "export pipeline."

For both Democrats and environmental organizations...the claim that the Keystone XL Pipeline is an "export pipeline" is reality denial and engineering denial.   Engaging in such reality denial is not compatible with ethical conduct considerations, science-based conservation stewardship and public trust energy/environmental protection decisionmaking.

Nothing in Department of State Final Supplemental  Environmental Impact Statement supports the claim or notion that the Keystone XL Pipeline is an "export pipeline."   There is no basis in the DOS FSEIS for President Obama to make a decision on TransCanada's application on the basis that it is a crude oil export pipeline.

The DOS FSEIS document acknowledges the physical and economic realities that KXL-delivered heavy sour crude is destined for United States petroleum refineries on the Gulf Coast.   These same USA petroleum refineries sell the majority of their total finished petroleum products in the USA.   Even if such refineries sold their products mostly for export, it would not change the fact that KXL as proposed is a USA crude oil import pipeline and NOT an "export pipeline."

In order to drive the point home that KXL is not an "export pipeline," recent news yields a very clear example demonstrating a proposed border crossing pipeline that actually and legitimately is a USA crude oil export pipeline.

This is a clear example of a pipeline project which will need a Presidential Permit for an international border crossing that is clearly an "export pipeline"  -- recent news yields this story on TransCanada's proposed Upland Pipeline Project running from North Dakota to Saskatchewan.  

The Upland Pipeline Project will carry Bakken crude for export from the United States to Canada....making it a "USA crude oil export pipeline."

http://www.chem.info/...

http://www.manufacturing.net/...

http://business.financialpost.com/...

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

Republican shills for Big Carbon are launching a direct assault on NASA funding designed to gut any future enhancements to the Earth Sciences capabilities to monitor changing conditions on our planet from orbit using satellites.  
 

House GOP Wants to Eviscerate NASA Earth Sciences in New Budget

By Phil Plait

A passel of anti-science global warming denying GOP representatives have put together a funding authorization bill for NASA that at best cuts more than $300 million from the agency’s current Earth science budget.

At worst? More than $500 million.

The actual amount of the cut depends on whether some caps enacted in 2011 are removed or not. If they are, then Earth sciences gets $1.45 billion. If not, it gets $1.2 billion. The current FY 2015 budget is $1.773 billion.

Compare that with the White House request for FY ’16 of $1.947 billion for Earth sciences. The bill will be marked up (amended and rewritten) by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee today.

The authorization bill passed along party lines (19 Republicans to 15 Democrats) and will move to the House floor eventually for a vote. Rep. Edwards put in an amendment to restore the Earth sciences budget but was voted down ... again along party lines. So there you have it. If this authorization is upheld by the House, it will be reconciled with a Senate version, and then negotiated with the White House. But for now, the huge and devastating cuts to NASA's ability to monitor our warming planet will be the baseline.
From the LA Times:
The GOP attack on climate change science takes a big step forward

By Michael Hiltzik

Living down to our worst expectations, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted Thursday to cut deeply into NASA's budget for Earth science, in a clear swipe at the study of climate change.

The committee's markup of the NASA authorization bill for fiscal 2016 and 2017 passed on a party-line vote, Republicans in the majority. The action followed what appears to be a deliberate attempt to keep Democrats out of the loop. According to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the committee's ranking Democrat, her caucus "did not even know [the markup] existed before last Friday. ... After we saw the bill, we understood why."

From the Washington Post:
Cutting NASA’s earth science budget is short-sighted and a threat

By Marshall Shepherd

When I went to bed last night, I had no intention of writing this commentary. However, I literally could not sleep contemplating the reckless cuts to NASA’s earth sciences budget being proposed by some in the U.S. House of Representatives.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, one of the few people that has actually seen our home planet from the vantage point of space, issued a statement noting that proposed cuts, “gut our Earth science program and threatens to set back generations worth of progress in better understanding our changing climate, and our ability to prepare for and respond to earthquakes, droughts, and storm events…” This statement is measured and appropriate, but I am writing to amplify this statement.

Cuts in the $300-500 million dollar range as proposed literally take NASA’s earth science program from the “enhanced” smart phone era back to the first-generation “flip” phones or maybe the rotary phone. It also fundamentally challenges the Congressional mandate of the 1958 Space Act creating NASA.

NASA chief: House budget may 'set back generations worth of progress' in climate research

These Republican imbeciles and the charlatan "experts" they follow are all bought and paid for by fossil fuel billionaires like the Kochs, and other obscenely wealthy individuals blinded by their own insatiable greed.

We haven't seen such a heavy handed attack on science since 1616 when Pope Urban VIII disturbed by Copernicus' Theory of Sun Centered Universe banned its printing and publication, eventually resulting in the trial of Galileo a few decades later.

                                       
                                                        Pope Urban VIII
                                             Role Model for House Republicans
 

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Reposted from Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees by LakeSuperior

Continuing with the appropriations process, the House today voted on the appropriations bill for the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, and nuclear weapons programs.

Here is what the bill would do:

H.R. 2028 appropriates $35.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies funded in the bill for FY 2016, which is $1.2 billion (3.5%) above FY 2015 levels but $633 million below the President’s request.

The measure also increases funding for the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, but makes significant cuts to funding for fossil fuels and alternative energy programs. Advanced energy research, environmental cleanup activities, nuclear non-proliferation programs, and most renewable energy programs would see flat funding or minor increases.  The Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency office is cut $266 million below FY 2015. The bill also includes numerous controversial policy riders, including three that hinder the Corps of Engineers’ ability to address water pollution under the Clean Water Act, one blocking the agencies in the bill from implementing the National Ocean Policy, and one allowing guns to be carried on all Corps of Engineers lands.

In addition to the concerns expressed above, Democratic leadership in the House urged members to vote against it because, since Congress did not yet replace sequestration cuts, the bill would require cuts in other parts of the budget:
Republicans are developing this year's spending bills based on their budget resolution’s adherence to sequester level discretionary spending caps for FY 2016, established in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The two-year Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Agreement to replace much of the sequester’s cuts to defense and non-defense funding has expired, limiting resources for the regular appropriations process to $1,016.6 billion for FY 2016, a funding increase of just 0.29%. Because this Energy & Water appropriations bill includes an increase larger than 0.29%, cuts to other non-defense Appropriations subcommittees’ 302(b) allocations will be necessary without an agreement to replace the sequester. At the same time, Republicans are exempting defense from the sequester by shifting $38 billion of the President’s base defense request into the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) war funding account, relieving pressure to replace the sequester for non-defense priorities.
The bill ultimately passed 240 to 177.

230 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted for it. 170 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 10 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Here are the 7 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)

Over the course of yesterday and today, the House voted on numerous amendments. I included only those in which the Democratic vote was not unanimous for or against.

Fossil Fuels

Raul Ruiz (CA-36) offered an amendment to increase funding for Water and Related Resources by $5 million and to reduce funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development by $20 million.

It failed 172 to 249.

161 Democrats and 11 Republicans voted for it. 228 Republicans and 21 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 21 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
David Price (NC-04)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)

Here were the 11 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Frank Guinta (NH-01)
Joe Heck (NV-03)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Mimi Walters (CA-45)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

---

Morgan Griffith (VA-09) offered an amendment to transfer $50 million from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Fossil Energy Research and Development.

It failed 177 to 244.

175 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 180 Democrats and 64 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Gene Green (TX-29) and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

---

Eric Swalwell (CA-15) offered an amendment to increase funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $25,500,000 and to reduce funding for Fossil Energy by $34,000,000.

It failed 173 to 248.

164 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted for it. 230 Republicans and 18 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 18 Democrats:

Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)

Here are the 9 Republicans:

Dave Brat (VA-07)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
John Katko (NY-24)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
David Reichert (WA-08)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

---

Keith Ellison (MN-05) offered an amendment to reduce funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development by $45 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.

It failed 175 to 246.

133 Democrats and 42 Republicans voted for it. 197 Republican and 49 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 49 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
Mike Doyle (PA-14)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
David Price (NC-04)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Norma Torres (CA-35)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Frederica Wislon (FL-24)

ARPA-E Funding

Eric Swalwell (CA-15) offered an amendment to increase funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) by $20 million and to reduce funding for Departmental Administration by a similar amount.

It failed 202 to 219.

176 Democrats and 26 Republicans voted for it. 213 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 6 Democrats:

Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Al Green (TX-09)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
Eddie  Johnson (TX-30)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)

Nuclear Weapons

Mike Quigley (IL-05) offered an amendment to apply $167,050,000 to the savings reduction account for the new nuclear arm cruise missile.

It failed 164 to 257.

149 Democrats and 15 Republicans voted for it. 224 Republicans and 33 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 33 Democrats:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Joaquin Castro (TX-20)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Al Green (TX-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Eddie  Johnson (TX-30)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
Ben Luján (NM-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Terri Sewell (Al-07)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Here are the 15 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Rodney Davis (IL-13)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Mick Mulvaney (SC-05)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Ed Royce (CA-39)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

---

John Garamendi (CA-03) offered an amendment to reduce the Atomic Energy Defense Activities National Nuclear Security Administration, Weapons Activities Account by $25 million and to apply the savings to the spending reduction account.

It failed 149 to 272.

136 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted for it. 226 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted against it.

29 of the 33 Democrats who voted against the prior amendment voted against this one as well. The exceptions were Gene Green (TX-29), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Paul Tonko (NY-20), and Filemon Vela (TX-34).

Then 17 additional Democrats voted against it, bringing the net increase to 13.

Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Norma Torres (CA-35)

Here are the 13 Republicans who voted for it:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
John Duncan (TN-02)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Glenn Grothman (WI-06)
Tim Huelskamp (KS-01)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Ted Yoho (FL-03)

Light Bulbs

Michael Burgess (TX-26) offered an amendment to block energy efficiency standards for incandescent light bulbs.

It passed 232 to 189.

One Democrat—Collin Peterson (MN-07)—voted for it.

Eight Republicans voted against it:

Andy Barr (KY-06)
Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Garret Graves (LA-06)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Dave Reichert (WA-08)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)


Climate Change

Keith Rothfus (PA-05) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds to apply the report entitled "Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquified Natural Gas from the United States" in any public interest determination under the Natural Gas Act.

It passed 232 to 172.

230 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 169 Democrats and 3 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

The three Republicans were Chris Gibson (NY-19), Richard Hanna (NY-22), and Walter Jones (NC-03).

---

Paul Gosar (AZ-04) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds for the Department of Energy's Climate Model Development and Validation program.

It passed 224 to 84.

223 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for it. 174 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against it.

That one Democrat was Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 10 Republicans:

Bob Dold (IL-10)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
David Jolly (FL-13)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
Tom MacArthur (NJ-03)
Dave Reichert (WA-08)
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)


Overall Spending

Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) offered an amendment to reduce funding in the bill by 1 percent across-the-board.

It failed 159 to 248.

156 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for it. 171 Democrats and 77 Republicans voted against it.

The three Democrats that voted for it were Jim Cooper (TN-05), Jim Costa (CA-16), and Jared Polis (CO-02).


Water

Tom McClintock (CA-04) offered an amendment to prohibit use of funds for the purchase of water to supplement or enhance instream water flow requirements in California.

 It passed 228 to 183.

226 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it. 174 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted against it.

The two Democrats were Jim Costa (CA-16) and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 9 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Pat Meehan (PA-07)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

---

Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) offered two amendments. The first one would prohibit use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce the requirement in the Code of Federal Regulations, that activities identified in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act must be established or ongoing in order to receive an exemption under the Act.

It passed 239 to 174.

229 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted for it. 169 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against it.

Here are the 10 Democrats:

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Here are the 5 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)

---

LaMalfa’s second amendment would prohibit use of funds to deliver water to the Trinity River above the minimum requirements of the Trinity Record of Decision or to supplement flows in the Klamath River.

It passed 228 to 173.

225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for it. 173 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted against it.

The 3 Democrats were Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), and Collin Peterson (MN-07).

Here are the 10 Republicans:

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Ryan Costello (PA-06)
Bob Dold (IL-10)
Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Chris Smith (NJ-04)
Fred Upton (MI-06)
Greg Walden (OR-02)

Discuss
Spring time means baseball season for so many - a nice evening out at the ballpark with a hot dog, peanuts, and a cold beverage. We all love a homerun, except when it's against our team, of course. So we here at the Sierra Club decided to mix baseball and politics to make it clear just who's playing on the polluters' team and who's on the side of clean air and clean water protections.
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Reposted from guavaboy by rebel ga

My adult daughters, in a strange turnaround, keep demanding to know my exact whereabouts these days, since the earthquake here in Nepal.

I am fine and I was nowhere near the epicenter. My teaching project here takes me outside the Kathmandu Valley about half the time, and I was in the Terai, teaching at a medical school, when this happened. It's the hot flat part far from Everest.

My daughter asked how to show some visible solidarity with Nepal, and then she asked me a question that made a lightbulb go off...... step over the orange piece of earthquake rubble to read what it was.....

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Reposted from wjhamilton29464 by LakeSuperior

Charleston, SC- Transit in the Lowcountry needs your support today. While we’ve been working to plan a better system for the future long standing problems and exposure to the dysfunctions of our national politics threaten the survival of CARTA bus transit service here.

On May 31 the current Federal funding authorization for public transit runs out unless it is renewed or extended. As we’ve seen for the past few years Congress is capable of shutting down the entire government for weeks. The once unthinkable interruption of essential government services is now common. Mark Sanford’s bill to end federal funding for public transit is still pending in the US Congress despite his assurance he only introduced it to spark debate.

We don’t know how long CARTA could operate if Federal Funding was interrupted. We expect another round of bus route cuts in June that have been under study for six months. This will be the fourth round of route and service cuts in Seven years during which CARTA has managed to increase total ridership on its remaining service. However increased ridership is nothing to celebrate for the riders on nights, weekends and in areas which have lost bus service.

We’ve been preparing for these challenges for four years, since a federal transit budget cut slashed support for public transit across the United States. We’re now part of a growing network of public transit rider’s groups in hundreds of cities. We supported the effort in Columbia, SC to bring their transit system back from the dead through our connections in the SC Progressive Network. Locally we have pro transit neighborhood groups forming on James Island, N. Charleston and in Summerville as well as Truckers for Transit.

We’re not where we need to be and frankly, now isn’t the best time for the work with cities in an uproar and summer coming, but we have to push forward now.
We’re asking everyone we’re in contact with to sign our online petition opposing Mark Sanford’s bill to cut federal funding for public transit and to ask your friends to sign online. http://www.gopetition.com/...

We’ll be at Charleston City Hall this evening (Tuesday, April 28) at 5 pm to speak out about the irresponsibility of building a huge new residential development West of the Ashley without building transit in. We would use help leafleting the crowd. We can have prosperity, development and community, but we can’t continue to build and develop if every new household adds a dozen additional car trips a day to the road system. A world where every trip to work, shop, go to soccer practice or attend church requires two car trips and two parking spaces in impossible. There will never be the space or the money to build that many roads and those roads will be of little or no use to our working poor, disabled and elderly populations who can’t drive. Please read up on the proposed development and join us at Charleston City Hall at 4:45 pm today.  http://www.live5news.com/...

I know you’re tired and you don’t have much confidence in the system any longer, but last week a US Congressman interrupted his day to wait on us and hold a 20 minute skype conference on public transit. When we get loud, things move. This work is hard, but sitting still in traffic on I26 while our cities burn will be harder. If I’m lucky, we’ll reach some people today online and at city hall. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch the #40 bus home so I can tend my tomatoes. They’re up two feet and the grow in compost made out of the stuff we threw out of our kitchen last year.

You can turn garbage into fresh tomatoes and you can turn the problems we have no into a great new regional rapid transit system too. Let’s help each other.

Poll

The new West Ashely Development near Charleston SC should

83%5 votes
0%0 votes
16%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 6 votes | Vote | Results

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Deepwater Wind employees assemble pieces of the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island.
Today, the U.S. took another big step in the transition beyond coal to a clean energy, as the nation's first offshore wind project broke ground.

Block Island calls itself the "Last Great Place," but this small island 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island is first in the hearts of environmentalists and clean energy advocates across the nation today. Big things are happening just off the shore of that little island. That’s where Deepwater Wind has started construction on America's first-ever offshore wind project.

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Reposted from LakeSuperior by LakeSuperior

The Lipsky Family in Parker County, TX has defeated a Range Resources petition in a SLAPP lawsuit seeking to reinstate certain business disparagement and civil conspiracy claims brought by the natural gas developer.   SLAPP is the acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

In Texas a state law protects citizens exercising First Amendment rights from lawsuits by businesses who bring actions against parties who are critics of their actions, policies or developments.   The Texas law enables defendants in such SLAPP lawsuits an expedited procedure to dismissing such harassing, vexatious lawsuits by corporate entities and others.

In the case of the Steve Lipsky family in Texas that was shown in Gasland, Range Resources filed defamation and conspiracy claims against Steve Lipsky and his wife and their environmental consultant, Alissa Rich.

Although the Texas law is intended to protect the public, it did not function in this manner for Steve Lipsky, who faced Range Resources relentless litigation and appeals against them.

Last Friday, Lipsky won decisively against Range Resources in the Texas Supreme Court through rejection of a Range Resource petition, although the appeal also involved rejection of a petition by Steve Lipsky as well.   The Texas Supreme Court concluded that Range Resources could not continue its claims against the Lipsky family concerning civil conspiracy, and that the court of appeals did not properly consider the issue of evidence of 'business disparagement.'  

However, it appears that Steve Lipsky may have to continue to defend against claims of simple defamation against Range Resources as the Supreme Court did not grant Lipsey's petition on those issues.

----------

13-0928
IN RE STEVEN LIPSKY; from Parker County; 2nd Court of Appeals District (02-12-00348-CV, 411 SW3d 530, 04-22-13)

2 petitions

The Court denies the petitions for writ of mandamus.

Justice Devine delivered the TX Supreme Court opinion [which should be studied by all anti-SLAPP lawyers, nationwide]:

http://www.txcourts.gov/...

All pleadings:

http://www.search.txcourts.gov/...

Oral argument:

http://texassupremecourt.mediasite.com/...

video:

http://texassupremecourt.mediasite.com/...

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The Lipsky family and Range Resources have been in a dispute which has had previous involvements by U.S. EPA and the Texas Railroad Commission, and other scientific researchers, with allegations that natural gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing and production operations caused thermogenic gas to be found in the Lipsky's and other neighboring wells, allegedly from a Range Resources operation a half mile away.

EPA declined to continue Safe Drinking Water Act litigation with Range Resources over the issue after Range Resources claimed the presence of nitrogen in the Lipsky well gas was an indicator that its origin was in the relatively shallow Strawn Formation and not in the formation in which Range Resources well was drilled.  

The Texas Railroad Commission has largely rejected the allegation that there is a connection between the Range Resources operation and gas intrusion in the Lipsky well.

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

The Koch funded Heartland Institute is sending some of its industry compliant scientists to Rome to correct Pope Francis ideas about Global Warming.

Koch-backed group sending ‘real scientists’ to school Pope Francis about ‘Biblical duty’ to pollute

The libertarian Heartland Institute — perhaps best known for working alongside cigarette manufacturers to question the dangers of second-hand smoke — will host a workshop featuring two “real scientists” Tuesday in Rome ahead of a Vatican summit on the environment, although the group neglected to identify its scientists.

Pope Francis plans to issue an encyclical letter this summer that will address environmental issues, and very likely climate change — which could make the issue a moral and religious concern for Christians worldwide.

The Vatican summit will feature UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs – who the conservative group complained ignore “abundant data showing human greenhouse gas emissions are not causing a climate crisis.”

They said proposed international regulations on airborne pollutants would amount to “a radical reordering of global economies that will cause massive reductions in human freedom and prosperity.”

“The Holy Father is being misled by ‘experts’ at the United Nations who have proven unworthy of his trust,” said Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute. “Humans are not causing a climate crisis on God’s Green Earth – in fact, they are fulfilling their Biblical duty to protect and use it for the benefit of humanity..."

The Kochs are doing the Lord's work! They embody human prosperity! Why can't Pope Francis see that?  
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Reposted from Life in Wisconsin by LakeSuperior

Not all is politics. When I'm not working, or being a political geek, I like getting outdoors, taking photos, running. But sometimes the political and the personal intersect. There are some, today, that think that state parks aren't important. There are some that look to sell off state land - land we all own - to pay off short-term debts.  Debts incurred to cut taxes for the so-called "job creators".

Earlier today I posted photos from March of the Kinnickinnic River as it passed through the city of River Falls. Today I went to Kinnickinnic State Park, where the Kinni meets the St. Croix River, just miles before the St. Croix joins with the Mississippi:

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Reposted from Pakalolo by Ojibwa

Image Credit: Pakalolo

Shhhh! Florida republicans are quietly plotting a nefarious plan to allow the private sector the opportunity to harvest the trees in our State parks and natural areas, allow agricultural interests to plow up state park land, and allowing ranchers to graze their cattle on currently protected wet and dry prairie habitats. So as not to hurt the feelings of the communications industry, the bought and paid for republican controlled house and senate support cell phone towers rising above the palms and the cypress domes  (assuming any are left given the goodies showered on the timber industry) of Florida's beautiful and award winning state park system.

This top secret plot is under wraps because Floridian's love of our state parks. In 2014, Florida voters joined New Jersey and California in approving $13 billion to protect existing state lands and funding for additional acquisition of conservation land.

"Tuesday was a remarkable day for land conservation in states and cities across America," said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, the nation's leader in creating public funding for parks and open space. "Voters in Florida, New Jersey, and California all approved measures which will mean billions of dollars will be spent to preserve the special places which are important to them and their families. And that approval came from voters regardless of their party affiliation."

"But the results were not surprising," Rogers said. "For more than 20 years, The Trust for Public Land has seen that support from Democratic, Republican and independent voters alike. Whether voters are 'red' or 'blue,' they are both 'green' and they are willing to vote with their pocketbooks to protect special places."

The measures included:

•Florida - An amendment to the state constitution won 75-25% approval and will dedicate $18 billion over the next 20 years, with half that amount set aside for new land conservation, including major investments in the Everglades. The $9 billion total makes up the bulk of the $13 billion approved Tuesday. The Florida measure was the largest land conservation measure ever approved in a single state.

Hat tip to The Tampa Bay Times for reporting on this story so that west coast Floridians can see what these greedy and corrupt bastards are up to as Myakka State Park is first to be pillaged. They note:
For decades, "Florida's lawmakers, governors and administrators understood that a state park was . . . for the perpetual preservation of unique portions of original, natural Florida," said Phillip A. Werndli, who recently retired as chief historian of the Florida Park Service. In fact, state law said the parks are supposed to "conserve these natural values for all time."

The parks do make money for Florida, though, because their natural beauty attracts so many visitors, both from within the state and around the globe. A DEP analysis last year found that about 27 million people visited the parks, generating an economic impact of $2.1 billion.

To Steverson, though, that's not enough. In March he told a Senate committee the parks cover only 77 percent of their expenses, and he wants to boost that to 100 percent.

Steverson told the senators he believes the park system can protect the environment "while still becoming self-sustaining. . . . We can do a lot to expand the utilization of this land to support other areas of the DEP mission."

Steverson said his goal is simple: "I want to maximize value for the taxpayers, but also for the environment."

That's also the goal of  HB 7135 and SB 7086 , bills that are rapidly nearing a final vote in the Legislature. Both call for state park management plans to include "preservation of low impact agriculture" among their mandated goals, and to find parks that could support low impact agriculture. The bills do not really define "low-impact agriculture" except to say it's the kind of farming or ranching that doesn't pollute too much or interfere with recreation in the park.

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