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A cleanup worker drains oil from atop the Kalamazoo River in July 2010.

Furthermore …

Dotting their tís, crossing their iís

Can you imagine anything worse than putting a group of anal-retentive punctuation experts in charge of municipal budgets.

No, not really. But what is almost as bad is putting duly elected local politicians who are in charge of municipal budgets in charge of punctuation?

The fine officials on the Mid-Devon District Council in Great Britain have suggested banning apostrophe’s from street signs. The idea, someone said is to avoid confusion. The council is in Tiverton, 185 miles southwest of London.

Those who find the dispute either amusing or a sign of the apocalypse may be surprised, to learn that the council is controlled by the Tories, the most conservative of Britain’s main parties’.

The response to the proposal has been fierce, a description more befitting the backlash than the namby-pamby word “response.” A decision will be made at the next meeting, on Thursday.

Michigan keystone of pipeline caution

A cleanup bill of more than $800 million and growing is one huge reason to hold off on the Keystone XL pipeline.

House Speaker John Boehner recently lambasted President Obama for stalling the pipeline and said, “There’s no reason to delay it a second longer. It’s time to build the Keystone pipeline.”

But an order last week from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requiring Enbridge to complete additional cleanup of the Kalamazoo River because of a spill caused by a similar pipeline near Marshall, Mich., is one reason for hesitation. The July 2010 leak of the Enbridge pipeline, which carried tar sands oil – sometimes referred to as “dirty oil” and the same type the Keystone pipeline would carry – has cost the company more than $800 million already. When the 30-inch oil pipeline ruptured, heavy rains caused the oil to travel 35 miles downstream before containment efforts began.

The EPA order requires Enbridge to dredge three sections of the Kalamazoo River to prevent submerged oil from moving further downstream where it will be even more difficult to recover.

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