On today's BradCast, the latest breaking news on the weekend terror attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, and on the massive, broken gasoline pipeline in rural Alabama.
First up, the latest on what we know (and don't) about the exploded and unexploded pipe and pressure cooker bombs in NY and NJ and the stabbings at a mall in MN over the weekend, following the arrest of a suspect in the NY and NJ attacks after a shootout with police on Monday morning. We also have responses to all of the above from President Obama as well as Presidential candidates Donald Trump (who blames Clinton and Obama) and Hillary Clinton (who accuses Trump of aiding the terrorists' cause.)
Then, after a quick update on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocking construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota late on Friday, we're joined by Alabama Media Group's natural resources reporter Dennis Pillion on the massive pipeline rupture in his state, resulting in a state of emergency in six states, gasoline shortages in the Southeast and, according to the latest estimates from the Colonial Pipeline company and the EPA, the release of some 336,000 gallons of gas into the environment near an abandoned coal mine in Shelby County.
"They are still, ten days after this leak was discovered, having issues accessing the area right around the leak. Those estimates are based on the size of a mining retention pond that has collected a lot of this gasoline," Pillion tells me.
The massive pipeline rupture, as he reports, was discovered by happenstance last week, during an on-the-ground inspection of the abandoned mine after the inspector noticed an overpowering smell of gasoline. As luck would have it, most of the gas from Colonial Pipeline's broken Line 1 --- which pumps some 1.3 million barrels of fuel every day from refineries in Houston, TX through nearly a dozen states up to Linden, NJ --- has reportedly ended up in an old retaining pond from the coal mine. The toxic fumes have made it difficult for emergency responders to begin clean up or for journalists to confirm the official information while they are still barred from the area entirely.
"We don't know when it would have started leaking," Pillion says. "Colonial does says they monitor their lines twice a week by air, looking for evidence of leaks --- dead vegetation, sheens on water, that kind of thing. And they said they did not notice anything in their air patrols, nor did they notice by volume that they were losing product." That's right. They inspect the underground pipeline twice a week from an airplane.
Pillion brings us up to date on what we know (and don't) about the spill and its clean up at this time, while officials from the pipeline company, as well as federal, state and local officials respond to the disaster. He also offers the latest from local environmental groups who remain concerned about dozens of endangered and threatened species of fish and snails found nowhere else in the world but in the nearby Cahaba River.
Finally, as Clinton and Trump are now reportedly tied in polls across 13 swing states, Obama offers impassioned remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner in Washington D.C. on the imperative of voting in this year's Presidential Election...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)