1sunfight’s Weblog

September 28, 2008

Atlanta Gas Shortage Enters Third Week

Like many people in Atlanta I have grown weary of the gas shortage. I am confident that I am not alone in stifling the urge to panic and become desperate as the area’s gas shortage enters into its third week.

Since Hurricane Ike struck I have done everything in my power to conserve gas. Because the situation is so severe, especially in the county where I live since it is the hardest hit in the Atlanta metropolitan area during this crisis, I only drive to and from my job, stop at the grocery store, and make other essential trips that are within a half mile from my apartment. For now, all I can do is conserve while I wait for the crisis to pass.

Of course, none of this stops me from wondering why this gas shortage continues unabated and why this hurricane has made this gas shortage so much more worse than after Hurricane Katrina when the gas pipes were damaged, but not with this hurricane.

In the Atlanta news I have not been able to find a concrete answer as to when we can expect the crisis to end other than it could be days, another week, or we have no idea. I have heard about the disruption in the gas lines and that they are at 80 percent capacity and that there are four more refineries that have not, but are about to, start back up, which will bring the gas lines back to full capacity. That is part of the answer, but not the entire answer.

I became extremely aggravated when I watched this video clip of the gas shortage on CNN at a gas station located just miles from where I live. I immediately went to the local news and saw very little, if nothing, to assure me when this will or could end, or something, anything to help. Finally on WXII Winston-Salem I got the answers I was looking for.

The gas lines had been shut down for Hurricane Gustav that happened just over a week before Hurricane Ike struck. That means that although there was gas around there was not much; given that with a second shut down in a very short time that put a lot of demand on a very small supply that went quickly. That said with power outages in Houston that delayed refineries from getting back online quickly that exacerbated the situation, including that gas supplies are at an eighteen year low. According to Gulf Coast refineries it could take up to another month to have the southeast back to normal.

CNN

September 27, 2008

Tribute to Paul Newman

Filed under: Daily Observations,Uncategorized — Julie P @ 2:38 pm
Tags:

The legendary actor Paul Newman died today at the age of 83 from cancer. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be missed.

In tribute to him, here is the most memorable scene of any Paul Newman film.

CNN

1960 Presidential Debate Revisited

I watched the debate between Obama and McCain and walked away wondering with all of McCain’s references to history he seemed to have missed one very important history lesson and that was Nixon’s shifty eyes in the 1960 presidential debate. Shifty eyes sunk Nixon in that debate, not his words and that is exactly what happened with McCain.  McCain lost the debate for that reason alone, shifty eyes.  McCain’s facial expressions alone did not inspire and screamed he is not a leader.

CNN

September 26, 2008

Atlanta Has No Gas

Over two weeks ago I watched Hurricane Ike march across Cuba, then start to make its way across the Gulf of Mexico toward the heart of the oil refineries in Texas. As an Atlantan who lived through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with its punishing damage to the gas lines that feed the southeastern United States, three days before Hurricane Ike struck I filled up my gas tank knowing that there would be a severe price spike, with the real possibility of a gas shortage. The night before Ike made landfall I decided to replace the small amount of gas I had burned in the three days since I filled up. The hurricane was looking as though it was going to do serious damage to the gas lines and I remember the gas shortages after Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina it was hard to find gas, as time passed it got so bad that I could barely find gas anywhere, but I could still find gas every day, not that I needed it every day, but it was available. It took a month before Atlanta’s gas supply returned to normal, but then it would take a while to repair damaged pipelines, so a person could expect that.

As it turned out Hurricane Ike was not as bad as was anticipated, with no damaged to the gas pipelines, just turn them back on and in a few days things will return to normal. This is one time I have to admit I was wrong.

I did not give gas a second thought for over a week after the hurricane struck Houston. I did not need to; I had a tank full of gas that could last a while. I drove to and from my job past two gas stations that were out of gas beginning the day after the hurricane made landfall and past a third that I thought I remembered always having gas after Hurricane Ike. It was eight days later and I went to a friend’s house. On my way there I drove past a gas station where I immediately knew there was a run  on gas going on. I made a face and wondered why. As I drove past it on my way back three hours later, I saw that it was closed. As I drove further I saw another gas station experiencing a run on gas at it. I went home, went to the city newspaper and a local television station to see if there was any news about gas in Atlanta. Sure enough, Atlanta is bone dry on gas. We are experiencing a gas shortage that is worse than what we experienced with Katrina.

Yesterday made two weeks since I filled up my gas tank and I was between a half full and a quarter full. It was time to start looking for gas. All three gas stations I drive by on my way to work were bone dry and the paper read that morning it would be another two weeks before the crisis would pass. I thought I would look around at the seven gas stations just to the south of my apartment, but there was no need to. Right after work I saw that the gas station near my job had gas, so I braved the forty minute line and got gas.

When I woke up this morning I read in the paper that the governor of Georgia said the gas shortage was the fault of Atlantans; it was self-induced. Right, Sonny, it was “self-induced” and so is bad, or more like, no planning self-induced. Sonny, you have lost your mind? There was a run on gas the day before and the day after Hurricane Ike, but that will not lead to a month long shortage. The gas lines were not damaged, they were shut down, which means a slowdown of gas reaching Atlanta. The rest of the country is swimming in gas; hell, they may even be bathing in it, but Atlanta no gas. Zero, zip, nada. Sonny, that is because of poor planning, and your attitude is beyond insensitive and condescending.

Sonny, just your trap and do your job, get gas to Atlanta.

AJC

CNN

September 25, 2008

Barack Obama on the Current State of the Economy

McCain Runs Scared

Isn’t it convenient that once the polls show that Obama is regaining the lead in the presidential race, a debate imminent, and the press starting to clamor to free Sarah Palin, so she can speak for herself ,when McCain decides to suspend his campaign and go running back to Washington to “work”. The message is loud and clear that McCain is running scared, that he does not want to talk about the issues.

The truth is that President Bush and the current Congress lead by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid will be the ones to set the agenda for dealing with the economic environment. Both candidates are completely capable of dealing with the current environment while campaigning, presidents often have handled many difficult tasks and difficult issues, this is no different. We need to hear what their positions are and what their plans are for the next four years. They, or rather we, are going to have deal with the aftermath of decisions made today over the next four years and what they plan on doing to carry us forward, not hiding in a senate hearing.

Standup, be a leader, and show us that you can take the heat. Suspending a campaign and possibly undermining the election process is a dangerous precedent to set. That is what it looks like McCain is doing because he too scared to face his opponent.

CNN: Dems: McCain wants to stage a ‘photo op’

September 23, 2008

Great Lakes Compact Passes the House of Representatives

The Great Lakes

The Great Lakes

Today in a vote in the House of Representatives the Great Lakes Compact passed with 390 for and 25 against. The bill now moves to President Bush’s desk for his signature, with his promise to sign into law before he leaves office.

Outsiders won’t be able to siphon off large amounts of water from the Great Lakes under a bill that gained final approval in the House Tuesday.

Tuesday’s vote signifies “the most important congressional action for protecting Great Lakes fresh water since the Clean Water Act of 1972,” said Noah Hall, a law professor at Wayne State University who helped draft the compact language while working as an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation.

Although the compact was designed to prohibit large-scale diversions of water outside the region, it does allow water to be exported if it leaves in containers that are 5.7 gallons or less. The provision will allow the region’s bottled water industry to continue to thrive, but Stupak worries it could inadvertently open the door to large-scale water grabs.

In addition to restricting water diversion from the lakes, the compact will establish scientific standards for guiding decisions about water supplies within the Great Lakes basin and create a council made up of the eight Great Lakes states’ governors to review water management programs.

“The protection of shared natural resources requires shared responsibility across state lines and across various levels of the public and private sectors,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) said in a statement.

The Compact includes the following points:

· Economic development will be fostered through sustainable use and responsible management of Basin waters.

In general, there will be a ban on new diversions of water from the Basin but limited exceptions could be allowed in communities near the Basin when rigorous standards are met.

· Communities that apply for an exception will have a clear, predictable decision making process; standards to be met; and, opportunities to appeal decisions.  These processes and standards do not exist under current law.

· The States will use a consistent standard to review proposed uses of Basin water.  The States will have flexibility regarding their water management programs and how to apply this standard.

· Regional goals and objectives for water conservation and efficiency will be developed, and they will be reviewed every five years.  Each State will develop and implement a water conservation and efficiency program that may be voluntary or mandatory.

· There is a strong commitment to continued public involvement in the implementation of the Compact.

 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

September 22, 2008

Obama on Home Ownership and Mortgage Fraud

Filed under: Biden,Daily Observations,Obama,politics,Uncategorized — Julie P @ 4:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Here is the outline concerning homeownership and mortgage fraud:

 

·        Provide a New Mortgage Interest Tax Credit

·        Combat Mortgage Fraud and Predatory Subprime Loans

·        Mandate Accurate Loan Disclosure

·        Close the Bankruptcy Loopholes for Mortgage Companies

 

 

To read the PROTECTING HOMEOWNERSHIP & CRACKING DOWN ON MORTGAGE FRAUD  in its entirety click on the link provided.

 

 

Obama at North Carolina Rally

We must work quickly in a bipartisan fashion to resolve this crisis to avert an even broader economic catastrophe. But Washington also has to recognize that economic recovery requires that we act, not just to address the crisis on Wall Street, but also the crisis on Main Street and around kitchen tables across America.

As of now, the Bush Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan. Even if the U.S. Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. And in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects the basic principles of transparency, fairness, and reform.

First, there must be no blank check when American taxpayers are on the hook for this much money.

Second, taxpayers shouldn’t be spending a dime to reward CEOs on Wall Street.

Third, taxpayers should be protected and should be able to recoup this investment.

Fourth, this plan has to help homeowners stay in their homes.

Fifth, this is a global crisis, and the United States must insist that other nations join us in helping secure the financial markets.

Sixth, we need to start putting in place the rules of the road I’ve been calling for years to prevent this from ever happening again.

And finally, this plan can’t just be a plan for Wall Street; it has to be a plan for Main Street. We have to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to pass a stimulus plan that will put money in the pockets of working families, save jobs, and prevent painful budget cuts and tax hikes in our states.

Read more on Obama economic plan at:

Obama’s Economic Speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 21, 2008

CNN

September 21, 2008

Great Lakes September Update

The House on Thursday passed the Great Lakes Legacy Act, which would expand a program to reduce contaminated sediments in the lakes.

AP – Great Lakes Legacy Act

Toxic sediment has led to a degradation of fish and wildlife populations and habitat in the lakes, and Congress must act to make sure future generations can enjoy “these precious resources,” said Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Appleton).

Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel

The Great Lakes Legacy Act, an improved version of its 2002 predecessor, passed the House of Representatives 371-20 and is waiting to move into the Senate for passage there before it moves to Bush for his signature.

The bill creates a roadmap to cleaning up the Great Lakes. Given there is still high concentrations of pollution remaining in rivers and harbors in the region that continues to put the ecosystem, wildlife, and humans at risk it is imperative that the cleanup of the Great Lakes, and its tributaries continues.

Great Lakes Legacy Act

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