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“a State cannot use safety as a pretext for inhibiting market growth.”

"The state of Washington issued regulations in 2019 that would limit the volatility of crude oil being transported by rail through the state. As DeSmog has reported, lowering the volatility of dangerous crude oil like the Bakken oil from North Dakota is necessary to remove the threats of these bomb trains. To limit the volatility of the crude oil being produced in the Bakken region that is currently being shipped by rail to Washington refineries, oil producers would need to stabilize the oil by removing volatile natural gas liquids like propane and butane — something producers refuse to do because those natural gas liquids that make the oil more volatile and dangerous also make it more valuable to refineries. In 2019 Lynn Helms, director of North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources, made it clear that to remove the volatile elements of the Bakken crude oil mixture would “devalue the crude oil immensely.” In 2020, however, PHMSA overruled Washington and argued that it did so because “a State cannot use safety as a pretext for inhibiting market growth.” As a result, the dangerous trains continued to move volatile oil through Washington. In December, a train full of volatile Bakken crude oil was going seven miles per hour on a straight flat track in Custer, Washington. It derailed and the tank cars ruptured and spilled oil which immediately ignited in the middle of town. As it has done with the dangerous practice of moving oil and ethanol by rail, by not requiring known safety improvements like modern ECP brakes for LNG trains, PHMSA is also effectively allowing the rail industry to volunteer to make any safety improvements instead of doing its job of regulating safety."

No TTIP through the back door. Health, environment and climate are not negotiable

TTIP negotiations have been continuing under the radar, completely uncovered in the US media. Recently, More than 100 EU Civil society organisations (Plus the US's IATP) demand a stop to trade talks that will further endanger EU rules on health and the environment and aggravate the climate crisis. A change of course is needed. (Seattle2Brussels Network)

Comparing TiSA and TTIP

this is one of three documents which somebody posing as me uploaded some time ago to a site, around the same time as my twitter account was arbitrarily deleted. Although Its open access and says so, I had not uploaded it. So I find that as quite strange. Its still worth reading now, given that Biden has been elected so these deals are likely to both be revived soon. They set our country up for huge punitive penalties if we attempt to change our minds about the things that result in the highest fines ever recorded - for example. ISDS and non-ISDS work alikes like the sanctions in anti-democratic WTO deals should be eliminated. This is the URL that is linked. One of the others is "TISA vs Climate Action: Trading away EnergyDemocracy" That one is also quite topical. Its worrisom that ISDS could put our country on the hook for huge bills that could literally result in our natural resources like energy and water being sold off to pad the pockets or pay the debts created by - seized to pay debts incurred by our dishonest oligarchs, in the country's's peoples names.

Local content in the oil and gas sector (World Bank)

"A number of countries have recently discovered and are developing oil and gas reserves. Policy makers in such countries are anxious to obtain the greatest benefits for their economies from the extraction of these exhaustible resources by designing appropriate policies to achieve desired goals. One important theme of such policies is the so-called local content created by the sector- the extent to which the output of the extractive industry sector generates further benefits to the economy beyond the direct contribution of its value-added, through its links to other sectors. Local Content Policies (LCPs) were first introduced in the North sea in the early 1970s and ranged from restrictions on imports to direct state intervention in the oil sector. While LCPs have the potential to stimulate broad-based economic development, which is necessary to alleviate poverty and achieve the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), their application in petroleum-rich countries has achieved mixed results. This paper serves to introduce the topic by describing policies and practices meant to foster the development of economic links from the petroleum sector, as adopted by a number of petroleum-producing countries both in and outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The paper is organized as follows: chapter one defines local content and briefly illustrates the links between the petroleum sector and other economic sectors (where policies may be able to increase the economic benefits of the petroleum sector). An attempt is made to measure local content levels in a wide sample of petroleum-producing countries including net importers and net exporters, and countries at different stages of economic development to put LCPs in context and to consider if the structure of an economy is a key driver of local content levels. Chapter two discusses the arguments that have been used in favor and against the use of productive development policies in general and LCPs in particular. Chapter three provides an outline of the tools and types of LCPs that have been used by petroleum producing countries, and present their strengths and weaknesses. Chapter four focuses on issues related to the measurement and monitoring of LCPs, and discusses the limitations of alternative metrics. Chapter five provides a description of LCP objectives, implementation tools, and reporting metrics used in a selected sample of oil-producing countries including Angola, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago and draw initial lessons that may be relevant to other countries"