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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 132,169

Journal Archives

Driller at center of Oklahoma well blast has history of deadly accidents

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Patterson-UTI Energy, the contractor at the center of the deadliest U.S. drilling accident since the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in 2010, has the second worst worker fatality rate among its peers, according to federal workplace safety data.

Monday’s disaster, which killed five workers drilling a well in eastern Oklahoma, put a spotlight on safety in the shale industry amid President Donald Trump’s policy of boosting U.S. output of fossil fuels. Last month, the administration proposed scaling back offshore safety regulations imposed after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 rig workers and caused a massive oil spill.

The cause of the Oklahoma blast, at a well being drilled for Red Mountain Energy by Patterson-UTI, has not yet been determined. The well’s blowout preventer, equipment designed to seal a well in an emergency, was damaged by the explosion and failed to work as intended, authorities have said. Among offshore regulations the Trump administration wants to remove is a requirement for third parties to certify that safety devices work under extreme conditions.

Including Monday’s incident, at least 13 workers have died at Patterson-UTI drilling sites in the past decade, according to a Reuters review of data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), whose functions include investigating workplace accidents.

More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-oklahoma-drilling-patterson-uti/driller-at-center-of-oklahoma-well-blast-has-history-of-deadly-accidents-idUSKBN1FF2KN
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 27, 2018, 04:03 AM (0 replies)

Trump assigns career civil servants to desk jobs just to spite President Obama

Career State Department officials are being relegated to menial jobs in what is increasingly seen as political retribution for their association with President Obama

Donald Trump is well known for neglecting the diplomatic apparatus of his administration. He has left numerous positions vacant and often undercuts the work of the people he has hired, prompting former Secretaries of State to sound the alarm.

But even more disturbing is how Trump is managing the people he does have, many of whom are still career civil servants who served under President Barack Obama — and who increasingly feel they are being punished for it.

According to a new CNN report, State Department employees are being relegated to desk jobs, and “several officials tell CNN they have retained attorneys after repeatedly trying unsuccessfully to raise concerns about being assigned to low-level jobs in Foggy Bottom such as answering Freedom of Information Act requests.”

The widespread assignment of State Department officials to FOIA duty under Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been going on for months, and has effectively been used as a fishing expedition against Hillary Clinton.

But the new report reveals that many of these officials are high-ranking diplomats with experience in solving global problems, and sheds new light on the suspicious pattern of reassigning officials who served under Obama:

More: https://shareblue.com/trump-assigns-career-civil-servants-to-desk-jobs-just-to-spite-president-obama/
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 27, 2018, 02:08 AM (10 replies)

Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - 1/26/18

Monologue: Mueller and Mulligans

Bill weighs in on the news of the week, including Trump's attempt to fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

Roger McNamee: Brain Hacking

Silicon Valley insider and early Facebook investor Roger McNamee joins Bill to discuss how the tech industry is grappling with its growing political influence.

I'm With Hair

Bill takes a look at some of the best signs from the Women's March and some pro-Trump posters the media may have missed.

New Rule: Snide and Prejudice

In his editorial New Rule, Bill asks why President Donald "Least Racist Person" Trump is always picking fights with black people and offers up an alternative outlet for his ire.

Evangelical Poontang, Election Meddling, Demonized Media - Overtime

Bill and his guests – Rick Wilson, Roger McNamee, Rep. Ro Khanna, Michelle Goldberg, and Zooey Deschanel – answer viewer questions after the show.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 27, 2018, 01:50 AM (2 replies)

Seth Meyers - Trump in Davos, Deer Basketball - Monologue - 1/25/18

The Tiny Voice in the Back of Donald Trump's Head: "Just Be Quiet"

Seth shows off some new technology that can hear the tiny voice in the back of Donald Trump's head.

Seth's Favorite Jokes of the Week: Trump's Do-Over, Elton John Retires

Seth's favorite jokes from the week of January 22.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 27, 2018, 12:13 AM (0 replies)

The Daily Show: Between the Scenes - The Larry Nassar Verdict

Trevor applauds the sexual assault victims who spoke out at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing and proposes a way to make everyone more accountable.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 11:57 PM (3 replies)

Chemical Safety Board launches Oklahoma rig explosion investigation

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Thursday it will launch a full investigation into the Oklahoma rig explosion that killed five people this week as Oklahoma authorities suggested that an equipment failure might have contributed to the tragedy.

The Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents, typically only gets involved in the largest, deadliest industrial disasters. The board averages about six investigations a year.

The well fire, which swept through a drilling rig owned by the Houston company Patterson-UTI, was the deadliest U.S. accident in the oil and gas industry since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people. Oklahoma regulators said their initial findings suggest that the failure of the blowout preventer -- the same type of equipment that failed in the Deepwater Horizon accident -- may have led to the explosion at a drilling site near Quinton, Okla., about 100 miles southeast of Tulsa.

A blowout preventer is equipment at the wellhead designed to control and monitor the well. It's the last line of defense to seal the well and prevent an uncontrollable release of oil or gas.

The initial report from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and industry in the state, said an uncontrolled gas release from the well led workers at the drilling site to engage the blowout preventer to shut off the well, but the blind rams -- two heavy steel blocks that meet in the middle of the wellbore to seal a well -- failed to close.

More: http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Chemical-Safety-Board-launches-Oklahoma-rig-12525773.php

Oklahoma regulators say early findings suggest that a blowout preventer's failure may have led to the blast in eastern Oklahoma.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 06:03 AM (0 replies)

Trump tariffs will cost American jobs

Combine simplistic political promises with complex international economics and all you get are unintended consequences.

President Donald Trump imposed tariffs Tuesday on foreign-made washing machines and solar panels, raising prices on those goods by 30 percent, helping two foreign-owned companies and taking away jobs from thousands of Americans.

The president fired the first salvo in his long-promised global trade war, but as in any battle, the costs will likely outweigh the benefits.

Trump's order imposed a 20 percent tariff on the first 1.2 million residential washing machines imported annually, and a 50 percent tariff on any imported after that. More distressing, he levied a 50 percent tariff on washer parts.

Whirlpool, which filed the complaint with the International Trade Commission, said it would hire 200 workers to boost domestic manufacturing. The move, though, will likely cost more American jobs.

Much more: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Trump-takes-first-hard-line-on-trade-more-to-come-12518418.php

Solar developers and environmentalists have grown increasingly worried as President Donald Trump reviews a series of trade and energy policies.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 05:54 AM (4 replies)

Texas solar developers assess the damage from Trump tariff

Trump's import charge leaves Texas developers refiguring costs

WASHINGTON - A day after President Donald Trump announced a 30-percent tariff on foreign-made solar panels, solar developers across Texas and the rest of the country raced to figure out how big a financial hit they would take, and how the costs would affect the growth of an industry playing an ever increasing role in the nation's energy mix.

With developers rushing to build utility-scale farms in West Texas and rooftop solar systems gaining some traction in Austin and San Antonio, the tariff announcement comes at a critical moment for the Texas solar industry. Analysts said the impact of the tariffs would be felt most acutely in less established solar markets like Texas and the Southeast, which lack subsidies offered by states like California.


The falling price of solar panels, driven by cheap imports from China and other countries, has fueled the rapid growth of solar power, which accounts for about 2 percent of the nation's electricity production capacity, up from virtually nothing at the beginning of the decade, according to the Energy Department.

Since 2010, solar power installations have increased an average rate of 72 percent a year - faster than any other generating technology.

The tariffs apply to solar cells, which convert sunlight to electricity, and their components, as well as solar panels and other products that contain solar cells. Industry officials and analysts conceded that the tariffs were not good news, but many were expecting it to be worse since the manufacturers that petitioned for the tariffs had sought a 50 percent price hike to slow a rush of imports from China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

More: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Texas-solar-developers-assess-the-damage-from-12519897.php?utm_campaign=chron&utm_source=article&utm_medium=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chron.com%2Fbusiness%2Fenergy%2Farticle%2FPerry-announces-3-million-prize-to-boost-solar-12521304.php

Workers install solar panels on a home in Katy. Rooftop systems are gaining traction in Texas.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 05:43 AM (0 replies)

Stephen Colbert - Monologue and Opening - 1/25/18

Trump Is Up For 'Doing It Under Oath' With Mueller

President Trump told reporters he was 'looking forward' to his interview with Robert Mueller. Same.

The Secretive FBI Secret Society Is No Longer A Secret

Newly released text messages between FBI agents show an elaborate plan to joke about creating a secret society.

A Member Of The FBI's 'Secret Society' Speaks Out

One brave FBI agent was willing to speak on camera about the top-secret group that encompasses the majority of Americans.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 05:21 AM (0 replies)

Seth Meyers - Trump Goes to Davos While Congress Debates Immigration: A Closer Look

Seth takes a closer look at Trump meeting with financial elites in Davos while the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants are in limbo.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 26, 2018, 03:54 AM (0 replies)
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