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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5129

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so glad that my typo gave mrgybe an opportunity to feel gleeful and superior. Perhaps it helps ease his sense of guilt over polluting the water as well as the air.

What went unsaid in his latest screed is the alternative programs that the oil industry suggested as ways to reduce the cancer risk. Because, of course, there weren't any. As usual, the oil industry found itself blameless for the health effects of its products.

The lost lawsuit by Exxon is spun in the typical mrgybe way. MTBE got into the water, and EXXON lost the lawsuit, because their gas stations had underground storage tanks that leaked. There is no vested right to pollute the groundwater. Those tanks had been leaking gasoline--which didn't spread to the degree that MTBE did. But if the tanks hadn't leaked, the groundwater wouldn't have been polluted, and EXXON would not have lost a lawsuit.

I wonder if mrgybe feels such a victim in all that happens in the world, and fails to take responsibility for anything that he may have done?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5129

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit more on the health effects of oil company products, and the need for regulation. The California Air Resources Board began to move on regulation of diesel particulate matter about 12 years ago, after this finding:

Quote:
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment concluded that diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen and used the
Garshick data to calculate a unit risk of 3 excess deaths in 10,000 people per Fg/m3 diesel PM lifetime exposure (OEHHA 1998)


Now there are standards for limiting exposure to carcinogenic substances, a level of one death per 100,000 is that standard. That standard recognizes that the health risk assessment methodology is pretty conservative, but also that the various clean air and public health statutes limit what damage can be done to the health of the general public. Diesel particulate risk is thus 30 times the standard, and the risk from benzene, prior to mandating oxygenates, was even higher.

What does that mean? With the population of the United States over 300 million, that means that inadequate regulation of benzene and diesel particulates would mean about 100,000 cancers from each substance.

What has the response of the oil industry been? You could look at BP's record for safety in Texas as a model. They have fought restrictions on fuel formulation and oxygenates, and fought the tightening of the diesel particulate standard during the Obama administration. Their chanting of less regulation, and the chorus on the right that sings along, should not obscure the cancer impacts of their advocacy.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2609

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
MTBE got into the water, and EXXON lost the lawsuit, because their gas stations had underground storage tanks that leaked.

"Their gas stations"..........hmm. Exxon does not own the vast majority of Exxon branded gas stations, as anyone who understands the industry would know. Wikipedia knowledge is shaky ground on which to develop outrage.

MTBE was, and ethanol continues to be, a bad misjudgement mandated by ignorant and self serving politicians against the objections of the industry. But, just as I am free to challenge the premise underlying these mandates, and to declare them extraordinarily bad policy, so is our Berkeley poster free to proclaim their benefits.

Separately, it's quite extraordinary that this same poster relentlessly blasts the oil industry for polluting the air and water, when, for 15 years he was directly responsible for environmental matters at the Port of Oakland, the worst polluter in the entire area for decades Was that his fault? Of course not. Life is more complicated than that. I'm smart enough to understand that not everything is black and white.


Last edited by mrgybe on Fri May 03, 2013 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14049

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He has to be just about the last person on the planet who can add two and two and still thinks ethanol makes ANY sense by ANY criteria.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5129

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps mrgybe would post the decision in the MTBE lawsuit so that people can make their own judgments? Or perhaps he could post the oil companies proposals for dealing with health risk? I thought not.

Mrgybe has misrepresented my efforts at the Port of Oakland, as well as about everything else he posts about. He is an absolute master of the half truth that adds up to a whole lie. It is particularly ironic that he should defend Exxon's gas station as independent operators, because that was exactly the subject of the law suit--that Exxon lost.

I know a lot about diesel particulate risk because I oversaw a proposal by the Port of Oakland to expand into the old naval supply center. The matter was controversial, and citizens in West Oakland wanted the port to mitigate the air quality impacts of expansion. But the truck drivers at the port have no contractual relationship to the port, only to the shipping firms whose products that move. Kind of like the independent operators that Exxon claimed, but with a far more tenuous relationship. The shipping firms did have a contractual relationship with the port--but most of them were in contracts that had years left to run, and no provisions for limiting emissions. I do believe mrgybe knows something about contracts.

While the expansion of the port would have air quality impacts, the port had no authority over the emission standards of the existing, generally old trucks hired by the shipping firms, the emissions of most concern to citizens in West Oakland. The Port was sued by citizens groups in West Oakland, who wanted a firm commitment for substantial funds for mitigation. We settled that lawsuit and I did much of the negotiation. The Port made a commitment to a) repower nearly every piece of equipment that operated on all port terminals, not just the new ones, to filter diesel particulates or use cleaner fuels; b) spend $5 million repowering trucks that called frequently at the port to reduce diesel emissions. There were a number of other provisions, some less effective. Until the Air Resources Board began the rule-making process that would require retrofit of terminal equipment and trucks, few of the privately owned companies were willing to take the Port's subsidies. After the rule making was initiated, the Port found that the money was sufficient to clean-up all terminal equipment that was in common usage. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District contributed enough money from the Carl Moyer fund to double the number of trucks that could be retrofitted. The settlement of the lawsuit was the first time that a Port in the United States agreed to mitigate air quality impacts; similar proposals were resisted by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach--which have since adopted even stronger air quality programs.

As a result of the lawsuit settlement, the groups that had sued the port supported the expansion at every public hearing through the permit process. One of them, Margaret Gordon, was appointed to the Board of Port Commissioner's and convinced the Port to adopt a policy that would reduce diesel emissions to 20% of their former level. Margaret remains a friend and supporter, and an example of the community activists that the right routinely dismisses--especially when they are elected President.

Emissions at the port are less than they would have been without the expansion--because the Port worked directly with the affected community and agreed to put a portion of the project cost to mitigation. All of this is on the record. Mrgybe is a liar as well as a serial polluter.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone can search "Port of Oakland Pollution" and decide whether I am a liar. Here is an example dated 2008.......three years after the name caller retired from his 15 year oversight of pollution at the port. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-kids-see-how-port-pollution-hits-home-3224059.php Or another from 2009 http://www.examiner.com/article/west-oakland-children-suffer-from-port-s-pollution

A brief extract from the 2009 article......

"It's not the sound of her Dora-the-Explorer alarm clock that awakens her, nor is it the disturbance of the eighteen wheeler parked noisily outside of eight-year-old Jazzmine Jackson’s bedroom window. It’s the unseen particles of black soot seeping through the cracks of her window, triggering uncontrollable coughing and wheezing, that has her stumbling out of bed. Toxic soot produced by trucks, trains and ships at the Port of Oakland exposes area residents and workers to high risks of cancer, asthma and heart attacks—more than any other region in Northern California."

Anyone can also search the New Hampshire MTBE decision and see that the suit was based upon a hypothetical market share, not on leakage from Exxon tanks. The entire industry was sued. All but Exxon settled. The outcome will likely be overturned on appeal.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still waiting for news of the oil companies initiatives on health impacts. Maybe 200,000 cancers isn't dramatic enough?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5129

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still waiting for the account, spun the mrgybe way, about how the oil industry embraced the public health concerns that led regulatory agencies to propose oxygenates, and came up with their own solutions. And how their reasonable response, and legions of chemists, allowed them to persuade the regulatory agencies to try it their way? No? Perhaps all of the oil company's executives rant and rave and belittle the concerns of the legislation like mrgybe does? And clearly, from his continued approach, they have no idea that credibility matters.

Isobars, surprisingly, shows that the mental health issues that prevent him from actually reading anything that doesn't agree with him, fails to understand what is being said and discussed. Dialogue the right-wing way.

Ethanol is far the best oxygenate, and MTBE, although an effective oxygenate, was able to move through soil much more readily than gasoline. Of course, if gasoline stations met the standards for leak detection that would not have been as big a problem--but mrgybe assures us that it wasn't Exxon's fault. The combination of better oxygenates and better crankcase controls has nearly eliminated the cancer risk from gasoline vapors--a good thing. Of course only implemented because of regulations.

For those who don't know, any regulation proposed by the EPA, or by state pollution control agencies, merely implements the direction and discretion given them by the legislature. All such regulations have rule-making procedures, where well-reasoned concerns, and suggestions for better approaches, shape the regulations. My guess is that mrgybe would have been more effective in these arenas if he didn't belittle the health concerns, listened, and proposed reasonable solutions with careful reasoning. Maybe that's why he's on the sidelines for these matters, reduced to screeching?

I'm neither surprised by Exxon's fighting the MTBE lawsuit, or their arrogance in assuming they will win. What is the status of the lawsuits over the Exxon Valdiz spill? Settled? Hardly. Still working on recovery from resource damage (from that wildly liberal State of Alaska:) http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/recovery/status.cfm

and http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/21_years_after_valdez_oil_spil.html

As far as punitive damages for their carelessness in letting the alcoholic skipper remain at the helm, some have speculated that Exxon is just waiting for those injured to die.


Quote:
The Exxon Valdez Litigation Marathon: A Window on Punitive Damages

Catherine M. Sharkey

NYU School of Law

April 13, 2010

University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2010
NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 10-15
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 10-25

Abstract:
The Exxon Valdez litigation marathon - a protracted, two-decade-long battle over the propriety and constitutionality of the jury’s $5 billion punitive damages award - provides a window into the past, present, and future of punitive damages. Acting akin to a common law court under federal admiralty jurisdiction, the U.S. Supreme Court provided a template for lower courts to follow. Free of constitutional constraints, the Court diagnoses the problem with punitive damages - unpredictability - and propose a solution: a 1:1 ratio of punitive to compensatory damages. The flaws in the Court’s statistical analysis provide a reminder that those “unsophisticated in statistics” should proceed with caution. The Court’s single-minded focus on unpredictability almost inexorably drives it to embrace and reinforce an exclusively retributive rationale for punitive damages. The Court invokes the analogy of the sentencing guidelines as a model for achieving greater predictability; once enamored with this model, the linkage between the guidelines and criminal retribution spills over to punitive damages as civil retribution. There is, moreover, an uncanny coincidence between the Court’s common law, policy-laden analysis, and the heavy-handed direction its constitutional excessiveness decisions had been taking.

Three issues loom large on the horizon of punitive damages doctrine and policy. First, the Court’s fixation on unpredictability can be linked with a broader trend in the Court’s jurisprudence of circumscribing the role of the civil jury in the name of certainty, predictability, and efficiency. Second, the Court had before it a case in a unique procedural posture: the plaintiffs were part of a “limited fund,” mandatory, non-opt out class action for resolution of punitive damages only. Because that element of the case was not appealed to the Court, the Court left for another day resolution of the classwide determination of punitive damages. Third, the Court’s quest for a national solution to the punitive damages problem and its equation of punitive damages and criminal fines presage impending federalism battles. By elevating a single punitive damages goal - that of retributive punishment - the Court sets the stage for a clash with state courts and legislatures who might be inspired to define their legitimate state interests in punitive damages differently.



Yessirree, the rigid right argues for accountability and personal responsibility--for everyone else!
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does the oil industry address public health concerns when accidents happen in the difficult and dangerous business they conduct to enable us all to live our lives? Let's look at the recent well publicized Yellowstone pipeline spill.........1.500 barrels. Exxon cleaned up the mess within weeks, spending about $150 million to ensure that their mistake was remedied. Contrast that with the Port of Oakland, the employer of our sanctimonious poster for 15+ years. For decades the port has been ruining the health of thousands of residents in surrounding suburbs and has ended he lives of many. No problem says our Berkeley poster in his May 3 post. The Port committed $5 million to solve this decades old problem that has catastrophically altered the lives of so many................but wait.........there's more.........

In November the Port of Oakland Commission voted to indefinitely postpone making good on the $5 million commitment in the Port's Clean and Safe Ports Plan to help subsidize diesel-soot filters for polluting diesel trucks serving the Port. Meanwhile residents of West Oakland and truck drivers who serve the Port continue to breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation - and to suffer the severe health effects that go with it. The Port's excuse is that the current economic situation is impacting cargo shipments, causing a decrease in volume and associated shipping activity. http://sanfranciscobay.sierraclub.org/yodeler/html/2009/01/conservation8.htm

Who would you rather deal with?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5129

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrgybe has now become an advocate for air quality? He seems to have forgotten the most polluted air basin, with the greatest number of people affected, is the area immediately inland of the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. He seems to have forgotten that Exxon ships their crude, and refines it, in ships that burn bunker fuel. He seems to have forgotten the fifteen year battle that Exxon spent arguing that neither the EPA nor the State of California had the authority to regulate their emissions from shipping and offshore platforms. He seems to have forgotten that Exxon refused to ship any oil by pipeline, which would have reduced both emissions and spills.

But in his eagerness to attack me, and the Port of Oakland, he betrayed his ignorance of environmental programs. You see, the Port installed an air quality monitor in West Oakland to test the air for particulates. The air met the current regulatory standard for particulates. That doesn't mean that the air is healthy for long term exposure, but that it meets current standards. Now those whose only sense of history is the daily talking points from Glen Beck probably don't remember that EPA tried to tighten those standards during Obama's first term to reflect current health research. It was the Republicans, backed by oil money, that fought the new standards tooth and nail.

Mrgybe has some funny things that he thinks he should be proud of--like the Yellowstone spill. Perhaps pipelines should be sited more carefully to minimize the risk of spill? Naw, mrgybe attacked Obama for that. Did Exxon leap to clean up the spill? Here's the press account:

Quote:
Exxon Mobil Corp. acknowledged under political pressure Monday that the scope of its oil pipeline leak into the Yellowstone River could extend far beyond a 10-mile stretch of the famed waterway.

As the company intensified its cleanup of tens of thousands of gallons of spilled crude, Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. President Gary Pruessing pledged to do "whatever is necessary" to find and mop up oil from the 12-inch pipeline that broke at the bottom of the river over the weekend.

The company earlier downplayed assertions by state and federal officials that damage from the spill was spread over dozens of miles. That drew sharp criticism from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who plans to tour the damaged areas today.

Underscoring rising anger over the spill among some riverfront property owners, Pruessing was confronted after a news conference by a goat farmer and environmental activist who said his partner was sickened by oil fumes and had to be taken to the emergency room.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/green/article/Exxon-Mobil-admits-spread-of-Yellowstone-oil-spill-2355630.php#ixzz2SOgT3F3A


In Arkansas Exxon had help from the Governor closing the spill area so that the press and public couldn't see it. Then there is Utah, and Alaska--still a mess and Exxon still fighting any payment of punitive damages. Boy is there a lot to be proud of there!

What is the saying--you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.
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