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PA's Dept. of Homeland Security Shared Oil-Shale Protester Info With Companies 293

Western Pennsylvania's shale oil deposits have lately attracted interest not only from companies who have been extracting some of that oil, but from locals who object to what they perceive as sharp dealing by the companies involved, favorable treatment by the state government, and environmental degradation as a result of the extraction. Some of the most visible of those protesters, it turns out, have been tracked (including "Web traffic") by Pennsylvania's own Homeland Security department, and that information about them has been shared not only within the department, but with the oil companies themselves. Homeland Security director James Powers defended the information shared with the oil companies as part of a triweekly bulletin, saying "We want to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale Formation natural gas stakeholders while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies."
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PA's Dept. of Homeland Security Shared Oil-Shale Protester Info With Companies

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  • why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Phizital1ty ( 1755648 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:24PM (#33581882)
    I don't see what the PA department of homeland security has to benefit from giving that info to the companies? Can someone elaborate?
  • Re:why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @07:29PM (#33581944)

    Some politician got a contribution to his reelection campaign. How we consider that anything other than bribery I will never understand.

  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @08:07PM (#33582026) Journal

    Department of homeland security has to benefit from giving that info to the companies? Can someone elaborate?

    Because James Powers will probably receive a FAT consultant job with Marcellus Shale Formation after he "retires" from his "public sector" job. Very popular thing with DoD generals and military contractors/suppliers in the past.

  • Re:Gasland (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:23PM (#33582856) Journal

    The fracking you did previously is quite different from the fracking gas companies are doing right now. The EPA has asked the drilling companies to disclose the chemicals. Of course, they don't want to. Of course, they also claim none of the chemicals are known to get into the water. []

  • Re:Tell me again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:36PM (#33582924)
    Probably, because the wars were winding down. Wars tend to get less attention as they wind down. There are exceptions, but the reality is that Iraq was starting to wind down and consequently there wasn't the need to do a huge amount of protest. But there was also the issue of time, when Obama took office, the war was hardly the only mess he got stuck with, people tend to focus on the things with the most immediate impact as in the economy.

    I realize that the right needs to invent conspiracies to drive it, but give me a break, at some point it's just sad. Sort of like that "conspiracy" to remove the w keys from all the keyboards that didn't really happen.
  • by ncgnu08 ( 1307339 ) on Tuesday September 14, 2010 @11:53PM (#33583056)

    Is James Powers a Democrat? Seems more like he is a bureaucrat.

    Bureaucrat? Possibly. Democrat? No way... his bio makes me think Republican for sure. He is former military, who are usually Republican (I make no judgment here). He formally worked/possibly still does for a large oil/mining company which usually means Republican (I am making judgment here). And through that career, it seems safe to assume he has gotten rich, which means Republican (again, judgment). If one takes those three observations (not necessarily in that order) I think Republican is a sure bet. And before I get the "troll label" A)most military members vote Republican, as they used to believe in small government and a strong defense force; and B) which party is fighting to keep the tax cuts for the richest 2.5% of our population? I'm not going to turn this into a political discussion, I'm just explaining my theory and answering the question.

    Republican or Democrat, this policy stinks and really runs contradictory to "of, by, and for the people" and seems to me to be more fallout from the Citizens United verdict, which I still mourn.

  • by FiloEleven ( 602040 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @12:58AM (#33583402)

    Honestly, that number was more indicative of my feelings about how my state is governed than anything else, and was an attempt at humor. The truth is that I know too little about most other states to make any intelligent comments about them unless their practices, good or ill, are revealed through news stories. I figure the ones I never hear much about (Idaho, Arkansas, the Carolinas) are better run than the ones that get publicized for dumb stuff like this.

    I'm not familiar with the Harrisburg debt issue, but being close to Philly has kept me up on theirs. I've a friend who is a police officer, so I see on one hand how poorly they're (generally) funded and on the other hand how invasive PA laws can be. This DHS thing is a big negative, especially considering how bad the practice of fracking is for residents to begin with. Our drug laws are pretty strict, including alcohol--we're one of the few states where the only place to get liquor is at state-run stores. The Amish pay no road tax, though their buggies excessively wear down the roads. Much of this sort of thing can be found in any state, I'm sure, and it's only because I live here that I'm aware of so much of it, so it's skewed my perception. The grass is always greener etc.

    Thinking further about it, I've concluded that I find too little difference between most state governance to name many names. Most of my dislike is for federal laws, and a lot of that stems from the fact that those issues are taken out of the hands of state governments where they properly belong. I pretty obviously lean libertarian, so I'll favor states whose laws promote personal freedom and dislike those whose laws don't, but the fact is that there's not a whole lot of room for them to decide much, which leaves me looking at little more than the corruption index.

    In reality, the area in which I live and have always lived is gorgeous during every season and is full of friends and family, so barring anything really mind-numbingly perverse, despite its shortcomings, PA is and will likely remain first in my list of places to live.

  • Re:Tell me again... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:22AM (#33583472)

    A lot of them did.

    Name one.

    It's for two reasons

    It's a false dichotomy.

    one the biggest protesting point was that Bush was involved and anything to rail on Bush seemed to be acceptable

    Wow, I mean this is such fringe lunacy. Bush got into office under very suspicious circumstances and immediately started dismantling our anti-terrorism apparatus in favor of going after dirty words and pornography. After we were attacked by one of his business partners, he immediately surrendered and started adhering to the terrorist demands to eliminate American's freedoms and then used the death and destruction as an excuse to invade one of the most secular ( brutal, yes, but not at all Islamic ) nations in the region as laid out in a plan put together by the same animals who sold crack on the streets of America to fund terrorism all over the world.
    Decent people hate the Bush family for their three generations of treason and support for Fascism. For their actual actions. Oh no, in your delusional right wing echo chamber people hate people because they hate people and nothing outside that loop has ever existed. Wow.

    The fact that this pissing in the face of America was his first couple of years in office actually has a lot more to do with people's objections to Bush than some delusional circular argument you think you're making.

    Another reason is that once obama was elected, they had some sort of trust that the wars were somewhat necessary seeing how he didn't end them or anything.

    Wow. I mean the sane thing to think would be that since Obama didn't start the war, that he shouldn't immediately be blamed for its existence. Obviously if he'd ended it immediately you would have called him a coward who turned tail and ran. Given what a fringe right wing lunatic you clearly are, you'd never give him a fair shake even if he did deserve one.

    Of course, all you're doing is drowning out the intelligent, informed American citizens like myself who object to all of this disgusting right wing ideology Obama included which the free world fought against in two world wars.
    Fuck you for pissing on my grandfather's grave you whiny little shit.

    We kicked out a King and we beat the living fuck out of the Nazis. How about you go live in one of the shithole right wing countries that are left over like Iran or Saudi Arabia instead of pissing all over the shining jewel of Liberalism known as America.

  • Re:Tell me again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:33AM (#33583514) Journal

    I'm sorry but you're wrong, and here is why: When your choices are "rich corporate whoring power loving freedom hating slut" A or B, how EXACTLY are you gonna "elect better people and be a better person yourself" hmmm? don't say third party because thanks to deregulation allowing all the media to be owned by a handful of multinationals which conspire to disallow any non corporate approved voices to be heard at debates, and when even a run for a state senate will cost millions, the odds of a third party actually gaining any traction anymore is pretty much zilch. Hell the Tea Party is nothing but a sham, with democrats being caught setting up tea parties to try to take votes from republicans.

    The truly sad part to me is how everyone made fun of those building shelters in the hills with tons of guns, laughing at how they talked of a coming police state run by multinationals right here in the USA. I doubt seriously anybody is laughing now and it is just fucking sad that things have fallen so far. Sadly I believe the entire system has gotten too rotten to be changed, all you can do now is get as much as you can for you and your family and be ready for when the whole thing falls down. I'm just glad I got kin with good farmland and plenty of places to hunt, if push comes to shove we can do okay without needing anyone.

  • Re:Tell me again... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:36AM (#33583530)

    No. Corporations can't die. You can try to kill them, but they just won't die. It is true that they are anti-social, greedy, selfish, single minded, manipulative, and basically fits every criteria for being classified 3213 by the American Psychological Association (Schizophrenia & Psychotic States). Its illegal for a board member of a company to do anything that diminishes the profits of shareholders. I've seen CXO's of pharmaceutical companies lie after being sworn in -To Members of the US Congress-.... Why? Because if they didn't lie, then they would be sued by shareholders, unemployed, and never get a job again. Somewhere, we gave away too much. This nameless, faceless entity (Hello Enron, Hello WorldCom, Hello Tyco, Hello Freddy Mac, Hello Fannie Mae) who doesn't even know what hungry is, is somehow worthy of the status 'too big to fail', yet millions of people who do know what hungry is, are less worthy and are completely subjected to failing. The pendulum has swung too far in one direction. Both political parties say 'Yes Mr. Corporation Sir, can I get you another?'. Its made worse by corrupt politicians who place personal gain over 'the good of the people'.

  • by Kirijini ( 214824 ) <> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @03:14AM (#33583928)

    Hurd did not cause HP to cease to exist as a corporate entity. Hurd did not cause all of HP's going concern value to evaporate.

    In other words, Hurd is an excellent example of how not having corporate capital punishment* encourages the recycling of aggressive/ruthless executives from one company to another. If executives' criminal behavior did cause massive loss to shareholders, I think the 'old boy' network would disappear in a hurry. People value their money a lot more than they value the friend of friend of a friend.

    * I'm not saying that HP should have been executed because of Hurd's behavior.

  • by Decker-Mage ( 782424 ) <> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @07:17AM (#33584810)
    How did this score insightful? The last vestiges of "We, the People ..." existed just prior to the Civil War, during which the right of Habeus Corpus was revoked (suspended, {snort}), the right of secession was abrogated (even Northern States reserved the right of secession in voting to approve the Constitution), Congressmen were stripped of office even after the war was over, and literally thousands of war crimes were committed. I'm former career military and I know exactly what constitutes a war crime. If we are going to delve into the historical record, at least get it right.

    It should be no surprise that America saw the rise of the various Trusts during the post-Civil War period, to be followed by national corporations during and after WWI, and finally the rise of the multi-nationals during and after WWII. Each cycle only results in a further power-grab and aggrandizement. Should it be any surprise after 9/11 we saw even more examples. Patriot Act? Consolidation of the various police agencies into one (monolithic if they get their way) department? Monitoring of the so-called 'dangerous and violent groups'? I would have thought that TPTB would have learned their lesson from the '60's FBI but I would be wrong. Santayana said "[t]hose who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. " I say those who do not know the past are condemned to suffer worse.

    BTW, I am most definitely not a Southerner but the record of history speaks for itself.
  • Re:Full Circle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @07:17AM (#33584814) Homepage Journal

    And just in case anyone was wondering what police forces would be like in a libertarian world, it would be just like this, only a million times worse. And frankly, I started to stop typing that and type "a thousand times" but I decided a million was not hyperbole.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:40AM (#33586086) Homepage Journal

    And speaking as someone who lives near PA, I don't want your refugees when the company fucks up on safety and starts a fire they can't put out and then it burns for the next 250 years. Great that they are fracking the Natural Gas, 'cause it brings in jobs, but I'm sure that's what those folks on the Gulf Coast thought too, just BEFORE Deep Horizon blew a gasket.

    Point is: Sooner or later, they *will* screw up, and either start a fire, or poison the area so badly, that the jobs go away, hell, whole towns will go away, and then those people will invade my state looking to resettle and take our jobs.

    I believe it's already the case that many people are reporting that the water coming out of the tap smells badly, or is a funny color.. So, I'm going for the poisoning the landscape. And remember, folks from NY and NJ, that a lot of the food you're eating comes from PA, so, whatever's getting into the water is goiing into your food.

    Chew on that for a while while you come down with lymphoma.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas