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State Dep't Draws Fire for Allowing Tar Sands Pipeline Detour

Pipeline swap to increase tar sands flow

Common Cause – ALEC Exodus Continues As Four More Companies Leave Lobby


Raytheon, Sempra Energy, Southern California Edison and Illinois Tool Works have joined the exodus. About 85 companies (plus 19 non-profits) have publicly announced that they have cut ties with ALEC. Some of them include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, McDonalds, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Practer & Gamble, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Dell, CVS, MillerCoors, GE, ConocoPhillips (interesting), IBM, Intel, and so on and so on.

The full list of companies that have quit ALEC can be read in an article published by the Center for Media and Democracy. The article, entitled, "Corporations that Have Cut Ties to ALEC" can be read here.

Time to Update 1980s Air Quality Standards for Drilling in the Arctic | Center for American Progress



Oil drilling in the Arctic poses numerous environmental risks, one of which is increasing emissions of soot- and smog-forming pollutants. Air pollution from offshore drilling operations poses unique risks in the Arctic—risks not found in the Gulf of Mexico, the other federal body of water under BOEM’s jurisdiction. For example, the Inupiat people and other native Alaskans spend days, if not longer, hunting, whaling, and fishing as part of their subsistence culture. And oil drilling releases black carbon, a light-absorbing component of particulate matter 2.5, or soot. Although black carbon—a super greenhouse gas—is also released in the Gulf, CAP has shown that it is a particularly potent accelerator of warming and snow and ice melt in the Arctic.

DRC Members Raise Awareness of Bomb Trains

In early July, DRC (Dakota Resource Council) members who live in the Red River Valley took to the railroad tracks in Fargo and Grand Forks to say no to Bakken Bomb Trains. Members involved with the protests are concerned about safety of not only North Dakotans, but folks in Canada and other U.S. states.

With the train derailments in Quebec and Casselton fresh in everyone’s minds, DRC members are urging the National Transportation Safety Board to ban the current use of the DOT-111 rail cars that were responsible for both of the Quebec and Casselton explosions…

Not only has the currently weak regulation of oil trains caused critical safety issues, but it has caused serious economic hardship as well. North Dakota’s longest lasting and most reliable sector– agriculture– is at risk because public officials have allowed more Bakken crude to be put on trains than can be handled…

—”DRC Members Raise Awareness of Bomb Trains” (September 2014). Dakota Counsel, Vol. 37, No. 4.

Large Dams Just Aren’t Worth the Cost -


Glen Canyon Dam (Page, Arizona)


THAYER SCUDDER, the world’s leading authority on the impact of dams on poor people, has changed his mind about dams.

A frequent consultant on large dam projects, Mr. Scudder held out hope through most of his 58-year career that the poverty relief delivered by a properly constructed and managed dam would outweigh the social and environmental damage it caused. Now, at age 84, he has concluded that large dams not only aren’t worth their cost, but that many currently under construction “will have disastrous environmental and socio-economic consequences,” as he wrote in a recent email.

5 Crucial Lessons for the Left From Naomi Klein’s New Book | In These Times


In her previous books The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and NO LOGO: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs (2000), Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein took on topics like neoliberal “shock therapy,” consumerism, globalization and “disaster capitalism,” extensively documenting the forces behind the dramatic rise in economic inequality and environmental degradation over the past 50 years. But in her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (due in stores September 16), Klein casts her gaze toward the future, arguing that the dangers of climate change demand radical action now to ward off catastrophe. She certainly isn’t alone in pointing out the urgency of the threat, but what sets Klein apart is her argument that it is capitalism—not carbon—that is at the root of climate change, inexorably driving us toward an environmental Armageddon in the pursuit of profit. This Changes Everything is well worth a read (or two) in full, but we’ve distilled some of its key points here.

Naomi Klein, one of my all-time favorite activists/journalists (and all-around brilliant person) is finally releasing her new book in September. My favorite Socialist rag In These Times got an exclusive look.

I can’t wait to read this one.

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