Monday Mission #26

flaring ND(r)

Another Monday rolls around and the folks we did not elect to run the country are still up to no good.

One of those fellows, by the name of Ryan Zinke, heads the Department of the Interior. We can now tell when he is entertaining industry lobbyists in Washington because he flies his own personal flag atop the headquarters. When he is out jetting around the country meeting with other polluters and con men the flag is taken down. I think it should fly permanently at half mast to honor the wilderness he is willing to sacrifice to drill for oil and to strip mine coal.

Anyway, here’s his latest bright idea. Natural gas comes up with oil when starting a new well and it is typically burned or ‘flared’ off. I remember when working in the fields around Four Corners you could hear the roar for miles. The photo above was taken in North Dakota, a state where one third of the natural gas that comes out of the ground is burned – wasted fuel that fuels climate change. If the gas were captured, as the Obama Administration wanted, it could be sold and millions in royalties paid to the state or federal government. That makes sense to you and me, but not to Secretary Zinke, who wishes to delay the rule until he can kill it. Comment here.

If you are concerned about religious zealots using the power of the government to promote their agenda against women then you’ll want to take a look at a couple of proposed health insurance waivers that just posted for comment. Both would allow employers to deny coverage for contraception in their plans by claiming a moral objection. Well, I am claiming a moral objection to mixing church and state. That happens to be something our Constitution forbids under the Establishment Clause. I am out of patience with those who want legal protection for their prejudice and ignorance when they are participating in the public sphere. And that goes as well for folks who don’t want to serve gay people or others their sacred writings tell them to hate. A lot of people came to these shores over the last 300 years to escape just that kind of intolerance and corruption. Comment here and here.

That’s it for now. There will be a Wednesday Edition this week with a lot of new information on local and state issues. You can follow these posts at    Scroll down and enter your email to have the Monday Mission delivered right to your inbox.


Leave a Reply