Wednesday, June 29, 2011

...and the drumbeat rolls on.

I didn't have the chance to post the May GISTEMP anonaly map when it was published earlier in June, but here it is:

You can see that the warm anomaly in the arctic continues unabated, which is reflected in the latest Arctic Sea ice data from the NSIDC:

Continuing in this theme, NOAA's latest climate briefing was reported and among the unmistakable signs of warming is that Greenland has melted the most in a half-century of record keeping.

What other effects could climate change have? Well if you live in area that will get hotter and drier on average and you consume a lot juice to keep your excessively large buildings cool, you could experience power plants tripping off-line, like they are in Texas. Rick Perry will solve it with fasting and prayer.  Don't these idiots ever consider that the Big Man may not like humans blaming their own stupidity on Him?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pennsylvania Marcellus News Roundup, June 21-28

Air Quality Concerns Threaten Natural Gas's Image
Massive stores of natural gas that lie underneath big portions of the United States offer a cleaner source of electricity to a country that relies heavily on coal, but producing all that gas also can pump lots of pollution into the air.
 Range Resources Protestors Say Company Isn't Paying Enough Taxes
A group of people protested Range Resources on Tuesday, asking for taxes to be placed on Marcellus Shale drilling.
Patriot Makes Case for Marcellus Water; Legislators Promise Help to Get Permits
Executives with Patriot Water Treatment LLC and members of the region's legislative delegation to Columbus appear optimistic that issues between the state's Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources could be resolved so that the company can continue to operate and expand.
Pennsylvania Senate Dems: Marcellus shale impact fee must be part of budget
Claiming Southeast Senate Republicans' support, Senate Democrats today vowed to push ahead with an impact fee on deep gas wells — threatening to amend a key budget-related bill if necessary.
 Groups Argue Over Marcellus-Related Job Growth
Two groups are arguing over the growth numbers attributed to Marcellus Shale Drilling. The first salvo was fired by the Keystone Research Center:
Between late 2007 and 2010, the Marcellus Shale boom created fewer than 10,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania, much less than the 48,000 figure reported in recent news stories, statements and commentaries.  
 Political tussle develops over Marcellus jobs data
The state Department of Labor and Industry said in a report this month there were 72,000 "new hires" in the Marcellus Shale drilling industry and in related industries between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011.
But not all of them are new jobs, a distinction that led to a political argument in Harrisburg this week.
EPA announces sites for fracking study, focuses on the Marcellus
Environmental Protection Agency investigators will fan out to oil and gas shales across the country this summer to start the field work for the agency's study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, EPA said Thursday.
Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale will get the closet look with three counties -- Washington, in southwestern Pennsylvania and Susquehanna and Bradford, in the northeast corner of the state.
Marcellus violations drop in Pittsburgh region
The Department of Environmental Protection has updated its list of violations with 253 new records for April and May. That’s on top of the 313 for the first three months of the year.
Pennsylvania Legislature likely won't consider all of Corbett's agenda before summer recess
Impact fees for Marcellus Shale drillers: Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, is pushing this issue on behalf of the folks at home, and Corbett is pushing right back. Corbett has made clear he wants to hear the findings of his Marcellus Shale Commission, due in late July, before any state policy is set on the natural gas boom, much less taxes or impact fees.
Sportsmen monitor gas drilling in Marcellus Shale
A new coalition of outdoors groups is emerging as a potent force in the debate over natural gas drilling. The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation isn't against the process of fracking for gas, but its members want to make sure the rush to cash in on the valuable resource doesn't damage streams, forests, and the various creatures that call those places home.
Gushers highlight potential of Pa. gas field
Two unexpected gushers in northeastern Pennsylvania are helping to illustrate the enormous potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field.
Nat Gas: bubble, boon or break-even? *updated*

The New York Times continues its series taking a skeptical look at the natural gas shale boom with pieces Sunday and Monday on whether industry has been over-hyping the economics of the business.
Industry didn’t waste any time with a counter-punch.
Range Resources CEO Pinkerton To Step Down Amid Transition Plan
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) Chief Executive John H. Pinkerton will step down and be succeeded by the natural-gas company's president and chief operating officer, Jeffrey L. Ventura, part of a company shift in focus to the Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania.
Western Pa. shale boom seen as plus for area banks 
A vast shale field in the Northeast that's expected to be a key source of natural gas has improved long-term prospects for four regional banks, an analyst said Monday.
Bogus signs suggest testing Pa. water with fire
Fake signs suggesting travelers put an open flame to drinking fountain water to test for methane produced by natural gas drilling are being removed from rest stops along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Natural gas fee vote pulled from Pa. House agenda
House Republicans on Tuesday abruptly canceled a vote on an impact fee to produce revenue from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction, only hours after they had announced it would be debated.
Gas driller fined $180,000 for Marcellus violations
Independent energy producer Chief Oil & Gas has been fined $180,000 by Pennsylvania regulators for environmental violations in the Marcellus Shale, the Department of Environmental Protection said on Tuesday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fire and Flood Continue

Regardless of whether or not the extreme weather this particular year is the result of climate instability, it is what we should eventually expect. The NASA Earth Observatory page has some great images of the ongoing events, n particular, the record-breaking floods on the Missouri River and the drought-related fires in the SW. These two events are also happen to be ongoing examples of the far-reaching effects of these extreme weather.

Flooded Missouri River, (click for larger image).
The Missouri floods are threatening vital infrastructure, including nuclear power plants. The berm surrounding the Fort Calhoun plant has collapsed, though the reactors were fortunately shutdown. Nevertheless this will have an impact on when the plants can start generating again.

Fires in New Mexico (click for larger image).
Meanwhile the Las Conchas fire (above) threatens the national lab in Los Alamos, forcing it to close and 100 nearby residents to be evacuated.  Any natural disasters can have unexpected and far-reaching consequences, as they become more common the impacts will pile up.

There Will Be Blood? Gas Shale and NG in general may not be all it's cracked up to be.

The New York Times continues its excellent "Drilling Down" series.  The installment "Behind Veneer, Doubt on Future of Natural Gas"  shows cracks in the idea that cleaner, cheaper and domestic natural gas will be the fossil fuel of the future (and implicitly the savior of our energy-intensive lifestyle):
But not everyone in the Energy Information Administration agrees. In scores of internal e-mails and documents, officials within the Energy Information Administration, or E.I.A., voice skepticism about the shale gas industry.
One official says the shale industry may be “ set up for failure.” “It is quite likely that many of these companies will go bankrupt,” a senior adviser to the Energy Information Administration  administrator predicts. Several officials echo concerns raised during previous bubbles, in housing and in technology stocks, for example, that ended in a bust.
With regards to the Marcellus Play shale gas, I am pretty agnostic about its potential. I've found that the estimates of recoverable reserves have risen with interest in the past decade and the boosters have stopped distinguishing between reserves and resources.  Furthermore I have wondered about claims that fracking wells would have long production curves similar to conventional wells. Seems I am not the only one, as e-mails and other sources from insiders also reveal doubts:
“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company,  wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”
“The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,” an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company,  wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009.
The worst case scenario I envision for Pennsylvania is one where many never realize a profit from their leases, losses from the unprofitable wells are socialized, drillers skip out on cleanup costs due to lax oversight, and the state never collects much revenue from the profitable wells. Pennsylvanians overall lose out, those in the busted boom areas fall even more into a economically depressed condition, and the company officers and pols they own make out like bandits.  This is what you get with a 19th century mindset.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pennsylvania Marcellus News Roundup, June 13-20.

United Methodists call for halt to drilling
United Methodists representing 950 churches across Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania passed a resolution calling for a temporary halt in gas well drilling in the Marcellus shale as well as an impact tax on those places where drilling already has taken hold.
Quinn seeks fee on gas drilling
State Rep. Marguerite Quinn said she is all for the jobs the burgeoning Marcellus Shale natural gas industry is growing in Pennsylvania, and is not seeking to “stifle” that success.
But before the 143rd District Republican looks to the future, she winces at the “past lessons we have learned through the coal industry.” She points to the environmental nightmares, health problems and infrastructure challenges coal’s legacy left the commonwealth.
 Wagner: Schools should benefit from Marcellus shale
Jack Wagner urged Beaver County school officials to begin lobbying for a natural gas extraction tax and then for a share of the revenue generated by it. 
 Survey finds Marcellus drilling popular
Six in 10 Pennsylvania residents support natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, and an equal number support a tax on the companies drilling there, according to a poll on Pennsylvania politics released Tuesday.
 Fee for Marcellus Shale Drilling passes committee
The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Jo White (R-21), today approved amended legislation that would impose an impact fee on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
 Marcellus Shale Drilling Tax Takes Center Stage at Montco Meeting
State government representatives and advocates for a Marcellus Shale drilling tax hosted a breakfast meeting Monday at Lehman United Methodist Church in Hatboro.
Pa. makes recommendations to monitor cancer, other illnesses in fracking areas
Pennsylvania's Department of Health wants to start tracking health and environmental data relating to natural gas drilling in the state's Marcellus Shale.
New Website Levels the Playing Field in Marcellus Shale Debate
A new website aimed at organizing the avalanche of information on all things Marcellus Shale was announced today by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). “MarcellusFacts” (, scours the internet continuously for news and information on Marcellus Shale and aggregates it into an easy-to-read format. Material is gathered from such sources as Google News, RSS feeds and audited news sites, and organized into a clear and concise format for computers or smartphones.
Ridge: Gas industry must improve public image
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, now a consultant to the natural gas industry, said Thursday that drillers operating in the Marcellus Shale recognize they need to improve their image if they want to be "warmly embraced" by the public, not just "grudgingly accepted."
 DEP examines report of gas in Lycoming Co. wells
State environmental officials are investigating new instances of methane contaminating private residential water wells and bubbling up in a northern Pennsylvania stream near a Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operation.
Marcellus aids Pa. jobless rate
Pennsylvania's jobless rate fell slightly to 7.4 percent in May as the booming natural gas industry added more jobs, the state said on Thursday.
Bill to tap Marcellus drilling money accumulate as budget deadline looms
A short discussion, a unanimous vote and the deed was done — the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee sent to the floor of the Legislature a bill to extract tens of millions of dollars annually from natural gas drilling on the rich Marcellus Shale formation,
Pa. lawmaker introduces another bill to levy impact fee on Marcellus Shale gas drilling
A new Marcellus drilling impact fee bill in the House is generating a buzz and drawing support from several Republican lawmakers representing Northeast Pennsylvania as well as environmental groups.
Ohio taking in flood of Pennsylvania brine for disposal
Millions of barrels of salty, toxic wastewater from natural-gas wells in Pennsylvania are coming into Ohio despite efforts to keep it at bay.
Methane found in seven water wells near XTO Energy natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania environmental officials are investigating new instances of methane in seven water wells in an area where Fort Worth-based XTO Energy is drilling natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale play.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Dearth of Blogging

One of the things about Daddy day-care is that the amount of time I have varies day to day. In the past week I have not been able to post here very much. Other times I will be quite prolific. So look for feast or famine in my output for the next few months.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Like many in Massachusetts, I who grew up during Bruins mania and remember Bobby Orr being a household name.  Despite the travails since the mid-70s I never forgot the Bs, in fact a copy of this famous pic hangs in my home office:

So for me this Stanley Cup has been a long time coming.
But I'm not old enough to remember the last actual Cup win in '72, just the yearly grinds through the playoff. Then there were the years where they made it back to the finals, only to be disappointed, particularly the two consecutive years of Montreal skating around with the Cup. Come to think of it, those were the years of epic Sox meltdowns as well. Yet Boston fans never rioted...hmmm.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's the climate stupid.

The idea that all the extreme weather is due to climate change has seeped in the public and media subconscious. From today alone we have a commentary in The Guardian (not too surprising), a Reuters story on the impact on the insurance industry, worries about risk to investors on Pensions and Investments, WCVB-TV (Boston) coverage, some links on Highly Allocthonous and even a story in the Tehran Times.

So even while the denialists scream and the climate activists fret and wring their hands, I think the idea that the extreme weather is the result of climate change is taking root in the public mind, even if you can't connect single weather events to a climate shift.

I have a hunch that climate change and extreme weather will be a dominant issue in the 2012 U.S. elections. I;m talking about a hunch here, a flash of intuition, not a forecast based on careful analysis of polls, blah, blah, blah.  I could very well be wrong, but I'm throwing that out there, Joe Morgan style.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday again, strange news again

From the Dude, no way.

She may be 96, but I bet Texas would give her the chair!

The Stanley Cup tension must really be building, as bruins are taking it to any Canadians they can find.

Don't be fools, the cops know this cow could kill you and everyone you love.

A heat burst caused the midnight temperature in Wichita, KS to spike from 75 to 102 F in 20 minutes! I've read about these, really crazy sounding, but it;s just thermodynamics at work (if you believe in that sort of thing).

"Fredo, you broke my heart"

Wait - I thought the Chupacabra enthusiasts said dogs don't kill like this.

More animal news from Washington State. "A young black bear has outsmarted wildlife officials trying to trap it in Washington state....agents are following the bear to make sure it stays away from schools."
Do they think it's a drug dealer?

The picture alone tells you this isn't a good idea.

So all that muttering I hear is Dunkin Donuts fault.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Santorum, 6/11

Noted climate scientist and 1950s mannequin Rick Santorum revealed on that noted bastion of rationality, the Rush Limbaugh Show, that climate change is "junk science".  According to the Rickster,
"... the idea that man, through the production of CO2 — which is a trace gas in the atmosphere, and the man-made part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas — is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd..." 
Of course, just like a trace amount of cyanide or LSD has no effect on your body. Dr. Santorum knows that it is a left-wing plot to have the government control your life. The job of government of course is to enforce Rickie's values on you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Wrap-up, June 10

Some quick takeson the converging challenges before the week ends :

Over at Highly Allocthonous, Anne Jefferson reminds us that there is still significant flooding on-going around the world.

And if it's too wet in many places, that means it may be too dry in others, as seen with the dessicated American Southwest and record-breaking wildfires.
AZ fires from space, June 9, 2011

Still on climate, ever earlier springs in the Arctic will have many consequences, including on migratory songbirds that breed in the tundra.

Oil production cannot keep up with demand, but despite my earlier guess, the failure of  OPEC members to agree to a producion increase was not the fault of Saudi Arabia.

What present-day country would a future America with low taxes and regulation, enforced social conservatism, high income disparity and heavy defense spending resemble?   Pakistan, says Nicholas Kristof .

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania Update: June 2-10

Well it looks like I can't count on having enough time to do daily updates, so I will have to go back to weekly roundups.
Prices Fall for Some Gas-Rich Shale Land
The gas-rich land of the Marcellus shale has offered some of the hottest wildcat real estate in recent years. But if Exxon Mobil’s recent $1.7 billion acquisition is any indication, the days of eye-watering prices are over. The oil titan is paying barely half the price such acres were fetching last year, as the frenzy has shifted to Texas.
Pa. Lawmaker Wants Traces on Frack Fluid, Baseline Water Well Tests 
Baseline water tests for those living near new natural gas wells could cost up to $1,000 each. Advocates say it's important for residents to get the tests before any natural gas well is drilled close to their property.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Sturla says the state should pay for those tests through a tax or an impact fee on natural gas drillers. Sturla also says the industry should include a chemical tracer in the frack fluid used to drill the well.
Hundreds at Capitol Rally for Action on Marcellus Drilling
Hundreds of Pennsylvania residents rallied at the State Capitol today protesting the state legislature’s inaction on Marcellus Shale drilling. The coalition of groups holding the rally called it the largest that Harrisburg has seen to date protesting Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
Exxon Mobil Pays $1.69 Billion for Natural Gas Companies With Holdings in Marcellus Shale
Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. natural-gas producer, has expanded its gas holdings with the purchase of two companies with reserves in the Marcellus Shale, Bloomberg News reports.
 Bath Forum Will Address Drill Cuttings in Landfill

The Bath Peace and Justice Group and several other organizations will sponsor a forum at 7 p.m. June 13 at the Bath Fire Hall, 50 E. Morris St.
The purpose of the forum is to discuss a recent decision by the Steuben County Department of Public Works to accept Marcellus shale drill cuttings from Pennsylvania at the county landfill.
 Pennsylvania Eyes Natural Gas Tax on Biggest US Find
Accusing the government of being unable to protect the environment or public health, more than 200 people rallied on Tuesday in the Pennsylvania Capitol for tougher laws — if not an outright ban — on natural gas drilling as pressure builds on state lawmakers to approve a levy on the booming industry.
Hunting club contends with spring water contamination from gas drilling

Spring water, cold as winter and clear as a windowpane, gushes out of mossy ground in a clearing sprinkled with blooms of forget-me-not next to Stone Camp, the home of the Sykesville Hunting Club in the Moshannon State Forest.
The bubbling flow has attracted generations of folks from Clearfield County and beyond, but staked into the ground now is a homemade sign bearing the warning: "Contaminated Water."
Officials fear loss of local control: Proposed impact fee bill would standardize gas drilling rules across state
A natural gas impact fee proposal gaining traction in Harrisburg is drawing stiff resistance from some local officials, who are concerned the bill will limit the amount of control they can exert over drilling in their municipalities.
 Cawley: No evidence of pollution from fracking 
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley on Friday said that there was no documented evidence of water being affected by the fracking process used in the mining of Marcellus shale natural gas.
Yet his comments come in sharp contrast with recent violations reported by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Unstable Oil Production and Prices: The New Normal

"How Peak Oil Explains the Past Five Years" is one of the best recent articles I've come across that examines the status of world oil production. It is worth a careful read, Instead of  a sharp peak and precipitous decline that the doom-mongers pitch, Phil Hart believes we have been in undulating plateau that shows a complex relation between production and prices:
My view now is that resources in the ground may be sufficient to allow for global capacity to continue on this ‘undulating plateau’ a little longer, or for decline rates to at least be moderate in the short-term. But the geopolitics of the major oil producers, and Iraq in particular, could mean that actual production capacity falls (just a little) short of what resources in the ground might otherwise sustain. But it is only a hypothetical world where resource limits do not interact with geopolitics and such above-ground factors only become a concern when you're near the below-the-ground limits.
 I suggest that rising and falling production with complex feedback with prices, politics and the economy is going to be the "New Normal" for the upcoming decade. It actually provides breathing room to get stuff done, if we can get the knuckledragging and pandering strains of political thought out of the way.
I suggest that rising and falling production with complex feedback with prices, politics and the economy is going to be the "New Normal" for the upcoming decade. It actually provides breathing room to get stuff done, if we can get the knuckledraggers and pandering strains of political thought out of the way. Of course it doesn't help when you nonsense like this being pushed by a delusional right-wing economist who is often used by Kudlow to justify some of the nonsense he spouts . As geolosist Kenneth Deffeyes once said, "The economists all think that if you show up at the cashier's cage with enough currency, God will put more oil in ground."

UPDATE: OPEC surprisingly fails to boost oil production.  Could be a couple things going on here. Political instabilty in the Middle East is effecting some governments abilities to control production (seems unlikely for the big producers) or maybe some like Saudi Arabia are at a resource peak and cannot easily raise production.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Have some strange, stupid and surreal for your Sunday.

Hey, if alligators can supposedly live in the New York sewers, why not Pennsylvania creeks? While doing some whitewater action no less. That's still not as tough as them there Missourah gators.

 It's a tragedy a man was killed, but at a rodeo..... in Delaware?

"Listen children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells"....wait...that doesn't sound right.

In this economy, you can never pass up a discount on roasts.

So that's North Korea's plan...

Hmmm, baseball and murder do have things in common.

The future belongs to floating libertarian cities, that must be where John Galt lives.

Something found in Texas. Could it be....Chupacabra?! And what about this in New York?  We need Trump on this!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Santorum: Wow Again

Another wow...except its not about a natural phenomenon but the thoughts of a very loathsome and hate filled man:
Those few sentences show a president who doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, Santorum said.
"He was talking about Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, and it was in response to the Ryan budget," Santorum recalled. "And he said this, talking about these three programs: He said 'America is a better country because of these programs. I will go a one step further: America is a great country because of these programs.'"
"Ladies and gentlemen," Santorum said to applause, "America was a great country before 1965."
What's Obama's mistake? In Santorum's eyes he forgot that America's amazingness was written on the parchment of the Declaration of Independence.
Well, America did have some amazing accomplishments before those programs, but in the background there was always the suffering of the poor and eldery. Some Americans have always seen these problems and the non-sociopaths among us sought to fix them, which is you know, a great thing about America. That is what Obama meant. Not in the Rickster's eyes though, he has both reading comprehension issues and a hatred of helping the weak and downtrodden.

I have only one thing to ask Santorum: what did your parents do to you?

Friday, June 3, 2011


Just saw this on a NYT's story and just had to show it. Simply amazing.
"A funnel cloud touching down in Orchard, Iowa, on June 10, 2008. Lori Mehmen took the photo from outside her front door before seeking shelter." (click for a larger image)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania Daily Update: June 2

Micarrelli proposes gas-drilling tax
State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, of Ridley Park, announced Tuesday he has plans to introduce legislation that would provide for a severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
“I think it’s time for Pennsylvania to have a competitive Marcellus Shale tax,” Miccarelli said.
Miccarelli added that revenue generated from his proposal would be used to reduce the personal income tax for Pennsylvania residents.
IUP students to test Beaver Run Reservoir for drilling problems
Indiana University of Pennsylvania students will begin collecting samples today from the Beaver Run Reservoir to determine whether Marcellus shale deep-well drilling has affected the drinking water supply.
 Lt. Governor Cawley leads Marcellus Shale Comimission on tour to impact of natural gas drilling
Lt. Governor Jim Cawley today led the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission on a fact-finding mission to see the impact the natural gas industry is having on communities throughout Lycoming County.
"I want commission members to see for themselves how the growing natural gas industry is affecting Pennsylvania and its communities," Cawley said. "This experience will be helpful as we begin work to finalize our recommendations to the governor."
About two dozen members of the commission took part in the tour, which was arranged by the Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce.
 Cohen & Grigsby attorney selected as presenter for upcoming seminar on Marcellus shale
Cohen & Grigsby, a business law firm with headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA and an office in Bonita Springs, FL, is pleased to announce that attorney Clifford B. Levine will serve as an expert panelist for a seminar titled "Emerging Issues in the Law of Marcellus Shale" on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.  
  Pennsylvania's Gas Lust: Species Decline and Forest Fragmentation
Now that they’ve succeeded in drawing attention to hydraulic fracturing’s potential harmful effects on water supplies, activists would be wise to adopt a more broad-based approach in their campaign against natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Diversification would force the industry to defend itself on multiple fronts. 

Wild Weather: The Beat Goes On

Major tornadoes strike Massachusetts, including TWO in Springfield (pics and video).

Record high temperatures across the southern US.
Record flooding in Montana.

"Nuthin to see here folks, move along" say the denialists.
Update: Half of Texas now in severe drought.

Tough Loss

Hard fought game between the Bs and Canucks last night. It looked like it was going to OT with no score when Vancouver put in what was essentially the game winner with 18.5 seconds left.

Two WTF items from the series so far. First, Game 2 won't be until Saturday.  Then there was this:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blowing off the working class and the killing of the American Dream

Over at the blog RealityBase, Roger Chittum (aka Skeptic) has some thoughts on a NYT's article on Hubert Humphrey that suggested what killed the American Dream:
His narrative seems to be that in the 1970s, after the shellacking of George McGovern by Nixon in 1972 and the re-writing of the Democratic delegate selection process that gave Carter the nomination in 1976, liberalism in the Democratic Party changed its agenda. It became less about the bread and butter issues of economic security and shared prosperity and more about civil rights, the environment, getting out of Vietnam, and honest and transparent government. The Humphrey-Hawkins legislation in 1978, which nominally requires the Fed to keep both inflation and unemployment low, was so watered down that the Fed has never let itself be influenced in the slightest by the unemployment half of the mandate.
This jibes in some ways with what I wrote earlier about how the post-1968 New Left influence on the Democratic Party steered it away from labor issues and a working-class base.

Skeptic goes on to say,
Perlstein’s explanation—that there was a great political realignment and all of the endless string of tactical defeats for America’s middle and lower class incomes flow from that—seems rather plausible to me. One reason it seems plausible is that it’s a fair description of my own attitudes as a life-long Democrat.  I was not friendly to labor unions but saw them as more powerful than they needed to be, corrupt, bigoted, and on the wrong side about Vietnam, the environment, and civil rights.
The question remains whether the Democratic Party can get over the Sixties, but maybe we are finally see indications it may.

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania Daily Update: June 1

I'm going to try daily updates and use a new format. So without further ado -

Police Prepare for Marcellus Drilling
It hasn't come to Moon yet, but Police Chief Leo McCarthy said his department would be ready.
McCarthy and other law enforcement officials last week received a crash course on the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling on Pennsylvania communities...
More than 200 state and Federal law enforcement officials were briefed on the potential environmental effects of drilling, as well as how it could lead to spikes in community crime rates.
 NY attorney general suing feds over gas drilling
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The federal government should conduct a full environmental review that weighs potential damage to the welfare of people in the Delaware River watershed and the drinking water quality for millions of New Yorkers before allowing natural gas drilling in the region, the state's attorney general said in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Antero will spend more on drilling
Oil and natural gas company Antero Resources on Tuesday said it will spend $126 million more on capital expenses this year than originally forecast as it increases its drilling activity.