Gulf Oil Spill: BP Trying To Hide Millions of Gallons of Toxic Oil?

BP Embraces Exxon’s Toxic Dispersant, Ignores Safer Alternative

It has been confirmed that the dispersal agent being used by BP and the government is Corexit 9500, a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, IL.  Their stock took a sharp jump, up more than 18% at its highest point of the day today, after it was announced that their product is the one being used in the Gulf.  Nalco’s CEO, Erik Frywald, expressed their commitment to “helping the people and environment of the Gulf Coast recover as rapidly as possible.”  It may be that the best way to help  would be to remove their product from the fray.  Take a look at some of the facts about Corexit 9500:

A report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. entitled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview” states that “Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527,  and Corexit 9580 have moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans and mollusks (LC50 or EC50 – 1.6 to 100 ppm*).  It goes on to say that decreasing water temperatures in lab tests showed decreased toxicity, a lowered uptake of the dispersant.  Unfortunately, we’re going to be seeing an increase in temperatures, not a decrease.  Amongst the other caveats is that the study is species-specific, that other animals may be more severely affected, silver-sided fish amongst them.

Oil is toxic at 11 ppm while Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 ppm; Corexit 9500 is four times as toxic as the oil itself.  Sure, a lot less of it is being introduced, but that’s still a flawed logical perspective, because it’s not a “lesser of two evils” scenario.  BOTH are going into the ocean water. [Read more...]

The Clean Coal Myth

Throughout the most recent Presidential campaign in the United States, when energy came up, one of the misnomers that came up again and again was the oxymoron of “Clean Coal.” This is such an enormous lie, leaving such a huge miscomprehension, that it absolutely must be challenged. Let there be no mistake; to be unequivocally clear, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLEAN COAL.

Burning coal is, by far, the largest source of CO2 in the United States. All across the nation, in communities everywhere, regional electric companies burn coal to generate electricity. Right there in the heart of the midwest, in Pryor, Oklahoma, a train comes by a couple times a day — a long one — full of coal, headed to the electric company’s generators. This company does what it can to trap the exhaust. It’s record is exemplary… but it’s still not CLEAN coal.

Why does that matter to Protect The Ocean? Carbon Dioxide causes the oceans’ waters to turn acidic, and that makes those waters a hostile environment for the shelled creatures in those waters. (see the Acid Oceans post.) Burning coal hastens the acidic transformation. This is why we MUST move to passive generation of electricity, via solar and wind farms. This planet, and its oceans, are already damaged, in serious trouble, because of all the tons of CO2 that are being carried into those waters.

If it wasn’t bad enough before, now that the term has been bandied about in the election campaigns, there will be a push for MORE coal-burning power plants. Here’s the facts:

“Virtually all the new coal plants that have been proposed will, just like their predecessors, release 100 percent of the CO2 they produce into the atmosphere, where it will linger—and contribute to global warming.”
“Coal Power in a Warming World: A Sensible Transition to Cleaner Energy Options,” Union of Concerned Scientists. Oct. 2008

“Burning coal is the dirtiest way we produce electricity.”
“Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Generation of Electric Power in the United States,” US DOE 2000.; “GHG Emissions and Sinks 1990-2006,” US EPA 2008

“There are no homes in America powered by ‘clean’ coal.”
IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database; Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database

All of these quotes (and more) come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and M.I.T. It doesn’t get much more authoritative than that.

Now that the election is over, the tough work begins. Don’t let them push the Clean Coal myth any further. Don’t let them build any more coal power plants, or claim that the ones we have now are burning “clean” coal. This planet and her oceans, this earth, it’s the only home we have.


Dear People Considering Signtronix Going Green Products

I was concerned about my environment so I bought a Signtronix sign 22 years ago. Since that time my community in Lebanon has been through some significant storms. The signs I purchased weathered the elements of Mother Nature and time very well. Since that time some of the original bulbs are still in the sign, still working – that’s efficient and good for the environment.

I just wanted to say thank you for your quality product and your call every 5 years or so to see if I’ve needed anything. Frankly, the fact that you have been around for 40 years, that you are still helping me up-date my sign from 22 years ago makes me feel good about my positive Signtronix reviews and continuing business with you.


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