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Open Thread: Let's Keep This Party Polite, Never Get Out Of My Sight

DiceTDW is heading down to the 127th annual Indiana Democratic Editorial Association Convention at the bee-yoo-ti-ful Belterra Casino Resort & Spa in Southern Indiana, so she'll be posting off and on throughout the weekend, depending on her luck at the blackjack table and the availability of wireless access to the Internets.

If you're heading to the convention, see you there! If not, play nicely, and the blogmistress will feed the beast as often as possible.

Make It Go Away: BP Will Abide By Discharge Limits Under Prior Permit

Sewagemonster_2Whaddya know? After six weeks of bad publicity, BP has decided it might be a good idea to address the issue of dumping additional toxins into Lake Michigan:

"BP America said today it will not immediately increase the amount of pollution it dumps into Lake Michigan from its Whiting oil refinery, saying it will meet discharge limits contained in the refinery's previous wastewater treatment permit.

"'We will not make use of the higher discharge limits in our new permit,' said Bob Malone, BP America chairman and president Bob Malone.

"The announcement follows weeks of uproar across the region by environmentalists and politicians upset that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management approved BP's plan to dump 54 percent more ammonia and 35 percent more suspended solids into Lake Michigan so it could process heavy Canadian crude oil, increasing its production of motor fuels by about 15 percent. The refinery is just east of Chicago.

"'If we determine that post our Canadian heavy crude oil project we cannot operate the refinery and meet the lower discharge limits in our previous permit, we will work to develop a project that allows us to do so,' Malone said. 'If necessary changes to the project result in a material impact to project viability, we could be forced to cancel it.'"

Mitigation with whipped cream and a threat on top.

Whitewash Alert: Deflector General Clears Former Lottery Director

Hoosierlottery The Office of Inspector General releases its official report on the Hoosier Lottery and its infamously overbearing former leader, Esther Schneider. It should come as no surprise to anyone that she's been cleared of any and all ethical wrongdoing, though the State Board of Accounts took her to task for personal spending with Lottery funds.

For background on the complaint:

Lottery Director Admits A Few Mistakes But Says She Welcomes IG Investigation

IG Complaint: Fun Is Good, But The Hoosier Lottery Director Might Not Be

Who's To Blame? Guv Wags An Angry Finger At Everyone But Himself

SewagemonsterThe Guv sits down with a couple editorial boards in Northwest Indiana to explain his stances on a variety of issues, including the controversial BP Whiting Refinery dumping permit. As usual, he got defensive and blamed other people for calling his judgment into question.

"Meeting with the Post-Tribune's editorial board, Daniels also voiced deep skepticism with environmentalists' statements that they were not properly notified of BP's permit application.

"'Horsefeathers,' Daniels said of the Alliance for the Great Lakes' argument that state law was violated. 'It's all very statutory, the same process that has been followed in permits forever.'

"The alliance has asked the state to reopen the appeals period for the BP permit based on its arguments about notification.

"BP's proposal faced a rigorous two-year vetting by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, according to the governor, and met state standards he insisted should make Hoosiers proud.

"'IDEM put BP through the ringer for a couple years. It was not a rubber stamp process,' Daniels said. 'Somebody needs to say this was a decision made based on the facts and science, in good faith.'

"Nonetheless, the governor acknowledged it may be in the company's best interest to simply find a way to address the charges being leveled by U.S. congressmen, grass roots protesters and others.

"'I have urged (BP) to look for whatever additional steps they might take,' Daniels said. 'And by the way, whether or not it makes any difference whatsoever, which I suspect it won't, it will be for (public relations) purposes most likely, as opposed to any detectable difference in the water quality.'"

Stupid media, always making it hard for the Guv to act unilaterally against the will of the people.

The Times of Northwest Indiana provides some video footage from its meeting with the Guv:

Listening Tour: Schellinger, Wife Hit The Road To Get Input From Hoosiers

Schellinger_jim2Gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger and his wife, Laura, are kicking off a statewide listening tour that begins today with a swing through Southern Indiana:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Schellinger and his wife Laura listen to Hoosiers across Southern Indiana today, traveling to Shelbyville, Greensburg, North Vernon and Madison to visit with residents about the issues facing our state.

"Indiana's most valuable asset is our people," Schellinger said. "The answers to the challenges we face are right here in Indiana. As I travel across Indiana, I hear from Hoosiers who want to see change and want leadership that will unite our state. Working together, we can give Indiana the fresh start our state needs, and the kind of respectful and responsive leadership our people deserve."

A detailed schedule is listed below. All events are open to the media.

Thursday, August 23

11:00 a.m.
Jim and Laura Schellinger listen to Hoosiers in Shelby County
Cow Palace, 318 N. Harrison Street, Shelbyville

12:30 p.m.
Jim and Laura Schellinger listen to Hoosiers in Decatur County
Something’s Perkin, 108 E. Washington Road, Greensburg

3:00 p.m.
Jim and Laura Schellinger listen to Hoosiers in Jennings County
Jennings County Democratic Headquarters, 10 3rd Street, North Vernon

5:00 p.m.
Jim and Laura Schellinger listen to Hoosiers in Jefferson County
Red Pepper, 902 West Main Street, Madison

Saturday, August 25

12:00 p.m.
Jim and Laura Schellinger attend events at the Indiana Democratic Editorial Association Convention
Mayor’s Luncheon, Belterra Casino Resort & Spa, Belterra

2:00 p.m.
Jim Schellenger speaks at the United Auto Workers Rally
Belterra Casino Resort & Spa, Outside Riverfront, Belterra

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