Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Common Dreams:
"Across a narrow swath cut by bulldozers and chainsaws through the woods of Westchester County, New York, triangular yellow flags are clotheslined between pairs of trees. The flags trace the eventual path of the gas pipeline that the energy giant Spectra is building through the area, escorted at times by police and harried by local residents worried by its proximity to a decaying nuclear power plant.
If that pipeline leaks or breaks, say experts, its contents could detonate and destroy the switchyard that sits 400ft from the gas line. Entergy, which runs the Indian Point power station, said the plant could be quickly shut down in such an event. Nuclear engineer Paul Blanch is not so sure. Blanch, who has previously consulted for Entergy and now assists an organization calling for the pipeline to be stopped, said that assertion is a best-case scenario. In the worst case, he said, the reactors could melt down. And he believes Entergy and Spectra have not fully considered that worst-case scenario. 'I’m not anti-nuke or anything like that. I’ve been in the business for 50 years and I’ve never seen anything as egregious as this,' he said.

Entergy’s assessment itself also has some experts worried. The safety of the pipeline is addressed in an eight-page document that includes a hand-drawn diagram of the property. Its brevity has some worried that risks have been overlooked. " 

-->The NYT is the original "what, me worry" about the nuclear industry including Indian Point. It reported opposition to the pipeline, but left out the worse case scenario feared by experts. No mention of the hand-drawn diagram that was part of Entergy's safety assessment.  


Common Dreams:
"A study published Tuesday has found that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, had a 'clear impact' on the groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming, raising new concerns over the drilling method.

'This is a wake-up call,' said Dominic DiGiulio, lead author of the Stanford University study, published in Environmental Science and Technology. 'It's perfectly legal to inject stimulation fluids into underground drinking water resources. This may be causing widespread impacts on drinking water resources.'

Residents of Pavillion, an oil and gas boom town, first began complaining of tainted water in the 1990s after fossil fuel companies began conducting more than 180 drilling operations in the state's Wind River Basin. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft study in 2011 which found that oil and gas activities may have contaminated the town's water supply, but the agency shut down its preliminary research in 2013 after criticism from the industry and the state's fossil fuel regulators."

-->No wake-up call for readers of the NYT. This study never saw the light of day in our nation's "premier newspaper," which has long been a supporter of fracking. Bernie, of course, just said "no" to fracking.

"Reddit’s big hint that the government is watching you is a missing 'warrant canary.' The canary in Reddit’s coal mine has stopped singing. 

Reddit published its annual transparency report yesterday (Mar. 31) and the report usually contains a section known as a “warrant canary,” a series of statements that say the company hasn’t received a secret order for information from US intelligence agencies. If the canary stops singing, it’s a strong indicator that a secret surveillance order has been received. ...

The orders Reddit refers to allow the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the National Security Agency (NSA) to obtain a user’s name, address, and communications records, according to the Electronic Frontier Federation. It can also mean the company’s data is part of NSA bulk data-collection programs including PRISM, the secret program revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Under PRISM, the NSA had direct access to the private communications of users of services from Google, Microsoft, and others."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story of how Reddit informs their Internet users that the NSA is stealing their data. Our newspaper of record almost always supports massive government snooping.

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