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Amy Mall blogs a National Resources Defense Council analysis that says nearly six percent of total U.S. land is being leased by 70 of the largest oil and gas companies, including 38.5 million acres of public land:

According to a new NRDC analysis, at the end of 2011, seventy of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the United States held leases covering at least 141 million net acres of American land—an area greater than California and Florida combined.
Stripper wells (50 bbls of oil or less a day)
Given the sordid environmental history of oil and gas development that has already occurred across the United States, NRDC is extremely concerned about the additional harmful environmental, health and safety impacts that oil and gas development of this magnitude will bring in the future. Since it has been reported that more than ninety percent of oil and gas wells are fracked, there is a lot of new fracking slated for our future--tens of millions of acres of new fracking. Clean air, clean water, healthy communities, wildlands, and wildlife habitat are all threatened.

These astounding numbers illustrate just how much of America’s land is already at risk from oil and gas development. In the face of this reality, clean air, clean water, healthy communities, and the health of these lands across the country depend on the strongest possible state, local and federal rules, as well as the inspections, monitoring, and record-keeping needed to enforce them over such a large area.

On top of this, of the total acreage leased nationwide, 38.5 million acres—an area slightly bigger than Florida—were leased for federal oil and gas resources. This is worth noting because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of creating new rules for fracking that takes place under federal leases nationwide. These new rules will determine how oil and gas companies are allowed to operate in a wide range of places. That’s because the federal leases occur everywhere from national forests and public wildlands, to municipal and private drinking water supplies, on Indian land, and on private property when landowner’s do not own the mineral rights below the surface.

Unfortunately, BLM’s initial draft of the rules was woefully inadequate, and earlier this month a second draft was leaked to the press, revealing that the rules are becoming even weaker in some aspects. [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Green Diary Rescue & Open Thread: Green Stimulus Edition:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his not-a-state-of-the-union speech, "It begins with energy." That means investment in fossil-fuel alternatives, in expanding the number of high-mileage automobiles, a smart grid. Some of the plan is incredibly simple and straightforward.
Retrofitting homes is a labor-intensive endeavor. An average home retrofit takes a crew of three people about five days to complete. There are 111 million homes in this country. We can cut consumption in these homes 30 to 50 percent or $700 to $1150 annually on average. Every four crews or so needs a project manager. Every retrofit company needs accountants, executives, salesmen, and administrative staff. They need legal advice, they need office supplies, and they need to advertise. The insulation, caulk and sealants, appliances, and mechanical systems they install have to be manufactured. The money that each person saves from being wasted on energy will be spent, supporting other industries and creating more jobs. Add to this projection the 4.8 million commercial buildings in this country, representing 72 million square feet of space.
The stimulus bill includes $5 billion for weatherization, a project that could have been completed decades ago if Ronald Reagan hadn't chopped the budget for that the way he did most other conservation and efficiency measures. But even Jimmy Carter's weatherization budget didn't come close to what's in the stimulus package.

Tweet of the Day:

If you've had your fill of quiet despair for the day, might I suggest impotent rage?
@NeinQuarterly via Twitter for iPhone




On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we talked to Greg Dworkin about the looming sequester, and  the launch of United Physicians of Newtown. Also: a post on elastic English, warped by Republicans, from jurassicpork, and surprising hard data on gun usage by CCW permit holders in Minnesota. More states should do this!


High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  692,156 registered users on dKos now. (15+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not all spammers.)

    damage9shoe
    shapebeat1
    AndreaChae7
    heronharbor35
    nic7april
    rock77drum
    burnrod5
    tempo7lock
    joinpuma60
    beet06flute


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #690,200: lizardparrot33
    #690,300: grip2wheel
    #690,400: canadabirth52
    #690,500: linda7lace
    #690,600: dinghy82wealth
    #690,700: owlshare45
    #690,800: prisonvinyl12
    #690,900: veil67bottom
    #691,000: belt95dinner
    #691,100: cokepotato80
    #691,200: kidney8noodle
    #691,300: soda60ticket
    #691,400: panda98lily
    #691,500: bankerboot7
    #691,600: rocketbat66
    #691,700: heathrow555 (spammer)
    #691,800: roof1death
    #691,900: twistapril38
    #692,000: fearname2
    #692,100: cancerknot9

    We've added a whopping 2,001 more users in the last 24 hours.  This is a continuation going back to May where we've been absolutely flooded with new users.  I'm pretty sure almost all of these new users are spammers or bots.  While the rate had been getting faster, it seems they suddenly started slowing down right when Hurricane Sandy hit.  It slowed down to under 1,000 new users in a 24-hour period, and we were back down to somewhat over 100 new users every 24 hours or so, until about January 30th, when it exploded again.  What are they planning?


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Jay & the Techniques' classic hit "Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie".

  •  Who wants to go see Rachel Maddow? (6+ / 0-)

    She's going to be on a book tour in March and April!  Some of us in Bruin Democrats may try to make that appearance here in L.A. in two weeks.

    At least at the L.A. event, tickets cost $26 per person, but it does include an autographed copy of her book.

  •  corporate regulatory capture of public lands (8+ / 0-)

    and ecological destruction in the name of capital against the common good

    That’s because the federal leases occur everywhere from national forests and public wildlands, to municipal and private drinking water supplies, on Indian land, and on private property when landowner’s do not own the mineral rights below the surface.

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ Now with more SNAP: Saturday hate mail-a-palooza End of a series

    by annieli on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:36:44 PM PST

  •  Your Sun On Drugs (10+ / 0-)


    Published on Feb 11, 2013

    A long-lasting double flare and a coronal mass ejection erupted from the Sun over a five-hour period (Feb. 5-6, 2013). The eruptive plasma was cooler than the surface and denser, causing it to appear almost like a flag unraveling. Following the event the magnetic field lines above the source area appear as coils as they try to reconnect themselves. The event also seemed to disrupt a filament to its left, highlighting its edges in white light. Images were taken in extreme ultraviolet light.

  •  This is the kind of crap that should provoke (11+ / 0-)

    rioting in the streets from Democrats.

    GOP Electoral Vote-Rigging Schemes Still Alive and Well in PA and Michigan

    Over the weekend, thirteen GOP Pennsylvania Senators, led by Majority Leader Domini Pileggi, introduced a new plan to redistribute electoral votes by congressional district. Under this legislation, the winner of the state’s congressional districts would receive the most electoral votes, even if she lost the popular vote. In other words, it would reward candidates for winning land, not people.

    If Pennsylvania distributed its electoral votes this way in 2012, Mitt Romney would have won eight of twenty votes, on account of his strength in rural areas of the state. Indeed, if every swing state allocated its votes in this way, Romney would have won the election, which explains the sudden popularity of proposals like this in various states. In some of them, such as Virginia — which recently introduced a plan to award one electoral vote for every Congressional district — it has been abandoned.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:41:09 PM PST

  •  Thanks for your continued focus on energy (12+ / 0-)

    and climate change issues, MB. As you observe regularly, they are connected to just about everything else of significance. Delay is denial, as you say, and we can't afford either one any more.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:43:50 PM PST

  •  GM CEO to earn 350x of New Hire (3+ / 0-)

    GM CEO to earn 11 Million next year

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

     (Reuters) - General Motors Co wants to pay its chief executive, Dan Akerson, $11.1 million this year, CNBC reported, citing related documents.

    If the U.S. government approve the plan, Akerson's annual compensation would increase more than 20 percent compared to last year, the report said. (http://link.reuters.com/...)

    Meanwhile, a new hire at GM North will earn 50% less than a legacy hire.  Also, a new hire at GM North will earn about as much as a new hire at NON-UNION Toyota South.

    Why does a new hire at GM North earn 50% less than he would have 5 years ago.

    Why is the ratio of

    CEO Pay /  New Hire Pay

    as sharp as it's ever been at GM?

    In large part, it's due to the UAW.

    Yes, the UAW agreed to the current contract.

    If I were a new hire at GM North, why would I possibly want to belong to a union.

    Regrettably, US private sector unions are becoming like their conterparts down south.

    Every year in Mexico, union leaders argue that they need to come through for the "patron", that the "patron" is under a lot of global competitive pressure, and that the "patron" needs givebacks to ensure more jobs.

    Is this not what the UAW told its members?

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:46:07 PM PST

    •  No It's Because of Repeal of Compressive Progressv (4+ / 0-)

      individual taxation in 81 combined with free trade.

      When you let people keep most of everything they can claim, they will claim up to the sky's the limit. And they will reorganize their enterprises including offshoring as much labor as possible when there is no protection of labor at the boreders, to make sure they capture the whole damned sky.

      Symptoms aren't causation. I lost 40 years to physicians who couldn't figure that out. Our entire nation, as well.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:59:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that what Unions should protect from? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, high uintas

        Could the UAW not have stipulated that the C-level execs at GM could not make more than 100x that of a new hire?

        What value does the UAW add to a new hire if that same new hire could earn as much in NonUnion Toyota South as he does at GM North?

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:04:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Execs Make 10,000 x the Earnings of Today's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, entlord

          low level workers that they earned 40x back in the 1960's, thanks to subsequent free trade and the repeal of compressive taxation which sent that bottom-level work to the 3rd, 4th and 5th worlds.

          Everything you say presumes a sociopathically organized economy that won't protect advanced labor and insists on continuing to starve exploited labor.

          Your answer is of course yes, nobody should pay anyone anything meaningful because there are always places you can get the work done for far below the cost of the animal feed and vet bills for having it done here by slave labor.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:25:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  you assume unions enjoy an equal relationship (0+ / 0-)

          with management which is like saying the guy on the bottom in an MMA match is in an equal position.  He will win a few but statistically the advantage goes to the guy on top.

        •  The workers voted for it (0+ / 0-)

          including the lower starting wages because GM was in financial trouble.

          When the workers feel GM is stabilized they will bargain to eliminate the 2-tier wage system and then everyone at GM will be restored to $30-40/hr in wages and another $30/hr in health and pension benefits.

          none of the Toyota workers have a defined benefit pension program in which the workers share the administration.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:15:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  maybe because w/o unions you may not be getting (0+ / 0-)

      paid or having to work six day weeks with no overtime or benefits or having your kids go to work at age 6 instead of school or if you were paid, you would be paid in script which would be redeemable only at the company store?

      Welcome to the Gilded Age which management would happily return us to in a heartbeat.  Why would anyone who is used to luxuries such as shelter and steady meals not join a union?

    •  didn't the Obama administration agree to this BS ? (0+ / 0-)

      the whole idea that the wages of the new workers take a hit ?

      funny how the executives didn't have to agree to such a thing.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:04:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am really sick of your incessant union bashing.. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Brecht, Willinois, annieli, Vetwife, willyr

      ...Patricia. The UAW certainly deserves its share of criticism over the years. But what exactly was it supposed to do having been arm-twisted into giving up the right to strike until 2016 so that GM could partake of the government bailout that saved some jobs at the company and a lot of supplier jobs?

      True, the hourly pay of a new hire at GM will, at the end of the contract in two years, be just $19.28 an hour, 60% of what veterans once made upon entry, and that sucks. But they also got a $5,000 lump sum when the contract was signed and will get another $11,500 in bonuses over the life of the contract. The UAW held the line on health care.

      Yes, GM did warn about lost jobs and competitive edge and all the rest of disaster of unbalanced globalization that the guys in your sig line think is the cat's meow. The UAW could have ignored the warnings and...done what exactly? Operated without a contract until 2016?  

      And, yes, the compensation package at the top is gigantic and the ratio with somebody on the factory floor illustrates one reason we have pernicious income inequality in this country.

      But in the past 40 years, the UAW has watched its numbers at General Motors dwindle from 400,000 in 1970—when the company was a superpower and the Big Three accounted for 82% of planet's entire car and light truck market—until today, when just 48,500 GM workers are covered by the 2011 contract and the Big Three own 46% of the car and truck market.

      Has the UAW and other unions lost their clout? You betcha. And one of the reasons are the economic ideas promoted by folks like those at the Hamilton Project.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:21:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thx for pointing this out & backing up w/ details (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I Lurked For Years

        (especially since I had recced PatriciaVa's comment without reading it carefully).

        It's a travesty, how misinformed and anti-union most US citizens are, how poorly the MSM tell the story of all the unions have achieved for workers. We don't need the propaganda on DKos too.

        And also, MB, thanks for all the work you do: your prolific and well-researched diaries, on so many subjects.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:52:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Labor news: Special Effects people getting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Brecht, Jeff Y, high uintas

    fed up with being screwed over.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:48:09 PM PST

    •  computer graphics still need people? (0+ / 0-)

      sorry but the industry has been moving more and more towards computers vs actually staging effects.  This is happening across many industries as fewer and fewer people are needed to produce more and more.  

      This enables employers to abuse those who wish to have jobs and to ditch troublemakers (i.e. people who want fair treatment.

      Watched "Bar Rescue" reality show where employees worked for tips.  Owner called them volunteers and hadn't had them fill out W-4s or I-9s.   When pressed to do so, he complained he would have to cut their salaries (huh?) and six weeks after the shooting ended had still not turned in the paperwork and had not paid his workers.  This was supposedly (not all reality shows are real) in Austin    

      •  It doesn't seem like you read the article (0+ / 0-)

        I linked. Would you care to comment on that?

        If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

        by Oaktown Girl on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 01:00:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  perhaps I misread it where it referenced how (0+ / 0-)

          the Powers that Be broke the Screen Writers Guild and how the FX industry has consolidated in recent years.  Maybe I did not understand this statement:
          "I don't think Hollywood is nearly scared enough right now.  I don't think they're truly thinking about what could happen if they make it financially impossible for innovation and artistry to thrive in the FX community."

          which I then extrapolated to the general state of affairs between employers/employees and how tech is making it easier to screw over workers to the extent people are willing to work for tips just to have a job.

          If I misunderstood or mis-extrapolated, I apologize

  •  Keith Olbermann is on Craig Ferguson's (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, Brecht, Aunt Pat, JeffW, annieli

    Late Late Show tonight.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

    by MTmofo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:18:44 PM PST

  •  If the right wing homophobe clowns didn't exist, (6+ / 0-)

    we'd have to invent them, just for the laughs.

    Homophobic Family Values Group Accuses GEICO Pig Commercials of Promoting Bestiality

    The "advocacy group" One Million Moms is at it again. The group/collection of homophobic trolls, best known for protesting JCPenny not once but twice, has recently carved out a bizarre niche market for themselves by accusing popular commercials of promoting bestiality. Last year, it was Skittles; this year, it's GEICO, for the insurance company's creepy commercials in which a pig spends time with a young woman in a convertible.

    http://gawker.com/...

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:23:14 PM PST

  •  It's not like that land was being used by anyone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, jan4insight

    anyway, except maybe by some Indians, who've got no use for it anymore, and they've got their casinos so what do they have to complain about?

    Steal Baby Steal Drill Baby Drill!

    /snark

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:27:28 PM PST

  •  On Letterman tonight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MTmofo, OLinda, randallt

    Dave had a fake Cardinal Dolan come out and hand out tee shirts to the crowd that said 'Cardinal Dolan for Pope' on them....while the band played Gary Glitter music in the background.

    :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends. It's fun to lose and to pretend." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:33:59 PM PST

  •  i hear regular push for development on RW radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Aunt Pat

    of oil/gas in NM/CO and i'll bet it's a national and regular topic of repetition.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:35:08 PM PST

  •  if memory serves, of those leases, only 50% or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, JeffW

    less have even been explored.  The companies are snapping up available land on the premise that there might be something worthwhile under the surface as a type of speculation.  It is their view that marginal resources might at some point become worth exploiting.

    One problem with historical government view of mineral rights is that they are of little practical value, a view fostered by the companies that exploit these resources.  In this outdated view, underground resources can be extracted with no long term effect on the surface.  We now know this to be incorrect but policy has not kept pace with our knowledge

  •  Proposed fracking bill in IL has enviro support. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Brecht

    The big statewide environmental groups are supporting a fracking regulation bill in Illinois that's also supported by industry. Trying to get lobbyists on all sides to agree is how things usually get done in Illinois, so this is not unusual.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Enviro orgs may have trouble convincing the grass roots to go along. First, because "no fracking is safe fracking" has become a common slogan among environmentalists. Also, most fracking will take place in Southern Illinois whose residents weren't directly represented by the Chicago-based green groups. All the big environmental groups have members in Southern Illinois, but as with other statewide progressive organizations, residents are used to being an afterthought of Chicago-based leaders. Fracking will be overseen by the notoriously industry-friendly IL Office of Mining and Minerals, which is already too understaffed and underfunded to monitor the coal mines they pretend to watch.

  •  Speaking of renewable energy (0+ / 0-)

    This should be a must read:

    http://phys.org/...

    The gist is that the more wind turbines installed, the less efficiency, and the probablility that the generating capacity of wind has been overestimated.  And, a frightening possibility that exploiting wind power to its maximum potential can change wind patterns and thus climate.  

    David Keith, the lead on this research, is no global warming denier, and is well respected as an expert in alternative energy.

  •  all part of our "liberal" president's crappy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, I Lurked For Years

    environmental outlook.

    could Bush have done as well by the oil and gas industry ?

    I doubt it.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:06:38 PM PST

    •  Well, it all *started* under Bush . . . . (0+ / 0-)

      Although the current POTUS seems to have done everything in his power to keep that particular gravy train rolling.

      Particular egregious to me was how his EPA fast-tracked approval of 42 out of 48 MTR coal mining permits immediately upon taking office.  That was a huge sign that it would be business as usual for Big Fossil Fuel (type industries . .. ).  Ugh.

  •  And then there's this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, I Lurked For Years

    ~~~No Comment~~!

    Native Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.

    Find article atPro Publica

    "Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.” Vaclav Havel

    by dharmasyd on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:20:43 PM PST

  •  Corruption In Afghanistan Police (0+ / 0-)

    Was a little surprised not to see this story on KOS yet

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

  •  Good morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff

    Y'all don't stay up too late do ya?
    I would have normally been on the road by now but my job has a two hour startup delay thanks to a nice little ice storm were experiencing at the moment. Ice, ice baby.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam, help some hungry kids.

    by randallt on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:55:31 AM PST

    •  GM randallt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt

      give yourself plenty of time to get there, & take it easy on the way!

      •  Made it there and back (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eeff

        Thanks for the safe wishes! I got to work and found they had cancelled. I'd rather be here anyway! Gorgeous drive back home with ice on the branches. Roads weren't too bad. Look for some pics from this morning on F Bomb.

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam, help some hungry kids.

        by randallt on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:59:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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