What Happens When a Pipeline Runs Afoul of Government… — ProPublica

From the article:

The government said it had no choice but to order work on the multibillion-dollar Mountain Valley Pipeline stopped after a federal appeals court ruled that two federal agencies had neglected to follow important environmental protections when they approved the project.

Source: What Happens When a Pipeline Runs Afoul of Government… — ProPublica

In my list of concerns, this is the kind of stuff that used to be at the top of the news pile. It’s a crazy world where something this big is no more than a blip on the radar because of how bad things have gotten.

Strawgate: The Ableist and Useless Straw Ban

From the article:

It is also irresponsible to place the weight and accountability of solving the ocean plastics problem onto individuals. The majority of ocean plastics are from a handful of powerful industrial conglomerates that pollute our oceans despite being warned of the consequences to their behavior since the 1970s. But so-called developed nations have not been making enough substantial, concrete, and legislative changes to seriously help the environment.  In addition to not doing enough in holding big businesses accountable for their waste, developed nations often blame developing countries as the sole contributors to our ocean plastics problem, while they quietly ship these countries their plastic waste for disposal. Countries like the United States also refuse to sign onto global conventions attempting to address this urgent issue. While individuals in the west pay more than 90% of the cost of recycling, their governments of these developed nations hand out huge subsidies to big businesses in fossil fuels—even though plastics are made out of fossil fuels.

It is indeed an overdue necessity that we clean up our oceans and find sustainable alternatives to our plastic problem, but straws that can make the difference for disabled people as a necessary accommodation are not the hill ableds should die on. We often hear “every little bit counts,” but even if every single person in this world reduced their plastic consumption drastically, it will not have ANY significant effect on our oceans. Instead of putting the onus of reducing ocean plastic waste onto an already marginalized group, why are we not holding these huge multi-billion-dollar corporations accountable for the massive amount of pollutants and plastics they’ve disposed of that are steadily obliterating our environment?

Source: Strawgate: The Ableism Behind Exclusionary Activism – The Establishment

This is an article from a disabled writer that discusses the straw ban at length. personally, I felt it was dumb because banning straws is nothing more than a feel-good, but do-nothing, action that isn’t going to help anyone at all. It might actually impact a small percentage of disabled people adversely.

For me, any action that ultimately doesn’t do anything, and adversely effects anyone is a bust.

The two paragraphs I quoted are the ones most people will care about.

Trump Administration Neuters Nuclear Safety Board — ProPublica

From the article:

Under a new order from the Energy Department, a nuclear safety board will have to fight for information about and access to nuclear laboratories. In the past, the board has brought serious problems at those labs to light.

Source: Trump Administration Neuters Nuclear Safety Board — ProPublica

Oh. Great. I’ll sleep better at night knowing they have dismantled third party oversight.

If you read, some of these sites have “major deficiencies”. Just what you want to hear in connection to nuclear anything.

Fantastic. . .

I don’t even have a tag for impending Chernobyl.

‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day – The New York Times

 

From the article:

In the final hours of Scott Pruitt’s tenure as administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency moved on Friday to effectively grant a loophole that will allow a major increase in the manufacturing of a diesel freight truck that produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks that have modern emissions controls.

Yeah, fuck you Pruitt, and your payout loving ass. Seriously, we can see the corruption right in front of us. There was “intense lobbying” by these truck manufacturers.

We should not only be holding Pruitt responsible for the manufacturers that lobbied the moron. Read the linked article on how $225,000 secured this loophole.

 

 

Get an Inside Look at the Department of Defense’s… — ProPublica

From the Article:

For much of the past two years I’ve been digging into a vast, $70 billion environmental cleanup program run by the U.S. Department of Defense that tracks tens of thousands of polluted sites across the United States. In some places, old missiles and munitions were left buried beneath school grounds. In others, former test sites for chemical weapons have been repurposed for day care centers and housing developments. The oldest, dating to World War I, have faded into history, making it difficult to keep track of the pollution that was left behind.

Source: Get an Inside Look at the Department of Defense’s… — ProPublica

I’m really glad this is coming out. I used to be an auditor for the DoD, and I’d get to audit some of these sites.

Before this, I did’t know about superfund sites, and how sometimes when you see a nice greenway it’s because the land is so polluted all they could do is use it for surface use. No building on it.

When you audit these sites, you get to read about what’s up with them when you are gaining your understanding. I’ve read powerpoint slides that discuss what’s really going on.

I’m on team environment, so it always seems so quietly awful. Some sites are actively being cleaned up, with others not so actively while defense contractors fight the government over who is responsible for the clean up.

It’s something that should be public knowledge. You should know if you are buying a home or land next to where the government polluted the hell out of it.

ETA: Just be warned if the DoD offloaded responsibility of those sites to a defense contractor? It doesn’t look like they are on the map. I just looked for some of the sites I was working with a defense contractor, and they aren’t listed, so I expect there to be a lot more, but you’d have to get to each defense contractor to find them. That is really sad, considering how many are already on that map.