Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Morning report: ExxonMobil caught; city directors get big pay raise; the return of Ken Starr

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 6:25 AM

The morning report:

* EXXON MOBILE CAUGHT MASSAGING MAYFLOWER SPILL DAMAGE: Interesting post on Daily Kos about documents obtained by Greenpeace through a Freedom of Information Act to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

According to the post, which provides links to the documents, ExxonMobil initially wrote a news release in early April claiming both Lake Conway and a cove that is connected to the lake were oil free. The cove, indisputably, received Canadian tar sands crude from the burst ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline. Conduits connecting the cove and the lake have been blocked. Exxon amended the news release after objections from ADEQ. To say the cove is not Lake Conway, as Exxon has tried to do, is a stretch, as Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has already pointed out. Emails also show reports from Exxon on benzene found in both the cove and the lake.

* TAR SANDS? WHAT TAR SANDS?: With the Mayflower spill standing as ugly testimony to the perils of pipelining, U.S. Rep. Tiny Tim Griffin of Koch Energy is rallying for House passage of the Keystone XL pipeline, an environmentally disastrous project through America's heartland designed mainly to help the Koch billionaires move dirty, problematic tar sands to refineries for export. Its a nominal economic benefit. It's fraught with peril to the Nebraska aquifer. Canadian provinces have refused to approve pipelines over THEIR land. But Tiny Tim thinks it's just great for the US of A, because he's wholly beholden to the Kochs, whose tar sand folly has produced a mountain of nasty byproduct in Detroit.

Meanwhile, Inside Climate News reports on Exxon's slow moving on reopening the Pegasus pipeline. Hints at questions about the line's integrity.

* LITTLE ROCK CITY DIRECTORS GET 75 PERCENT PAY RAISE: Little Rock city directors last night raised their pay from $12,000 to $21,000 a year, a 75 percent increase. I know, they technically raised pay $6,000 and gave themselves $3,000 a year for "expenses." But since no expense itemization is required and the money is paid in a regular lump sum, it's treated as ordinary income. A director need spend not a single cent on city service to claim the money. They got a $9,000 annual pay raise.

* 'BILL KELLER IS OUT OF HIS FLIPPIN' MIND": That's how Gene Lyons appropriately labeled a note with this link to a column by Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times. He wants a special investigator to look into the IRS controversy.

The list of candidates could start with Kenneth Starr, who chased down the scandals, real and imagined, of the Clinton presidency

Yes, and Hick Ewing and Jackie Bennett, too. And the rest of the snipe hunting pussy posse. A reader of the Times commented, "Is this from The Onion?"

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