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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/12/15

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Reprinted from Mike Malloy Website

The Royal Dutch Shell conical drilling unit Kulluk sits aground on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska.
The Royal Dutch Shell conical drilling unit Kulluk sits aground on the southeast shore of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska.
(Image by Source: U.S. Coast Guard via Bloomberg)
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Once again proving the musical adage "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss ..." President Obama on Monday gave tentative approval for Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic Ocean. Hey, at least it's not in ANWR, as Raisin Brain desired -- with his magical ice roads that melt in the summer.

Bloomberg offers this:

"The Interior Department on Monday endorsed Shell's plan to have two rigs drill up to six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea, if it gets other permits needed, sets plans to control any leaks and keeps its ships at least 4 miles away from any walruses. Shell wants to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It also was fined for air pollution violations.

"'As we move forward, any offshore exploratory activities will continue to be subject to rigorous safety standards,' Abigail Ross Hopper, the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement."

Air pollution, lost oil rigs ... what could possibly go wrong, Truthseekers? Actually, Royal Dutch Shell had major issues with two oil rigs in 2012, losing control of both the Noble Discoverer and then the Kulluk. What, are they waiting to see if the 3rd time's the charm?

By a small miracle, there was not a major oil spill as a result of either accident, but nasty diesel fuel and other chemicals definitely entered the fragile ecosystem. And the Coast Guard and other environmental watchdog groups are extremely concerned that the company has inadequate safety measures in place to prevent another oily disaster, as this ThinkProgress article from 2012 details:

"Royal Dutch Shell's preparedness to drill offshore in the harsh and remote Arctic Ocean this summer has been called into question by a series of recent events.

"Over the weekend, the company's drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, appears to have come dangerously close to running aground near Dutch Harbor, where Shell's fleet has been assembled. The Noble Discoverer is one of two dozen ships Shell plans to send into some of the most challenging conditions on the planet. According to the US Coast Guard, the vessel slipped anchor and drifted within 100 yards off shore before being pulled back into deeper water by a Shell tugboat.

"The vessel's anchor failed to hold and the 514-foot ship began drifting, but its movement was halted when tug boats were called in to assist, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis told the Los Angeles Times.

"'We don't know exactly what happened yet. We do know that the vessel's anchor didn't hold, they began to drift, they let out more anchor chain to slow that drift and called for immediate tug assistance,' Francis said.

"Although Shell and the Coast Guard asserted there was no evidence of grounding, onlookers -- including longshoreman David Howard and Dutch Harbor captainKristjan Laxfoss -- contradicted this account, saying the vessel was not moving and appeared grounded: 'There's no question it hit the beach. That ship was not coming any closer. It was on the beach.'

"Petty Officer Sarah Francis said winds of 27-35 miles per hour likely led to the ship drifting -- conditions that are benign compared with the hurricane-force gales, 20-foot swells, and dynamic sea ice the Discoverer could encounter off the North Slope where the company plans to drill offshore."

This is madness. But, as Greg Palast appropriately noted, we live in an armed madhouse.

Speaking of arms ... George Zimmerman almost got a taste of his own medicine today when his vehicle was shot in a road rage incident involving another individual who previously accused Zimmerman of threatening to shoot him in a separate incident. Get all that?

To be clear, this is not his ex-wife Shellie, whom Zimmerman threatened with a gun in 2013, or his father-in-law David Dean, whom he punched in the face. Nor was this his former girlfriend Samantha Schiebe whom Zimmerman also threatened with a shotgun before barricading himself in his apartment, with five loaded weapons and 100 rounds of ammunition.

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Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few (more...)
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