What Challenges Will CLC Face in the Future?

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

What Does Gerri Have to Offer the CLC Community?

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

Community Colleges Provide a Unique Opportunity for Alignment

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

URGENT: Bakken Oil Train Action – Public Comment

Please Make Public Comment

Advance notice of proposed rulemaking: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Proposed Rule: Hazardous Materials: Volatility of Unrefined Petroleum Products and Class 3 Materials

As many know, raising public awareness regarding the hazards of transporting crude oil by rail was one of my top priorities as 2016 Candidate for Lake County Board, District 18.  Although this issue is not related to my current campaign, it is still an issue for which I’m greatly concerned.  Trains carrying highly explosive and toxic Bakken crude oil travel through densely populated areas, including our schools, and threaten the lives of well over 25 million Americans.  Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor, to date, has still not publicly addressed emergency preparedness in Lake County specific to this transport.

PHMSA, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, announced that it will be seeking comment on vapor pressure thresholds of crude oil, and will evaluate the potential safety benefits of utilizing a threshold in regulating the transport of crude oil and other dangerous materials.

The petition directly addresses the fact that despite recent derailments of trains carrying crude that have resulted in extraordinary explosions and uncontrollable fires, there is no federal limit on the vapor pressure of crude oil transported by rail. This means that we have an opportunity to push for DEGASIFICATION (Stabilization) of the Bakken Oil, which would lower the vapor pressure of the oil, and make it less flammable.

The comment period ends at 11:59p, (ET), May 19th, 2017.  Comments can be simple or detailed – all are beneficial.  You simply need to fill in your contact information, and then you may copy some of the talking points below and paste them into this link and send.

Talking Points:

At the present, explosive Bakken Oil trains jeopardize 25 million people across the country living within the Oil Train Blast Zone.  There are densely populated areas, including our schools, throughout Chicagoland and its collar counties that are within feet from highly flammable train routes.

Degasifying or stabilizing crude oil is a process where the explosive hydrocarbon gases, (Butane, Propane, Ethane, and Methane), are removed from the oil and stored on site, then these gases can be sold to local markets, and the oil can be transported by rail or pipeline more safely. Degasification lowers the Vapor Pressure (PSI) of the crude oil.

North Dakota has mandated a Vapor PSI for Bakken oil of fewer than 13.7 lbs.  It is generally reported as measuring between 11 and 12 lbs.

•  Texas Eagle Ford frack oil has a Vapor PSI of 8 lbs.
•  West Texas oil comes in at 3-4 lbs. PSI
•  Gulf of Mexico oil is 3.33 lbs. PSI
•  Bakken crude oil transported on the train that destroyed Lac Megantic, Quebec was measured at 10 PSI.

Our National Vapor Standard should fall between 4-8 lbs., following the lead of Texas since they have the longest history of degasifying oil, and their oil trains have not been exploding into uncontrolled fires upon derailment.

“Stabilization / Degasification” could make Bakken crude safer to transport, (vapor pressure is lowered from 13.7 psi to 6-8 psi with a 74 F flashpoint).  Although there are no studies to support its effectiveness in rail transport safety, Texas has a long history of the use of mandated degasification/stabilization of crude oil for both rail transport and pipeline transport.  Therefore, we can defer to their experience in this field.

Texas is the second largest area in the US with shale formations that are being fractured using horizontal drilling technology. There have been (zero) explosive fires after train derailments of Texas frack oil (8 PSI), whereas there have been dozens of explosive fires after derailments of trains carrying ND frack oil (13 PSI). Saudi Arabia has also been routinely stabilizing their oil before transport, for decades. The technology necessary for degasification/stabilization is well known and available in ND.

The PHMSA notice of rule-making follows a petition last year from New York’s Attorney General to implement nationwide a Reid Vapor Pressure of less than 9 PSI for crude oil transport by rail.

Politics are in play in the US, steering the Federal Government towards allowing more pipelines and away from oil by rail (VIEW: Desmog Blog article, Why Is the Exxon-Funded Heartland Institute Now Calling Oil Trains “Dangerously Flammable”?) – but pipelines should not be carrying explosive crude either. Texas mandated the degasification of its oil primarily for pipeline safety.

Please implement nationwide a Reid Vapor Pressure of 4-8 PSI for crude oil transport by rail and pipeline, which complies with the NY AG request of less than 9 PSI. Chicagoland and its collar counties have a vested interest in trying to decrease the dangers of these Bakken Oil trains to our densely populated communities!

Articles and Resources:

FB Group: The Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization

Federal agency looking at pressure limits on Bakken oil trains:

North Dakota man relentless in push for safer oil by rail shipping

Why can’t Bakken oil be made safer?

RON SCHALOW: Exploding Trains Aren’t Funny

Why Is the Exxon-Funded Heartland Institute Now Calling Oil Trains “Dangerously Flammable”?

Charter Schools – Just Another Form of Private Public Partnerships

VIEW:  The UK’s PPPs Disaster:  Lessons on Private Finance for the Rest of the World
VIEW:  The Jubilee Debt Campaign
VIEW:  Why Private Public Partnerships Don’t Work:  The Many Advantages of the Public Alternative

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 1.20.02 PM

Interactive View of Debt Across the Planet

In essence, the practice of implementing charter schools, or other forms of privatized education, is just another form of private-public partnership.  Public tax dollars are used to fund private ‘for-profit’ business.  My question is, “Where are our public dividends?”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign (Inspired by the ancient concept of ‘jubilee’)  is a “campaign for a world where debt is no longer used as a form of power by which the rich exploit the poor. Freedom from debt slavery is a necessary step towards a world in which our common resources are used to realize equality, justice, and human dignity.”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign recently published a new report identifying the major problems and risks the United Kingdom has encountered through its expensive experiment with Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The briefing warns that risks and costs involved in PPPs include: increased costs for the public budget, large profits for private companies at the public’s expense, declines in service standards, an eroded democratic accountability amongst many others – all of which we are currently experiencing in the United States.

Extracting large profits at public expense has led to increased debt in the United States at all levels of government. 

Accumulating debt as a means of balancing the budget is unacceptable.  In 2015,  Lake County paid approximately $405M in expenses, collected $444M in revenue, and carried $247M in debt.  The state of Illinois spent $75B on what should have been a $71B budget addressing $141B of debt. Our Federal government spent $4.3T while producing only $3.7T in revenue and making payments on $18.3T of debt. Education received 27% of State funding and merely 2% of Federal funding.

The College of Lake County‘s total outstanding debt increased from $17M in 2007 to $71M in 2016, an increase of $54M.   In March of 2015, CLC began construction on a new $28.3M Science & Engineering Building.  It was the first in a series of major upgrades taking place throughout CLC’s various campuses, totaling $163M

Even more infuriating is the disparity of wealth in America. An article in Reuters asserts the “Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016.”  Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our quality of life, yet it is currently in jeopardy due to mismanagement of public finances.  This is a moral imperative that must be addressed, now.

Banks, corporations, and millionaires/billionaires seem to be making out quite nicely at public expense, primarily that of the bottom 95%.  Therefore, 95% of our population shouldn’t find too much to disagree on when it comes to politics.  We should have no problem voting ourselves into the top 95%!

VIEW:  The Increasingly Unequal States of America:  Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012

Latest Share of World Wealth Owned by Top 10%:  U.S. 74%
Latest wealth data: U.S. 2010
Source:  Paris School of Economics – The World Top Incomes Database, Credit Suisse – Global Wealth Databook 2013, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Data are as of 11/25/13

Latest income data: U.S. 2012. Income excludes capital gains.
Average family income, excluding capital gains, adjusted for inflation (2012):

Bottom 90%: $30,439 (down -10.7% from 2002)
Top 5-10%: $130,990 (up 2.6% from 2002)
Top 1-5%: $216,947 (up 6.1% from 2002)
Top 0.5-1%: $441,423 (up 11.3% from 2002)
Top 0.1-0.5%: $837,377 (up 18.2% from 2002)
Top 0.01-0.1%: $2,782,303 (up 29.5% from 2002)
Top 0.01%: $21,569,156 (up 76.2% from 2002)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

A Remedial Need Is Not the Result of Bad Teaching

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

We Need to Do a Better Job of Targeting Populations for Higher Education

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

What I Intend to Do Is Lobby

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

Community Colleges – Our Last Avenue to Affordable Higher Education

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).