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Public Citizen’s Texas Director, Tom Smith and whistleblower Evan Vokes talk about defects in the southern leg of Keystone XL pipeline; Steve Horn of DeSmogBlog returns to update us on Keystone, fracking propaganda, and more.Smith, known as “Smitty”, describes the study just released by Public Citizen that details over 200 “anomalies” in the construction of the southern portions of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the failure of TransCanada to properly address them. He describes the heat and high pressure needed to push tar sands sludge through the pipes, and the risks of spills like the one in Mayflower, Arkansas this year. Evan Vokes, who worked for TransCanada for 5 years, tells how he faced retaliation and was fired after he told his bosses and the Canadian Senate about serious deficiencies in construction. He talks about the nature of tar sands and that leaks are worse than crude oil because of chemicals and “dilbit” (diluted bitumen) mixed in the sludge. Both offer strong criticism of TransCanada and its safety standards.
At 39:25, Steve Horn returns to update us on his recent articles at DeSmogBlog. He adds some important comments about Keystone, and how TransCanada split the southern leg into hundreds of different projects to avoid the kind of approval needed for the northern portion. He talks about a recent appeals court decision that values TransCanada’s profits more than potential environmental costs. And he describes the role of Obama’s former communications director and key confidant Anita Dunn, who now is a PR and advertising consultant to TransCanada and retains the (big) ear of the president. He talks about his revelations that the updated MSNBC website includes paid news from frackers like ANGA, the American Natural Gas Alliance–but it’s not disclosed. And we talk about the defamation suit brought by coal baron Robert Murray against enviro blogger Mike Stark, and its similarities with the unlawful jailing of Alabama legal blogger Roger Shuler.