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In Your Backyard?

In Your Backyard?

The picture shown is from the tar-sands mining operation in Alberta, Canada. Heavy inolvement by the Koch brothers, billionaire, supposed philanthropists, has pushed this dirtiest of all industries which presses a deadly foot on the neck of mother earth. Hiding behind laws which protect privately-held companies from public scrutiny, Koch Industries has managed to undermine climate science, environmental regulation and sources of clean energy. Donated money from the Koch brothers has provided funds for many politicians, in the United States and Canada. David Sassoon, in Inside Climate News, May 10, 1912, states: “…they (the Koch brothers)are top donors to politicians, most of them Republicans, who support the oil industry and deny any human role in global warming. What is less well documented are the many Koch businesses that benefit from the brothers’ efforts to push the center of American political discourse rightward, closer to their own convictions. At the top of the list are the Koch family’s long and deep investments in Canada’s heavy oil industry, which have been central to the company’s initial growth and subsequent diversification since 1959.” published on InsideClimate News (http://insideclimatenews.org). The nonprofit group Environment Northest has a primer on how oil is extracted from tar sands, what’s in it and why it comes with a greater environmental impact than crude oil extracted using traditional drilling. One only has to look at the adjoining picture to see some of that terrible impact. Bitumen from Canada’s tar sands is dirtier and thicker than conventional oil. Extracting and processing this fuel creates far more greenhouse gases than drilling for lighter, “sweeter” oil. “Producing synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production. Extracting tar sands bitumen – a low-grade, high-grade sulfur crude oil that must be extensively refined to be turned into fuel – uses vast amounts of energy and water.” (From http://www.nrdc.org/energy/keystone-pipline, published by the Natural Resources Defense Council on 2/26/2014). The Koch Industrial complex places great value on its ability to do business in private, away from public scrutiny. “According to an article last year in the Los Angeles Times, (http://articles.latimes.com/2011.feb/06) Koch Industries and its employees were the largest oil and gas industry donors to members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Power. Contributions of $279,500 were made by Koch Industries and it employees to 22 of 31 of the Republicans on that committe, including Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY). Upton was the committee chairman, and Whitfield was chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. $32,000 was donated to five Democrats. The paper also reported that nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded and funded advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, to oppose regulation of greenhouse gases. Having just these few facts at hand, and with thousands of images like the adjoining picture available, would you want this influence and operation in your backyard????? If not, speak up!

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