Friday, October 16, 2015
What We Learned This Week: "It's too late, New Orleans, now, it's too late"
halted nationwide implementation of the Obama administration's new Waters of the United States rule, while a second federal panel decided against consolidating numerous cases appealing the rule. Above-ground spills, not drilling, are responsible for much of the water contamination that results from fracking. Greater Cincinnati's Great Ohio River Swim won't be so great, after all, because of the continuing Ohio River harmful algal bloom. 25,000 gallons of brine were spilled in North Dakota, but reportedly did not impact any surface water. The Skunk River in Iowa was not so lucky, as spilled hog manure made its way into that water body. It's been much dryer lately in the Corn Belt and Lower Mississippi River Valley. If the Mississippi River Basin were a school student, it would be well below average. The Earth just celebrated its warmest September on record. No matter what anyone does, it's too late to keep rising seas from swallowing New Orleans. Louisville is less "green" than city leaders seem to believe. But Baton Rouge is doing much worse. Scores of sensitive grassland birds are being displaced from northern North Dakota by Bakken oil shale development. A top oil industry official said that a "suite" of proposed federal regulations threatens North Dakota's oil production, not slumping prices. And last but not least, John Oliver would like the normally very polite people of North Dakota to get angry ("please").