Posts by Arif


Texas prides itself on its history in the oil business. As one of the pioneers of the modern energy economy, the fact Texas still drills offshore, refines onshore, and now is working in natural gas not only enriches the state but is an important aspect of the state’s overall identity. It matches well with the state’s sense of independence and purpose. The Lone Star State can make its own energy, pay its own bills, and make its own way without anyone else. That’s always been the state’s ethos, and oil and gas help it continue to feel that way.

But is it time for Texas to change? Recently, there was an explosion at a Marathon oil refinery in Texas City. Accidents at plants and refineries are not as rare as might be hoped. In this case, luckily, no one was hurt, but the accident does speak to a larger concern, especially coupled with the recent devastation due to Hurricane Harvey.

Refining oil is a dangerous business in the best of circumstances. Dealing with toxic and combustible chemicals mean any small mistake can have serious consequences. Refineries in Texas have always done an excellent job containing these problems, but their extreme caution may not be enough in coming decades.

That is because climate change may change the way Texas has to approach energy. If climate scientists are right, hurricanes like Harvey could become increasingly common in the Gulf of Mexico, and if they make regular inroads into Texas, that puts those toxic and combustible chemicals at risk of explosions within the refineries and also leaking out into the nearby towns and cities.

Already, there is some risk this might have occurred due to Harvey. More storms, more often, radically increases the chances more damage will be done.

Is it still safe for Texas to keep drilling offshore and refining near the coast? So far, no one wants to claim otherwise, and yet, it must be on the minds of every person in the oil business at the moment.

With the country having been battered by three major hurricanes in a single season for the first time ever, there are more than enough ill omens to reconsider some decisions. Among them, perhaps, the decision to keep coastal Texas so integral to the oil business in America.

It may now be time to explore other options. For instance, simply moving the refineries further inland. Though costs will rise due to transportation, having refineries inland will offer greater protections against climate events.

Another option would be to explore importing more oil again and closing down some refineries in Texas. This is perhaps the least likely and least desirable option, but it must still be on the table.

Perhaps the rosiest potential change would be to begin a transition from oil to further investments in natural gas and renewable energy. Texas has a lot of sun and a lot of space, making it an ideal place to explore solar energy on a grand scale. Its plains would also be excellent sources of wind energy. With a history in energy exploration and science, the state could once again pioneer the next generation of energy.

Whether it chooses to take such a drastic and adventurous new course is yet to be seen, but with the risks of hurricanes rising, something will have to change.

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Slow Down


Posted By on Aug 16, 2017

With the increased demand for round the clock commitments many drivers fall guilty under the category of driving recklessly and too quickly. While speed limits may be set at reasonable rates of speed there are many cars that can easily accelerate well over that limit and with little to no effort. Agencies like the U.S. Federal Highway Administration continue to gather data in hopes that it will provide better insight for auto accidents in order to find methods of prevention. Too long has the extremely unsafe conditions of U.S. roadways gone unnoticed. The United States is home to some of the most dangerous roads in the world with regards to deaths caused by motor vehicles. Efforts to end the slaughtering of millions of fellow citizens are working towards a safer future for all members of society.

Nearly every single driver knows what it feels like to drive while under a strain for time. With the high demands of jobs and other deadline based responsibilities speeding while driving has become a major everyday catastrophe. The reckless endangerment of the driver and the cars around said the driver can not go free without serious solutions being implemented. Typically drivers speed for a variety of reasons including distracted driving while being on devices, eating or drinking, and during a fit of road rage. The stress that consumes people in their day to day life is being seen to carry over into the driving habits of the individual. Any slight inconvenience while driving could spark a manic episode in which the driver goes on a rampage. Occurrences like this are extremely common and pose a great danger to the rest of the population. To keep up with high demand for access to roads and quick travel, government agencies have raised speed limits in hopes of making roads seem less busy. While traffic may move more quickly this creates other issues such as lack of control of the vehicle and the possibility of being severely injured or injuring others. Drivers now take it upon themselves to determine the speed limit for a particular stretch of road. This inconsistency in relation to the other drivers that surround them is the basis for standard auto accident occurrences.

To conclude, roadways have become drag race strips where individual drivers can break free from the flow of traffic and swerve around cars until they are leading from a good distance. The act of speeding greatly over the designated speed limit is extremely dangerous and could result in death for the driver or other drivers on the road. In their research, NHTSA reported that speeding was the main cause in roughly 31% of fatal crashes on the road. Speeding accidents are very costly and if trends continue speeding will cost our country over $40 billion. It is mandatory that all drivers become aware of the true dangers of speeding while driving. Most drivers assume that a simple five miles over the speed limit are harmless, but when tragedy strikes and the fabric of one’s very life is changed forever it becomes clear that speed control is crucial to the safe operations on roadways.

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Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents continue to be a major concern of federal, state and local governments due to their high rate despite the laws which mandate that all working environments should be kept healthy and safe for all employees.

Records from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal a little more than three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and 4,405 deaths in 2013. Despite the substantial difference in the number of deaths during to the latter part of the 20th century (about 14,000 job-related deaths every year), authorities from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) knows that there is still so much to be done, considering the fact that accidents are almost always results of negligence.
Every time a worker is harmed, different issues are brought into the open, including the concerned employer’s compliance with workplace safety laws, the severity of the injury and the effect it will have on a victim’s personal, professional and financial state.
Some accidents cause no more than minor scratches, while others may be a little more serious and, thus, require days or weeks of bed rest. Some injuries are definitely severe, however, causing long term disabilities (LTD) that render a worker unable to work for months or even years, taking away his or her capability to earn wages.

Good thing, however, some employers provide employees with a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy as part of their comprehensive employee benefits package – this is to protect employees from losing any form of earnings during the period when their injury or illness will keep them out of work.

Most LTD insurance policies are designed to pay disabled employees about 50 – 70 percent of their salary. LTD benefits, however, are subject to taxes, reducing further what an injured employee would receive. Due to this, there are employees who decide to purchase a personal supplemental long term disability insurance; besides the higher pay, this is also tax exempt.

Despite employees’ eligibility to receive LTD benefits, many applications get denied or are awarded benefits that are below what the policy stipulates. Many insurance providers, obviously, are guilty of avoiding making payments, thus, they do all things possible to deny claims, delay assessment of applications or payment of claims, or pay much lower benefits.

As explained by disability claim attorneys, long-term disability insurance is supposed to help you take care of you and your family if you are ever injured or become disabled and can’t to go back to work for weeks, months, or even years. However, contrary to the promise your insurance company made you when it sold you a long-term disability policy, it denies you your long-term disability claim just when you actually need it.

If your long-term disability benefits have been denied or discontinued, there are time limits for appealing their decision. If you wait, you could miss an important deadline.

Read More

Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatal accidents continue to be a major concern of federal, state and local governments due to their high rate despite the laws which mandate that all working environments should be kept healthy and safe for all employees.

Records from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal a little more than three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and 4,405 deaths in 2013. Despite the substantial difference in the number of deaths during to the latter part of the 20th century (about 14,000 job-related deaths every year), authorities from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) knows that there is still so much to be done, considering the fact that accidents are almost always results of negligence.

Every time a worker is harmed, different issues are brought into the open, including the concerned employer’s compliance with workplace safety laws, the severity of the injury and the effect it will have on a victim’s personal, professional and financial state.

Some accidents cause no more than minor scratches, while others may be a little more serious and, thus, require days or weeks of bed rest. Some injuries are definitely severe, however, causing long term disabilities (LTD) that render a worker unable to work for months or even years, taking away his or her capability to earn wages.

Good thing, however, some employers provide employees with a long term disability (LTD) insurance policy as part of their comprehensive employee benefits package – this is to protect employees from losing any form of earnings during the period when their injury or illness will keep them out of work.

Most LTD insurance policies are designed to pay disabled employees about 50 – 70 percent of their salary. LTD benefits, however, are subject to taxes, reducing further what an injured employee would receive. Due to this, there are employees who decide to purchase a personal supplemental long term disability insurance; besides the higher pay, this is also tax exempt.

Despite employees’ eligibility to receive LTD benefits, many applications get denied or are awarded benefits that are below what the policy stipulates. Many insurance providers, obviously, are guilty of avoiding making payments, thus, they do all things possible to deny claims, delay assessment of applications or payment of claims, or pay much lower benefits.

As explained by disability claim attorneys, long-term disability insurance is supposed to help you take care of you and your family if you are ever injured or become disabled and can’t to go back to work for weeks, months, or even years. However, contrary to the promise your insurance company made you when it sold you a long-term disability policy, it denies you your long-term disability claim just when you actually need it.

If your long-term disability benefits have been denied or discontinued, there are time limits for appealing their decision. If you wait, you could miss an important deadline.

 

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Car Accidents: Common Causal Factors


Posted By on Jun 7, 2017

Car accidents are often devastating enough to cause injuries and deaths, but for some reason, they are still fairly common in American roads, as if people are not doing enough to prevent them from happening.

The accidents are even worse if they have been caused by negligent or reckless parties and have injured innocent motorists and pedestrians. Usually, this party is another driver, a designer or manufacturer of a vehicle or its parts, a construction company, or a local government.

Driver

The driver is the one controlling the car, so it is not surprising that he is one of the most common causes of car accidents. The worst drivers are those who drive while drunk, under the influence of drugs, or fatigued. But those who are reckless on the road, such as those who speed, street race, and tailgate, are not any better.

Designer/Manufacturer

There are times where even the most diligent drivers get involved in accidents because of the incompetence of the designer or manufacturer of their cars or their parts, like when airbags fail to deploy properly, brakes do not do their one job, doors don’t latch fully, seatbelts don’t properly restrain car occupants, or tires give in.

Construction Company

Even a safe driver with a car free of defects can be involved in an accident, and this is because of another external factor – the condition of the road. The construction company may be responsible for the construction and design of the road, so if the road has construction and design problems that have caused accidents, it may be held liable. The most common problems include dangerously abrupt turns, overly narrow lanes and shoulders, and use of weak materials that make the road too vulnerable to defects.

Local Government

Another entity that can be held liable for road defects is the local government. Most of the time, it is the one handling the maintenance of the roads in its area of responsibility, so any maintenance problem that results into a car accident is on them. The most common maintenance problems include defective traffic lights and road signs, overgrowth that may influence visibility, debris that is not properly cleaned up, and pavement defects such as potholes.

What to Do

Prevention will always be better than cure. But if an accident does happen, the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, has enumerated the things you can do, including contacting authorities for help and making sure to get important information such as name and phone number of involved motorists.

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