CEHP

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Keep America Energy Independent

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These are my arguments for the direction our country must take to protect our citizen’s and secure our homeland. Natural gas extraction, exports, damages and lack of regulations have been front page news for several years.  What’s the answer, here are my thoughts but I welcome others to contribute their thoughts.

  • Natural gas is a part of the answer to our energy needs in this country. In fact, America is today energy independent if we keep what we harvest and not ship our energy resources overseas. It’s really that simple.
  • Our abundance of energy resources, if kept in the U.S., will provide affordable energy for America’s industries today and attract new industries tomorrow.
  • Exporting liquid natural gas according to the Energy Department’s own report will end up being worse from a greenhouse gas perspective to climate change than if China simply built a new power plant and burned its own coal supplies.
  • Exporting natural gas creates environmental and public health risks through gas industries “boom” to drill as many wells as possible with little regulations to make quick profits especially in the export markets which will purchase at five times the domestic rates.
  • Exporting Americas energy resources increases the country‘s security risks. American men and women fought and hundreds died in wars around oil. Let’s honor those who fought for America by not selling our energy and placing the country and its armed forces at risk again.  More than 600 Kuwaiti oil wells were set on fire by the Iraqi forces causing massive environmental and economic damage.
  • The only one who benefits from exports is the corporations making profits exporting our natural resources.

In fact, exporting our natural resources creates a different equation entirely. The overseas workforce is very cheap, in many cases not paying close to a living wage. If we provide an influx of new energy resources for countries that don’t even pay a living wage, why in the world would any corporation want to set up business in America? They have cheap labor and an abundance of energy which they don’t have today.

I want to take care of America and keep our energy —our gas —here so we can grow and prosper. It’s un-American to export energy sources when men and women have died in wars over oil.  It doesn’t change the climate crisis and doesn’t provide an incentive for new industries to set up business in America or existing ones to expand. Lastly, holding on our our gas and oil resources will slow down the drilling of new wells giving us time to explore the real environmental and health impacts from hydro-fracturing.

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Germany Wants To Ban Fracking

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Germany is seeking a ban on shale gas and oil drilling over the next seven years because of worries that the practice could pollute drinking water and damage the environment. Read full story.

Ohio Fracking Protest

Groups Demand Ohio Injection Well Be Closed

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Concerned Citizens Ohio and CHEJ contend that the Kovach injection well in Shalersville Township, OH has improperly received wastes for years to be injected into rock formations underground. The groups are asking the U.S. EPA to issue an immediate order to stop further injection. and filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency against an injection well in northern Portage County for allegedly accepting millions of gallons of drilling wastes improperly. Read more here.

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Childhood Cancer & Environment

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Between 1975 and 2011, the U.S. has seen a 55% increase in the number of children diagnosed annually with childhood leukemia. Read more from Environmental Health Policy/PSR.

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Public Health Risks & Corporate Profits

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People’s bodies are being contaminated with industrial chemicals without their consent or knowledge. Unlike food and drugs, most of these industrial chemicals have never been tested to determine their effects on human health or the environment. Diseases linked to chemicals like childhood cancers are on the rise. Our laws need to be changed to protect public health and the environment. We must phase out the worst chemicals and switch to safer, effective and affordable alternatives that already exist. Because our country’s laws are outdated—prevention, substitution and proof of safety—are not our nation’s goals. Instead calculated harm and sacrifice are the goals of today’s regulations and laws. Risk of harm and cost of change (regardless of how large or small) dominate decisions around chemical exposures of innocent people and the environment.

Corporations and our government try to confuse the public about risks or make a certain level of risk somehow acceptable. To simplify the entire mathematical formula to justify unnecessary risks for the average person I came up with this analogy. Although this may be a bit of over simplification it is the formula that is used to dismiss risks and allow corporations to expose people, innocent children, to very dangerous chemicals in order to increase their profits.

Here is the analogy to demonstrate their technique.

Protective Gates vs. Cheap Pillows

Most people believe if you have a toddler and an open staircase it makes sense to be cautious and place a gate across the stairs to prevent the child from falling down the stairs.

U.S. chemical industries would argue investing in the gate may not be necessary—instead they would do studies to determine how many toddlers would fall and the level of harm from each tumble down the stairs.

After defining statistically how many toddlers would likely fall down the stairs and the percentage that could be harmed, industry would still argue the gate is too expensive and purchasing them would cause financial harms.

They would argue that instead of expensive gates, believed to be overkill, they would invest in cheap pillows at the bottom of the stairs which would provide adequate protection for tumbling toddlers.

So the next time you are faced with a risk benefit equation from corporations or government ask them (using this analogy) if they are suggesting pillows instead of a gate? Are they really interested in protecting public health especially from involuntary risks?

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Memorial Day A Special Day

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On this day we remember and honor those who have served and protected our country. I’ve known a few that passed in the line of duty and others who have returned to their families injured. It’s a day set aside to take note, to acknowledge personal sacrifice and give thanks to all of the men and women who have kept my family, friends and fellow citizens safe.

CHEJ has worked over the past thirty years with many veterans. In fact, the organizations founding group was first introduced at a conference for Vietnam Veterans who were looking for benefits for themselves and their families from exposure to Agent Orange chemicals, dioxin. CHEJ’s attorney ran a Law Clinic for veterans exposed to Agent Orange in 1982 at American University in D.C.

I shared many values with the veterans, that our country and our democracy is worth fighting for, worth making the personal sacrifices, but our country has a responsibility to care for those who fought to protect America. Yet when the veterans came home from Vietnam they were not greeted with fanfare, parades and celebration. Not only did they come home to unfriendly citizens, with all of the issues any veteran faces when re-entering society after being on the front lines, but they were faced with serious health impacts from the chemicals used to defoliate.Veterans asked for studies to explain why they had rashes over so much of their bodies, why their children were being born with birth defects and why so many developed and died from cancer.

It was the issue of exposures to Agent Orange, dioxin, which brought the Vietnam Veterans of America and CHEJ closer together. Our struggles were similar. The veterans of course sacrificed their lives for this country and our government turned it back on them, refusing to cover diseases clearly associated with exposure to dioxin. CHEJ’s members, some veterans, homemakers, taxpayers and the “American Family” that our country works to protect when we go to war were also being exposed to toxic chemicals in their environment. Like the Vietnam veterans the government refused to step up and make the polluters clean up the mess.

It has been a long and positive relationship. I am proud and thank all of our country’s veterans and especially the many brave and compassionate Vietnam Veterans.

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” -Bob Marley

NJ Roxbury

Gov. Christie’s Wastegate in Roxbury, NJ

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Gov. Christie reopened a landfill without following the states regulatory procedures, allowed a burner to be built without even a stack test, allowed waste to be placed in the landfill without knowledge of what was in the waste stream, and allowed a convicted felon to operate the landfill which is also against the law. Why is the Gov. ignoring his own state laws and regulations pout in place to protect public health and the environment? Does Christie think he is above the law?

By MIKE CONDON Editor

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Community Organizing

DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE

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Russ Dondero

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to have met many famous people who have engaged in our national political life – AJ Muste, William F. Buckley, Jr., Gene McCarthy, William Sloane Coffin, Carlos Fuentes to name just a few.

But meeting with and talking to Lois Gibbs was an incredible experience because like Rosa Parks it wasn’t her station in life which has earned her such respect and notoriety but her determination to confront injustice most would have ignored.

Her message to those of us who want to organize to address pollution issues be it in urban, suburban or rural Oregon must follow three strategic rules

  • Good science is the first place to start to combat those who have been given what amounts to a license to pollute by government agencies like DEQ;
  • Develop good law by asking the right question – not how do you stop the damage from the polluter but how do you make industry safe for its employees and neighbors?
  • Advocates for change must first speak out and then organize.  And as they organize they must learn how to think “outside the box” of conventional politics. Read More from Russ.

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Granted Right To Know -Oil Trains Through Your Community

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This Order is issued to all railroad carriers that transport in a single train in commerce within the United States, 1,000,000 gallons or more of UN 1267, Petroleum crude oil, Class 3,[1] sourced from the Bakken shale formation in the Williston Basin (Bakken crude oil). By this Order, DOT is requiring that each railroad carrier provide the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for each state in which it operates trains transporting 1,000,000 gallons or more of Bakken crude oil, notification regarding the expected movement of such trains through the counties in the state. Read More.