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Pearl Jam is my favorite band, bar none. I was excited when they announced during their 2006 tour that not only the band's touring apparatus but also fans' drives to the concerts would be made carbon neutral. I saw them twice on that tour, and felt a little better after the six hours of driving for one of the shows knowing that my car miles were being cleaned, in a sense, by the band I was going to see. Pearl Jam members have long been willing to take a stand on political issues, so it does not surprise me one bit to hear that at the recent Lollapalooza show, Eddie Vedder sang about the way BP is increase the amount of waste sludge and ammonia it dumps into Lake Michigan. You can hear the bit in the clip above.

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[Source: YouTube via Ecorazzi]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 3 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      As stated in the older linked ABG article, why the hell are companies allowed to dump ANY pollution into our water supply?
      Last I checked, oil companies in particular are making record profits, so I think they can afford to dispose of their waste properly.
      rwwhit
      • 7 Years Ago
      Commentary
      Filtering the facts from the fallacies of BP controversy
      By Dennis Byrne | a Chicago-area writer and consultant
      August 20, 2007
      U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) is correct to call for congressional hearings into government approval given to BP for a $3.8 billion upgrade to its northwest Indiana gasoline refinery.

      Just as long as the hearings help to clarify and correct the barrels of misinformation and distortions swamping the debate over the massive project that will bring cheaper and more abundant gasoline to the Midwest. The distortions have been sloshing around now for more than a month after approval of the project by federal and state regulators came under fire. A public summit of the major players in the controversy last week seemed to do little to clear them up.

      Take the issue of "backsliding": Can any additional "pollutants," no matter how infinitesimal or harmless, be discharged into to the nation's lakes, rivers and streams, even if they are legal and within federal and state limits, as BP's are?

      Some critics, such as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) would go so far as to inaccurately suggest that any additional discharges are illegal. As he said in a letter to Benjamin Grumbles, the Environmental Protection Agency's assistant administrator for the Office of Water, "A specific provision in the federal Clean Water Act prohibits any downgrade in water quality near a pollution source even if discharge limits are met."

      Well, yes, but there's a legal exception, according to the EPA, that he fails to mention, either from ignorance or mendacity: "Anti-backsliding provisions of the [Clean Water Act] contain an exception where material and substantial alterations to the permitted facility justify the application of less stringent effluent limitations...to accommodate important economic or social development." Regulators correctly determined that the economic and social benefits of the refinery expansion meet that requirement.

      Other critics don't go as far. They regard the exemption as a "loophole" that BP will use to "foul" Lake Michigan. Such claims usually are made without precise evidence about how the discharges will "foul" the lake, endanger the water supply or lead to horrific events that might justify the critics' hysteria.

      For example, in ranting about the relatively small amount of ammonia allowed into the lake, the critics ignore the fact that ammonia is not a bioaccumulative chemical. It breaks down in the water. If it didn't, all the fish in the Great Lakes might have disappeared eons ago from swimming in their own urine.

      Also conveniently missing from the debate is the context that could be provided by comparing BP with other industrial and city "dischargers." According to the EPA, BP's 4,925 pounds of suspended solids allowed a day compares with 16,630 at International Steel Group's East Chicago plant and 121,861 at its Burns Harbor facility. Ispat Industries' East Chicago plant is allowed 130,453 pounds, about 27 times BP's limit. Chicago, of course, is on another planet, permitted 243,000 pounds, almost 50 times BP's. Maybe Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who is threatening to sue BP, ought to sue himself. Except, I suppose that Chicago's discharges don't count because they aren't into the lake; they're just gifted to the Illinois river system.

      Note also might be taken of the fact that no ammonia limits are imposed on a bunch of papermakers and cities such as Milwaukee and Green Bay. Chicago's allowable ammonia discharge (from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) is 61,000 pounds, compared with BP's 1,584.

      Considering these facts, Stephen Elbert, BP America vice chairman, should have said at last week's summit, "Nuts. You don't want our jobs and economic development? We'll take them elsewhere." Instead, he went well beyond what is required and promised to look at suggested alternatives to cleaning up the plant's discharges. But, he added, any discharge alternative will have to "fall within the economic boundaries of the project," a perfectly legitimate position.

      Mary Gade, EPA Midwest regional administrator, probably said the smartest thing all day when she asked everyone to get beyond the headlines and emotions and begin a more practical discussion.

      The issue is larger than BP. In a way, it's a test of national importance of whether we can balance legitimate environmental and economic concerns. Of whether we can avoid couching the debate, as did Ann Alexander, a local Natural Resources Defense Council attorney, in such destructive and extreme terms as "sacrificing Lake Michigan in the name of oil addiction." Of whether politics will run roughshod over the public interest. Of whether d
      • 7 Years Ago
      "...and felt a little better after the six hours of driving for one of the shows knowing that my car miles were being cleaned, in a sense, by the band I was going to see."

      Ahem. *cough*BULLSHIT!*cough*
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