Saturday, April 19, 2014

As 4th Anniversary of BP Gulf Rig Catastrophe Approaches...

Try and wrap your head around this story:
A former BP employee, who oversaw the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, will pay $224,118 to settle an insider trading charge. 
Keith Seilhan was accused of selling $1m of shares in BP after receiving information about the severity of the spill which was not publicly available at the time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

MMSD's Critics Bereft Of Purpose, Records Suggest

Right-wing Internet addicts with MMSD on Google alert will find themselves without a reason to live this weekend:
Melting snow and heavy rain in the last week caused sewage treatment plant and sewer overflows at 15 Wisconsin communities, from Ashland and Superior south to Mequon and Hazel Green, state environmental officials said. 
No sewer overflows were reported by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District or municipalities south of Mequon in southeastern Wisconsin.


Keystone XL Pipeline Review Continuing, Politico Reports

I've got no problem with this:

POLITICO Breaking News
Today at 12:13 PM
The Obama administration is extending its comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, citing continuing litigation over a Nebraska court decision that threw part of the project's route in doubt, two sources said today after a call between the State Department and congressional staff.

If this postpones the decision until after the November election, it would spare President Barack Obama a politically wrenching decision on whether to approve the pipeline, angering his green base and environmentally minded campaign donors - or reject it, endangering pro-pipeline Democrats such as Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.

But it will also inspire renewed complaints from Republicans that Obama is politicizing and dragging out an energy project that has already waited more than five years for approval.

For more information... http://www.politico.com 

What WISDOT Funding Shortfall? I-43 N. Expansion Next Up

WisDOT is claiming a funding crisis - - and haven't we heard this all before? - -  but instead of tightening its belt will soon contract for costly new lanes on this stretch of the Free[Sic]way system, among others.

If you like what's happening at the Zoo Interchange, you will love this:
   I-43 North-South Corridor
   Glendale-Grafton, Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties

Public Hearing scheduled to present and discuss the I-43 Corridor Study from Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee County to WIS 60 in Ozaukee County.
Public Hearing 1
Date:
 April 30, 2014

Time: 5-8 p.m.
Where: Nicolet High School Cafeteria
6701 N. Jean Nicolet Road in Glendale
Public Hearing 2
Date: May 1, 2014
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Where: Christ Church
13460 N. Port Washington Road in Mequon

Project location:

I-43, Silver Spring Dr. to WIS 60, Glendale to Grafton, in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.
The I-43 North-South Freeway is among the busiest routes in Wisconsin and is a critical Interstate link between southeast Wisconsin and the entire state. I-43 provides access to manufacturers, merchants, commuters and tourists within southeast Wisconsin, the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and other areas including Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Chicago.
WisDOT has maintained and rehabilitated the ramps, bridges, pavements and other structures on I-43 for 50 years. The North-South Freeway has exceeded its design life and it is no longer economical to maintain. The corridor needs full evaluation, so it can serve the communities into the future.
The project team will study the corridor, including the service interchanges and adjacent arterial roads in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties. This review will:
  • Identify safety concerns
  • Assess physical condition and configuration of the roadways
  • Identify potential environmental concerns and socioeconomic factors that may be affected by the corridor
Study - Long term planning with no construction activity at this time.

Questions about the content of this page:

I-43 North-South Corridor Project Team, doti43northsouth@dot.wi.gov 

In A Few Words, Ezra Klein Nails Obamacare Issues

Pundit and data-savvy journalist Ezra Klein has been precise about health care politics and policy in the US right now.

From Twitter on Thursday:

 7hObamacare succeeded for one simple reason: it's horrible to be uninsured:
On MSNBC Thursday, Klein said the ideological refusal of GOP governors to accept expanded Medicaid federal financing - - this would include Wisconsin, where Scott Walker's funding rejection left 77,000 low-income residents without coverage - -was a great moral failing.

You can't get more accurate than that. 

Calendars, Facts Are Walker's Enemies

Though frequently distracted by fund-raising tours and DC day-dreaming, Scott Walker grasps that his central 2010 campaign promise "to create 250,000 private-sector jobs before the end of his four-year term," as PolitiFact puts it, was an amateurism, stupid boast that will dog him every day until the November election.

40% progress towards a foundational goal is pretty poor performance for a chief executive looking for another term and higher office.

So in yet another of the dodges fast-becoming his signature move, Walker now says in a Journal Sentinel Thursday story that he should get nearly 14 additional months - - to the end of 2015 - - to hit the goal.


So it was a Five-Year Plan all along - - a Walker hat tip to the discredited Soviet model for things that are bound to fail.

Walker's time-shifting is revelatory for two reasons.


*  First, for dizzying spin:    

In his 2010 run, Walker built his campaign around a promise that the state would add 250,000 jobs if he were elected. Since he was sworn in, the state has added about 101,500 jobs.
Walker said Wednesday in Madison he would not concede that the state could not achieve his jobs promise — and raised the possibility he may have until Dec. 31, 2015, to do it. 
"Our goal was to get there by 2015. I've said all along, whether it's the first day or not — obviously that's maybe debatable," Walker said. 
In a follow-up question, asked if he was saying he might have until the end of 2015, rather than the beginning of that year, to achieve that promise, he said: "I said by 2015 — not by the end of. What I said was, whether it's Jan. 1 or some point in the future, our goal was to get there in 2015."
Translation:
Teenage son to parent: 
I'll be home by 12. 
Arriving home mid-day the next day, teenage son to angry parent: 
I meant 12 noon.
Also intriguing is the classic, clumsy Walker word-salad that brushes aside the added year. 
"Our goal was to get there by 2015. I've said all along, whether it's the first day or not — obviously that's maybe debatable," Walker said.
This reminds me of another Walker historical re-write that earned him one of 34 PolitiFact "False" or "Pants on Fire" rulings:

"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he campaigned on his budget repair plan, including curtailing collective bargaining."
Walker contends he clearly "campaigned on" his union bargaining plan. 
But Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the bare-bones of his multi-faceted plans to sharply curb collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. We could find none either... 
We rate his statement False. 
*  Second, for Walker's tone-deaf, underlying arrogance:

Walker says that he might not complete a second term if re-elected in November, as if voters would elect a Palinesque quitter who'd given notice in advance.

In other words, peons, Walker prefers the Presidential big stage than your parades in, say, Peshtigo, Pewaukee or Palmyra.

Translation: 

You're lucky to go to prom with me, but I'm free to leave with someone who better suits me.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On Earth Day 2014, WI Activists Must Unite Against Iron Mine

All Wisconsin environmental, land use and social justice groups have agendas, practices and beliefs that are offended by the massive open-pit iron ore mine proposed upstream from the Bad River Ojibwe Band's land, watershed and rice-growing estuaries in NW Wisconsin right at Lake Superior.

Every group and person of good will in Wisconsin can incorporate their opposition to this mine in their April 22nd Earth Day 2014 programs, statements and actions.

Preliminary sample drilling and regulatory work is already underway following special interest legislation that was written with and for the mining company at the expense of the environment and existing Wisconsin law.

Let's hope communities of concern in this state can speak with one voice on this all-encompassing issue.

WisDOT's Fiscal 'Crises' - - 10 Years, Little Change

I'd written here about WisDOT's PR campaigning for more public money and wringing of hands over a so-called revenue 'crisis.'

While higher gas taxes and other road-building financing schemes are back on the table - - Walker will likely put off a decision until after the November election - -  there is one sure-fired solution not under consideration:


Reining in over-spending on costly, glitzy new projects, like the revenue-sucking, perpetual-roadway spree known as the Southeastern Wisconsin Free[Sic]way System expansion.


And I offer for some depressing perspective a piece I'd written for the Capital Times ten years ago to the day.

While the state covered some increased highway costs in the interim through borrowings and other non-gas-tax maneuvers, the truth is that little has changed in ten years when it comes to Wisconsin's road-building binge at the expense of transit and local road aid.

True today; true back then, as I noted in 2004:

"Channeling a disproportionate share of state and federal transportation funding to freeway expansion could offset some increases in the gas tax. But that would threaten other highway projects, trim state aid to mass transit, and cut local road repair budgets throughout the state. That would be really unpopular in Madison or Ashland, Green Bay or Wausau."
Also not changing: the road-building lobby's political immunity to elections, partisan shifts, economic downturns, reduced driving and awareness of climate change.

The lobby's pervasive power in the State Capitol is permanent.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


DATE: Saturday, April 17, 2004


SECTION: EDITORIAL

PAGE: 9A



BYLINE:  James Rowen

DON'T BE SURPRISED AT RISING GAS TAXES

    April 1 brought us the promise of spring, some April Fool's pranks, and Wisconsin's automatic annual hike in the state gas tax.

    Already saddled with the second-highest tax-per-gallon state gas tax in the United States, consumers at the pumps here began paying another six-tenths of a cent on April 1. 


That raised the tax to 29.1 cents, plus a separate three cents per gallon for environmental cleanup. With gas prices heading toward $2 a gallon, motorists were complaining to reporters that their SUV fill-ups were headed toward $60 or more.


    Little comfort that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which gets to spend a lot of that money, reminds us at its Web site that "while indexing usually increases the gas tax rate slightly, the difference is minor when compared to frequent price jumps at the gas pump."


    Memo to WisDOT: That doesn't make us feel better. And here are two additional things to keep in mind about why Wisconsin's gas tax is headed higher and higher, WisDOT spin notwithstanding.


    First: The gas tax was 16.5 cents a gallon, close to half what it is today, when so-called indexing began in 1985. Legislators wanted to build more roads and keep contribution-happy road contractors satisfied, but didn't want to go on record raising taxes. 


So the good men and women in the Assembly and Senate put the increase on autopilot. Now tied to inflation, it kicks in every April 1, with no messy votes showing up in the opponents' campaign attack ads.


    Second, and more importantly: Motorists annoyed at the weasely way a simple six-tenths of a cent increase per gallon got rolled into the current tax may go into full-blown cardiac arrest. That's because a multibillion-dollar freeway expansion plan is under study for southeast Wisconsin by WisDOT, and gas taxes will have to skyrocket to pay for it.


    Hotly debated in Milwaukee and its surrounding counties, the plan has not received much publicity out-state even though motorists across Wisconsin will dig deeply to pay for it.


    The plan calls for an estimated $6.25 billion to be poured into new lanes in the next 20 to 30 years. That's a very big figure -- big enough to build 16 Miller Park stadiums at $400 million each, for instance.


    The plan will do two things: Rebuild the complex Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee and add about 120 miles of new freeway lanes next to existing lanes on major roads, like I-94 and I-43 in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, Waukesha, Walworth, Washington and Ozaukee counties. Among the expenses: acquiring more than 600 acres, tearing down 201 homes and 28 businesses, and compensating the owners.


    The plan was approved by an unelected body, the seven-county Southeastern Regional Planning Commission, and is now under review by WisDOT.


    About $750 million of the total cost -- or about 12 percent -- has been set aside for the reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange, from 2004 to 2008. That leaves about $5.5 billion not funded, or roughly $200 million annually for about 25 years to complete the rest of the plan. And like all big-ticket estimates, the bottom line is going to rise.


    You'd think a state that just agonized over a $3.2 billion operating budget deficit wouldn't embark on a plan of any kind that is $5 billion in the hole at the outset, but work is already under way on the Marquette Interchange.


    The nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has said the freeway expansion plan is among the reasons why Wisconsin's overall highway building plan through 2020 is more than $5 billion underfunded. But so far, few at the state level have taken the WTA's finding to heart. And don't expect those automatic April 1 increases to pay for the freeway expansion plan. Those annual increases cover ongoing and inflationary costs, not a multibillion-dollar freeway expansion.


    A penny added to the already-steep gas tax raises about $30 million, so if $200 million in fresh highway dollars are needed, the southeast Wisconsin freeway expansion will require a fresh six or seven cents -- at least 20 percent to the per-gallon gas tax -- if WisDOT moves the plan forward.


    It is possible these gas tax increases could be minimized by substituting an increase in vehicle registration fees -- but motorists wouldn't like that, either.


    Channeling a disproportionate share of state and federal transportation funding to freeway expansion could offset some increases in the gas tax. But that would threaten other highway projects, trim state aid to mass transit, and cut local road repair budgets throughout the state. That would be really unpopular in Madison or Ashland, Green Bay or Wausau.


    * Environmentalists and urban revivalists in Milwaukee -- led for years by now-ex-Mayor John Norquist -- oppose freeway expansion because it's too expensive and will pave precious city real estate and accelerate the region's already severe suburban sprawl.


    Republican legislative leaders -- including many who champion tax freezes and less government spending -- have long supported raising the gas tax. Along with the road builders, Republicans are leading the fight for freeway expansion. So don't be surprised when the gas tax is ramped up steadily. Six-tenths of a cent will look like chicken feed.
    

GOP Senate President Mike Ellis Was Renewed WI Transit Backer

The long-time Neenah politician derailed his career with outrageous remarks about illegal fundraising surreptitiously taped and released by his even-more conservative enemies, but when Mile Ellis leaves the Legislature under a cloud at the end of this term, his party - - known for hostility to buses and trains - - will be without a high-profile advocate for some regional transit.

In Wisconsin, Dodge Is More Than A Minivan

*  Walker dodges question of whether he needs degree

*  Scott Walker Continues To Dodge Questions On Emails

*  Scott Walker declines to commit to four-year Wisconsin term

Asked Wednesday after speaking to the Wisconsin Hospital Association if he would commit to serving a full second term, Walker dodged the question.

*  SCOTT WALKER DODGES MARRIAGE EQUALITY QUESTION

Walker dodged question about whether his new book, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge, meant he would be running for president in 2016.
*  Walker’s Back Alley Proclamation
Last November Scott Walker avoided several direct questions about his support for Wisconsin Right to Life policy agenda with a statement about how his administration has turned the state budget around and added, “I think people want us to focus on creating more freedom and prosperity for people in the state.” At a press conference rolling out the 2012 Wisconsin Homeland Security Report, Walker artfully dodged this and all other questions not corresponding to his five point message on the budget.













Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Walker's Presidential Pipe Dream Includes R. Kleefisch Promotion

Milwaukee County voters saw this particular patented Walker Weaseliness a few years ago.

Eyeing a run for Governor, then-County Executive Walker wouldn't commit to finishing a term that, in fact, he cut short when he won the right to move into the Mansion in Maple Bluff.

Now he's doing the same thing again - - not pledging to finish out a 2014-2018 second gubernatorial term should he win this November, since he believes he has a chance of successfully campaigning for the Presidency.

Consider that along with that preposterous, arrogant plan to become The Most Powerful Person On The Planet, an early Walker departure from the governorship would hand the office to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Historians will note that the last two Wisconsin Governors who took that route to the Mansion - - Martin Schreiber and Scott McCallum - - both lost bids for a full term.

Voters seem to flinch at electing a Governor holding the office through appointment.

Updated hat tip for editing, TB.


More Change At WI DNR

Water chief Ken Johnson retired. Russ Rasmussen is replacement.

More later.

Missouri Town Needs A Recall Election, ASAP

The Overland Park, Kansas hate-killer and his hometown mayor across the state line in Missouri have some opinions in common:

Marionville, Mo. Mayor Dan Clevenger spoke warmly this week of Frazier Glenn Miller, who allegedly went on a killing rampage on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan... 
...KSPR unearthed a letter to the editor that the mayor sent nearly a decade ago to a newspaper in Aurora, Mo. in which he expressed admiration for Miller's mission. 
"I am a friend of Frazier Miller helping to spread his warnings," Clevenger wrote, according to KSPR. "The Jew-run medical industry has succeeded in destroying the United State's workforce." 
Clevenger also reportedly wrote that the "Jew-run government backed banking industry turned the U.S into the world's largest debtor nation...
He seemed to stand by those positions in his interview with KSPR, blaming Jews for the country's economic woes. 



On Race In America, Defend Henry Aaron

For speaking the truth about President Obama and racism in America, former Milwaukee ball player, current Atlanta Braves' veep and steroid-free home run king Henry Aaron is being pilloried.

Flood the Internet with support.

Email the Atlanta Braves in his defense, here.

On Transit, Tennessee Out-Crazies Robin Vos, Scott Walker

These anti-transit Wisconsin GOP fossil fuel-and-highway-servants have banned regional transit operations, and are blocking Milwaukee's streetcar which has construction funding in hand, but now Tennessee legislators are doing the Koch brothers' bidding and are banning bus rapid planning statewide.

Madness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Walker Embodies, Touts Mediocrity

During his first three years as Governor, Wisconsin's economy is stagnant at 35th in job creation and has produced only 40% of the 250,000 promised new jobs at the center of his 2010 and 2012 campaigns.

Despite his spin, data do not show that Wisconsin is back. Data show that Wisconsin is at the back - - in the lower one-third - - of the pack.

John Doe II Had Non-Partisan Origins With Ex-Judges, Document Shows

Quite a revelation in Federal Court that undermines the rightwing talk radio-inspired Walkerite narrative that partisan DA's were behind a John Doe probe to get Walker, his 2012 recall election committee and perhaps some donors.

It turns out that the six non-partisan retired judges who oversee the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board had authorized the probe, based on evidence:

The six judges on the state Government Accountability Board voted unanimously to authorize the investigation of fundraising and spending by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and his allies during the recent recall elections, according to a Tuesday court filing. 
Dean Nickel, an investigator hired by the accountability board to assist with the investigation, said in the 10-page filing that he believes the substantial evidence gathered in the probe "coupled with the GAB's unanimous approval of the investigation directly refutes plaintiffs' witch-hunt theory."
So the GAB board and staff were just doing their jobs.

Just today, Jay Heck of Common Cause said the GAB was:
...the nation’s only non-partisan, independent state agency charged with overseeing elections and ethics...finally established in 2007.
And do you remember that GOP Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald hoped to remake the board into an overtly partisan operation after the 2012 recall elections?


Secession Talk Is WI GOP Southern Strategy, Act Three

Gov. Walker and his 19th-century GOP/Tea Party legislative throwbacks are again embracing a Southern strategy to create an exclusionary ultra-conservative 21st Wisconsin.

*  First it was the push for Voter ID that restricts ballot access principally in urban areas - - read: where African-Americans residents are concentrated (principally in Milwaukee also in part by restrictive suburban zoning and building codes, intentional regional transit disconnects that block Milwaukee workers from jobs, obstruction of affordable rental housing and a 1950's state law freezing Milwaukee's borders).

*  Then there were the recently-approved restrictions - - without any supporting data or evidence offered  - - signed by Walker into law that limit in-person absentee voting - - again hitting big city voters the hardest. Especially onerous - - an end to weekend hours, especially useful to single-parent households.

* Now the state GOP convention will take up a resolution approving state secession - - a Tea Party-inspired seditious outburst of Obama Derangement Syndrome wholly insensitive to US history, and Wisconsin's many relatives of both freed slaves and Union soldiers killed in the Civil War.

It is laughable to hear Gov.Walker say he and his party are moving the state in the right direction.

Though rate it True if they mean Right - - far-Right direction.

Glenn Grothman, Tea/Carpet Bagger

I'd missed the fact that GOP State Senator and small government devotee Glenn Grothman doesn't live in the Congressional district he wants to be paid $174,000 Big Government big bucks a year to represent.

From The Journal Sentinel:

Grothman, the Senate assistant majority leader and a non-practicing attorney who lives just outside the district in West Bend, said he plans to move to Campbellsport in Fond du Lac County.
.

Monday, April 14, 2014

WI GOP Partying Like It Was 1814

Look away, Dixie Land...to Wisconsin?
Really, Wisconsin Republicans - - a Southern strategy for proud Union state Wisconsin.
In 2014?
Nothing will turn the Wisconsin GOP into a quicker Jimmy Fallon punch line, nothing will convince college grads to head elsewhere faster, nothing will re-direct entrepreneurs to dozens of other states more abruptly than having the Wisconsin party in power, in 2014, talk up secession as a legitimate public policy plan.
Which is exactly what the upcoming GOP convention is apparently putting on the agenda.
Break away, to what, exactly? A self-financed FitzWalkerStan? 
LimbaughLand?
Are Wisconsin Republicans ready to give up all that National Guard and Reserves' infrastructure? Federal highway money? FAA airport tower and runway financing? Agricultural payments? University research and secondary school support, and grants that help keep every Wisconsin city up-and-running?
Is this really the New, Post-Romney Republican Party that Paul Ryan and Scott Walker think they can sell statewide, or beyond - - a weird, wacky Dixiecrat do-over without any real or rational link to Wisconsin's past?

Consider Waukesha's Waste Water Discharge Plan In Light Of Flood Risk

As the Root River and other Wisconsin waterways approach flood stage, you might want to ask whether Waukesha's plan to send an extra few million gallons of diverted water back to Lake Michigan every day is really a good plan.

■ The Root River at Franklin was at 6.6 feet early Monday, approaching its flood stage of 8 feet. Minor flooding is expected, with the river rising to about 8.5 feet by Monday evening.
Waukesha's current plan proposes a discharge point in Franklin.

The Root River, which empties into Lake Michigan in Racine, has a history of flooding, noted here.

State Rep. Cory Mason, (D-Racine), among others, has strongly opposed Waukesha's use of the Root River as a waste water discharge conduit.


'Racine Is Not Waukesha's toilet," Mason has said.


Latest WI GOP Job Strategy: Secession

Nothing encourages young entrepreneurs and other stable, reasonable, creative people to stay in your state, or move in, put down roots and bring in cash than the party in power whistling Dixie.

In 2014.

Good work, Walkerites and the Wisconsin Republican Party.

Maybe Bobby Jindal should make a road trip here.

Wouldn't You Know Michigan Might Be Wisconsin's Train Buyer

Figures a rich, faraway state like Michigan with its public wealth, full employment and rosy future could come to the rescue of poor old rust belt Wisconsin.

Car-culture-happy Michigan might just take the remaining two unused-banned-in-Wisconsin/built-in-Milwaukee Talgo train sets off our hands after Walker and the legislature wisely opted to break Wisconsin's contract with the train-maker and put the equipment into storage when the feds were talking about kicking in only a paltry 90% of the operating costs. Pikers.

Whaddya think Wisconsin has a surplus?

Roll, Michigan.

train cab in production



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blue Cheddar Blog Spreads Word About Possible WI Swan Hunt

Thank you, Blue Cheddar blog, for the reposting about
 the swan hunt plan:

I’m sorry but – 
Really? 
Swans? 
Do these people have to shoot and kill EVERYTHING?
I’m short on time and this is coming up on us quickly – so I will simply direct the reader to James Rowen’s blog to get more information on the Monday night vote which will occur in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Statewide Meetings Monday Sole Place To Oppose WI Swan Hunt

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress, a statewide DNR advisory organization in which hunters often carry the day, holds its annual statewide meetings in all counties Monday night, and the proposed Tundra swan hunt I wrote about in February is on the agenda.
(Information here about the Tundra Swan, also known as the Bewick's or Whistling Swan.)

Photo: Tundra swan swimming in water
Photo by Bates Littlehales


These WCC meetings are open to all citizens.

Here is a link to the 4/14 common agenda and all meeting sites.

Note also that on the agenda, among a long list, is an item about allowing hounders to retrieve a hunting dog on private property without the landowner's permission.

People who use the Wisconsin outdoors to hike, bike, and otherwise enjoy the land without shooting anything should step up and take an active role helping set state recreational policy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weigh In Now Against Regional Tar Sand Pipelines Expansion

Fine piece about tar sand pipeline expansion, here.

See mn350.org for more information; comments taken through Monday.

Tar sand pipeline expansion in and around Wisconsin is a frequent topic on this blog.


A sample:

More about Enbridge's plans to triple the Wisconsin flow - - is here 
An increase in crude oil production in Canada and North Dakota is driving a major crude oil transport company to upgrade its infrastructure in Adams County and other parts of Wisconsin, according to a spokesperson from Enbridge, Inc. 
Becky Haase, stakeholder relations specialist, said in a phone interview the improvements to Line 61 will increase its capacity from 400,000 barrels per day to 1.2 million barrels per day. 
Regrettably, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has endorsed the Wisconsin pipeline expansion.

Fracking Produces Oil, Pollution And Hypocrisy

Fracking by energy corporations like ExxonMobil are using the intensive injection of chemicals, groundwater and Western Wisconsin sand mined through weak regulation to set off a profitable boom in natural gas and oil production. 

What else has all this new drilling, piping and shipping brought to the surface?

*  Well, some of the 'product' has found its way into now-flammable drinking water (video).

*  Or, by the tens of thousands of barrels, into wheat fields.

*  Here's another by-product: earthquakes:

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.
The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock. 
Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep.
*  And for your fracking files, there is this account of hypocrisy unmatched, as no less than the ExxonMobil CEO himself is saying, in court, hey not in my backyard; that fracking is polluting:
...while [Rex] Tillerson believes that the inevitable noise pollution that accompanies the fracking process—not to mention the potential for water contamination and other dangerous side-effects even when it is done safely (and some would strenuously argue that it is not possible to frack safely)— is of no real significance when it affects someone else’s neighborhood, he surely thinks it to be a pretty big deal when someone dares to get involved in fracking in Rex Tillerson’s neighborhood.
So much is this the case that Tillerson—ExxonMobil CEO and proud proponent of fracking as a key to both America’s and his company’s great energy future—has joined a lawsuit seeking to shut down a fracking project near Mr. and Mrs. Tillerson’s Texas ranch... 
Making this all the more entertaining is the content of the lawsuit... [which] goes to great effort to lay out the problems experienced by those who are subjected to the fracking process—problems that Tillerson has always been quick to dismiss when his company picks a location that is not in his own neighborhood. 
Hat tip, ET.