|Sea ice in the Arctic Circle is currently melting at a pace far greater than scientists had originally projected. While this is bad news for the planet — sea ice helps reflect the sun’s rays and keeps the arctic cooler — it has created new paths for the oil industry to exploit the resources hidden deep under the icy water.
Drilling activities in the Arctic have currently stalled, but this stall isn’t going to last forever. The Arctic is estimated to hold about 13% of the world’s oil reserves, and at least one-third of the total oil within U.S. territory. This means that the oil companies don’t need to worry with drilling on foreign lands or about the prospect of not hitting a massive payday. They will return.
That’s the problem – they will return. According to a new report by the National Research Council, that is a very scary scenario for both the climate and the environment. The report says that increased drilling and the placement of oil pipelines make oil spills a question of “when,” not “if.”
The report lays out two very specific themes with regards to Arctic drilling. The first is that there is no discernable oil spill response plan, and the second is that the history of oil companies tells us with great certainty that there will be a massive spill as a result of the increased activity in the region.
The anatomy of an Arctic oil spill is far more complicated than that of a typical offshore oil spill. The ice cover makes it difficult, sometimes impossible, for cleanup vessels to make their way into the area. Also to be taken into consideration is the lack of infrastructure in the Arctic. There are few roads and other transportation avenues to reach the region, which means that the response time would be exponentially longer than that of a typical offshore spill. The report also says that not enough is known about the marine environment of the Arctic to fully understand how a spill could impact the region. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Immigration law is definitely Arizona's Prop 187:
|The California GOP's embrace of the hateful Prop 187, which would've banned undocumented immigrants from all government services, including public education, continues to cost their party 16 years later. Since the initiative passed in 1994, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the only Republican, under bizarre conditions (the recall election), to win a governor, senator, or presidential race in the state. Democrats have dominated the rest of the statewide elected offices, with just a smattering of Republicans occasionally picking up the odd seat.
Now, California Latinos are a solid Democratic bloc, even though on social issues, they oftentimes line up more naturally with Republicans. In the Golden State, Barack Obama won 74 percent of the Latino vote, compared to just 23 percent for McCain.
In Arizona, Obama won 56 percent of Latinos, with McCain getting 41 percent. Of course, McCain was a native son, so perhaps that boosted his numbers? Nope. In the 2006 Senate race, wingnut Sen. Jon Kyl got the same41 percent of the Latino vote.
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