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This continues here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/the-ongoing-saga-6-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/ It is a continuation of: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/the-ongoing-saga-4-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/
Last post is on top; first post is on bottom.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea ruled that Greenpeace activists should be allowed to leave Russian territory on bail. http://www.itlos.org/fileadmin/itlos/documents/cases/case_no.22/Order/C22_Ord_22_11_2013_orig_Eng.pdf

50 years ago yesterday, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. He had also worked to establish and signed a partial nuclear test ban (stopping atmospheric, underwater and outer space testing) less than 2 months before he died. His concerns came from results showing high levels of strontium in baby teeth. In 2001 a researcher obtained the old teeth to see how many died of cancer: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/jfk-the-baby-tooth-survey-cancer-the-1963-atmospheric-nuclear-test-ban-treaty/

There is said to be some interesting relationship between George de Mohrenschildt, JFK’s assassination, and oil and/or mining concessions in Haiti. We had done some research on the matter months ago, which we had intended to post, but there seem to be many more urgent topics.

Martelly called the Chamber of Deputies today. Good thing we do not place bets! However, he must have had an agreement with them not to vote for his impeachment! Rather than vote for his impeachment they voted 4 laws related to tourism, one naming members of a committee on Rehab of the Disabled, a Technical Commission on Border Areas, a new National Park “Trois Baies”. From our understanding the point of meeting was supposed to have to do with the final draft of the electoral law. This doesn’t appear to have happened either. Few seemed to have reported at all on this special session. http://www.haitilibre.com/article-9623-haiti-politique-8-nouveaux-projets-de-loi-et-arretes-adoptes-en-conseil-des-ministres.html http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article15474#.UpBHgbK9KSM http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article15523#.UpBH-LK9KSM

Friday, November 22, 2013

Today’s post is about those who have monitored and worked to support the old quarries under Paris for hundreds of years in order to keep Paris from becoming one big sinkhole. People in the geological sciences need to be hired for monitoring, not for mining! https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/paris-underground-heroes-linspection-generale-des-carrieres-igc/

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Here is our post on the Monday Haitian protests against Martelly-Lamothe. Although it was actually mentioned in mainstream English media, for a change, they seem to have muddled the situation as usual. We saw no mention of the shootings of anti-government protestors or of a student getting his hand blown off. Radio is still the most important media in Haiti, and so not surprisingly, they tend to consistently give the most comprehensive news (in Creole but sometimes with French text too). https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/haiti-antigovernment-protests-at-least-6-shot-student-hand-blown-off/

This is part of our flammable geology reflections. We first heard about it from Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, end of October, beginning of November, although for some reason several news groups have picked it up in the last couple of days. There’s a video on the Koch brothers too as their father brought oil and gas “expertise” to the USSR. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/door-to-hell-gas-well-fire-burning-after-42-yrs/

Most, but not all, of the Greenpeace activists are getting out on bail. It is unknown what the conditions will be, since the Russian government took their passports. But, they will be in lovely St. Petersburg, rather than Murmansk. Sounds like a pretty nice place to be stuck!
Petersburg Nikolskiy from Sowjetskaja Hotel
View from Sowjetskaja Hotel to St. Nicholas Cathedral around midnight in July. In the background Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the towers of Saint Peter & Paul Cathedral can be seen. By Herbert Ortner via Wikimedia http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/From-peaceful-action-to-dramatic-seizure-a-timeline-of-events-since-the-Arctic-Sunrise-took-action-September-18-CET/

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In comments we added names and email addresses of Cumbria Council Cabinet members who should be contacted by Thursday, if possible. We did not bother to put the email addresses where contact did not seem worthwhile or relevant. But, we have added the names and links to all of the Councillors and some other people you may want to contact, if you have time. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/dump-creep/

This is today’s post. Besides its title it reflects upon hubris, and wonders what would happen if flammable nuclear waste dumps meet underground natural gas, old coal seams, etc. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/coal-seam-mine-fires-environment/

This is a reblog of a piece by Tom Aswell of Louisiana Voice. This really should win a prize for journalism. It updates us on Bobby Jindal and oil and gas lawsuits in Louisiana. It could win a prize in either investigative journalism or southern writing. Guaranteed to make your day: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/jindal-has-more-snakes-than-he-can-kill-with-coastal-lawsuits-against-oil-companies-whatcha-gonna-do-now-bobby-those-parishes-jefferson-and-plaquemines-got-their-own-lawyers/

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

For those interested in Haiti: After saying that they lacked police officers to supervise protesters in Cap Haitian, the police reportedly stopped anti-government protesters from protesting there. In Port-au-Prince tens of thousands protested the government. We will look for videos-reports of any injuries. Students at the School of Ethnology were protesting and reportedly had tear gas thrown at them.

Since we reblogged so many posts, we will hold back our new post for later today or early Wednesday UTC. We must now be about 30 plus topics-posts behind (sigh!) There are lots of interesting links within these reblogs. We have not even had time to look at them all yet. Two reblogs are about the proposed Cumbria nuclear dump(s). The UK gov seems to have its mind made up and be only pretending to follow a volunteer democratic process. Although the first one and our comments may appear a joke, it’s not really a joke to us. There are lots of WWII-Cold War bunkers. A bank vault survived Hiroshima. The London silver vaults survived a direct hit in WWII. And, if the waste were held in proximity to those making government decisions — like under them–then they would vote to fund the hiring of enough personnel to monitor them. This would create good jobs. With adequate monitoring the waste underground would be pretty safe. Meanwhile, with the nuclear waste under them, government officials would be motivated to fund and promote research for dealing with the waste. With appropriate funding for innovation and research better solutions could be found. Also, if government officials thought the waste would be near them (or even under them) they would never approve new build nuclear power. Never! https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/where-should-government-put-a-gdf/ This reblog has lots of links which appear important: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/dump-creep/

The western half of the UK is the wettest and hence the worst place for a nuclear dump. Really all of the UK is too wet for a nuclear waste dump. The UK especially needs to monitor the waste for corrosion forever and probably constantly pump water out of the underground repositories. All underground structures leak. The amount depends on the geology and the climate.

The following reblog has many new links about the Louisiana sinkhole in the media and to a video on depleted uranium. Apparently a huge methane-natural gas reserve is under the Bayou Corne community, next to the sinkhole, leading to concerns of explosion. There is a really cute Australian video on sinkholes within one link. You may have to keep pressing replay as it was not cooperative but well worth it. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/sunday-news-explosion-fears-in-the-news/
Announcement of a film festival about the dangers of uranium mining, nuclear power, and waste. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/international-uranium-film-festival-begins/

Monday, November 18, 2013

Watching all of the issues surrounding nuclear waste dumps makes the statement, by someone involved in the coup d’etat, against Haiti’s President Aristide, that the coup was because Aristide didn’t want Haiti to become a nuclear waste dump, appear increasingly plausible. For anyone who thinks that would be a good idea, we can assure you that in the event of accident, fallout from any such dump would almost certainly land on much of the USA by means of hurricanes, tropical storms, and various tropical low pressure systems. It would probably continue on into Northern Europe and possibly even Russia. However, even if partly true, it is clear that this was not the only reason for the coup. Google maps suggest that it was, in part, about mining. A primary reason must also be the Windward Passage. Regardless, Haitians continue to struggle for their democratic rights. Today is the anniversary of what is supposed to have been the final battle against the French, 210 years ago. And, yet, only about a decade ago France kidnapped Haiti’s democratically elected President! If French state-owned Areva wants to make Mississippi into a nuclear waste dump it could be no surprise if Haiti was also in their sights. Si quelqu’un sait qui est vraiment Areva et pourquoi l’etat francais veut empoisonner le monde, SVP, ecrivez nous! (If anyone knows who Areva really is and why the French state (via Areva) wants to poison the world, please write us and let us know!) State-owned Areva does mining, nuclear power plants, reprocessing and dumps.

Our new posts: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/haiti-anti-government-protestors-ambushed-by-snipers-at-least-one-shot/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/haiti-more-anti-government-protests-planned-today/

Currently Cumbrians continue to fight against UK government attempts to undermine democratic process in the siting of the UK nuclear waste dump. If only uranium mining can be stopped, it would be a start. If only nuclear power can be stopped, it would be a start. Still the waste will need to be stored, but it must be stored properly and not just dumped on vulnerable populations.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We reblogged a post showing a truck carrying hydrogen which exploded on a US highway. It gives some idea of the flammability of hydrogen, which appears a risk in nuclear waste dumps. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/60-freeway-reopened-after-fire-erupts-on-hydrogen-carrying-big-rig/ And, hydrogen has built up at Hanford nuclear waste site. To prevent fire and explosion they must vent the nuclear waste storage tanks. One tank at Hanford risks catching afire in as little as 20 days without proper venting. There have been repeated problems of nuclear waste dumps, of the sort where they put in the waste and backfill, blowing up. Then they have needed to retrieve the waste. This is one reason we are more and more firmly convinced that the nuclear waste sites must stay open and monitored. The other major reason being water leakage which could require pumping in a non-arid environment and apparently humidity can even rise within a closed-sealed structure in an arid environment. This seems to be a major complaint about Yucca mountain, USA, which means that if they keep it open, vented, and monitored it would remain dry. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/is-hanford-nuclear-waste-site-still-at-risk-of-fire-explosion/

It is worth noting that regular, non-nuclear waste dumps produce methane gas which can cause fires or be used for alternative energy.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gee, it’s Saturday already?! How did that happen?
This is an excellent summary of the health risks of nuclear energy. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/medical-voices-on-the-health-risks-of-nuclear-energy-fukushima/

A lot is happening in Haiti but we have no time to update. A little over a week ago anti-government demonstrators had rocks thrown at them and one was shot. Martelly has decided to convene the Chamber of Deputies, around the 23 November, presumably to approve an election law. It will be interesting to see if they have the time or inclination to impeach him, as the inquest commission recommended.

The Swedish Sami People ask the UN for Help to Stop Mining

Turns to the UN to fight mining

Mathias Åhren, who chairs the human rights branch of the Sámi Council, thinks Sweden is violating the human rights of the people living in the Sámi villages.

Sámi villages in Sweden, together with the Sámi Council, are appealing the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination in order to stop the Swedish government`s extraction plans on Sámi territory.
By Anja Kristine Salo, November 15, 2013

The joint appeal to the UN Committee was sent as a reaction to the Swedish government exploitation concessions to the private entity, Nickelmountain AB, Sveriges Radio reports. The company will open a nickel mine in Rönnbäck in Tärnafjällen, in the indigenous reindeer herding district. ” See entire article here: http://barentsobserver.com/en/politics/2013/11/turns-un-fight-mining-15-11 (If this topic interests you please be sure and save it as they don’t always keep the article online)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today’s posts are on MOX for those who need to know more: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/what-is-plutonium-mox-fuel-the-fantasies-and-the-reality/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/more-mox-say-again/

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We have two new posts. Sorry for the lack of update.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This is an important piece which everyone needs to read and think about.
Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on Fukushima, October 31, 2013

Council Statement This statement reflects the wisdom of the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings. This statement is written in black and white with a foreign language that is not our own and does not convey the full depth of our concerns.http://www.indigenousaction.org/indigenous-elders-and-medicine-peoples-council-statement-on-fukushima/ http://www.indigenousaction.org/wp-content/uploads/COUNCIL_FUKUSHIMA_STATEMENT_OCT_2013.pdf

How a bit of transparency can save a company money and save the environment:
“Analysis: Telling secrets to stop burning natural gas in U.S. fracking boom Posted:Mon, 11 Nov 2013 14:07:01 GMT
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The North American energy industry’s reputation for ironclad secrecy is starting to crack as producers discover a little transparency can help save millions of dollars.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/tc_JMdUuT-c/story01.htm

Peru uses climate twist to lure tourists to shrinking glacier
Posted:Sun, 10 Nov 2013 17:55:42 GMT
HUARAZ, Peru (Reuters) – In its heyday, the Pastoruri glacier in central Peru, drew daily throngs of tourists packed into dozens of double-decker buses 16,000-feet (5,0000-meters) high into the Andes to ski, build snowmen and scale its dizzying peaks.

While, as discussed above, people at the Pastoruri glacier try to do the best they can to preserve the glacier by using sawdust and painting the exposed rocks white to better reflect the sun,
Macusani Yellowcake, Bear Creek Mining and Vena Resources (Cameco) are planning to mine uranium and lead at Macusani-Corani, which will further accelerate the melting of the Quelccaya ice cap:

Thompson calls Quelccaya, the largest of all the tropical ice caps, the poster child for tropical glaciers. At least 70 percent of all tropical ice on the planet is trapped in Peruvian ice fields and glaciers. The annual melt from these ice packs provides drinking water and irrigation for millions of people, as well as refilling reservoirs that feed hydroelectric dams.http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/quelcoro.htm Quelccaya which should be protected, along with the Corani Rock art appears to be falling victim to Canadian uranium and lead-silver mining companies. They have a small population which is the sort of people these mining bullies like to pick on.

The Berber indigenous peoples of North Africa. We almost never hear about them. Some are genetically kin to the Basques who are believed to be the original inhabitants of Europe:
Libyan Berbers shut gas pipeline to Italy, cut major income source
Posted:Mon, 11 Nov 2013 19:56:01 GMT
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Protesters have shut Libya’s gas export pipeline to Italy, its only customer, demanding more rights for the Amazigh, or Berber, minority and depriving the weak government of a major source of income.

Supreme Court lets sales of iron ore resume in Goa
Posted:Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:03:43 GMT
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Supreme Court gave the go-ahead on Monday for the auction of around 11.46 million tonnes of iron ore already mined in Goa, potentially doubling the country’s exports this year to top market China if overseas sales are allowed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our new post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/radioactive-waste-in-leaking-collapsing-salt-domes-sinkholes/ While there is an ongoing salt dome became sink-hole problem in Louisiana, there have been renewed suggestions that nuclear waste be stored in a salt dome in neighboring Mississippi. Germany has had severe problems with nuclear waste deposited in a salt dome. It lasted only about 20 years. All three of these are wet environments. Those proposing these things must be on drugs.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Russia says Greenpeace activists to face additional charges
Posted:Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:39:35 GMT
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian is to press additional charges against several Greenpeace activists who were arrested for a protest at the country’s first offshore Arctic oil rig, investigators said on Thursday.
“…in addition to being charged with hooliganism, will face charges of resisting law officers, which would carry a maximum five year-prison sentence.”
Remember the Pre-Olympic Boycott. Boycott the Olympics, Olympic Merchandise and all Russian Products until they release the 30 Greenpeace hostages. You can always buy tickets the last minute if they are released. You can buy merchandise from your local merchant after the Olympics when it is half price and already purchased from the Russians and no more will be ordered.

New post is here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/effects-of-the-fukushima-nuclear-meltdowns-on-environment-and-health-2/
Reblog of Save Skouries images here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/save-skouries/
Especially good is the Boycott Gold one.

November 9, 2013

Our new post is here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/doctors-unscear-2013-report-systematically-underestimates-health-impact-of-fukushima-catastrophe/

Today is Skouries Solidarity Day. If you cannot find a local activity perhaps you can read and educate others. Be sure and
watch this video if you have not. It is a good primer about mining in general. She says that their fight is for “forest, land, and water”. Remember that they did not go to the fight. It came to them. They were peacefully sitting at home, which is now under attack by El Dorado mining company of Canada. No one is safe now that companies are mining for the most minute particles of gold or whatever else. The real question has become where can the mining companies find a helpless community to do as they please. This means that eventually everyone is in danger.

More updated information and solidarity statements are here. http://soshalkidiki.wordpress.com/category/in-english/
There is also more information in our web site.

November 8, 2013

Somehow everything seems urgent lately. Hence another new post: a response to the topic of the Pandora’s Promise movie, a few hours later than we wished due to technological glitches. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/closing-pandoras-box-pithos-the-only-hope/

From our understanding Pandora’s Promise is marketing an old, dangerous and failed technology as new. It seems remarkably similar, albeit so much more dangerous, to Majescor Resources having been worth 1/2 cent on Wednesday, then making 10 stocks into 1 in order to make themselves look better; opening at 5 cents on Thursday and closing at 6 1/2 cents. This appears to be how they stayed in business for about 14 years without mining anything that we have found: “A sucker is born every minute”. They are supposed to have a “D” put on the ticker because of the reverse split, but it doesn’t seem to be there.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

According to this reblogged post, the Dewey Burdock-Powertech ISL Uranium Mine will not be given a mining permit this year. Although not mentioned in the blog, there seems to be some passing the buck going on here by official decision makers. No one wants to be the deciding party yes or no. The author is happy that it buys the community time. But, next year is still soon. Nonetheless, an answer to our prayers and their hard work and prayers. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/mining-permit-hearings-continued-no-mining-permit-this-year/

Powertech, unfortunately, just got more investment monies so may not go away so soon. Majescor, which is worth much less, is still hanging in there, much to our disgust and annoyance. We recommend our new post to understand how it is done. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/beware-majescor-reverse-stock-split-again-second-time-within-5-years-10-shares-become-one-makes-it-appear-like-stock-value-increase/

Shell’s false claims on Niger Delta oil spills exposed” by Amnesty International
7 November 2013
“Hundreds of oil spills occur in Nigeria every year, causing significant harm to the environment, destroying livelihoods and placing human health at serious risk.
These spills are caused by corrosion, poor maintenance of oil infrastructure and equipment failure as well as sabotage and theft of oil.
Shell has repeatedly claimed to its investors, customers and the media that sabotage and theft were behind the vast majority of spills. But the facts do not support this assertion
.” More info and study is here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/shell-s-false-claims-niger-delta-oil-spills-exposed-2013-11-07

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

This is our new post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/fukushima-un-fox-guarding-the-henhouse/ Amazing that UN politics would appear so similar to that of Louisiana and Haiti. The pro-nuclear lobby has apparently infiltrated UN agencies. More and more the pro-nuclear people are going with Hitler’s big lie theory. That is, if the lie is big enough people are more likely to believe it. For those of us who wonder why CNN is playing a pro-nuclear movie, perhaps we need not look much further than the EDF ad on CNN International. EDF are the ones behind England’s new nuclear proposal. Even though a Louisiana salt dome with radioactive NORM has been collapsing into a sinkhole for over a year, the US gov is still promoting salt domes as storage for radioactive wastes! And, Germany has a leaking radioactive waste salt dome and they too have a salt dome on the table for the waste. Both lasted only 10 to 20 years. Boy is that a compressed millions of years!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Today we have two new posts, one for Haiti and one about renewable energy. More and more places are doing bio-fuels now. We mostly chose this one for cuteness. We have read that CNN has produced a pro-nuclear documentary which will be shown on November 9th (and presumably repeat off and on for some time). It is one thing to see England take the foolish step of new nuclear (Scotland has exhibited better sense on this and on the waste disposal topic), and another to see so many other countries jumping along with the nuclear death march, all while Fukushima is ongoing! This makes everyone’s getting out information about nuclear all the more urgent.

There is still no nuclear waste solution and little or nothing being invested in solving the problem. If we recall correctly, 15.8 million USD is being invested by the US govt. to research better storage canisters for waste. Over a billion has been spent on the Mars rover by them. Most other countries are spending nothing on canister research and intend to depend on a magic and non-existent geological solution. New nuclear or not if no serious investment is made in dealing with nuclear waste then humans run the risk of extinction. Or, perhaps they will live long enough to reproduce and die young of painful deaths from cancer. It is not a pretty picture.

As for Haiti, the Minister of Justice involved in the Judge Joseph case is being called on the carpet for Tuesday (today) by the Senate along with two other Ministers. It is believed that he will be a no-show. Andre Michel, discussed in our new post is one of the lawyers in the corruption complaint which was being investigated by the late Judge Joseph. There is a sample letter written by Frontline Defenders which people may send in to complain about harassment against Andre Michel. Forgotten in all of this is still Enold Florestal, who brought the complaint against the presidential family. While journalists and lawyers should not be unjustly imprisoned neither should anyone else. It is strange that everyone calls on letting the lawyer out of jail but not the client. It seems that Enold filed the complaint on behalf of the two attorneys who were representing him. What can be said about Martelly-Lamothe’s Haiti? Judge Dead, Whistleblower dead, Lawyer harassed in relation to corruption allegations against the President’s wife and son.
New posts: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/harassment-against-lawyer-in-haiti-presidential-family-corruption-case-complainant-in-case-still-in-prison-judge-dead/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/pumpkin-power-turning-food-waste-into-energy-2/

Monday, 4 November 2013

35 years ago tomorrow, Austria voted by a really narrow majority to stop its first nuclear power plant which was already built from going online! Which proves that Radiation Free Lakeland is right that it is not too late to stop the already approved new nuclear builds in the UK (or elsewhere).
The nuclear power plant became a film set as well as being used for training, since it is radiation-free, but fully built! Last November it became a solar power plant! Although they seemed late in stopping the nuclear power they were ahead of the game compared to those who don’t know what to do with the old plants or waste. The Austrians had the foresight to realize that they did not want the waste and that it could not be exported because no one else would want it either! How many more decades until some other countries understand that? This year they decided to stop using nuclear energy from neighboring countries. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/happy-austria-nuclear-free-beacon-of-hope-for-the-world/

Russia and the Ukraine are at it again. It may or may not be solved today. This conflict which has resulted in some countries losing their winter heat has made Europe look for other sources of Natural Gas and other pipeline routes. One is the Trans Adriatic pipeline and its connectors: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/europe-russia-gas-pipeline-wars/

Saturday, 2 November 2013

For those who didn’t hear, the Greenpeace 30 are to be transferred to St. Petersburg, presumably to be more accessible for European diplomats or to keep journalists from snooping around radioactive Murmansk too much.

All of the proposed new nuclear is just incredible…while Fukushima is still leaking into the ocean more than one country is proposing new nuclear and not shutting down the old nuclear! What is wrong with these people?
Our new post is here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/can-anyone-recall-what-we-put-in-our-nuclear-dump-or-where-our-missing-radioactive-materials-are/
Related Reblogs are here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/usa-to-promote-nuclear-energy-at-same-time-as-helping-fix-fukushima/ https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/japans-prime-minister-energetically-marketing-nuclear-reactors-to-asia-and-middle-east/

Friday, 1 November 2013

This is our new post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/mining-law-the-constitution-and-private-property-in-haiti/ A narrow reading of Haitian law appears to allow no mining at all. A broad reading seems to allow only underground mining and that would only be if really stringent environmental monitoring-protection were put into place and you know that doesn’t happen in much of the so-called developed world.  It will never happen in Haiti under this administration anyway.  Pretty interesting in that we have read the Haitian Constitution on the topic more than once and never noticed the part which seems to imply underground mining only.  Also, the landowner is to get one third of earnings from the mine, which no one talks about.  And, there are issues of property titles which sometimes date from shortly after the Haitian Revolution and new ones are very costly to file.  How can the landowner get their money if they don’t have a deed to the land?  Land conflicts stay in Haitian courts for years and title deeds are sometimes fabricated to steal land.  The Mining Law itself also takes into consideration tenants on the land. Someone who is supposed to be a Montana Mining Reclamation expert apparently wrote something on the topic of mining in Haiti a few days ago, but we cannot find it. And, one wonders if he would read French to know the law. We are doing our posts because a law school is wrapping up their study of mining in Haiti next week and they may not read the French either. We have hesitated to do much on the topic because if the good parts of the law are pointed out then they may be even more likely to be removed.        

Reblog:  “9th November 2013
International Action Day Against Gold Mines in Halkidiki
What is at Stake
Halkidiki, the birthplace of the ancient philosopher Aristotle, is a place of such great natural beauty that, every year, it is flooded by tourists from all over the world. In the western part of Halkidiki lies the primeval forest of Skouries. A few years ago the multinational gold mining company Eldorado Gold settled in Skouries and with the backing of powerful domestic private interests has begun large-scale mining activities….
.” Includes an excellent 11 minute video which really goes over all of the problems with mining in an amazingly thorough manner in the first minues: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/skouries-calling-out-to-greece-and-all-the-world-saveskouries/ Remember these people however you can — either by an event or publicizing their cause.  They were apparently sitting and minding their own business while watching TV and trouble came to them in the form of a Canadian Mining Company.  We are all at risk now from mining and nuclear waste dumps!  

These two posts are good summaries of problems with nuclear energy and waste. The first can also be used as a sample letter to the UK. The second has a link to a US petition.
Letter sent to a UK Govt. Official. The author offered it to be used as a sample letter: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/nuclear-assault-on-the-poor-workers-and-uk-economy/ Those from proposed mining areas outside of the UK should also consider writing in protest. For those who want to complain in the USA or to simply read a well-written piece: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/end-taxpayer-subsidies-for-nuclear-power-usa/

31 October 2013

Our new post is here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/louisiana-coastal-erosion-restoration-lawsuit-against-oil-gas-and-pipeline-companies/ It is a copy of the Louisiana Coastal Erosion-Restoration lawsuit brought by the levee board, which we have discussed already.  We have photos of the first 24 or 25 pages as well as the entire document in pdf format (125 pages). As you may recall, Governor Jindal opposes the suit and replaced several of the board members in an apparent attempt to control the “independent” board. The problem itself is not new. The relationship of coastal erosion to the petroleum industry was known and already well studied 25 years ago. This provides an excellent summary of the situation. The first page names the almost 100 oil, gas and pipeline companies being sued. The Koch brothers are there, Marathon oil and many more. And it must be said that a cozy relationship between Louisiana politicians and the oil and gas industry is also not new!  A levee is an embankment (from the French).  Trivia:  It has been long believed that Louisiana was named for King Louis of France and Queen-Regent Ana of Austria, Queen and wife to Louis XIII and mother-Regent to Louis XIV.  This was already denied in a French history written in 1929 which said that she was dead and no one would have remembered her. http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/jsa_0037-9174_1929_num_21_1_3657 No one would remember the former Queen, the King’s mother and the Regent of France?  Lasalle, who named Louisiana left France for the Americas a few months after her death (1666) and named Louisiana in 1687. It seems like he would remember her better than someone staying in France.   

It seems that we will once again put off posting about the Louisiana sinkhole and Haiti until later today or tomorrow.  The former is ready to go minus formatting.  The latter not. We are losing too much energy from anger, especially anger at the nuclear industry. They don’t know where to put the waste and are proposing new builds! Look at Fukushima too!  

The Black Hills Uranium Mining Hearings continue:
https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/water-uranium-and-china/ Everybody say your prayers for these poor people and for the animals. Part of Powertech was bought out by a Company Registered in Hong Kong (Azarga), hence the title (we cannot change titles of reblogs or we would many times). Azarga has a minority percentage for Powertech Dewey Burdock in the Black Hills. It has a majority percentage at their Colorado project. As documented in a lengthy article at PowertechExposed.com Azarga is registered in Hong Kong BUT it is mostly owned by Australian Alexander Molyneux, recently fired by Rio Tinto.  Molyneux is protege to Robert “Toxic Bob”  Friedland who caused the Colorado Summitville disaster and left the US taxpayer to clean it up.  Friedland is a Canadian-US dual national living in Singapore. http://www.powertechexposed.com/Powertech%20announces%20deals%20with%20Azarga.htm Especially since Hong Kong used to be British the uranium may just as easily be going to the UK for their new nuclear build.  Wherever it goes doesn’t matter.  The mining is not safe, the nuclear power is not safe, the wastes are not safe.  If it is to be mined those who get the uranium are also the unlucky ones.  The US sunbelt and western states could light up the US and probably Canada with some to spare.  

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Our new post discusses some ways that mining (and also fracking and other types of non-traditional petroleum) violates Haitian law. What is really important about looking at Haiti’s laws is that there are various protective aspects within Haitian law which are almost certainly what is meant when it is said that Haiti needs to modernize its mining law. Haitian law is being ignored, but a good government would enforce them. We will try to stay focused on this over the next few days in order to help some law students who are wrapping up their research on the topic. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/mining-violates-haitis-constitution/

The Black Hills Water Hearings continued yesterday (and today). Yesterday it was reported that the Powertech uranium mining lawyer tried to intimidate those opposing the mine by constantly interrupting them. A link to the hearings is in the blog update. See our reblog: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/water-rights-day-two/ This, by the way, is what the UK government and anyone else who continues to promote uranium mining is guilty of: trying and perhaps succeeding in poisoning the water of the people, plants, and animals of the Black Hills and other places. Say it like it is: The mining companies are the pimps. The client is the UK government (and all others who are not shutting down their nuclear power plants). The people of the Black Hills have been fighting against this mine for years. Others will piggy-back in on this one. With no nuclear power there would be no mining and there would be no waste either, which no one in their right minds wants in their backyard, aka NIMBY.

The Louisiana sinkhole continues to quake, and it will as it is expected to double in size. We intended to post the information but will wait until tomorrow. There is a new flyover video and we finally noticed the letter which shows that the instability of the salt dome was known well before the collapse! Also, there is a letter which indicates that indeed that it was filled with radioactive materials (NORM). There have been numerous salt dome collapses in the past. This one is not unique. Those who think that salt domes are ideal for radioactive waste take note.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

The Water Hearings for the proposed Powertech uranium mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota continue this week. This is a reblog about the topic: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/uranium-water-and-the-future-of-the-black-hills/
This is our new post which starts with an article which some may have already seen but we have added commentary and additional information onto it. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/foreign-state-owned-companies-to-build-uks-first-ever-private-sector-nuclear-power-station/
Yesterday we reblogged the European Court ruling against Greece in the sale of the Skouries Mine. Community activist Tolis Papageorgiou is the founder of Hellenic Mining watch. He is now accused by the Greek Govt. of running a “criminal organization”, as they try to criminalize dissent: “ECJ’s ruling was described as a personal victory and vindication by Tolis Papageorgiou, who referred the sale to the European Commission in 2009 alleging it was a violation of competition law. The mines are being constructed in forest areas. The sale of state land in northern Greece to a Canadian-controlled gold mining company was unlawful and contrary to the principles of the common market, the European Court of Justice ruled….” See: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/european-court-rules-against-greece-over-gold-mine-land-sale/
Hopefully the EU will make itself useful again and block the Hinkley UK Nuclear Power Plant as unfair subsidies.

Monday 28 Oct 2013

Please see Sunday’s post if you missed it: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/yeti-yeetso-and-yakuza-monsters-deforestation-and-selling-our-birthright/
The Yakuza are the Japanese mafia who appear largely responsible for “recruiting” workers for Fukushima.

Chevron suspends shale gas exploration plan in Romanian village after protest: Community of Pungesti blocks energy company’s trucks from entering the area.” By Luke Dale-Harris and Vlad Ursulean, Monday 21 October 2013 “….For four days last week many of the village’s inhabitants, most of whom are elderly farmers, occupied the road leading into the fields earmarked for Chevron’s construction site. Settling in for the long haul, they erected makeshift tents while those who had arrived by cart let their horses graze in the field….As the villagers formed a human chain across the road, the police moved in, pushing their way through the crowd. A man in his 70s was forced to the ground and trampled over. He was taken to hospital in critical condition…” Article here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/21/chevron-shale-gas-exploration-omanian-pungesti (bold added)

Romanian farmers choose subsistence over shale gas” Posted: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 09:10:58 GMT PUNGESTI, Romania, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The small hilly town of Pungesti in eastern Romania could be sitting on vast reserves of shale gas and U.S. energy major Chevron wants to find it. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/YwTb-SwQtIc/story01.htm
From the above article:  “Can we live without water?’ one of them asked the crowd on a microphone….’No,’ the demonstrators replied. ‘Can we live without Chevron?’ ‘Yes.”

See also: “Romania expected to reject gold mine following week of protest: Prime minister announces end of draft bill that would have allowed a Canadian company to mine in Rosia Montana.” By Adam Vaughan, Tuesday 10 September 2013 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/10/romania-reject-gold-mine-protest  

Beware Penny Stocks!  
Singapore’s penny stock mystery increases pressure on exchange Posted:Sun, 27 Oct 2013 17:00:30 -0400
SINGAPORE Oct 28 (Reuters) – Singapore Exchange Ltd ‘s role as the city-state’s equity market regulator is coming under increasing scrutiny in the fall-out from a penny stock crash earlier this month.

Mass Surveillance Of Journalists Due to Skouries Mine Case” By Abed Alloush on October 24, 2013 

Transcripted phone conversations of journalists that work in Greek and foreign media is included in the criminal file of those who are accused for participating in a ‘criminal organization’ in Skouries. According to Eleftherotypia, phone interviews that the members of the ‘criminal organization’ have given to journalists are documents that could be use against them. We must underline here that those phone conversations were under surveillance in 2012, long before the attack against the Skouries gold mining site of Hellenic gold. The use of interviews that have already been published, as proof of participating in a ‘criminal organization’ is something that has no precedence in Greece’s history.” Read the entire article here: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2013/10/24/mass-surveillance-of-journalists-due-to-skouries-mine-case/

Fracking is even endangering traditional oil wells along with water supplies!
From:  Briana Mordick’s Blog: “Blowout Exposes Gaps in Federal and State Oversight of Fracking, October 24, 2013
A New Mexico oil well owned by Parko Oil LLC recently experienced a blowout, resulting in a spill of more than 8,400 gallons of fracturing fluid, oil, and water. The blowout occurred when a nearby well owned by Encana was being hydraulically fractured and the fracturing fluids intersected the Parko well. According to a news report, the two wells are about half a mile apart. Both wells are located on federal land, meaning that both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (NMOCD) are responsible for regulating these wells.

Despite that fact that Parko Oil reported five previous incidents to NMOCD when nearby fracturing jobs communicated with its wells, it appears that regulators did not take any steps to ensure that the Encana fracturing job wouldn’t impact the Parko wells. If the BLM or NMOCD had acted sooner, it is possible this incident could have been prevented. The spill resulted in soil contamination, but it is not clear whether groundwater may also have been polluted. The agencies have not yet assessed whether the Parko well was damaged below the surface. If the casing or cement cracked due to the fracturing pressure, fluids could have migrated into groundwater.

Neither the BLM nor NMOCD – nor any state for that matter – requires operators to identify, assess, and monitor wells that could be impacted by nearby fracturing. Yet scientists have long recognized that fluids injected underground could intersect a nearby well and that this could put groundwater at risk. In fact, when the EPA created the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program in the late 1970s, they listed this as one of the six key pathways by which injected fluids could end up contaminating drinking water. To reduce this risk, they created a cornerstone concept of the UIC program called the “area of review,” which requires operators of UIC wells to look for and fix any such pathways. However these rules don’t apply to hydraulic fracturing because it is exempt from the UIC program.” See the rest of the article here: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/bmordick/blowout_exposes_gaps_in_blm_an.html (bold added for emphasis)

India Matters to Everyone!  India adds about 2 Switzerlands in population growth per year; it has about 4 times as many people as the USA already, but is growing at a much faster rate.  India already has well over 1.2 billion people and over 17% of world population!  It will be the most populous country by 2025, overtaking China.  So, whatever happens in India impacts everyone (including this huge growth rate!). http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
Coal mine in Dhanbad, India
Coal Mine in Dhanbad, India via wikimedia

A reminder about one of our reblogs, which has great pictures and legal info relevant to India’s Coalgate scandal:
Mining is a messy affair, no matter where. Open caste mines are an eye sore. Nature in such places looks as if an  enormous animal has been hacked, gouged, and devoured. Washing of minerals or ores consumes enormous quantities of water. Tail ponds left by washing activity add to dismal scenario of ecological degradation. Often mines are located in remote, less developed areas, and locals rarely benefit from the mining for which they have to make way. Mining is a dirty business as well. In periods of economic boom it can generate super profits with little investment. Coal has been a coveted mineral. It holds a lion’s share in thermal power generation, and is also needed in iron & steel making, cement production. It goes to light hearths of poor people eking out existence in the margins of society. Coal mining had another by-product- Coal Mafia, lured by the easy lucre to be made. Bollywood spawned films on Coal-Greed, mesmerised by its violence and gore: Kaala Patthar, Koyla, and recently Gangs of Wasseypur……” See the rest here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/purohits-pil-adds-twist-to-coal-gate-tale/

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Please see our new post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/yeti-yeetso-and-yakuza-monsters-deforestation-and-selling-our-birthright/
The Yakuza are the Japanese mafia who appear largely responsible for “recruiting” workers for Fukushima.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Russia reduces charges against Greenpeace activists over Arctic protest Posted:Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:39:19 GMT Moscow (Reuters) – “Russia on Wednesday dropped piracy charges against 30 people involved in a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling, replacing them with lesser offences and cutting the maximum jail sentence they face to seven years from 15.” The charges were changed to hooliganism.
Read article here: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/dPJFTY1PWwA/story01.htm

Amnesty International: “Russia: ‘Hooliganism’ charges do not apply to peaceful Greenpeace protest”  24 October 2013 “Under Russia’s Criminal Code, hooliganism charges can only be brought against those using weapons to commit gross violations of public order on the grounds of hatred for a particular racial, ethnic, religious or social group.”  Read entire article here; http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-hooliganism-charges-do-not-apply-peaceful-greenpeace-protest-2013-10-24

Justice Prevails in Rajasthan (northwest) India

Our Summary:  According to the Times of India, on Friday the Rajasthan High Court stayed the acquisition by Jindal Saw Ltd (JSL) of 20 km2 in five villages (Suras, Pur, Dhulkhera, Malola and Samodi ) around Bhilwara city for gold and iron ores mines, subsequent to petitions filed by local villagers.  It appears that the Jindals were trying to take the property without farmer-landholder permission.  For the original article please see: “HC stays land acquisition process for Jindal mines”  By Abhinav Sharma, Oct 26, 2013, Times of India. (the article is online along with many related articles but it is unclear if we are allowed to link; just do a search) This seems a clear victory for justice and for these villagers. Hopefully the stay will remain in place.  

Of US Governor Corruption and Resource Exploitation
Excerpts relative to oil and mining from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)’s “The Worst Governors in America” (2013) And, these guys are still in office!

Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal was first elected governor in 2007 and was reelected in 2011 (Note that there is more dirt on Bobby Jindal at the link below.  We are keeping this focus on natural resources):

Some of the governor’s largest corporate campaign contributors have also donated heavily to a foundation set up by his wife, raising questions about whether they are attempting to curry favor with the governor.(2)  Gov. Jindal’s wife, Supriya Jindal, founded the nonprofit Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children in July 2008, shortly after her husband took office. (3)  The foundation distributes interactive whiteboards to Louisiana schools.(4)   

A review in March 2011 found nine of 13 corporate donors that collectively pledged at least $790,000 to the Jindal Foundation also contributed more than $100,000 to Gov. Jindal’s campaign between 2007 and 2011.(5)  Gov. Jindal’s chief fundraiser, Alexandra Bautsch, who has worked for the governor since at least 2005, was also listed as the foundation’s treasurer until 2010, according to the organization’s tax returns.(6)  …  

The March 2011 review showed the overlapping donors included companies with significant interests before Louisiana state government, such as AT&T Inc., Marathon Oil Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., and state contractors such as Acadian Ambulance.(8)  The nine companies collectively employed more than 50 lobbyists in Louisiana, and eight of the companies received at least $113.6 million from the state.(9)  The governor’s spokesman described the foundation as ‘a completely nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization created by the first lady,’ and said he had not intervened to help any of the foundation’s donors with state business.(10) http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Reports/CREW_Worst_Governors_in_America_fullreport.pdf?nocdn=1 (more on Jindal and references at this link)  

Marathon Oil Corporation, mentioned above, “was prosecuted for air permit violations in 2003 by Louisiana. The Environmental Protection Agency then prosecuted Marathon for not following a pollution prevention plan as well as not complying with the stormwater permit.[8] In November 2006 The Environmental Protection Agency published the list of PCB violations by Marathon Oil company for sum of $38,000.[9]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_Oil (references at link)

Lest you think that Louisiana and Jindal have the monopoly on questionable ethics – corruption, we give you more highlights from the CREW report below:  these on the Governors of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, but first a picture and a few words about Pennsylvania fracking:  
Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Tower 1 crop
Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Tower, Pennsylvania

Here are 4 of 11 shocking points about Fracking in the US and Pennsylvania:
7) The industry is exempted from normal environmental protection laws. It is exempt from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and almost every other federal law protecting environmental health. These exemptions were created by Dick Cheney’s energy task force in 2004.  Halliburton profits from shale drilling.
8) State legislators and regulators are at worst throwing open the doors regardless of consequences, and at best behind the curve. After two years of intensive drilling in PA, the DEP just asked drillers to voluntarily cease dumping untreated frackwater into our rivers. Rendell, Corbett, and many legislators have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from drillers. It seems to be working. Those who took the money voted against the severance tax last fall, those who didn’t take the money voted for it.
9) Few of the promised thousands of jobs are available to Pennsylvanians; …Companies are bringing trained workers from Texas and Oklahoma rather than hiring Pennsylvanians. The chemical toxicity problems are magnified for workers.
10) The Marcellus industry is pushing more sustainable industries out of Pennsylvania. Tourism and organic farming are growth industries that offer sustainable economies for rural areas. Organic farming really doesn’t work if the water and air are toxic; consumers in adjacent states are already losing confidence. And nobody wants to take a vacation to a toxic industrial site.

From CREW:  Republican Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania was elected in 2010.  He is eligible for re-election in 2014, but has not said whether he will run again.  His inclusion stems from: (1) accepting gifts from law firms, lobbyists, and others with business before the state; (2) concealing the awarding of a state contract to a campaign contributor;………..

Blank Rome  
Between 2007 and 2010, Gov. Corbett and his wife, Susan Corbett, accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Blank Rome, a powerful Philadelphia law firm that represents several companies in the oil, gas, and coal industries.(3)  The firm has a number of clients with financial interests tied to the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania’s natural gas reserve, and it is an associate member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry lobbying organization.(4)    

Blank Rome gave the Corbetts tickets collectively worth $15,000 to the Philadelphia Academy of Music Concert and Ball in 2007, 2008, and 2010.(5)  The couple also received tickets worth $275 to a Pennsylvania Society dinner.(6)  The law and lobbying firm also bought tickets to Philadelphia Phillies games, including a $65 ticket for opening day in 2010.(7)   

Blank Rome attorneys and executives contributed nearly $35,000 to Gov. Corbett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign committee.(8)  Blank Rome also donated between $15,000 and $25,000 to the governor’s 2011 Inaugural Ball, which gave the firm ‘Platinum Sponsor’ status.(9)  

After Gov. Corbett took office, he appointed a former Blank Rome partner, Michael Krancer, then chair of the state’s Environmental Hearing Board, to head the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).(10)  Environmentalists criticized Mr. Krancer for what they saw as pro-industry stances, and federal environmental regulators said the state needed to do a better job of monitoring and regulating the impact of drilling wastewater discharge near public water sources.(11)  Mr. Krancer stepped down in April 2013 and returned to Blank Rome as head of the firm’s energy, petrochemical, and natural resources practice.(12)  

John Moran, Jr.  
Gov. Corbett and his wife accepted a free trip from John Moran, Jr., a warehousing and transportation company executive, while Mr. Moran’s company was attempting to secure an exemption to Pennsylvania permitting rules to operate a fracking waste site without waiting for required environmental permits.  Mr. Moran and Gov. Corbett have described themselves as personal friends.(13)  Mr. Moran and his wife, Ann, contributed more than $93,700 to Gov. Corbett’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.(14)  Mr. Moran has also contributed $20,000 to Gov. Corbett’s 2014 campaign.(15)  

In 2010, Jeffrey Stroehmann, vice president of Moran Industries, wrote to Pennsylvania’s outgoing Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, John Hanger, asserting that the waste from natural gas fracking was becoming a problem.(16)  Because of that, Mr. Stroehmann wanted a Moran-owned industrial site in Sunbury, Penn., to be permitted to operate without a state permit.(17)  Moran thought that would be possible because the company had a contract with an interstate railroad that opened the door to an exemption from Pennsylvania permitting laws.(18)  

Mr. Stroehmann said the company could not wait the six to nine months it would likely take to receive a permit through the normal process.(19)  Mr. Hanger, part of the outgoing administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), said the company would have to either go through the normal permit process or submit more information in support of its request for an exemption.(20)   

Nonetheless, on January 18, 2011 — one day before Gov. Corbett’s inauguration — trucks entered the site, filled with drilling debris.(21)  The site’s neighbors said they repeatedly called DEP to complain about spills, strange odors, and the need for more information about the type of waste flowing through the site.(22)  DEP inspectors visited repeatedly, but, puzzlingly, said they found no violations, even though the site was apparently operating without the appropriate permits.(23)    

In July 2011, even as Sunbury residents were questioning the use of the Moran Industries site in their town, Gov. Corbett and Ms. Corbett traveled with Mr. Moran to Rhode Island for a yachting vacation over a long weekend.(24)  Gov. Corbett originally failed to disclose the trip on his 2011 statement of financial interests, but later amended the statement to report $1,422 worth of gifts from Mr. Moran — the value of air travel and hotel accommodations for the governor and first lady.(25)  Gov. Corbett said the trip was omitted from his original statement because of a clerical error.(26)  Mr. Moran also paid $901 to fly the governor on his private plane and helicopter to events in Pittsburgh and Williamsport in September 2011.(27)  Watchdogs criticized the trips as inappropriate.(28)  DEP officially granted approval for operations at the Sunbury site in March 2012.(29)  The DEP’s approval allowed the site to operate without a permit and was based on an agreement between Moran Industries and Norfolk Southern railroad, even though that particular agreement had been signed in April 2011, roughly three months after Moran began operating at the Sunbury site.(30) Shortly after the Rhode Island trip, Gov. Corbett appointed Mr. Moran to the Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation, a 24-member panel he created to examine opportunities to privatize state services.(31)  He appointed Ann Moran, Mr. Moran’s wife, to an unpaid position with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.(32)  In 2012, Gov. Corbett named Mr. Moran a co-chair of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on economic development, and the Team Pennsylvania website has featured Moran Industries.(33)  Gov. Corbett is the other co-chair of Team Pennsylvania.(34)  Mr. Moran accompanied the governor on a trade mission to France and Germany in 2012 to promote the Marcellus Shale.(35)  In 2013, Mr. Moran announced he would accompany Gov. Corbett on a trade mission trip to Brazil and Chile.(36)” http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Reports/CREW_Worst_Governors_in_America_fullreport.pdf?nocdn=1 (references at link, bold added for emphasis, pictures added)

Martin County home
Valley fill – Mountaintop removal coal mining in Martin County, Kentucky. By Flashdark via wikimedia

Governor Steven Beshear Democrat of Kentucky was elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.  “Under the state’s term limits law, he cannot run for re-election in 2015.  His inclusion stems from the politicized firing of the head of the state’s mine permitting division and from allowing representatives of the coal industry to exert improper influence over official appointments.

Pressuring Public Officials 
Wrongful Firing of Coal Industry Regulator 
On November 13, 2009, Ron Mills, Kentucky’s director of the division of mine permits, was fired. (1)  Soon after, Mr. Mills suggested that his dismissal was a result of his efforts to block mine permits sought by Alliance Resource Partners and issued under a controversial policy, the so-called “33 1/3 rule.” (2) The rule had allowed mining companies to begin mining underground before obtaining the legal right to enter all of the land included in their plans.  Critics said the policy was illegal because it conflicted with state and federal laws, and after Mr. Mills’ appointment by Gov. Beshear in 2008, he rescinded the rule and refused to issue permits under it.(3)  

Mr. Mills’ decision was overturned by the deputy secretary of the energy and environment cabinet, Hank List, who ordered all permit applications including the 33 1/3 provision to be approved over Mr. Mills’ objections.4  This included five permits for Alliance Resource Partners.5 

A month after his firing, Mr. Mills filed an appeal with the state’s personnel board, arguing that he was fired due to his age and ‘his refusal to issue permits based upon an illegal policy.'(6)  Soon after, Mr. Mills filed a lawsuit under the state Whistleblower Act seeking lost wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.(7)  In his lawsuit, Mr. Mills argued that his efforts to inform his superiors that permits issued under the 33 1/3 rule violated state law and state administrative regulation were ‘the substantial contributing factor/cause’ of his dismissal.(8) 

Mr. Mills told reporters his direct supervisor, Carl Campbell, had informed him that Alliance Resource Partners, together with Gov. Beshear’s office, had sought his removal over his opposition to the rule. (9)  Mr. Mills also said the personnel official who informed him of his firing told him that Gov. Beshear ‘was involved.'(10)   

State Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters denied firing Mr. Mills at the behest of the coal industry or Gov. Beshear.(11)  Instead, Mr. Peters said he decided on his own to fire Mr. Mills because he was not meeting performance expectations.(12)  Mr. Mills’ personnel file, however, did not include any documentation of performance issues.(13)  In a deposition, Mr. Campbell said he was ‘shocked’ by Mr. Mills’ firing, agreed the 33 1/3 rule was illegal, and had never heard Mr. Peters complain about Mr. Mills’ job performance.(14)  Mr. Campbell said no one ever told him directly that Alliance Resource Partners wanted Mr. Mills fired, but ‘industry representatives voiced the opinion that we were taking too long to do the permit reviews’ and ‘if you don’t make the decisions that they want to hear, they tend to try to get you moved out of those positions.'(15)  Mr. Campbell was fired in 2011, shortly after Gov. Beshear won re-election. (16)  Mr. Campbell, who had worked for the state since 1978, said he did not know why he was fired. (17) 

Alliance Resources Partners CEO Joe Craft, meanwhile, told the Courier-Journal his company had not complained about Mr. Mills.(18)  Gov. Beshear publicly denied any involvement in Mr. Mills’ firing and told reporters he did not learn about the dismissal until the day it happened or the next day.(19)  In a deposition taken in connection with Mr. Mills’ lawsuit, Gov. Beshear said coal industry pressure had not led to Mr. Mills’ termination.(20)  

Alliance Resource Partners, however, was clearly kept closely informed of Mr. Mills’ job status.  Mr. Mills said he was informed of his dismissal around 9 a.m. on November 13, 2009.(21)  At 9:24 a.m., Raymond ‘Rusty’ Ashcraft, Alliance Resource Partners’ manager of environmental affairs and mine permitting, sent an e-mail to colleagues saying ‘Ron Mills will be asked to resign this morning and will be replaced by Allen Luttrell on an acting basis.’ (22)  Mr. Luttrell was Mr. Mills’ deputy in the division of mine permits.(23)  Mr. Ashcraft had received a call on his cell phone from Mr. Luttrell 14 minutes before sending that e-mail, according to state phone records obtained by the Courier-Journal. (24)   

Mr. Ashcraft, who was not registered to lobby the executive branch in Kentucky at the time of Mr. Mills’ firing, nonetheless often communicated with Beshear administration officials about coal-related issues.(25)  In the deposition he gave as part of Mr. Mills’ lawsuit, Mr. Ashcraft said he had been informed the morning of the firing ‘by an individual in the governor’s office.'(26)  

Though he said he could not recall exactly who told him, Mr. Ashcraft said ‘it was either Geoff Dunn or Jeff Belcher.’ (27)  Mr. Dunn was the executive director of boards and commissions in the governor’s office and Mr. Belcher was one of Gov. Beshear’s staff assistants.(28)  In their own depositions, Mr. Belcher denied calling Mr. Ashcraft about the firing and Mr. Dunn was unable to remember whether he had done so.(29)  Mr. Mills has said Mr. Belcher regularly called the division of mine permits to ask about permit applications on behalf of coal companies.(30)  Mr. Ashcraft also said in his deposition that he had lobbied the administration of Gov. Beshear’s predecessor to enact the controversial 33 1/3 rule, and after Mr. Mills rescinded the rule, he lobbied the Beshear administration to reinstate it.(31)  Additionally, as part of Alliance Resource Partners’ efforts around the 33 1/3 rule, the coal company hired Gov. Beshear’s former law firm, Stites & Harbison of Lexington, to work on a legal defense of it.(32) 

In court, the Beshear administration’s lawyers argued Mr. Mills had been fired based on poor job performance.(33) In his own deposition, Mr. Peters denied that the coal industry had influenced him and criticized Mr. Mills’ management skills, citing a backlog of pending mine permits.(34)  

Mr. Campbell, however, said Mr. Mills was a good manager and the backlog of permits predated him.(35) James Dickinson, a policy advisor and attorney at the state Natural Resources Department, said in his deposition that the consensus in the department was that the 33 1/3 policy was central to Mr. Mills’ termination.(36)  Mr. Dickinson also said Mr. Ashcraft had ‘openly and publicly to several people’ said he was ‘extremely unhappy’ with Mr. Mills’ decision to rescind the policy.(37)   

The Beshear administration sought to have Mr. Mills’ lawsuit dismissed, unsuccessfully challenging it in motions that went as high as the Kentucky Court of Appeals.(38)  In November 2012, the state settled the lawsuit for $270,000.(39)  The agreement, which included a confidentiality provision, explicitly said the state did not admit ‘any liability, violation or wrongdoing.”(40)                                                              
Mountaintop Removal by JW Randolph via wikimedia

Coal Industry Influenced Beshear Appointments 
Documents filed as part of the Mills lawsuit hints at the extent of Alliance Resource Partners’ influence on the Beshear administration’s decisions.  The court file included an e-mail from Mr. Ashcraft to Gov. Beshear’s then-chief of staff, Adam Edelman, about potential appointments to a federal panel on mountaintop removal mining.(41)  In his e-mail, Mr. Ashcraft provided the names of three men that Alliance Resource Partners wanted Gov. Beshear to nominate for the panel.(42) ‘Thanks. Will follow up in short order,’ replied Mr. Edelman.(43)  According to Mr. Ashcraft, Gov. Beshear eventually nominated two of the three men he suggested.(44)  Mr. Ashcraft was asked about his interest in the nominations during his deposition.  ‘Is Alliance Coal engaged in mountaintop mining?’ asked Mr. Mills’ attorney, Bernard Pafunda.(45)  No, sir,’ replied Mr. Ashcraft.(46)  ‘So why stick your nose into mountaintop mining?’ Mr. Pafunda asked.(47)  ‘Good question,’ Mr. Ashcraft responded.(48)  ‘These names were suggested by other members of industry and sent to me.’(49)   

The Beshear administration has appointed other officials with ties to Alliance Resource Partners. Roughly a month before Mr. Mills was fired, Gov. Beshear reappointed Mr. Ashcraft to the Kentucky Geological Survey Advisory Board. (50)  Gov. Beshear appointed Alliance Resource Partners CEO Craft to his Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council, tasked with helping Kentucky work toward ‘energy independence’ while lowering its carbon footprint.(51)  In March 2012, Jerry F. ‘Freddie’ Lewis, Sr., a former safety director at Alliance Resource Partners, was named the new executive director of the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.(52)http://www.citizensforethics.org/page/-/PDFs/Reports/CREW_Worst_Governors_in_America_fullreport.pdf?nocdn=1  (references at link, bold added, pictures added)

Continuous Miner
A Continuous Miner, photo by Xlxgoggaxlx, via wikimedia.  A Continuous Miner can mine as much as five tons of coal a minute, more than a non-mechanised mine of the 1920s would produce in an entire day. Continuous miners account for about 45 percent of underground coal productionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_mining_(soft_rock)
Most underground coal mining is almost totally automated, so where are the jobs then?  Not many!    

Coal company pollutes, Beshear gives them an award” Posted by: KFTC on January 9, 2013 at 08:21am
“On Tuesday, the Beshear administration gave Laurel Mountain Resources an award for ‘outstanding reclamation work,’ which in this case means what once was part of the most diverse hardwood forest in North America has been planted in hay
.” See article here: http://www.kftc.org/blog/coal-company-pollutes-beshear-gives-them-award  

20,000 Clean Water Act violations?
Posted by: jerry on October 6, 2010 at 08:00pm
Three eastern Kentucky coal companies may have committed more than 20,000 Clean Water Act violations over the past few years, KFTC and several other groups announced this morning during a telephone press conference.
” See article here: http://www.kftc.org/blog/20000-clean-water-act-violations

Lawsuit over Clean Water Act violations closer to resolution”
Posted by: Kristen Cherry on July 17, 2012 at 11:09am
“A lawsuit involving KFTC and allies, coal companies ICG and Frasure Creek, and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet came one step closer to a resolution at a status conference on Monday.  This case began in 2010 after Appalachian Voices reviewed the discharge monitoring reports of ICG (International Coal Group) and Frasure Creek, finding that many of their records appeared to be fraudulent. In total, Appalachian Voices found more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, which can result in up to $740 million in fines.  Appalachian Voices, KFTC and other groups filed a 60-day intent to sue against both companies. One day before the 60 days were up, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet attempted to prevent the lawsuit by filing its own lawsuit against the companies, charging them with 2,700 violations and setting a combined fine of $660,000, much less than the possible maximum fines.
”  See entire article here: http://www.kftc.org/blog/lawsuit-over-clean-water-act-violations-closer-resolution

Friday, 25 October 2013

Thursday Flyover of the Bayou Corne Louisiana Sinkhole, which should be renamed the Texas Brine Mining Bungle.  Just think of it.  These salt domes have long been proposed as an ideal place for radioactive waste!  And, they are used for oil field wastes which have radioactive NORM.  Salt domes are used for oil and natural gas storage in the US, in Europe and most surely elsewhere.  Gorleben salt dome in Germany was proposed for low, medium and high level radioactive waste.  This is also not the first collapsing salt dome:

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity
Thursday, Oct. 24 work-  Sinkhole Activity Code 3 – indicating no work is allowed directly on sinkhole or on containment berms, elevated due to seismic monitoring indicating further increase in MEQ (micro-earthquake) activity near sinkhole/Oxy 3

The Jindal Clan of India and the US:  Allegations of Corruption, Disrespect for the Environment, Disrespect for the People

Who Is Bobby Jindal?  Is He Kin to the Jindal Steel Jindals?  Certainly he is kin in spirit!  What about Rajat Gupta, arrested for conspiracy and securities fraud?  Bobby worked for Rajat Gupta and Bobby’s mother’s name is Raj Gupta.  They are close to the same age.  What, if any, is the relationship of Bobby’s wife working for Albemarle chemical corp and its move to Baton Rouge? (She also worked for Monsanto). http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/spouses-bios/col2-content/main-content-list/supriya-jindal.html
Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Economic Development WIN for State; Albemarle to Move Corporate Headquarters from Virginia to Louisiana”  Apr 30, 2008 http://gov. louisiana.gov/index.cfm?articleID=186&md=newsroom&tmp=detail&printer=1

Food for Thought:  Piyush “Bobby” Jindal’s mother is Raj Gupta born ca 1944.  Bobby Jindal worked for Rajat Gupta, born 1948, and eventually convicted of insider trading.  Bobby Jindal allegedly made a fortune on the stock market:  
Rajat Kumar Gupta (Bengali: রজত কুমার গুপ্ত [ɾɔdʒot̪ kumaɾ gupt̪o]; born 2 December 1948) is an Indian businessman … who was the Managing Director (chief executive) of management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company from 1994 to 2003.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajat_Gupta
In 1994, Jindal went to work for McKinsey and Company as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies before entering public service.  In 1996, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).” http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/current-governors/col2-content/main-content-list/bobby-jindal.html
Rajat “ Gupta was convicted in June 2012 on insider trading charges of four criminal felony counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.  He was sentenced in October 2012 to two years in prison, an additional year on supervised release and ordered to pay $5 million in fines.[3] In May 2013 he remained free on appeal.[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajat_Gupta  (references at link).

According to Tom Aswell of the Louisiana Voice, “…It was in 1995, a year after Gupta took over the helm of McKinsey, that young Piyush [Bobby] was brought on board putting Gupta in position to be something of a mentor to his fellow Indian-American.  Last Friday, June 15, [2012] Gupta, also a former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member, was found guilty of passing insider information about Goldman Sachs to Raj Rajaratnam, manager of the hedge fund Galleon Group.  Gupta was convicted on four of six counts of passing confidential information to Rajaratnam, who was himself convicted earlier and is currently serving an 11-year sentence after raking in more than $50 million on insider trading.  Gupta, who was found guilty of three counts of securities fraud and a single count of conspiracy, is facing 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for later this year….” See: “Former Piyush Jindal associate guilty of insider trading; both worked for consulting firm McKinsey & Co. in 1995.” June 17, 2012 by tomaswell reblogged here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/former-piyush-jindal-associate-guilty-of-insider-trading-both-worked-for-consulting-firm-mckinsey-co-in-1995/

See also:  “Bobby Jindal: A Career Politician And A Multi-Millionaire” by Lamar White, Jr,  October 17, 2007 http://cenlamar.com/2007/10/17/bobby-jindal-a-career-public-official-and-a-multi-millionaire/ Although Tom Aswell assumes that Bobby made his money in honest trading can we really be so certain?  Think about the more recent Philipp Hildebrand case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philipp_Hildebrand

How about this?  
Developer with close ties to Bobby Jindal pleads guilty to fraudulently billing Katrina Recovery Program” August 20, 2013 By Bandit
Tuesday, developer Praveen Kailis, owner of Lago Construction Company and friend and supporter of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, pled guilty to charges that he fraudulently billed the Katrina Recovery Project for up to $260,000 between June 2011 and November 2012.”… “The Kailas family has close ties to Bobby Jindal and the family has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Jindal’s campaigns…..” Read entire story here: http://freakoutnation.com/2013/08/20/developer-with-close-ties-to-bobby-jindal-pleads-guilty-to-fraudulently-billing-katrina-recovery-program/
See also: “Developer Praveen Kailas Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Funds and Conspiracy Charges” U.S. Attorney’s Office August 20, 2013 http://www.fbi. gov/neworleans/press-releases/2013/developer-praveen-kailas-pleads-guilty-to-theft-of-government-funds-and-conspiracy-charges

The Bania Jindal Clan

The Bania (otherwise known as Baniya, Vani and Vania) is an occupational community of merchants, bankers, money-lenders, dealers in grains or in spices, and in modern times numerous commercial enterprises. …. Bania is derived from the Sanskrit word vaṇij or baṇij, which means merchant.[1] In western India the caste is called Vani or Vania.  Although in Bengal the term is applied to all people who are involved in moneylending and similar activities, elsewhere in India it is used in the more limited sense of referring to specific castes.[2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)

The Bania are traders …. and also work as shopkeepers, grocers and money lenders. They have a reputation of being shrewd and mercenary.  Money is loaned at very high interest rates with secured collateral, usually against land or gold.  They also work in government departments, private enterprise and agriculture.  There are administrators, engineers, doctors, advocates, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers and industrialists among them.  They are active in politics at local, regional and national levels and have a powerful presence….Each of the six subgroups is divided into eighteen clans, with distinct surnames namely: Bansal, Bindal, Dhalan or Dheran, Eran, Garg, Goel, Gondal, Jindal, Kanchal, Kansal, Makukal, Mangal, Mittal, Nagal, Singhal, Tayal, Teran and Tungal.” http://peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/bania

World Map Index of perception of corruption
Map of perceived corruption.  

Corruption in India 

Corruption in India is a major issue and adversely affects its economy.[1] A study conducted by Transparency International in year 2005 found that more than 62% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.[2][3] In its study conducted in year 2008, Transparency International reports about 40% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or using a contact to get a job done in public office.[4]  In 2012 India has ranked 94th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, tied with Benin, Colombia, Djibouti, Greece, Moldova, Mongolia, and Senegal.[5]….

Preferential award of mineral resources

In August 2011, an iron ore mining scandal became a media focus in India. In September 2011, Janardhana Reddy – an elected member of Karnataka’s legislative assembly – was arrested on charges of corruption and illegal mining of iron ore in his home state of Karnataka. It was alleged that his company received preferential allotment of resources, organised and exported billions of dollars worth of iron ore to China in recent years, without paying any royalty to the state government exchequer of Karnataka or the central government of India, and these Chinese companies made payment to shell companies controlled by Reddy and registered in Caribbean and north Atlantic tax havens.[45][46]
It was also alleged that corrupt government officials cooperated with Reddy, starting from government officials in charge of regulating mining to government officials in charge of regulating port facilities and shipping. These officials received monthly bribes in exchange for enabling the illegal export of illegally mined iron ore to China. Such scandals have led to a demand in India for consensually driven action plan to eradicate the piracy of India’s mineral resources by an illegal-political-corrupt government officials-business nexus, removal of incentives for illegal mining, creation of incentives for legal mining and domestic use of iron ore and steel manufacturing.[47][48]  IAS officers who have worked on to put up a stronghold against the illegal mining mafia have faced severe backlashes from the government in direct and indirect ways in the past. Most recent and glaring example of this is the suspension of the IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal in UP after her strong response to illegal sand mining mafia in the corruption riddled state.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India  (references at link; bold added for emphasis)

Chickens come to roost for Jindal:  Coalgate and other scams smear Navin Jindal’s white marble-engraved image, while putting a question mark on the rapid growth of the MP’s business empire”  By Naresh Minocha, Oct 16, 2013 http://www.gfilesindia.com/frmArticleDetails.aspx?id=779&Name=jindal%20group%20%7C%20Chickens%20come%20to%20roost%20for%20Jindal

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., Founded 1952
Founder(s) O P Jindal
Products    Steel, iron, electricity generation and distribution
Revenue    138.46 billion (US$2.1 billion) (2011)
Net income 37.54 billion (US$570 million) (2011)
Total assets 283.2 billion (US$4.3 billion) (2011)
Employees 7,669 (2009)
Parent Jindal Group

Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) is an Indian steel and energy company based in New Delhi, India and a division of Jindal Group conglomerate. With annual turnover of over US $4 billion, Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) is a part of about US $17 billion diversified O. P. Jindal Group. JSPL is a leading player in steel, power, mining, oil and gas and infrastructure. Naveen Jindal, the youngest son of the late O P Jindal, drives JSPL and its group companies Jindal Power Ltd, Jindal Petroleum Ltd., Jindal Cement Ltd. and Jindal Steel Bolivia. … The company produces steel and power through backward integration from its own captive coal and iron-ore mines…. in terms of tonnage, it is the third largest steel producer in India. The company manufactures and sells sponge iron, mild steel slabs, ferro chrome, iron ore, mild steel, structural, hot rolled plates and coils and coal based sponge iron plant. The company is also involved in power generation.
Jindal Steel and Power is a part of the Jindal Group, founded by O. P. Jindal (1930–2005). In 1969, he started Pipe Unit Jindal India Limited at Hisar, India,[2] … After Jindal’s death in 2005, much of his assets were transferred to his wife, Savitri Jindal. Jindal Group’s management was then split among his four sons with Naveen Jindal as the Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited. His elder brother, Sajjan Jindal, is currently the head of ASSOCHAM, an influential body of the chambers of commerce, and the head of JSW Group, part of O.P. Jindal Group.
On 3 June 2006, Bolivia granted development rights for one of the world’s largest iron ore reserves in the El Mutún region to Jindal Steel. With an initial investment of US$1.5 billion, the company plans to invest an additional US $2.1 billion over the next eight years in the South American country.[3] Jindal Steel is most likely to terminate the contract of investing $2.1 billion in setting up a steel plant in Bolivia, due to non-fulfilment of contractual obligations by the Bolivian government.[4] Savitri Jindal, the widow of O. P. Jindal, is ranked as the 19th richest Indian person according to Forbes.
The Jindal family established Vidya Devi Jindal School, a residential school for girls in Hisar, India, in 1984. Although not marketed as such, it is widely known to cater to the wealthy through its private location and array of activities.[citation needed] The school’s student body comprises girls from affluent business and political families of India.[5]
This appears Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s school model — all private and so the poor will not be able to go to school. The trick is that first they have the government pay for the private schools and then they cut government funding off.

[Not mentioned here are ties with U. of Texas Dallas: Naveen Jindal of Jindal Steel gave lots of money to the Management School, which he attended, and it now carries his name even though he is in his early 40s!]

Involvement in coalgate scam

Congress MP, Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and Power got a coal field in February 2009 with reserves of 1500 million metric tones while the government-run Navratna Coal India Ltd was refused. On 27 February 2009, two private companies got huge coal blocks. Both the blocks were in Orissa and while one was over 300 mega metric tones, the other was over 1500 mega metric tones. Combined worth of these blocks was well over Rs 2 trillion (short scale) and these blocks were meant for the liquification of coal. One of these blocks was awarded to Jindal. Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and Power was the company which was allotted the Talcher coal field in Angul in Orissa in 2009, well after the self-imposed cut off date by the Centre on allocation of coal blocks. The Opposition alleged that the Government violated all norms to give him coal fields. Naveen Jindal, however, denied any wrongdoing.[38][39] On 15 September 2012, an Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) headed by Zohra Chatterji (Additional Secretary in Coal Ministry) recommended cancellation of a block allotted to JSW (Jindal Steel Works), a Jindal Group Company.
Coal to Liquid Petroleum Project
Jindal Steel & Power has been allotted the Ramchandi Promotional Coal Block in Orissa for the proposed Coal to Liquid (CTL) project by the Union Coal Ministry, Government of India. The project cost estimated to be around
US $ 8.4 billion (Rs. 420 billion) includes CTL plant, coal mining and power plant. The project to be located in Tehsil Kishore Nagar, Dist. Angul, Orissa will produce 80,000 barrels per day (4.0 MMTPA) crude using environment friendly Indirect Coal Liquification Technology developed by M/S Lurgi of Germany for the first time in India. The prestigious CTL project is yet another feather in JSPL’s cap.

Jindal Petroleum Limited
As part of its diversification process, JSPL has recently forayed into the oil and gas sector, operating under the banner of Jindal Petroleum Limited. The company has acquired 7 Oil & Gas blocks in different parts of the world, including 5 in Georgia, 1 in Bolivia and 1 in India. Mr. Naveen Jindal recently led a delegation to Georgia to sign contracts with the Government of Georgia for the exploration and production of the blocks, signifying the importance the company is giving to its petroleum business. The company has so far committed an investment of US $ 200 million (Rs. 10 billion) and is working on several other projects in the sector.

JSPL plans to invest US $ 2.1 billion (Rs. 105 billion) in Bolivia, South America, in the coming years for mining and setting up of an integrated 1.7 MT steel plant, 450 MW power plant, 6 MT sponge iron and 10 MT iron ore pellet plant.

Jindal Institute of Power Technology (JIPT) CEA Approved … Jindal Institute of Power Technology is recognized by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Ministry of Power as category-l Institute, as per provisions of Sub Rule 2A of Rule 3 of Indian Electricity Rules 1956 is promoted by Jindal Education & Welfare Society, located at Jindal Power Limited which is a part of US$ 12 billion O.P. Jindal Group…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jindal_Steel_and_Power (bold added for emphasis)

Mining in India:  Pictures and Commentary link

Must see pictures and excellent article:  “The Reality Of Mining In India” by Tom Pietrasik.  Excerpt:  “The extraction of minerals is a guarantee that an area will never be developed.’ …For those that pull the strings of power however, talk of development is simply a means to an end. Health and education projects matter only to the extent that mentioning them helps placate the public. Development aspirations are a tool in much the same cynical way that the specter of a Maoist takeover can be used to justify the removal of obstinate communities from their land.http://www.tompietrasik.com/2010/03/07/coal-mining-jharkhand-india/

Our reblogs relating to the above, i.e. dealing with mining in India, Jindal family in Louisiana and India, Coalgate, public hearings, etc.  
1) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/india-a-public-hearing-in-tamnar-against-the-public/
2) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/former-piyush-jindal-associate-guilty-of-insider-trading-both-worked-for-consulting-firm-mckinsey-co-in-1995/
3) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/online-story-on-jindal-steel-and-power-plant-in-chattisgarh/
4) http://satark.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/purohits-pil-adds-twist-to-coal-gate-tale/

Thursday, 24 October, 2013

For those following Haiti:  On Tuesday night  one of the lawyers, Andre Michel, who spear-headed the corruption case against Martelly’s wife and son was arrested.  He was arrested after 6 pm which is illegal.  After massive protests, an emergency Senate meeting, and reflections by more than one person that it reminded them of the dying hours of the Duvalier dictatorship, Andre Michel was finally released on Wednesday night.  For once, the US and other media (e.g. New Zealand) made the world aware of the arrest. Otherwise he might still be in prison like poor Enold Florestal who was involved in filing the same case. This is the case that cost the life of a Judge (Jean Serge Joseph). http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article15345#.UmisQcsaySM http://www.radiokiskeya.com/spip.php?article9836

Attempts by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to Stop Landmark Environmental Lawsuit Against Oil, Gas and Pipeline Companies and Corruption Allegations Against Jindal

Atchafalaya Basin Photo by Chrismiceli via Wikimedia

Some may wonder about the numerous reblogs.  The short version is this:  a brave group of folks, comprising a new post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans area levee board, decided unanimously to file a lawsuit against almost one hundred oil, gas, and pipeline companies in order to hold them responsible for destruction to wetlands (marsh) caused by pipelines and canals, etc.  It is these wetlands which form a protective barrier against hurricane winds and storm surge.  Without them New Orleans will really just be sitting out there on the water (like Miami and NYC) and, especially since it is below sea-level, it will be in really serious trouble.  Furthermore, sucking out the oil is believe to have contributed to subsidence, which makes sense if you consider that industrial pumping of water out of aquifers made Venice sink and flood.

So, these brave souls– you must recall that, as in Haiti, people in Louisiana opposing the powers that be sometimes die under mysterious circumstances, especially when fighting for environmental justice—these brave souls decided that enough is enough; they do not care to be sucked into the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently the BP settlement is only a downpayment for what it will cost to try to restore the wetlands. Although this board is “independent” in that the Governor cannot fire them overnight, he is apparently able to replace them once their terms expire.

John Barry, who spearheaded the lawsuit, is noted for his 1997 book “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

(pictures from the flood with the Randy Newman song: Louisiana 1927)

This is a landmark case in trying to hold companies liable for external costs, such as environmental impacts.  So, this case and Governor Jindal’s attempts to kill it are critically important.  His alleged refusal to reappoint several levee board officials in an attempt to kill it is especially telling of the state of Jindal, the State of Louisiana, and the State of Oil.  Even though Louisiana functions under Napoleonic Code, it would still apparently set a state, national and international precedent.  It might also save the southern part of Louisiana from disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico.  In the interim it could save US taxpayers monies from having to pay for the aftermath of increasing hurricane impacts.        

Huey Long, Governor of Louisiana, on having the Oil Companies give a few crumbs to everyone else. And people wonder WHY Huey Long was assassinated?  He had a mass popular following and in those days when that was enough, he stood a good chance at winning the US Presidency. Actually this speech recalls Haitian President Aristide’s speeches about eating at the Table together  

Looking both at the Louisiana sinkhole, which we fell back upon by accident, but thank goodness did not fall into, and at Koch funding of various politicians we started to wonder.  We wondered about things we read about Jindal moving ahead at a young age because of his brilliance.  Bull-crap! (Our apologies to elderly ladies and other easily offended souls, we have tried to keep our posts linguistically clean, but as Forrest Gump says, sometimes shit happens.)  Rare or even nonexistent are those who move ahead because of their intelligence or hard work, especially in Louisiana. They might be intelligent but it’s not how they got ahead.  Someone was and is behind Jindal.  The reblog on the Zebrowski book suggests that it goes back to 2003, but we are convinced that a bit of scratching around would show that it goes back earlier, perhaps to the beginning and perhaps even pre-dates his birth.  One of the first questions would be how wealthy his parents were back in India?  Where did they get the money to study in the US (at LSU) and isn’t it interesting that his mother was 3 months pregnant with him when she arrived in Baton Rouge?  Furthermore, international travel and studies were far more costly and less commonplace in those days.  Perhaps they came on an Indian government scholarship, in which case they robbed the Indian government by not returning home, or else they had plenty of money.  People didn’t and don’t live off of graduate assistantships, and they especially don’t support a family!  As foreigners they would not be eligible for student loans.  So, there is already a hidden story here that people need to ask as Jindal postures himself for the US presidency (if he is eligible and some say not).  His attempts to destroy free public education in Louisiana sniffs of attempts to impose the Indian caste system on Louisiana and eventually upon the US.  At the best, now-Governor Jindal was a brown-nosing person with a high IQ from the get-go.  At the worst he came from a rich family and bought his way even prior to 2003.  Since his mother reportedly specialized in nuclear, we would be surprised if he was ever truly a renewable energy fan, as alleged in the Zebrowski book, discussed in one reblog.  Unfortunately we can only raise these questions and not answer them. Hence we give you reblogs of articles dealing with both this lawsuit and more general allegations of corruption against Jindal, written by those better positioned to be in the know.  But, beware — if you start reading about corruption in Louisiana you will find it deeper than the Louisiana sinkhole and as or more intriguing than a John Grisham novel (which are based on real life).  You might even want to read “Ritz on the Bayou” which is actually written about Governor Edwin Edwards in the form of a novel.  More interesting still is that this stuff goes on elsewhere but perhaps in a more subtle manner.  (For instance, people get into Ivy League schools because a parent attended; and because they have Ivy League degrees they are deemed intellectually superior, better qualified, educated, etc.) We hope that this is pretty much the end of Louisiana oil and gas as far as this blog is concerned.  Oh, wait, we still want to talk about Norco, Louisiana, but perhaps another day.  This blog was never supposed to be dealing with oil and gas and certainly not politics.  However, oil and gas was initially treated early on as per a request (see “Drilling for Oil in Port-au-Prince).  Politics seems to come with the territory, unfortunately.  We do, however, expect more Louisiana sinkhole activity to be reported upon.  And, yep, here we go: “October 23, 2013
4:35 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation
Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity
Wednesday, Oct. 23 work-
Sinkhole Activity Code 2 – indicating no work is allowed directly on sinkhole, elevated due to seismic monitoring indicating trend of increased MEQ (micro-earthquake) activity near sinkhole/Oxy 3...
.” http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/435-p-m-update-from-the-office-of-conservation/ There is a special meeting about it today, as well. We await with ‘bated breath to see how big the sinkhole will get.  We do not envy those awaiting on the precipice!  

Louisiana-Jindal Oil and Gas Reblogs (with our comments) here:

1) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/oil-thicker-than-water/
2) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/zebrowski-book-set-for-2014-release-takes-hard-look-at-la-politics-oil-money-environment-wall-street-speculators/
3) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/why-jindal-is-so-reluctant-to-make-big-oil-pay/
4) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/aswell-uncovers-conduit-of-jindal-corruption/
5) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/70000-job-monitoring-state-boards-commissions-went-to-a-director-of-bobby-jindals-re-election-campaign-committee-an-example-of-the-fox-serving-as-gatekeeper-to-the-henhouse/
6) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/environmental-threats-in-louisiana-as-a-result-of-the-oil-and-gas-industry/ 7) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/building-keystone-xl-pipeline-could-mean-100-billion-in-profits-for-the-koch-brothers-new-report-reveals-democracy-the-environment-in-danger/