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.
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?
Free speech and the ideological fight for college campuses Conservatives claim that American colleges and universities are bastions of liberal orthodoxy, shielding students from alternative ways of thinking. What better place for a protest than UC Berkeley? What better agent of controversy than Ann Coulter?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.