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Heather Smith at Grist writes With one more nail in its coffin, is Keystone XL history?

This past weekend, on June 29, TransCanada’s permit from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to build the Keystone XL pipeline quietly expired.

Well, sort of quietly. The Cowboy & Indian Alliance, which marched on Washington in opposition to Keystone XL earlier this year, held a celebratory buffalo roast at the Rosebud Sioux Spirit Camp and raised a flag with an image of a black snake cut into three parts.

The flag referenced an old prophecy about a black snake that would threaten the community’s land and water. Earlier interpretations had held that the snake was the railroad, and then the highway system. But when the plans for Keystone XL emerged, it seemed clear that, since both black snakes and Keystone XL traveled underground, this was definitely the black snake—or at the very least another one.

With South Dakota’s permit expired, Nebraska’s held up in litigation, and Montana blocked from the already-completed portions of Keystone XL in Kansas by South Dakota and Nebraska, the snake is cut up in three parts, at least for now.

The expired permit means that TransCanada will have to go through the application process all over again, facing a much more unified resistance than it did the first time around. The fracking boom in places like North Dakota will also make it much harder for TransCanada to argue—as it did the first time around—that Americans need Canadian crude so urgently that a Canadian pipeline company should be given powers of eminent domain to bring it here. […]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2012More revelations about Upper Big Branch mine explosion:

More details are emerging about the two sets of safety records kept at Upper Big Branch mine leading up to the explosion that killed 29 workers there. The more you read, the worse Massey Energy's behavior looks.

The New York Times reports that:

In a presentation in Beaver, W. Va., Mr. Stricklin offered a stinging indictment of Massey practices, saying the federal investigation by more than 100 people had been able to rule out the company’s assertion that the explosion on April 5, 2010, happened because of an event beyond its control: a huge inundation of gas.

His findings matched those of the earlier report, conducted by a former federal mine safety chief, Davitt McAteer, which said that coal dust had been allowed to accumulate, spreading what had been a small ignition of methane through the mine and creating the deadliest mine blast in 40 years. “We are further along than this just being our theory,” Mr. Stricklin said. “This is our conclusion.”

Stricklin, the Mine Safety and Health Administration's administrator for coal, showed examples of how safety hazards noted on the mine's internal books were absent on the official reports seen by the government. The NYT notes that two people have been indicted for lying; those, however, are relatively low-level management. Senior management up to former CEO Don Blankenship haven't been indicted, though they were certainly responsible for the overall corporate culture of disregard for safety.

Tweet of the Day
Just had someone say “I’ve done research” & as their cite they linked to Michelle Malkin’s blog & I’m a ghost now because I died laughing.

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up Hobby Lobby commentary. SCOTUSBlog ≠ SCOTUS. Maine's gov goes rogue. WSJ says biz groups awaken to find Republicans have run away from them. So, third party? ISIS vs. AQ? What's so "narrow" about Hobby Lobby? Gun show GunFAIL updates, and a responsible gun owner so law-abiding, he'll disobey a new law mandating responsible shooting, for freedom. Listener Judy Vincent updates yesterday's Inouye story. Lauren Mayer's "Keep Your Hobby Lobby (Away From My Va-jayjay)." This didn't take long: long gun open carry movement has brought out the racists.

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