Who needs regulations if you don't enforce them?

esh_gaJune 8, 2012

Here's the solution to regulations - just don't enforce them! And when it's up to the state to do so, they can just ignore it when it means state revenue to them.

Under North Dakota regulations, the agencies that oversee drilling and water safety can sanction companies that dump or spill waste, but they seldom do: They have issued fewer than 50 disciplinary actions for all types of drilling violations, including spills, over the past three years.

Keller has filed several complaints with the state during this time span after observing trucks dumping wastewater and spotting evidence of a spill in a field near his home. He was rebuffed or ignored every time, he said.

"There's no enforcement," said Keller, 50, an avid outdoorsman who has spent his career managing Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir created by damming the Missouri River. "None."

State officials say they rely on companies to clean up spills voluntarily, and that in most cases, they do. Mark Bohrer, who oversees spill reports for the Department of Mineral Resources, the agency that regulates drilling, said the number of spills is acceptable given the pace of drilling and that he sees little risk of long-term damage.

Any downside to that?

Hydraulic fracturing - the controversial process behind the spread of natural gas drilling - is enabling oil companies to reach previously inaccessible reserves in North Dakota, triggering a turnaround not only in the state's fortunes, but also in domestic energy production. North Dakota now ranks second behind only Texas in oil output nationwide.

The downside is waste - lots of it. Companies produce millions of gallons of salty, chemical-infused wastewater, known as brine, as part of drilling and fracking each well. Drillers are supposed to inject this material thousands of feet underground into disposal wells, but some of it isn't making it that far.

According to data obtained by ProPublica, oil companies in North Dakota reported more than 1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater or other fluids in 2011, about as many as in the previous two years combined. Many more illicit releases went unreported, state regulators acknowledge, when companies dumped truckloads of toxic fluid along the road or drained waste pits illegally.

State officials say most of the releases are small. But in several cases, spills turned out to be far larger than initially thought, totaling millions of gallons. Releases of brine, which is often laced with carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals, have wiped out aquatic life in streams and wetlands and sterilized farmland. The effects on land can last for years, or even decades.

Nope, it's all good for those making the money. Too bad for the rest of the world.

Here is a link that might be useful: source

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jodik_gw

It's called money... and another descriptive word that fits here is cronyism.

It's about campaign donations, politics, greed, corruption, exchanging "favors" between government officials and the companies that "own" or "buy" their politicians and law enforcement so they can skirt the rules, or pay small fines when enough people complain that nothing is being done.

It's the same everywhere.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:34PM
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ohiomom

....yep and any "clean up" will be paid for by the taxpayer, can't interrupt the flow of money to the top.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 7:42PM
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jodik_gw

Well, much like poop, money seems to float upward... what more can be said?

I notice, as usual, there's little response to a thread about regulations and our environment. It's so very typical.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 10:55AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Let me get this straight. Someone commits a criminal act and you make it a conspiracy by those who do not catch them?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 3:36PM
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esh_ga

I'm saying what good is to have regulations anyway if there is no intent to enforce them. That just lets you say you HAVE them when in actuality you don't.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 3:37PM
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jodik_gw

It's kind of like having laws, but not following them. Sure, they're on the books... but if people don't abide by them, what good do they do?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:32PM
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ohiomom

Who said it was a "conspiracy"? What we are saying, as Jodik pointed out, what is the good of having regulations/laws if no one is obligated to "obey" them?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:35PM
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demifloyd(8)

So if people don't want to obey certain laws and people continue to violate laws and the laws aren't enforced uniformly, isn't that a signal that the law is archaic or the violation not worthy of a proscription?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:43PM
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esh_ga

No, it means the state folks STINK!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:51PM
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david52 Zone 6

Or more often, those lavish campaign contributions paid off, and the state appointed some crony industry buffoon, or they give the guy a tiny budget, etc.

Circus here when we had all the water faucets that would catch on fire, and out comes the Colorado Dept in charge of regulating the fracking industry.... both guys showed up, and told the concerned home owners with the flammable drinking water .... "we'll get back to ya..... and disappeared.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 7:29PM
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jodik_gw

So, in other words, David... you either learn how to swallow fire like carnival entertainers, or what? Live with it? How nice... not!

When they, the government regulatory system and the companies doing the polluting show up together, arms linked, you know something is wrong.

There are actually federal laws that state that projects done for the government must include a certain amount of women and minority owned businesses... and there are continually updated books filled with the contact information for these companies... but they rarely get any of the work. It seems like the same large crony owned businesses get the bids every time... even the "sealed bids".

So, again, why bother when money exchanges hands, or favors are promised, and people are intentionally cut out of the loop? What a shame that we're already half way there when it comes to dismantling certain regulatory agencies... they're not made to follow the rules that are in place specifically to keep the citizenry and environment safe.

Greed, whether for power, wealth, or both is more than alive and well, along with corruption.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:05AM
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esh_ga

isn't that a signal that the law is archaic or the violation not worthy of a proscription?

I just love the conservative spin on this - it's the LAW's fault if people break it or it isn't enforced. Yes, clearly a sign that the law is not worthy of continuing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:09AM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by esh_ga z7 GA (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 8:09

isn't that a signal that the law is archaic or the violation not worthy of a proscription?

I just love the conservative spin on this - it's the LAW's fault if people break it or it isn't enforced. Yes, clearly a sign that the law is not worthy of continuing.*

*

Actually, esh, that is not this conservative's spin.

I'm parroting the LIBERAL spin about drug laws.

:)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:17AM
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esh_ga

Ok, point to you demi. ;)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:19AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Libertarian - right and left - liberal objections to drug laws are based on different reasoning. Ever-increasing budgets for enforcement (as opposed to non-enforcement), and ever-increasing quantities of drugs coming into the country, and ever-increasing use of drugs and the prisons are overflowing with casual users. For all the conservatives squawking about wasted money, the billions allocated to failed drug policies are not examined. Take the profit out of the drug trade, and most of the problems disappear. Treat addiction as a medical and public health problem and not a criminal offense, and even more of the problem disappears. Instead we have local, state, and federal agencies gobbling up resources that do little to stop the amount of drugs in the country. Law enforcement agencies have little incentive to promote drug policy changes since they have become addicted to inflated budgets.

Drug laws are enforced; the enforcers receive billions to do so.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:38AM
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david52 Zone 6

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 2:13PM
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demifloyd(8)

Pretty much the people that consider drug laws archaic and shouldn't exist are people that take those drugs.

No different from people that don't agree with EPA regulations, etc.

Most people are against whatever negatively affects them.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 9:24PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Pretty much the people that consider drug laws archaic and shouldn't exist are people that take those drugs.

I disagree. Many in state and local government and law enforcement see the negative impact of our drug policy on prison population and state resources. Here are two organizations - Law Enforcement Against Prohibiltion and Citizens Opposing Prohibition- as examples.

The pot-growing counties in Northern California were the source of the highest percentage of "no" votes on a recent initiative to legalize marijuana in California. Continued criminialization of marijuana (non-medical use) enriches the growers and distributors.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:12PM
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elvis

There are those who say that de-criminalizing pot would reduce drug trafficking from Mexico and other countries. Or would the new U.S. competition become the targets of increased violence? I go around and around with that one.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:18PM
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david52 Zone 6

The corollary would be more accurate if the EPA had the same budget, personnel, and prisons to put polluters as the DEA.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:32PM
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jmc01

Just what is the difference in budgets etc between the 2 agencies, david 52?

here's a clue...one budget is 4x that of the other. one's staffing is approximately 2x that of the other.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:18PM
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ohiomom

The corollary would be more accurate if the EPA had the same budget, personnel, and prisons to put polluters as the DEA.

.....budgets aside Most people are against whatever negatively affects them also end up, as David pointed out, in jail.

I wonder wonder wonder if these "job creators" were dumping toxins in your (collective you) backyard if you would be so complacent?

They have begun fracking in Ohio, and frankly it skeers the shiite out of me ... :(

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 6:33AM
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jmc01

Who's complacnt, ohiomom? WIsconsin, yes Scott Walker's Wisconsin, just last week sued a Minnesota company for sand in the LaCroix River. Complacent? Just one of many actions being taken around the country.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 7:08AM
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ohiomom

JMC my main concern is the loss of farmland to fracking .. even if these companies are made to "clean up", what will the long term consequences be for all of us? Will we no longer be able to grow food on the land? Will it have to lay fallow for years/generations?

Agriculture is Ohio's number one industry, contributing more than $107 billion to the state's economy. (Ohio Proud)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:20AM
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jodik_gw

"Pretty much the people that consider drug laws archaic and shouldn't exist are people that take those drugs."

That's an awfully inane statement to make, especially since nobody can know who illicit drug users are until they're arrested and make the local paper. Or are we talking about some sort of psychic ability to "just know", here?

Yes, yes... we all know some of you want to privatize everything for profit or personal beliefs, including the prison and justice systems, and mete out your own personal form of justice on those you deem deserving. But thankfully, that's not up to that particular crowd.

By the way... how's that "War on Drugs" going? Have you managed to put an end to the cartels and the importation of illegal drugs yet? How about those illicit drugs manufactured right here in the US? No? Why not? Your budget is huge, and your resources are plentiful. What's the hold up?

Some of the substances used in the medicinal/pharmaceutical field begin as what we call "illicit drugs". After refining and manufacturing, we have many medicines that help people more than you can know.

Our prisons are overcrowded with minor offenders, most of whom do not belong there... and California seems to be doing ok with their method of utilizing marijuana as a pain medication, appetite inducer, and its many other medicinal uses...

"For all the conservatives squawking about wasted money, the billions allocated to failed drug policies are not examined. Take the profit out of the drug trade, and most of the problems disappear. Treat addiction as a medical and public health problem and not a criminal offense, and even more of the problem disappears."

I couldn't agree more, Nancy... the budgetary waste in keeping certain drugs illegal is offensive, as is how they are classified.

But it makes too much sense to follow the models used by countries like Denmark, and actually offer help and treatment instead of prison time and a record that follows one around for life.

In case anyone is still not sure, "Reefer Madness" was NOT a documentary, did NOT contain an ounce of truth, and IS government propaganda paid for by the industries any legalization of hemp/marijuana would have taken a penny of profit away from. WR Hearst, for example, poured money into ensuring that nothing would harm his paper profits, and a hemp industry certainly would have... and the alcohol and tobacco industries lobby hard, as well... and those are the true "gateways", if any truly exist.

That is not to say that all illicit drugs are harmless, but the US spends way too much money and time going after those that are harmless or useful.

I can't believe we have to have this discussion again, since facts have been clearly laid out more times than I'd care to read.

Oh, and by the way... what are those statistics again on deaths and illnesses caused by our legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco products?

Not everyone who is for the decriminalization of certain drugs is a user... that's an asinine thing to say. They are simply intelligent enough to realize that the problems are not being solved by the systems we have in place, that too much taxpayer money is being wasted on these archaic ideas, and that there are much better ways to go about solving the issues.

Another good grief!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:24AM
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krycek1984(6a/Cleveland)

OK first of all Jodi, not everything boils down to $$, corporations, and greed. You can believe what you want but corporations and private entities are not *always* evil, not always out to rape and pillage the earth...it's just not true. Although much of the evil in this world IS a result of greed and money, that I do agree with.

The bottom line is that if people did not partake in illegal activities, then they wouldn't be in jail. Period. I don't understand what is so difficult to understand about that. Do I agree that marijuana should be illegalized? Not really. But if you do it, and you are jailed, then so be it. I have little sympathy for people that violate laws and then cry about being in jail.

I wish more people would advocate for reform of criminal laws...from *outside* of jail!!!

What demi said does have quite a bit of truth to it, although it is an exaggeration. Weed smokers don't like weed laws. People who'd rather not pay for car insurance don't like financial responsibility laws. People also dislike some laws due to their political or ethical views. I dislike weed laws mainly because I think they are stupid and ridiculous...weed is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

The bottom line, though, is that if you don't want to go to jail, don't commit the crime.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:00PM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 8:24

(Quoting Demi here:)
"Pretty much the people that consider drug laws archaic and shouldn't exist are people that take those drugs."

Jodik:

"Not everyone who is for the decriminalization of certain drugs is a user... that's an asinine thing to say."

*

What is your problem, Jodik, can't you read?

I think it's asinine to accuse someone of making a statement they did not make and then saying of the statement they did not make, "that's an asinine thing to say."

Don't let the facts get in the way of an insult, eh?

Krycek knew full well what I meant--EXACTLY what I said--"pretty much." And that is that people that are against certain regulations are "PRETTY MUCH"--understand--NOT "EVERYONE?"against them for personal reasons. Of course not all. I did not say "EVERYONE."

People that are affected by certain laws that inconvenience them or that maybe they've violated, or perhaps even been arrested or punished for, or placed on probation for, or that has affected family members or business partners, or lost money because of these laws--can always justify why that law is not fair, is outdated, or shouldn't even be a crime. That includes anything from using, possessing, or distributing illegal substances to sex crimes to financial crimes or any other crime.

Krycek is right--the law is the law, whether one person or more or even a majority THINK an act is not fair, or should not be against the law, until that law is repealed, a crime is a crime and anyone that is arrested or convicted for committing a crime deserves to be.

Abiding by our laws is the responsible thing to do, and being a good citizen, not to mention setting the best example for our families, friends and community.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:47AM
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jodik_gw

The law might be the law, but that doesn't mean it's right or makes any logical sense, and shouldn't be looked at for flaws and modernization to fit today's society... especially when it's costing taxpayers so very much to have nothing done about handling it.

When laws do not make sense, or society changes and those laws require updating, we don't just say, "oh well, the law is the law and we should just follow it." We admit that it's outdated, no longer useful or apropos to our society, and we try to enact changes that brings it to a more positive use.

At least, that's what logical, forward thinking persons not walking in lockstep with a party line do.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:47AM
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ohiomom

Actually it is more about the money than the law itself ... for all our moaning about social programs, the prison system is raking in bucks hand over fist with no incentive to rehabilitate prisoners.

We (collective we/our) came up with a welfare to work program and maybe some do not know it but it isn't the old welfare program that did nothing to encourage people to get off the government tit.

We may have to look into the same thing with the prison systems, take a look at how much they are getting from the government.

At the rate we are going taxpayer monies may very well, if they haven't already, go more to prisons than to education, health and food.

1/2 penny

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 6:38AM
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labrea_gw

Now Demi I don't think of Rand & Ron Paul and the Libertarians as drug users. The Seattle Police chief several yeasr ago was suggesting drugs be legalized or at least decriminalized. Currently the Governor of NY is trying to work a deal with the republicans to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana he's supported by NYC Police Commissioner.
William F Buckley was a major supporter for the legalization of drugs.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:09AM
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chase_gw

Pat Robertson recently came out in favor of legalization of certain drugs. In fact legalization , or at least decriminalization , pretty much has the support of non drug users.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:49AM
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jodik_gw

That's what I would think, Joe... an awful lot of tax dollars are used to to continue fighting the inane "war on drugs", even though it seems very little progress is taking place. Not only that, but marijuana is hardly a narcotic, for all intents and purposes, and should be classified differently.

California seems to be doing rather well with its decriminalization for medical use.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 7:57AM
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