Archive

Author Archive

[ Sold One To The Chicago Field Museum ]

March 25th, 2013 No comments

Under the Plume of Permitting – 0022
Encaustic, 16″ x 18″

Categories: Misc

[ Show ] Water Column Series: Phase II

March 2nd, 2013 No comments

Categories: Misc

[ Under the Plume of Permitting ]

October 23rd, 2012 No comments

“Under the Plume of Permitting Series: 000…”
Encaustic, 12″ x 14″, Spring 2012
Categories: In My Studio

[ The Great Lakes ] Death Watch

September 8th, 2011 No comments

[ Lake Erie Death Watch ] By Barry Yeoman for the NRDC

Brought back from the brink once before, a Great Lake again faces biological collapse

What would it mean to lose one of our Great Lakes? The environmental and economic calamity could devastate the region’s tourism, sport fishing industry, drinking water supply, and wildlife, and could also take a toll on human health. And there would be plenty of blame to go around, from changing agricultural methods to inattentive politicians to weaknesses in our nation’s bedrock environmental protections — many of which can partially trace their existence to concern over Lake Erie in the first place.

Erie is the most fertile of the Great Lakes: It contains only 2 percent of their water but 50 percent of their fish. Its biological abundance, and its location in a densely settled corner of the Midwest, make the prospect of collapse all the more frightening. If conditions grow worse, imploding native fish populations could decimate Lake Erie’s recreational fishing industry. (Fishing generates $7 billion a year throughout the Great Lakes.) The water supply for 11 million people could become undrinkable without expensive treatment. And blue-green algae, linked to liver cancer in China and fatal poisonings in Brazil, could pose a grave threat to people here, too, particularly if ingested.

.

[ Ah – Ha ]

June 1st, 2011 1 comment

I just had an ah – ha moment, for me emotions are not just internal, they have location and I have to spend time with them before I understand from whence they come or how to approach them (time / space relativity). I suppose this is mostly obvious to anyone reading this blog.

Categories: Misc

[ In My Studio ] The Water Column

April 20th, 2011 8 comments

[ DATA DUMP ] Recent portfolio of work

[Click images to enlarge]

Encaustic, 21″ x 24″

Encaustic, 12″ x 14″

Encaustic, 21″ x 24″


Encaustic, 21″ x 24″


Encaustic, 12″ x 22″ & 24″ x 48″

Categories: In My Studio

[ In My Studio ]

January 19th, 2011 No comments

I made this painting 15 years ago. It is fairly large 48″x 60″. I still find myself in this relationship to what I sense around me.

Categories: In My Studio

[ BP’s Citizen Advisor ]

December 30th, 2010 No comments

[ TRI ] “Justice in the Air”

December 30th, 2010 No comments

[ Justice in the Air ] tracks toxic data from America’s Industries and Companies to Our States, Cities, and Neighborhoods.

And examines who breaths a disproportionate share of toxic air and who is releasing them.

Links on company names below lead to detailed company reports.

East Chicago Companies in Orange

Rank

Corporation

Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)

Minority share of health risk

Low-income share of health risk

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

36.0%

17.3%

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

32.0%

22.5%

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

42.7%

13.%0

4

Bayer Group

172,773

24.3%

6.8%

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

26.2%

13.4%

6

General Electric

149,061

32.4%

13.4%

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

61.6%

24.9%

8

US Steel

129,123

36.8%

17.8%

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

69.1%

25.4%

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

7.9%

17.8%

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

9.9%

25.4%

12

Duke Energy

93,174

20.3%

16.9%

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

34.7%

15.1%

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

15.8%

9.8%

15

Alcoa

85,983

20.3%

15.2%

16

Valero Energy

83,993

59.9%

12.8%

17

Ford Motor

75,360

24.6%

11.7%

18

General Motors

73,248

29.5%

19.8%

19

Goodyear

67,632

27.3%

11.2%

20

E.ON

65,579

21.6%

15.6%

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

54.6%

15.7%

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

62.1%

13.2%

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

40.2%

13.1%

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

37.7%

14.8%

25

BASF

60,984

31.9%

13.3%

26

Owens Corning

59,609

42.6%

9.7%

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

29.3%

15.9%

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

8.3%

14.2%

29

BP

54,336

54.7%

11.3%

30

Honeywell International

50,417

42.1%

13.1%

31

International Paper

49,385

30.6%

16.2%

32

Ashland

43,492

30.7%

18.9%

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

35.5%

11.2%

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

57.0%

16.5%

35

AES

39,789

29.8%

15.1%

36

Progress Energy

38,027

24.0%

11.2%

37

Nucor

36,963

51.3%

21.2%

38

United Technologies

36,526

30.6%

7.6%

39

Timken

36,047

17.6%

17.4%

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

37.8%

13.2%

41

SPX

34,559

39.8%

11.2%

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

43.5%

13.8%

43

Southern Co

33,577

33.6%

12.5%

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

10.2%

14.1%

45

American Electric

31,364

9.3%

124%

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

14.0%

10.7%

47

Boeing

30,453

33.7%

13.6%

48

General Dynamics

30,337

69.0%

20.9%

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

43.6%

16.9%

50

KeySpan

29,008

53.7%

17.8%

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

33.6%

14.9%

52

Sunoco

27,851

33.5%

16.6%

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

41.0%

16.7%

54

Ball

25,709

38.5%

14.8%

55

Deere & Co

25,346

19.9%

15.6%

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

41.2%

16.1%

57

Tesoro

24,708

24.6%

10.0%

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

47.0%

20.1%

59

Pfizer

24,508

38.3%

19.8%

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

46.2%

21.6%

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

28.2%

12.6%

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

56.6%

22.6%

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

23.0%

17.1%

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

40.9%

16.5%

65

Tyco International

22,115

32.7%

9.3%

66

Terex

21,730

17.3%

9.4%

67

Corning

20,942

17.6%

12.6%

68

Exelon

20,811

33.6%

13.6%

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

19.5%

8.0%

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.8%

10.0%

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

45.3%

12.9%

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

30.5%

14.3%

73

Masco

18,572

6.7%

12.0%

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

21.7%

12.1%

75

Textron

17,443

33.6%

13.6%

76

Sony

16,426

12.5%

5.3%

77

Mirant

16,337

42.4%

9.2%

78

RAG

16,080

52.9%

18.4%

79

Alcan

15,231

10.8%

12.1%

80

Huntsman

15,119

47.7%

20.4%

81

Bridgestone

14,952

15.9%

10.1%

82

Danaher

14,621

23.9%

15.7%

83

PPG Industries

14,300

23.2%

13.0%

84

Hess

13,687

66.5%

26.4%

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

58.6%

25.2%

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

25.6%

10.1%

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

28.0%

13.6%

88

Stanley Works

13,196

32.1%

10.2%

89

Komatsu

13,132

30.9%

19.2%

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

38.6%

16.7%

91

PPL

12,972

11.6%

8.0%

92

Caterpillar

12,924

24.2%

11.0%

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

29.9%

12.0%

94

Siemens

12,649

32.8%

12.8%

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

40.9%

18.3%

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

33.0%

14.3%

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

13.1%

15.1%

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

11.7%

7.9%

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

78.0%

26.5%

100

Dana

10,638

36.2%

17.6%

Toxic 100 firms

4,713,588

34..%

15.2%

Other 500-list firms

459,798

31.1%

13.3%

Non-500-list firms

9,403,595

35.2%

15.5%

All Firms

14,576,982

34.8%

15.3%

U.S. population

31.8%

12.9%

Explanatory notes:

  • Toxic score: Quantity of air releases and incineration transfers reported in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory for the year 2005, adjusted for dispersion through the environment, toxicity of chemicals and number of people impacted. Adjustments are from the EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators project. For details, see the technical notes.
  • ‘Minority share of health risk’ and ‘Low-income share of health risk’ express the share of the total RSEI human health risk from toxic air pollution of a particular company borne by minorities or low-income people.  For details, see Ash and Boyce, “Measuring Corporate Environmental Justice Performance.”
  • Coverage: This table presents the highest toxic scores for corporations that appear on certain Fortune, Forbes, and/or Standard & Poor’s top company lists in the year 2007. Individual facilities are assigned to corporate parents on the basis of the most current information on the ownership structure.

Categories: The Air I Breath

[ Climate Change ] EPA Sets CO2 Standards

December 23rd, 2010 3 comments

[ EPA ] Sets CO2 Standards for Power Plants and Oil Refineries

Power plants account for more than 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, more than any other industry.  Oil refineries clock in as the second largest source, with emissions equivalent to more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (mainly a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane).

via NRDC Switchboard [ David Doniger’s Blog ]

List of Coal Plants in the US via [ Wikipedia ]

Rank State # of Plants Total
Capacity
(MW)
2005 Power
Prod.
(GWh)
1 Texas 20 21,238 148,759
2 Ohio 35 23,823 137,457
3 Indiana 31 21,551 123,985
4 Pennsylvania 40 20,475 122,093
5 Illinois 32 17,565 92,772
6 Kentucky 21 16,510 92,613
7 West Virginia 19 15,372 91,601
8 Georgia 16 14,594 87,624
9 North Carolina 25 13,279 78,854
10 Missouri 24 11,810 77,714
11 Michigan 33 12,891 71,871
12 Alabama 11 12,684 70,144
13 Florida 15 11,382 66,378
14 Tennessee 13 10,290 59,264
15 Wyoming 10 6,168 43,421
16 Wisconsin 28 7,116 41,675
17 Arizona 7 5,861 40,730
18 South Carolina 16 6,469 40,545
19 Oklahoma 7 5,720 36,446
20 Utah 8 5,080 36,008
21 Colorado 15 5,309 35,671
22 Virginia 22 6,208 35,099
23 Iowa 28 6,506 34,729
24 Kansas 8 5,472 34,595
25 Minnesota 21 5,670 34,336
26 New Mexico 4 4,382 29,990
27 North Dakota 10 4,246 29,813
28 Maryland 9 5,236 29,782
29 Arkansas 3 3,958 23,356
30 Louisiana 4 3,764 23,190
31 New York 18 4,273 22,018
32 Nebraska 8 3,194 20,175
33 Nevada 3 2,769 18,412
34 Montana 4 2,536 17,844
35 Mississippi 5 2,696 16,661
36 Massachusetts 6 1,776 12,095
37 New Jersey 7 2,237 12,090
38 Washington 1 1,460 10,483
39 Delaware 4 1,082 5,185
40 New Hampshire 2 609 4,097
41 Connecticut 2 614 3,995
42 Oregon 1 601 3,588
43 California 8 439 3,024
44 South Dakota 2 481 2,999
45 Hawaii 1 203 1,548
46 Maine 1 103 754
47 Alaska 5 118 650
48 Idaho 2 19 51
49 Rhode Island 0 0 0
50 Vermont 0 0 0

List of Oil refineries in the US via [ Wikipedia ]
Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

California

Delaware

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Read more…

[ COP16 ] Democracy Now

December 9th, 2010 No comments

via [ Democracy Now ] COP16 in Cancun, December 9, 2010

[ Tar Sands ] On the Great Lakes

December 2nd, 2010 No comments

via [ Sierra Club ] Toxic Tar Sands: Indiana

Carolyn Marsh, Whiting Indiana

Carolyn Marsh’s house in Whiting, Indiana, just southeast of Chicago, sits within walking distance of both Lake Michigan and the BP Whiting Refinery. One is beautiful and the other, Marsh says, looks like “a death trap zone.” Now BP is pushing to expand the capacity of its refinery to process tar sands crude.

The synthetic heavy crude produced from tar sands is laden with more toxins than conventional oil. If the expansion goes through, people like Marsh, who live in the shadow of these refineries, will face increased exposure to heavy metals, sulfur, and carcinogens like benzene.

After learning of BP’s plans to pump tar sands pollution into the air and her community, Marsh was galvanized to action. She joined a legal challenge to the oil giant’s air permit.

Marsh believes BP’s permit application dramatically underestimates the potential air pollution from their tar sands expansion. The company understated the amount of toxic gases vented from flares, claiming they would only be released occasionally. But flaring will only increase as the refinery handles more of the world’s dirtiest oil.

Flaring is only one part of the refinery’s massive polluting process, and air pollution is not the only threat that Marsh fears from the tar sands expansion.

“We don’t want Lake Michigan to become another oil industry sacrifice zone. Quality of life here in Indiana should not suffer for foreign oil profits.”

The refinery is already one of the largest sources of mercury pollution in Lake Michigan. Mercury is a

Tar sands crude spells disaster for clean water in every step of its life cycle. If tar sands operations continue to expand in America, Lake Michigan will be exposed to the same types of contamination spreading through the once pristine water sources along the Athabasca River in Alberta, where tar sands are mined.

A recent study published by leading Canadian scientists found elevated concentrations of toxic heavy metals including arsenic, lead and mercury around and downstream from tar sands mining operations, suggesting a strong correlation between tar sands mining and toxic discharges to water resources.These poisonous impurities are released in refining as well, and discharges from BP’s tar sands expansion will bring the pollution of the Athabasca directly to Lake Michigan.

Marsh believes the citizen struggle to stop the tar sands expansion is her community’s best line of defense, and she has committed to the fight. She has little faith in state regulators, whom she believes are too complicit with toxic conditions created by BP’s refinery. Marsh knows what’s at stake.

Lake Michigan, which provides drinking water for 10 million people, will be exposed to new levels of contamination from particulate emissions and huge increases in ammonia and other discharges into the water from the refinery’s tar sands expansion.potent neurotoxin that causes severe fetal damage, impaired motor function, and kidney and respiratory damage in humans. “We don’t want Lake Michigan to become another oil industry sacrifice zone. Quality of life here in Indiana should not suffer for foreign oil profits,” she says.

{More Indigenous Territory has been Claimed by Maps than by Guns}

December 2nd, 2010 4 comments

via [ OurWorld 2.0 ] “Mapping critical politics: a land use expert talks tar sands” By Max Ritts

The late geographer Bernard Nietschmann once observed that “more indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns”. Whether or not you agree that more can be taken back with maps, it is hard to overestimate the role of representations in the shaping of collective understandings and modes of possible intervention in political struggle.

Land use maps can have a number of applications. In many countries, they are prepared by government agencies, for a variety of reasons, or by individual groups and organizations. Often, land use maps are made publicly available for the benefit of those interested in land use trends. These maps can also become important in zoning and property disputes. Read more…

[ Journalism ] What it Takes to Create Transparency in our Society

October 31st, 2010 No comments

via [ Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism ]

A panel of experts from the press, government, and academia discuss their new and upcoming projects. They discuss different methods of promoting investigative journalism, ranging from building non-profit institutions to converting the country of Iceland into a “free press haven.”

Unfortunately, I’m having problems with the video player. You can view the entire video here at:

[ Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism ]

The panel features Gavin MacFadyen (The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, UK), Chuck Lewis (American University), Julian Assange (WikiLeaks), Birgitta Jónsdóttir (Member of Parliament, Iceland) and Jon Weber (The Bay Citizen). Lowell Bergman moderates.

Categories: Misc

[ In My Studio ]

September 14th, 2010 No comments

These past many years have been emotionally traumatic for me. And last winter, I got hit again hard with the neglect of my studio and the lost of much of the last four-years of work. Since then I have been trying to be realistically positive and slowly work myself back into the studio. During the spring I worked mostly from my laptop. I posted to this blog. I participated in Paul Sargent’s show “Precious Cargo” (with many thanks to Paul), and the US Social Forum in Detroit, and I spoke a several times about my work and impacts on my community.

Recently, I made a stronger commitment to reenter my studio to rebuild it. I couldn’t just clean it up – I had to change it. In the process I found old work scattered, damaged and thought lost as my life was preoccupied with more pressing issues and wasn’t strong enough to hold and preserve them. It is nice to find them.

This week I tore into the second floor and knocked out a few walls to open up the space. I would love to cathedral the ceiling but I don’t have the money to do any of this – I just have to do something. We will see how things go.

Categories: In My Studio

The Oil Drum | 195 Californias or 74 Texases to Replace Offshore Oil

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

As the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster continues to unfold, the peak oil community has a “teachable moment” in which it can illuminate the reality of our energy plight. The public has had a crash course in the challenges of offshore oil, and learned a whole new vocabulary. They are more aware than ever that the days of cheap and easy oil are gone.

What they do not yet grasp are the challenges in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables.

The Oil Drum | 195 Californias or 74 Texases to Replace Offshore Oil.

Categories: Energy

East Chicago Portrait Series: National Black Musical Parade & Festival

June 28th, 2010 No comments

This is why I love East Chicago (cell phone photos).

Click on image to begin slideshow.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://thomasfrank.org/movies/EC_Song/EC_Song.swf" height="450" width="600" play="false" loop="false" base="." /] Read more...

{ TAR SANDS } The Other End of the Pipeline

June 25th, 2010 No comments

The Other end of BP’s pipeline – From the Alberta TAR SANDS to BP’s Whiting Refinery.

via [ Democracy Now ] Indigenous Groups Lead Struggle Against Canada’s Tar Sands

{ The Water I Drink} Grand Calumet River Restoration Fund Council

June 12th, 2010 2 comments

via [ IDEM ]

The Grand Calumet River Restoration Fund (GCRRF) was established by Trust Agreement after settlement with “Industrial Users” in the case “United States of America v. The Sanitary District of Hammond, et al., Civ. Action No. 2:93-CV-225 JM”, for the benefit of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Deputy Director of IDNR’s Bureau of Water and Resource Regulation (IDNR Co-Trustee), and the Assistant Commissioner of IDEM’s Office of Environmental Response (IDEM Co-Trustee). The purpose of the Fund, as established in the Trust Agreement is to “…address and correct environmental contamination in the Area of Concern, including particularly the cleanup of contaminated sediment and the remediation and restoration of natural resource damages within the Area of Concern….and, more specifically, in and around the West Branch of the Grand Calumet River in the State of Indiana (the “Hammond Reach”).”

The administration of the GCRRF was established by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Commissioner of IDEM; the Director of IDNR; the IDNR Co-Trustee; the IDEM Co-Trustee; the Regional Director of Region 3 of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Regional Administrator, Region 5, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Each of these “Parties” appointed a representative to serve on a GCRRF Council, the purpose and function of which is to “….coordinate the Parties’ activities relating to the GCRRF in order to achieve the maximum environmental benefit.” The Council is authorized and directed to:

  • conduct and oversee scientific and technical studies, sampling, and other activities necessary to the development and implementation of sediment remedial action plans and natural resources restoration plans; make all necessary decisions for the management and administration of funds in the GCRRF in accordance with applicable law and this MOU;
  • and arrange for contracts with professional consultants as necessary to provide services to the Parties to undertake activities pursuant to this MOU and the GCRRF Trust Agreement.”

The GCRRF Council has initiated Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation for contaminated sediment cleanup and restoration of natural resources in the West Branch Grand Calumet River. This project was divided into 3 phases: Phase I was to compile historical information on sediment contamination and to identify data gaps necessary for alternatives development (results of this portion of the study are included in Technical Memorandum Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation West Branch of the Grand Calumet River Indiana, February 2002); Phase II was initiated to collect samples necessary to fill data gaps identified during Phase I – Roxana Marsh and West Branch Characterization studies were initiated (documents related to each of these studies can be accessed below); and Phase III will be the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives.

Read more…

Categories: Misc

{ Principles } Pre >&< Post { cautionary }

June 2nd, 2010 No comments
  • Pre-cautionary:

if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

  • Post-cautionary:

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the lack of full scientific certainty shall be used as a reason for not implementing cost-effective measures until after the environmental degradation has actually occurred

Categories: Environment