Antero’s Carbon Footprint

The following is a copy of a WV Mountain Party, Environmental Justice Committee member Barbara Daniel’s testimony at the November 28, EPA hearing on repeal of the Clean Power Plan held in Charleston, WV:

West Virginia has perfect geothermal potential. But unless we develop that option to its full potential, natural gas is an integral part of power generation. In 2015, however, scientists Paulson and Tinney conducted a field study.  Besides revealing extensive greenhouse gas emissions, they found that serious health impacts occur at every stage of gas development.

Gas production is further related to this hearing due to Antero’s frack-waste treatment facility in Doddridge County. Using a device called the “thermal oxidizer”, in just 8 hours, this stationary, energy-related emitter dumps more CO2 into the atmosphere than a diesel-powered tractor-trailer hauling a load 3000-miles.

Burning eleven million BTUs of gas hourly, that single thermal oxidizer alone  produces 1,287 pounds of CO2 every hour. Which is over seventy percent of WV’s entire carbon footprint limit under the Clean Power Plan.

According to the WV DEP, who issued the permit, that oxidizer will burn continually for the next 25 years. So any WV Clean Power Plan “carbon trading” scheme attempting to trade CO2 from coal fired plants to develop natural gas would amount to yet another deadly loophole for the Natural Gas industry!

The WV DEP’s air quality permit also states that the Antero facility releases many unburned poisonous vapors which are usually greenhouse gases as well. Additionally it says 600 diesel-trucks are offloading heavy frack waste every day at that facility, each generating enormous amounts of toxic pollutants and carbon dioxide. Thus Antero’s frack waste operation in Doddridge County undoubtedly represents a significant, stationary source of heat-trapping gases.

Had it not been for the many generous gifts and other inducements given by the gas industry to politicians, the present fracking “war on coal would never have occurred. The deadly result of those inducements are gas-and-oil-field exemptions from all the seven major federal environmental laws–like the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Superfund Law–and WV has adopted the most egregious exemption of all.

By mirroring the EPA’s RCRA exemption, WV criminally classifies radioactive and toxic frack brine as “non-hazardous”.  Chemicals at levels found in in this waste are known to cause such illnesses as kidney and liver disease and cancer. The radioactive portion, radium 226, which is also present in frack waste at dangerous concentrations, accumulates in our bones, causing bone cancer and more.

But because so much frack waste is created that there is no safe place for its disposal, it has been legally regarded as only “brine” and is used to deice WV roads.

Photo Credit: FrackCheckWV.net

From there it can spread into water supplies and homes.  Worst of all, this waste is now being dumped directly into our water sources as “storm water”. By law, practically anything bearing a storm water label can contain toxic compounds which have been exempted as “non-hazardous”.

By repealing carbon rules rather than closing regulatory loopholes, politicians are only leaving the door open for huge politically powerful fracking companies like Antero to continue polluting as they choose.

Sources for most of these statements is on the WV Mountain Party website (mountainpartywv.com/dumping facts)   Facts for the referenced Antero frack recycling facility are sourced directly from the WV DEP website under “Air Quality Permits.” 

Barbara Daniels is an active member of the Environmental Justice Committee for the WV Mountain Party

 


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Profiles in Cruelty

    On Thursday (Oct. 26, 2017,) after most all of WV’s mainstream media had shut down for the day, the US House of Representatives passed the proposed Budget Bill (HCR 71; vote #589). Five representatives did not vote.

   This House legislation sets the United States budget for 2018 and subsequent years through 2027. It cuts spending for Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, Senior Services, CHIP Programs, Planned Parenthood, Veterans’ Services, SNAP, Agricultural Programs, workplace safety (OSHA), Coal Mine Safety, Consumer Products Safety, National Parks, air and water pollution controls, just to name a few.
   Included are reductions in the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and the corporations, many of which are not paying taxes anyway. HCR 71 also eliminates all deductions for state and local taxes paid, which hits working Americans hardest.
   During  the same  period, experts estimate the proposed tax cuts for the rich will increase our National Debt by a whoppin’ 1.5 TRILLION bucks, to $25 TRILLION. DESPITE having been by the same Representatives who mercilessly attacked the previous administration’s deficit spending as “irresponsible” and “bankrupting the nation.”
   West Virginia Representatives voted:
  • David McKinley  (WV 1st)     AYE
  • Alex X. Mooney  (WV 2nd)    AYE
  • Evan Jenkins      (WV 3rd)    AYE
    Had they instead voted NAY on this measure, HCR 71 would have been defeated 213 for 215 against.  Despite Trump’s declaration yesterday that it is a National Health Emergency, HCR 71 did NOT include one cent in funding to fight the OPIOD CRISIS.
    Since 2006, W.Va. candidates have reportedly snagged $250K in donations from pharma groups.
   The attitude of the 115th Congress appears to be that the public will tolerate gradual elimination of “people programs” which assist the defenseless and powerless.
Danny Lutz
Chair Economic Justice Committee
16th District State Executive Committee
Mountain Party of West Virginia

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Capito Cancels Consumers’ Constitutional Rights

For Immediate Release !0/25/2017

Capito Cancels Consumers Constitutional Rights

Forgets that Consumers are Citizens, and Banks on Non-Informed WV Voters

On 24 October 2017, (after the WV press had clocked out which is typical of scurrilous votes by our current Congress -ed.), Senator Capito cast the deciding vote to give broad lawsuit immunity to credit card companies, auto lenders, credit reporting companies like Equifax, and many other financial firms. The purpose of this legislation is to legally prevent consumers from filing class action suits against such organizations.

Prior to last night, the only way consumers had to oppose financial institutions accused of wrongdoings is by banding together for Class Action Lawsuits. President Trump is expected to sign this legislation, which will leave consumers essentially powerless against the corporate financial giants.

Senate Democrats all voted to preserve the standing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule, as did Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kennedy (R-LA). So Capito’s vote truly did make it a 50-50 tie, which automatically threw it it to Vice President Mike Pence, who naturally voted to please his billionaire backers.

Most attorneys will not take cases involving less than $10,000 against a financial agency because the retainers needed are too great and the returns often are too small. Financial agencies know this. So they pushed this bill to negate the rule of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and revive Big Finance’s “forced arbitration” agreements.

In other words, companies will once again be permitted to refuse to do business with consumers who will not sign away their right to sue the company in a real court.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the creation of Senator Elizabeth Warren and others during the Obama administration. Her CFPB rule has been a thorn in the side of billionaire predatory institutions ever since.

By voting NAY, Senator Capito could have maintained the last of the checks and balances against excesses of giant financial corporations. But her deciding vote essentially stripped millions of Americans of the protections of the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to “due process,” including a fair and open trial. Instead, financial institution will now select the “arbiter” in any challenge by a consumer.

Thanks to Capito’s crucial vote, decisions of institution-appointed arbiters will not only be final and without appeal, shockingly aggrieved citizens will be sworn to secrecy regarding both the proceedings and decision. Thus her “AYE” also negated citizens’ right to free speech under the 1st Amendment.

For the record, on 25 July 2017, The West Virginia delegation to our US House of Representatives all voted in lockstep to pass HJR 111
David McKinley AYE
Evan Jenkins AYE
Alex X. Mooney AYE

Danny Lutz
Chair Economic Justice Committee
Mountain Party of West Virginia
16th District State Executive Committee

——————————————————————

Comment from Mountain Party Communication Director Tom Rhule:

Capito’s vote wasn’t really surprising, considering the Big Finance institutions that are among the top 20 “contributors” to Capito’s eternally ongoing “campaign.”

According top OpenSecrets.org, they include:

Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon, Discover Financial Services, Citigroup, Metlife, and TCF Financia just name a few

Top 20 contributors to Campaign Committee = download .csv file

https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/contributors.csv?cid=N00009771&cycle=2016

When the news of her vote breaks tomorrow across the Mountain State, how many WV journalist will be intrepid enough to press Shelly Capito (R-K Street) on why she chose Big Finance over the rights of consumers?  Place your best guess below the webpage found at

http://www.mountainpartywv.com/capito-cancels-consumers-constitutional-rights/


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