Craig Eisele on …..

April 30, 2012

U.S. ‘Dirty Oil’ Imports Set to Triple.. WHAT Is “Dirty Oil”??

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 9:36 pm

U.S. imports of what environmentalists are calling “dirty oil” are set to triple over the next decade, raising concerns over the environmental impact of extracting it and whether pipelines can safely transport this Canadian oil.

The United States currently imports over half a million barrels a day of bitumen from Canada’s oil sands region, according to the Sierra Club. That number, Sierra Club says is set to grow to over 1.5 million barrels by 2020. That represents nearly 10% of the country’s current consumption.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s overall Canadian oil production numbers are in-line with the Sierra Club’s projected pace.

Bitumen is a heavy, tar-like oil. It needs to be heavily processed in order to be turned into more viscous, easier to refine, crude oil. Because it’s so thick, to make it more viscous and move it by pipeline, it gets diluted with natural gas liquids.

Besides the sheer amount of energy and water needed to process and extract bitumen, environmentalists say it’s more dangerous to move because it’s more corrosive to pipelines than regular crude.

While the industry maintains bitumen is safe, the danger of transporting it is one of the reasons there is so much opposition to the Keystone pipeline expansion, which is supposed to carry it, among other oil products.

“We’ve got all this unconventional crude, and we’re completely unprepared for it,” said Michael Marx, a senior campaign director at the Sierra Club. “It’s definitely more dangerous” than regular oil.

Marx says bitumen is not only more abrasive than traditional crude, it’s 15 to 20 times more acidic.

The Sierra Club, along with other environmental groups, recently put out a report showing that pipelines in Alberta, where bitumen is commonly transported, had 16 times the number of leaks than pipelines in the United States, which generally don’t carry it.

Plus, when bitumen does leak, environmentalists say it’s harder to clean up. Unlike regular oil, they say it’s heavier than water, meaning it will sink to the bottom of lakes, rivers or bays.

“We just don’t have the technical sophistication to vacuum oil off the bottom of a river,” he said.

Bitumen currently comes into this country via a pipeline running from Alberta to Wisconsin and in the original Keystone pipeline that terminates in Illinois.

But Canada is planning on vastly increasing the amount of oil — and bitumen — that it gets out of its oil sands region. To get that oil out, more infrastructure needs to be built.

Along with the proposed Keystone expansion, other ideas call for pipelines to Canada’s West Coast, to the Atlantic Coast through New England, and an expansion of rail lines. All of these routes would pass through sensitive ecological areas.

Canada’s oil industry rejects the “dirty oil” moniker.

They say it is more energy and water intensive than some forms of light crude, but not more so than many of the other heavy oils used in the Untied States from places like Mexico, Venezuela, or even California.

The pipeline industry says transporting bitumen isn’t any more dangerous than transporting regular crude.

They point to other studies that show it’s not any more abrasive or corrosive to pipelines.

The Alberta-to-U.S. bitumen pipeline leak comparison isn’t fair, they say, because Alberta uses a different metric to measure pipeline leaks.

More importantly, the industry says the pipeline companies would not agree to carry this stuff if it really was destroying their systems.

“No pipeline operator would want to spend billions of dollars to transport something their pipeline can’t handle,” said Andy Black, president of the U.S.-based Association of Oil Pipe Lines.

Plus, he said refineries, which are basically a massive twist of steel pipes, would not want this stuff if it really was more corrosive.

In case of a spill, Black said he hadn’t heard of any regulator suggesting bitumen is any more difficult to clean than regular crude.

The industry says that because the bitumen is blended with natural gas liquids, it does not sink in water.

For now, what all sides seem to agree on is the need for more study.

“Right now, there’s such an information deficit,” said Nathan Lemphers, a policy analyst at Pembina, a Canadian environmental group that supports oil sands development but thinks it needs more regulation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which regulates oil pipelines in the United States, said it is studying the transport of bitumen to see if it is any more dangerous, as required by the recently-passed pipeline safety bill.

The industry is hoping the study will prove them right.

“A study that is completed carefully will hopefully put to rest this allegation,” said Black.  To top of page

NO ONE Wants to be Romney’s VP Pick… How Strange? Does Short Straw get the Dubious Honor?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 1:45 pm

Florida Senator Marco Rubio appeared on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday and was asked if he would accept a nomination for Vice President. Jeb Bush, Rubio’s mentor, has said he hopes Romney will choose Rubio as his Vice President. When asked by CNN’s Cindy Crowley, Rubio laughed it off and said, “that’s very nice of Jeb and I hope he’ll say yes if future President Romney asks him.” He later declined to say whether he would accept the nomination if asked. He said he wanted to respect Romney’s decision making process “Up to now it’s all been theoretical, we have a nominee now, and our nominee, Mitt Romney, the leader of the Republican Party, has a vice presidential process in place,” Rubio said. “And I think from this point moving forward, I think it’d be wise for all Republicans to kind of respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward, we’re going to let his process play itself out.”

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels appeared on Fox News Sunday and said he doesn’t expect Mitt Romney to ask him to be his Vice President. “We haven’t had the conversation, and I don’t expect to have it… This is a hypothetical question that will probably stay that way.” Daniels went so far as to say that if Romney did tap him to be his VP, he would demand he reconsider. “You will remember what William F. Buckley said when he ran for mayor of New York and was asked what he would do if he won. He said he would ‘demand a recount.,’ Rubio said. “I think I would demand reconsideration and send Mr. Romney a list of people I think could suit better.”

Senator Joe Leiberman appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk about the ongoing Secret Service scandal. He assured he wasn’t worried any of the agents leaked information during the party, but that potential enemies could use behaviour like this against them “The answer I’m going to give is not conclusive, but from everything I’ve heard up until this point, no evidence that information was compromised,” he said. But if agents are “acting like a bunch of college kids on spring weekend [...] then people who are hostile to the U.S., people who actually want to attack the president of the United States, will begin to take advantage of that vulnerability.”

Leiberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, also appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday and said that he has launched an inquiry into the Secret Service scandal. He said he’ll send a list of questions to Secret Service director Marc Sullivan, and when the Secret Service have finished their investigation into the matter, then they’ll decide if they want to pursue it further. His main concern is whether the incident in Colombia was an exception, or if there is a pattern of poor behaviour:

Rep. Peter King told NBC’s Meet the Press that, “anyone who’s found to be guilty” will lose their job.” King added that he, “ would expect within the very near future to have several other Secret Service agents leaving the agency.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings and Senator Harry Reid appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to talk with Cindy Crowley. Reid said what the Secret Service agents did was stupid. “You don’t necessarily change behavior, but you certainly set the tone of what you want,” responded Cummings. “You can’t legislate people not being stupid, but certainly you can uphold the high standards of this organization…” Both agreed more firings were on the way.

David Axelrod appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss close polling numbers between Obama and Romney. He told Cindy Crowley that people “don’t know” Mitt Romney yet. Axelrod said that when Americans realize what Romney’s ideas on the economy really are, they’ll think “this seems familiar. We tried this. This was a big failure.”

Axelrod also appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and made similar comments about Romney’s economic policies. “I think that Governor Romney at the early stage gets a bit of an advantage because he has this moniker of businessman and people assume that because of that that somehow he’ll bring some magic elixir to the economy,’ explained Axelrod, before adding, “but when they get under the hood and see what he’s actually proposing: more massive tax cuts for the wealthy, fewer rules for Wall Street, deep cuts in the things we need to grow – education, research and development, energy – I think people are gonna say, ‘hey we’ve seen this movie before and it didn’t work,’”

Marco Rubio was busted for accepting illegal donations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 1:41 pm
Marco Rubio Busted for Taking Improper Donations

Florida Senator and current VP nomination contender Marco Rubio was busted for accepting illegal donations for his Senate campaign in 2010. Politico reports that the FEC fined Rubio in March for accepting $210,000 in “prohibited, excessive and other impermissible contributions” that Rubio failed to refund or “redesignate” within the campaign’s accepted time-frame. 

Co-Sponsor Marco Rubio also Dropped His Support for PIPA

Rubio’s crimes, per Politico:

Even after an internal audit, the Rubio campaign failed to identify more than $83,000 in improper or incorrectly characterized contributions, according to a March 19 agreement between the campaign and the FEC.

An FEC review showed that the improper donations came from more than 100 individuals, and in two cases, the campaign accepted corporate contributions, which are illegal. Marco Rubio for Senate also accepted nearly $26,000 for the primary race even after the primary election was already over.

Rubio was only fined $8,000 for his $210,000 mistake, which is all made more trivial when you consider the campaign rose over $21 million in total. Many are starting to think the news will prove to be a vulnerable target for attack ads against the Florida Senator, should he win the VP nomination. He’s repeatedly said that he doesn’t want the nomination, or that he won’t comment on not wanting it. 

This isn’t the first time Rubio’s had trouble with financial paper work, and made mistakes that could be seen as potential targets for opponents. As Daily Intel’s Andre Tartar points out, Rubio struggled with personal debt in 2010, and nearly had one his house’s fore-closed. There’s also the trouble with Rubio’s murky family history. 

Giant Cannibal Shrimp More Than a FOOT Long

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 1:37 pm
Tags: , ,

Giant cannibal shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast

  • Tiger shrimp are native to Asia though there have been more sightings in recent years
  • Prawns are known to grow to the size of lobsters and eat smaller shrimp

A big increase in reports of Asian tiger shrimp along the U.S. Southeast coast and in the Gulf of Mexico has federal biologists worried the species is encroaching on native species’ territory.

The shrimp are known to eat their smaller cousins, and sightings of the massive crustaceans have gone up tenfold in the last year, biologists say.

The black-and-white-striped shrimp can grow 13 inches long and weigh a quarter-pound, compared to eight inches and a bit over an ounce for domestic white, brown and pink shrimp. 

 
Behemoth: This black tiger shrimp was caught in 210 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana; an invasion of giant cannibal shrimp into America's coastal waters appears to be getting worseBehemoth: This black tiger shrimp was caught in 210 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana; an invasion of giant cannibal shrimp into America’s coastal waters appears to be getting worse

Cannibals: Tiger shrimp have been known to eat their smaller cousinsFamily meal: Tiger shrimp have been known to eat their smaller cousins

Scientists fear the tigers will bring disease and competition for native shrimp. Both, however, can be eaten by humans.

‘They’re supposed to be very good,’ Pam Fuller, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN. ‘But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters.’

 The last U.S. tiger shrimp farm closed in Florida in 2004, without ever raising a successful crop, according to a USGS fact sheet about the species.

Reports of tiger shrimp in U.S. waters rose from a few dozen a year – 21 in 2008, 47 in 2009 and 32 in 2010 – to 331 last year, from North Carolina to Texas.

‘That’s a big jump,’ Ms Fuller told the Associated Press.

 
Worrying: If tiger shrimp continue to eat the other shrimp population, fisherman's livelihoods may be affected (file photo)Worrying: If tiger shrimp continue to eat the other shrimp population, fisherman’s livelihoods may be affected (file photo)

 Massive: Some scientists have compared to tiger prawns to be the size of small lobsters

Massive: Some scientists have compared to tiger prawns to be the size of small lobsters

And those are just the numbers reported to the government.

‘I’ve had fishermen tell me they have quit bringing them in. 

‘They are seeing large numbers in their catch – multiples per night,’ said Morris, who works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Centre for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina.

The increase ‘is the first indication that we may be undergoing a true invasion of Asian tiger shrimp,’ he said.

‘Nobody knows what happened to their stock. But they have not been commonly caught in the area where that fish farm was,’ she said.

 She said hundreds were caught along South Carolina, Georgia and Florida after a storm hit a South Carolina shrimp farm in 1988, but none was reported in U.S. waters for the next 18 years. Six were reported in 2006, and four in 2007.

To find out whether last year’s increase was a one-time spike or the vanguard of an invasion, the agencies are asking people to keep a wide eye for tiger shrimp, to report where and when they find them, and bring back frozen tiger shrimp to help learn where they’re coming from.

AND FROM CNN:

Scientists: Giant cannibal shrimp invasion growing

An invasion of giant cannibal shrimp into America’s coastal waters appears to be getting worse.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that sightings of the massive Asian tiger shrimp, which can eat their smaller cousins, were 10 times higher in 2011 than in 2010.

“And they are probably even more prevalent than reports suggest, because the more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them,” said Pam Fuller, a USGS biologist.

The shrimp, which can grow to 13 inches long, are native to Asian and Australian waters and have been reported in coastal waters from North Carolina to Texas.

They can be consumed by humans.

“They’re supposed to be very good. But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters,” Fuller said.

While they may make good eatin’ for people, it’s the eating the giant shrimp do themselves that worries scientists.

“Are they competing with or preying on native shrimp,” Fuller asked. “It’s also very disease-prone.”

To try to get those answers, government scientists are launching a special research project on the creatures.

“The Asian tiger shrimp represents yet another potential marine invader capable of altering fragile marine ecosystems,” NOAA marine ecologist James Morris said in a statement. “Our efforts will include assessments of the biology and ecology of this non-native species and attempts to predict impacts to economically and ecologically important species of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.”

Scientists are uncertain how many of the giant shrimp are in U.S. waters.

In 1998, about 2,000 of the creatures were accidentally released from an aquaculture facility in South Carolina. Three hundred of those were recovered from waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida within three months.

Farming of the giant shrimp ended in the United States, but they were caught again off Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana and Florida.

Five were caught off Texas last year, according to Tony Reisinger, country extension agent for the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service.

Scientists don’t know if  there is a breeding population in U.S. waters. Tiger shrimp females can lay 50,000 to a million eggs, which hatch within 24 hours.  Or the shrimp may be carried here by currents or in ballast tanks of marine vessels.

The latest study will look at the DNA of collected specimens.

“We’re going to start by searching for subtle differences in the DNA of Asian tiger shrimp found here – outside their native range – to see if we can learn more about how they got here,” USGS geneticist Margaret Hunter said in a statement. “If we find differences, the next step will be to fine-tune the analysis to determine whether they are breeding here, have multiple populations, or are carried in from outside areas.”

Louboutin Does Cinderella Homage With New Glass Slipper

Filed under: Cinderella,disney,Louboutin — Mr. Craig @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The fashion world’s love affair with fairy tales continues withChristian Louboutin designing a pair of shoes inspired by Disney’s Cinderella.

If you’ve given up on an actual pumpkin coach and a real Prince Charming, glass slippers can still be a part of your fairy tale – thanks to designer Christian Louboutin.

The animated picture is being rereleased this  fall, and in honor of this the French shoe guru will offer aninterpretation of the iconic “glass slipper” worn by the movie’s namesake.

The Louboutin glass slipper is being released in conjunction with Disney’s Diamond Edition of “Cinderella” this fall, a combo-pack which includes two Blu-Ray discs and a DVD with bonus features, celebrating the beloved classic animated feature, first released in 1950.

“I have been so lucky to have crossed paths with Cinderella, an icon who is so emblematic to the shoe world as well as the dream world,” the designer told Women’s Wear Daily on April 26

The shoes will include the Louboutin signature red soles, seen on Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, and many more celebrities.

Fashionistas will have to wait until the summertime to see the shoe, although it is said the creator, famous for his red-soled talons, will put his own “magic touch” on the famous footwear.

This won’t be the first time the Brothers Grimm fairytale shoe has provides a source of inspiration.

Maison Martin Margiela created its own interpretation of the iconic glass slippers a few years back for a limited edition range. Disney Bridal offers princess-inspired gowns and Mouawad launched a Disney engagement ring line in 2009.

Fairy tales were also the theme for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which was described as “spring-like and magical” by creative director Marc Jacobs.

Meanwhile, Snow White also looks set to be a major source for fashion trends this year thanks to the release of a new Hollywood interpretation of the tale, Snow White and the Huntsman. The film has already inspired a Benefit Cosmetics beauty kit allowing fans to recreate protagonist Kristen Stewart’s pale beauty, and Charlize Theron’s Evil Queen character boasts an extensive haute couture wardrobe. 

Although the price of the slippers hasn’t been released, a pair of Louboutin shoes starts at about $600 and can cost up to several thousand dollars.

If you’re hoping to snag the slippers, check the Cinderella Facebook page for images and updates on the shoe.

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