David Brooks: The urban backlash against the populist backlash – The Salt Lake Tribune

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2019/11/22/david-brooks-urban/

The populist backlash came in different forms in different parts of the world. In Central and Eastern Europe it came in the form of nationalist strongmen — Victor Orban, Vladimir Putin, the Law and Justice party in Poland. In Latin America it came in the form of the Pink Tide — a group of left-wing economic populists like Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. In the Anglosphere it was white ethnic nationalism of Donald Trump and Brexit. In the Middle East it was Muslim fundamentalism. In China it was the increasing authoritarianism of Xi Jinping. In India it was the Hindu nationalism of Narendra Modi.

David Brooks

Norway’s new Government drops Lofoten oil | Barentsobserver

Liberal party and Christian Democratic party join new government and agree on stopping oil drilling in the most sensitive parts of Norway. As you may expect, environmental groups are pleased with this agreement. The Barents Observer go on to say:

“The new government [of Norway] will not go on with any planning or drilling in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja, and will not open for drilling in the areas around Jan Mayen or close to the ice-edge in the High Arctic. 

The Arctic waters already opened for oil and gas planning and development in the southwestern and southeastern part of the Barents Sea will remain open for petroleum activity. Several discoveries of both oil and gas have been announced in these areas over the last two years. 

General Director of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, Gro Brækken, says the decision to stop any new impact assessment studies for oil and gas development in the northeastern Norwegian Sea is a democratic problem.

She sent out a press-release pointing to the fact that three out of four deputies in the new parliament is elected on a program that says yes to study the impact of oil activity in the waters outside Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

“It is a democratic problem that a clear majority in the parliament that supports such an impact assessment study again is overrun by a small minority. The representatives from the Christian Democratic and the Liberals, both parties without a single parliament member from Northern Norway, has got too big influence on this issue which has great importance for business development in this region,” says General Director Gro Brækken.”

http://barentsobserver.com/en/politics/2013/10/norways-new-government-drops-lofoten-oil-01-10

Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive matetial – Observer

Tara Kinsell reports on TENORM stuck in Greene County. Fracking in Pennsylvannia is generating such waste. This material includes biproducts from oil and gas exploration and pumping. A more permanent solution to transportation and storage needs to be found to contain or reclaim radioactive materials. Here is an excerpt:

It isn’t like we are taking nuclear fuel rods. It is mostly medical waste and low level drill cuttings coming up from deep digs, not really high level radiation,” Poister said. “The problem lately is making sure it doesn’t leach into the ground so it doesn’t become a larger problem. Obviously you don’t want that stuff sitting on site. It is supposed to be safely disposed of.”

He said there are stringent guidelines that must be followed when dealing with TENORM.

Companies face fines when they are out of compliance. However, looking at fines for various infractions, including some for failure to properly dispose of or clean up waste that threatened polluting waters of the commonwealth, resulted in fines of just a few thousand dollars. It seems like a drop in the bucket for wells that are raking in millions.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) estimates the United States may produce more than 1 billion tons of TENORM annually from all sources. Large quantities of TENORM are currently undisposed of with much of it existing in abandoned mine sites across the country, according to the NRC.

Poister said TENORM is part of the reason the DEP launched a study in January to look at naturally occurring levels of radioactivity in materials associated with oil and gas development.

Flowback waters, treatment solids, drill cuttings, transportation issues, storage and disposal of drilling wastes and levels of radon in natural gas are being looked at, along with the potential of exposure to industry employees and the public.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20130708%2FNEWS02%2F130709434#.Ud6Vvqz7ZRZ