FROM Tupper Hull
Another Oil Spill in Santa Barbara At noon yesterday, a pipeline ruptured just north of Santa Barbara. Before it was stopped three hours later, it spilled some 21,000 gallons of crude oil onto nine miles of beaches and into the ocean. Birds, fish and sea lions are among the wildlife that's being threatened — and some beaches are already blackened by spilled oil. The "responsible party" is Plains All American Pipeline , based in Houston. Apologizing for the accident, District manage Darren Palmer assured, "We're bringing in all the resources at our disposal to respond. Our focus remains on the safety of our first responders and the environment."
Is California Separating Oil and Water? "Californians expect their water is not being polluted by oil producers...this poses a very real danger." That's according to the federal EPA, which has found that the state has allowed contaminated waste from oil drilling to be injected into underground water supplies that could be used for drinking or irrigation. The issue is more urgent than ever because three years of drought have reduced the water supply in Kern County, where most oil drilling occurs and where the injection wells are located. David Baker has reported the story extensively for the San Francisco Chronicle .
Is There Fracking in Our Future? Nine states in the Northeast and the Rocky Mountains have enacted guidelines to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a process involving injection of chemicals into the ground to extract natural gas. In California, it's being used on thousands of oil wells, but oil companies won't reveal what the chemicals are. A company called PXP wants to use fracking in the Inglewood/Baldwin Hills Oil Field. In Sacramento, oil companies are opposing a bill that would require them to report where fracking is going on, for how long, with how much water, and with what chemicals.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?