Trump’s EPA is trying to take our nation back to the 1920s when polluted water from drilling oil was dumped on more than 2,000 acres in west Texas, creating the Texon scar, contaminated land so barren almost a century later that it can be identified from space.
“Revolutionary ideas are needed to ensure (water) demand can be balanced in the future,” said Tom Blaine, the former state engineer for New Mexico which generated 37.8 billion gallons of produced water in 2017.
The water, sometimes 10 times saltier than seawater and laced with chemicals such as ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, traditionally has been injected underground, but that practice has been linked to hundreds of earthquakes in Oklahoma and other oil-producing states in the last decade.
Fracking can produce as much as 10 gallons of water for every gallon of oil. The amount of wastewater new wells produce during their first year has increased by up to 1,440%.
In 2016, the EPA banned public sewage plants from accepting wastewater from fracking, but the EPA later extended the deadline for complying until August. The water was so corrosive it was damaging factory machinery downstream. People living near the Monongahela River in western Pennsylvania were advised to drink bottled water.
The EPA identified 692 different ingredients used in fracking that can end up in produced water, including acids, gels and sand. The water can also be radioactive. Little research has been done about treating waste from drilling for oil and gas, and there are no federal regulations about the radioactive waste produced by drilling for oil.
“The science does not yet exist to say it’s clean enough to release into rivers and streams or to use for crop irrigation or other purposes,” said Mark Brownstein, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund.
In Kentucky, 1,900 tons of radioactive sludge from produced water was illegally dumped in a landfill near the Kentucky River. The EPA has said it won’t strengthen regulations on waste produced by drilling for oil and gas.
Inside the radical Republican war on the Post Office
In the weeks ahead America’s daily mail delivery may come to a complete halt because the U.S. Postal Service is running out of cash—though Donald Trump may take last-minute action so he can proclaim himself the hero who saved the post office.
But the real story here is one of Congressional neglect, Republican animosity and the craziest pension plan funding scheme ever devised by human beings. Throw in an illegal strike by fed up postal workers a half-century ago, laws tightly restricting what the United States Postal Service may do and the rise of private carriers like FedEx and UPS that deliver only to profitable locations, and you have a manufactured disaster just waiting to be exploited for political gain.
A secret killer lurks behind the pandemic — and could lead to an additional 75,000 American deaths
As more than 100,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the United States, and 40 million will have lost their jobs, there is another looming crisis that may eclipse these losses: a national mental health trauma.
The necessity for implementing social distancing, in large part because of the failure to test, trace, and isolate contacts properly in the early stages, a pandemic that has gotten out of hand is not just causing an economic recession but a “social recession.” We hear of domestic violence and problems of depression and anxiety every day, while isolation and sheltering in place become risk factors for substance abuse, suicide, and even homicide.
The numbers are in — and the rich are making out like bandits during this pandemic
Tens of millions of Americans are cashless, many desperate to feed their children. Meanwhile the richest Americans merrily float on a rapidly rising tide of money thanks mainly to Trump & Co.
My analysis of Federal Reserve data shows a record flow of greenbacks let the corporate rich pour trillions of dollars into their accounts as they fired tens of millions.
Now that money just sits, idle.
How can it be that as want ravages cash-starved Americans, money wealth rises for the already rich like the tide rushing into the Bay of Fundy?