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I wonder a lot.
This is becoming a disturbing occurrence to see happen over such a large area. First the Midwest fracking operations sent off similar plumes earlier yesterday, then surface earthquakes at a volcano…
Considering the chemicals used, I’m sure this is great.
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A year ago today, a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, caught on fire. As volunteer firefighters rushed to the scene, the 30 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in wooden bins exploded. What have we learned from this disaster? Nothing.
There is no one state agency that actually has oversight or regulatory power. Not only that, Texas has precious little knowledge about what is occurring inside its fertilizer and chemical plants.
Since the accident, several legislative proposals have been put forward for consideration when the part-time Legislature reconvenes next year. But Texas has one of the most conservative, anti-regulatory legislatures in the nation. Republican Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of the Texas House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, says any proposal that would give the state a lot more regulatory authority just isn’t going to fly.
Mustn’t get in the way of making money.
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The company that sells Cheerios and other popular foods says consumers who purchase its products should be prohibited from suing it no matter how wrong its actions might be. General Mills, which produces Chex, Bisquick, Betty Crocker products and more, claims it can deny Americans their day in court if they buy any of its goods, download coupons, or “friend” it on Facebook. The food manufacturer claims it do this by simply amending its “legal terms” found on the General Mills website.
Government and capitalism in all its glory.
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KBR and Halliburton – two major U.S. military contractors – can be sued for the health impacts of trash incineration on U.S. soldiers who served in the war in Iraq, according to a new court decision that allows a series of 57 lawsuits against the companies to go forward.
The two companies have been paid some $40 billion for services provided to troops serving in the U.S. War on Terror throughout Central Asia and the Middle East in countries ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq to Kuwait and Uzbekistan. (Most of the contracts were implemented by KBRwhich was a subsidiary of Halliburton until 2007 when it was spun off into a separate company)
Under the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract, KBR and Halliburtonoperated ten acre wide burn pits 24 hours a day on U.S. military bases throughout Iraq until the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act officially banned them. They were used to incinerate “plastics, batteries, appliances, medicine, dead animals, and even human body parts.” Government contractors, troops and Iraqi civilians allege that they were exposed to toxic carcinogens and chemicals by breathing the pit’s fumes and dust.
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