on November 18, 2014
Opponents in the national debate over climate change will enter the ring tonight in the City Council Chambers of the small riverside city of Benicia (Solano County). City Attorney Heather McLaughlin has thrown down the gantlet with this small item on the City Council agenda.
CONSIDERATION OF WAIVING THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE FOR
THE OPINION REGARDING MAYOR PATTERSON AND THE CRUDE
BY RAIL PROJECT. (City Attorney)
Buried in the legal language is a debate over Mayor Elizabeth Patterson’s First Amendment Right to communicate with the citizens of Benicia about Valero’s pending land use application to modify its refinery to receive crude by rail rather than crude by tanker ship. At stake is a robust democratic discussion over a decision that will affect not just Benicia but every community on the rail line between the Bakken Oil Shale fields in Montana and the Dakotas and Valero’s Benicia refinery.
McLaughlin has written a confidential opinion on the mayor and the crude by rail project. It is her view that she cannot release the document unless the majority of the five-member City Council waives the attorney-client privilege by which she is bound. “At least three have to decide to make the opinion public,” she told me....
... Early this summer, when the city attorney advised the mayor that she should not send e-mail “e-alerts” to her constituents about Valero’s pending environmental impact report so as not to give an appearance of bias, Patterson hired an attorney. In a letter, the law firm wrote that the mayor did not have a disqualifying conflict of interest in the Valero matter. And further, quoting state law, “As a public official you certainly not only have ‘a right but an obligation to discuss issues of vital concern’ to your constituents and to state your ‘views on matters of public importance’.”...
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Daily Kos 11/17/14
....Alberta, Canada is basically a petro state. Oil and gas production rule everything and it's happening everywhere in the north of the province. Pipelines criss cross most of Alberta. As a result, leaks of wells, facilities and pipelines are a constant thing all over the province.
But we Canadians almost never hear about them. Our main media, CBC, does not provide any coverage of the many, many spills and gas releases that happen every month, nor the efforts to clean up the messes...
.... West Coast Native News (WCNN) has been quietly keeping tabs on all the spills and leaks. What they have found is shocking!!.... see site for interactive map link
read article here