Is there really anything surprising here?
The five locomotives and 72 oil cars had been parked about eight miles from Lac-Mégantic on Friday night. The brakes then somehow released and the train gathered pace as it rolled down a hill into the center of the town early on Saturday morning.
It derailed and exploded into a gigantic fireball, flattening dozens of buildings and killing five people. Another 40 are missing and few residents hold out hope that they will be found alive.
Police said they had been unable to examine much of the town center overnight because the area was still too dangerous. Dozens of tanker wagons, some of them destroyed, are lying at the accident site.
That’s suspiciously vague. I wonder if that happens often.
Can’t imagine it does.
Here’s video of the fire, by the way:
This is a tragic loss of life, but the political animal in me wasn’t silenced by it.
One of my first thoughts was of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
I wondered how many town centers had been destroyed by oil pipeline explosions?
How often oil pipelines become strangely unmoored and run ramshackle into populated areas?
Turns out, in America, that’s never happened.
Pipeline explosions happen in Mexico and African countries, like Kenya, but the difference is, those are state owned corporations. Vandalism also plays a major role in those explosions.
The fact is, transporting oil by pipeline is far safer than transporting it by rail.
Facts don’t have much of a role in a liberal’s debate, though.
From National Geographic:
It has been more than a century since so much oil has moved across North America by rail. The railroads helped John D. Rockefeller build his Standard Oil empire at the dawn of the petroleum age. But ever since the first successful oil pipeline was built in Pennsylvania in 1879, it became clear that pipes were a cheaper and quicker way to transport oil. When oil production shifted to Texas and Oklahoma, pipelines rapidly connected the new production hub to the rest of the country.
North America’s new hot oil production centers, the Bakken shale in North Dakota and the oil sands of western Canada, aren’t well tied into this pipeline network. (See related photos: “Bakken Shale Oil Boom Transforms North Dakota.”) But the price of crude oil is now high enough that the additional cost of paying to transport it by train has not been a hindrance for the oil industry in North Dakota, the U.S. State Department said in an extensive market analysis related to the decision whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas. (See interactive, “Mapping the Flow of Tar Sands Oil.”)
Rail transport of oil has been slower to develop out of Canada’s oil sands. But State Department analysts foresee it growing—one of the key reasons they concluded that the Keystone XL, if built, would have minimal impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon-intensive oil of Canada’s tar sands will get to market, with or without the pipeline, they argued; it will move by rail. (See related: “Keystone XL Pipeline Path Marks New Battle Line in Oklahoma.”) Others dispute that conclusion, noting that the heavy tar sands oil, which needs extensive processing, does not fetch as high a price as the light, sweet crude from North Dakota, making the costs of rail travel more difficult for producers.
In any event, more than half of North Dakota’s oil production is now transported by rail, and extensive infrastructure is now being built to ship more, the State Department said.
Just not the Keystone XL pipeline, because that’s dangerous, or something.
Seven years later, where’s this guy:
No way this gets abused:
Mere ownership of a penis or a vagina will no longer limit California students in their decisions concerning which bathrooms and locker rooms to use, or which sports teams to join.
Under a proposed law that has passed the state legislature and now awaits the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown, students in California will be able to make such choices based on their perceived gender identities, CNN reports.
Assembly Bill 1266 aims to extend the rights of transgender students. The text requires that students “be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
California also tried to outlaw homeschooling a while back.
Is it really that nice a place to live that you would subject your children to the “Brave New World” style indoctrination?
Photo Credit: PABLO GONZALEZ/Flickr
When the police called Anthony Mitchell and requested his permission occupy his home in order to gain a “tactical advantage” over his neighbor, who they suspected of domestic assault, it should have ended when Anthony said, “No.”
Mitchell claims that defendant officers, including Cawthorn and Worley and Sgt. Michael Waller then “conspired among themselves to force Anthony Mitchell out of his residence and to occupy his home for their own use.” (Waller is identified as a defendant in the body of the complaint, but not in the heading of it.)
The complaint continues: “Defendant Officer David Cawthorn outlined the defendants’ plan in his official report: ‘It was determined to move to 367 Evening Side and attempt to contact Mitchell. If Mitchell answered the door he would be asked to leave. If he refused to leave he would be arrested for Obstructing a Police Officer. If Mitchell refused to answer the door, force entry would be made and Mitchell would be arrested.’”
At a few minutes before noon, at least five defendant officers “arrayed themselves in front of plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s house and prepared to execute their plan,” the complaint states.
It continues: “The officers banged forcefully on the door and loudly commanded Anthony Mitchell to open the door to his residence.
“Surprised and perturbed, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell immediately called his mother (plaintiff Linda Mitchell) on the phone, exclaiming to her that the police were beating on his front door.
“Seconds later, officers, including Officer Rockwell, smashed open plaintiff Anthony Mitchell’s front door with a metal ram as plaintiff stood in his living room.
“As plaintiff Anthony Mitchell stood in shock, the officers aimed their weapons at Anthony Mitchell and shouted obscenities at him and ordered him to lie down on the floor.
“Fearing for his life, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell dropped his phone and prostrated himself onto the floor of his living room, covering his face and hands.
“Addressing plaintiff as ‘asshole’, officers, including Officer Snyder, shouted conflicting orders at Anthony Mitchell, commanding him to both shut off his phone, which was on the floor in front of his head, and simultaneously commanding him to ‘crawl’ toward the officers.
“Confused and terrified, plaintiff Anthony Mitchell remained curled on the floor of his living room, with his hands over his face, and made no movement.
“Although plaintiff Anthony Mitchell was lying motionless on the ground and posed no threat, officers, including Officer David Cawthorn, then fired multiple ‘pepperball’ rounds at plaintiff as he lay defenseless on the floor of his living room. Anthony Mitchell was struck at least three times by shots fired from close range, injuring him and causing him severe pain.” (Parentheses in complaint.)
Officers then arrested him for obstructing a police officer, searched the house and moved furniture without his permission and set up a place in his home for a lookout, Mitchell says in the complaint.
MItchell is suing, claiming his Third Amendment rights were violated.
For those who can’t remember, the Third Amendment says:
The key word there is “soldiers.”
Do police qualify as “soldiers?” How will the court interpret the word?
This will be interesting.