Books & Writings by SPam McGee

Alaska Short Stack Stories, Series I, II, & III ~ Alaska's Deadliest Sin-Drill Baby Drill ~ Alaskan Company Man ~ Eklutna Lake Worrier ~ From the Fifth Floor ~ Hannah Cove ~ My Journey to Landes House ~ Poemetrics ~ Quinn the "Tanik" Eskimo ~ S.O.S. from Beaver Lake ~ The Teachings of the Swamp Fox ~ Trans-Alaska-Pipeline Funny Stories ~ Spirit Dog & the Ghost Wind


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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cruelty to Dogs & Natives

OK, a refrigerated indoor arena with a lengthly treadmill for training mushing dogs? Of course it's “Cruelty”. OK, the dogs that are trained to shit-splat across a 1000-mile stretch of Alaskan wilderness are not “pets”, but primal-donna monsters. Now “Dog Mushing” as a necessity to travel where no roads exist for most of the year and as a ways and means for bush dwellers and villagers to survive, well therein “Mushing” may be appropriate. But when we take “Fido” and force-train “man's once best friend” to run-for-your-life, we inbreed a Frankenstein mentality - it's cruelty, this long road type of mushing. And believe me, “culling” is the silent still “Breakfast of Champions” and why in hell are there a bunch of “Animal Lovers” in and around Fairbanks that spend retirement “rescuing” old sled dogs left to rot? It is sad, to see these once thriving tail wagers so abused and now succumbing to cancer, tumors and joints so devastated that crapping is even painful without a handful handout of “Bufferin”. You can see it in those canine eyes, even though these orphaned animals appreciate being fed and cared for, they hate humans! Look, assholes come north, buy a bunch of dogs thinking they can be the “King” and in no time flat abuse is rampant. Here is my take on “Mr. Musher Pusher Monster”, get a real job and let dogs be dogs! But talk about Nunavaaq Street is under attack, by the EPA. Yes indeed, the Native village of Barrow has been hit hard by the Region 10 EPA. But I am glad to see that the EPA is staying out of SHELL's way this go around and letting a bunch of engineers new to “Arctic Drilling” find out the hard way just how sad it is trying to “Drill where no man has drilled before”. Take a breather anybody that is “shell-shocked” again, as there will never be any actual drilling that far off-shore around Alaska's coast. It doesn't work, as we have not the technology to perform in that kind of harsh environment without serious consequences. What works well is this. A company like SHELL dishes out $millions$ to capture leases in the Chukchi Beaufort sea off-shore frontier. It sends up expensive “scouting” drilling rigs, not in efforts to actually find oil coming topside like a Texas gusher, but in efforts to delineate the prospect. And with no intent to ever exploit what was found during this costly “Investment Tax Right-off Credit” exploration ritual. WHY? Because when a company like SHELL can say this about that, it “gold plates” the company portfolio-portpolio, as delineated “reserves” are considered a valuable asset. And the cost just to delineate a prospect and along with the payment of yearly fees to maintain the leases then never producing a single drop of the “Black Gold”, it still pays off big-time for investor magnet strategies. Even when state or Federal “or else” deadlines to produce are reached, as with that the explorers use the court systems to delay for years any actual “production” work - in the meantime that “reserve” continues to boost the corporate stock of the company and that is what it's all about. In simple terms, if SHELL finds oil in Putin's backyard, it will be worth as much even more “stranded”, as an asset and financially boosting the company's stock value. OK, back to the native villagers “uber” attack. See, “South Pad” was examined and committed as an RCRA-Hazardous Waste site - and the EPA has fined the North Slope Borough close to a half-million bucks, for illegal storage of toxic garbage. Mostly in the form of barrels filled with “antifreeze”, basically glycol that was contaminated with “benzene”. When glycol is used in heat recovery systems, like in power plants or even vehicle use, it breaks down from the constant heat-up cool-down cycle and the chemical structure is attacked and “benzene” is liberated free and thus causes contamination. So the EPA finds rules and regulations under RCRA that an entity can only store so much “contaminates” for only so much time and must be diligent in sending “Love Canal” like stuff to an approved facility that can clean out or destroy the benzene. But there ain't such a facility in Alaska so most likely the 90-day trial went past due the fact that “Barrow” is frozen in, has no roads which means wait until summer and then set a barge south with the “crap”. So, the law was broken and now the “Borough” must cough up a bunch of money, but the city is broke because the mayor used all the “extra” money to buy $1000 birthday cakes for the “staff” infection. Honestly, sounds like Lew Dischner & Carl Mathisen are once again offering consulting services to the Barrow Mayor's Office. Anyway, this EPA enforcement “fine” doesn't seem fair and the “Borough” may have been better off getting the AOGCC involved, as the fine would have been, well maybe never! See, about 200-miles from the Mayor's birthday party headquarters, wherein there exists a road to allow hazardous “crap” to get to an ice-free port for proper disposal, Pioneer Natural Resources decided to play the same game - by NOT following RCRA rules and regulations. Now the state run AOGCC works hand-in-mouth with the EPA, for what is called the UIC – Underground Injection Control program – to make sure the state monitors “crap” that is pumped down-hole into the “Big Cesspool”. So the AOGCC has some jurisdiction over what can be considered a crime and what actions or inactions may get away without any violations. And remember, Sarah Palin was once a Frank Murkowski selected “Chairperson of Interest” and tried to “clean house” with the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, but maybe she didn't finish mopping up the corruption, at least she tried. Anyway, back a few years ago this oil company faced a dilemma, as somebody “snitched” out that this 1st “Independent” to Alaska “illegally” disposed of “contaminated glycol” in the amount of 450-thousand pounds – 90 times what Barrow was caught trying to conceal. And when the AOGCC became involved, as it polices the UIC program for the EPA with respect to “violators”, well the AOGCC decided a $10000-dollar fine was appropriate – which Pioneer gladly paid without even the slightest hesitation an appeal! So, Barrow is now facing fines that are in excess 4000 times greater for the same kind of crime on a comparison basis, because in the AOGCC case it was basically an out-of-sight out-of-mind mentality. So instead of spending all that moola on birthdays cakes, Barrow should have found an interest into a drilling rig to down-hole the “contaminated glycol” as that would have been well worth the investment – just pump the “crap” into the ground and let the AOGCC do its thing of minding its own business and letting freeloaders rape the environment. I do believe that the AOGCC has a “Mission” practiced other then what it is truly supposed to be honoring and such orchestrated through Alaska statutes. With the AOGCC, more like “Crime pays less”. In comparison, the fine that Barrow was stung with, that's the law. How the AOGCC has let “Independents” off the hook, I guess the line and sinker is “snagged” on a “Commissioner's” comfortable chair!
Barrow's $445,000 EPA "Fine" scene!
(Enforcement due 45,000 pounds of Hazards) 
PNR's $10,000 AOGCC "Fine" scene!
(Enforcement due 450,000 pounds of Hazards)

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