Daily Archives: May 20, 2013

Oil sands also create dirty waste product

One environmental concern about piping Canada’s oil sands to U.S. refineries is all the petroleum coke that will be left over from the refining process. The Environmental Protection Agency no longer allows new licensing permits for burning the high-sulfur, high-carbon waste product, the New York Times reported. As a result, most petroleum coke is sold to Mexico and China, which don’t have as many pollution rules. Companies associated with Koch Industries and Bill Koch are leading exporters of the product. Another concern is where to store the petroleum coke before it is exported. The Times reported on a three-story pile of petroleum coke that covers an entire city block in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit.

Conservatives should champion Common Core

Claims by some conservative state and federal lawmakers that the Common Core education standards are being imposed by the federal government “do not stand up to close scrutiny,” Sol Stern and Joel Klein wrote in a Wall Street Journal commentary. “The Common Core standards were not written by the federal government, but by a committee selected by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.” What’s more, they wrote, “all Americans, including conservatives, should applaud these standards, which celebrate the country’s foundational documents and enable students to share the heritage of Americans.” Attempts in the Kansas Legislature to block Common Core couldn’t make it out of the House and Senate education committees this session, but some GOP lawmakers are trying to tie it to end-of-session budget negotiations. “There is a general resistance to the federal government imposing a curriculum on our Kansas schools,” said Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover. That would be understandable if it were happening, but it’s not.

Moran endorses former Kansan for key court

Good for Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., for helping break the long political stalemate over the four vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by announcing his support Wednesday for President Obama’s nomination of Sri Srinivasan (in photo), who grew up in Lawrence and currently is principal deputy solicitor general. “I have found Sri to be a highly qualified candidate with a distinguished career in the private sector and in the Departments of Justice of the Bush and Obama administrations,” Moran said in a statement. “Srinivasan is one of Kansas’ most accomplished legal minds and among the nation’s leading appellate lawyers.” Srinivasan won unanimous approval Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee; his nomination now goes to the full Senate.