Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Lizard not a Snake

Saw this coming. Royal Dutch Shell caves under to Russian pressure selling controlling interest to state owned gas monopoly Gazprom. Japanese investors Mitsui and Mitsubishi are also expected to sell about half of their equity stake in the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project. As noted last week, the ex-communists utilize Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev and a series of environmental regulations, citations and work shut downs to force this end result. It is of some interest then, when the Wisconsin DNR puts out public notice a legless lizard lies in the new pipeline path.

Pipeline expansion may result in incidental taking of rare lizard: MADISON – The construction of a portion of a 321-mile long 42 inch-diameter underground liquid petroleum pipeline and a 20 inch-diameter diluent return line across the state of Wisconsin could result in the incidental taking of a type of lizard listed as endangered species under state law.

Wisconsin under Jim Doyle is not yet Russia under Vladimir Putin, so the DNR is simply following the rules in announcing they will not be using this roadblock under their control in this case. The pipeline project map shows the Wisconsin link in improving the oil infrastructure between Midwest America and Western Canada. From Doyle’s perspective it also means years of good jobs for potential voters.

Enbridge Inc: The Enbridge-GPP Alliance Agreement will mean that hundreds of skilled workers, many of whom are local residents in Wisconsin and Illinois, will work over the next three years on these major expansions to the nation's energy infrastructure," Burgess noted. "Overall, these projects and this construction contract are a win-win for workers, local contractors and consumers, who will benefit from this boost in the region's secure access to vital North American petroleum resources, while complying with environmental permits and safety standards."

In this decision between jobs for voters and the slender glass lizard, Doyle reigns in his barking dog DNR. This is not necessarily tragedy for all the Ophisaurus attenuatus, who reportedly move pretty fast and have relatives all the way down to Texas and Florida.