A Fracked Earth News report.
__Climate Change grief with Bill Nye and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Challenges & responses
__Fossil fuel subsidies ($452 billion/year) by G20 countries get us nearer and nearer to “climate disaster”. (G20 = Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, US and the EU.)
__Mini-histories of the 10 largest oil companies on the planet, their acquisitions, mergers, operations, etc.
__53 US House members (led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) are urging Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ensure that the $20b settlement with BP for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil blowout won’t result in a $5b tax savings for BP.
__14 major investment funds (philanthropic, pensions, etc.) would be better off if they’d invested in green energy rather than coal, oil and gas.
__New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken on denial of the climate crisis by both Peabody Energy (coal) and Exxon. Both corporations hid what they knew, thus misinforming the public. Dan Zegart of the Climate Investigation Center discusses.
__Years’ long legal struggle against the tobacco industry, btw, continues, with lessons relevant to legal action in the Exxon case. h/t EE
__The EU will be studying the “risks of [shale gas] fracking,” conducted by University of Edinburgh scientists.
__Despite lip-service to alternative energy, and promises to be off coal by 2025, the UK’s government is now pushing gas and providing subsidies to continue fossil fuel suppliers. A pattern has emerged: the UK government promises one thing but doesn’t do what’s necessary to meet that promise, such as developing alternative energy.
__BP’s had a big setback in its plan for exploratory drilling in the Great Australian Bight where the whale fishies play—because “it fell short of environmental standards.”
__Mexico’s “opened its arms” for a sixth pipeline from TransCanada.
Community action vs fracking & pipelines
__Appalachia Resist, supported by the Buckeye Forest Council, interrupted the US Bureau of Land Management’s meeting about proposed oil and gas leases for 31,900 acres in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest.
__Concerned Citizens Ohio of Portage County have joined with citizens of Trumbull, Ashtabula and Athens Counties in urging a moratorium on new injection wells.
____In Ohio’s Medina and Summit Counties, the Nexus Pipeline battle “continues to simmer.” Citizens are fighting to block surveyor access for the pipeline. Nexus will transport Utica Shale gas from Ohio to Michigan, Ontario and other midwestern places.
__Fracking resistance is growing in Florida. “18 counties and 37 cities are committed to a resolution to ban fracking in their jurisdictions or to support a state-wide anti-fracking bill.” Citizens are up against key politicians, including Gov. Rick Scott (R). BTW, no Florida state agency the “has the legal authority to regulate fracking.”
__About 200 people crowded into Enbridge’s Duluth, Minnesota offices recently, demanding “an environmental review and consult with tribes over its pipeline propositions.” Protesters were from the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa, Honor the Earth and Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, among others.
__In Morgantown, West Virginia, the Fairmont Brine Processing plant takes “frack fluid and [produces] distilled water for reuse in the field and rock salt for treatment of snowy winter roads.” Identifying what’s in fracking fluid is difficult due to the Halliburton Loophole, but–whad’ya know?–trucks hauling it to the Morgantown plant have ID cards containing “an analysis of the fluid.”
__Frackfree America National Coalition activists are at work in Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia these days.
__Stanford University students demanding fossil fuels divestment say their sit-in is “indefinite.”
__Protests increasing against California Gov. Jerry Brown’s resistance to a state-wide ban on fracking.
__Not enough signatures to put a fracking ban petition on Michigan’s ballot. Third time that’s happened.
__In the UK, “the Angling Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and other partners of the Fit To Frack coalition” published two reports on fracking. They’re particularly concerned with contamination of watercourses
__There’s fear a proposed “key study” on fracking in Scotland will be compromised by lack of adequate funding. Moreover, the Scottish Environnmental Protection Agency, participant in the study, “has no public health experts on its staff and no plans to take any on.” Huh?
Progress towards clean energy
__The US Energy Department has $22.7 million for “23 projects that will significantly reduce the costs for solar energy systems across a variety of technologies … [and] help accelerate the deployment … of solar energy.”
__Connecticut is providing “a slew of incentives and programs to encourage private and public solar power.”
__Ohio’s “Alternative Energy Zones” in six counties has led to efficient development of wind power, but Legislative action is needed to continue the program into 2016.
__West Virginia has taken a shine to solar energy, with co-ops springing up “in various regions of the state.” Upshur, Tucker and Randolph counties” are studying what’s been accomplished already by “co-ops in Morgantown, Wheeling and Charleston.”
__Texas wind farms produce so much energy they’re accounting “for roughly 10 percent of the state’s [energy] generation.” If Texas were to ramp-up their solar capacity, too, “Texas could lead the way” to the US goal of carbon-free energy by 2050.
__Franklin, New Hampshire has set the goal of 1,000 solar-powered homes from “the largest municipal solar project of its kind in state history,” more than doubling current state-wide output.
__Brazil’s providing $1.7 billion to develop “53 new solar and wind farms [adding] around 1.5 GW of renewable power capacity.”
From the world’s oldest extractive industry
__It’s wasted tons of money, hasn’t created jobs, will generate “huge amounts of carbon pollution” and may be dumped soon. That’s Mississippi’s Kemper coal plant.
__Defense rests without testimony from Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, on trial for “conspiring to break safety laws at Upper Big Branch Mine” where 29 mine workers died in a 2010 accident. Update: jury still deliberating.
__Opposition to the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, is heating up as Lummi Nation representatives were joined near the White House by Tulalip, Swinomish, Quinault, Lower Elwha Klallam, Yakama, Hoopa Valley, Nooksack and Spokane tribal members. They fear an 1855 treaty is now “in jeopardy” as corporations try to muscle their way into native communities.
__Grim situation in Brazil’s Minas Gerais after “a deadly tailings dam burst at an iron ore mine” jointly owned by Vale and BHP Billiton. A river conducted the toxic mining waste 273 miles downstream through 11 communities, leaving 9 dead and 15 missing. Brazil suspended the local operator’s license and fined Vale and BHP Billiton $66m.
__Seven protesters at Canada’s Tahoe Resources’ Escobal Mine in Guatemala in 2013, were fired upon by security guards using rubber bullets. The seven wanted their case heard in British Columbia, hoping for a fairer trial, but the BC court agreed with Tahoe Resources and has returned the case to Guatemala.
__That massive, recently-approved Carmichael coal mine in Australia is now under fire from all sides.
Water, precious water
__Another Greenland glacier rapidly retreats as ocean waters warm its base while warm air at the surface causes more melting. Greenland’s ice sheet “is losing several hundred billion tons … per year,” representing “a third of the total global sea level rise.”
__ It’s estimated “up to two billion people who depend on winter snow to deliver their summer water could see shortages by 2060” as global warming thins snowpacks.
__University of Victoria reports water in “aquifers and wells that billions of people rely on around the world … is mostly a non-renewable resource.” It takes about 50 years for 6% of Earth’s groundwater to be replaced. Map.
__The US and Cuba have agreed to jointly protect “the vast array of fish and corals they share as countries separated by just 90 miles.
__US House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) is going after NOAA’s scientists’ global warming/climate change. NOAA wants committee interviews with the scientists made public; Smith does not.
Wow! Peru’s Sierra del Divisor
__Peru’s huge, 3.3 million acre Sierra del Divisor national park (here and here) “strategically secures the final link in a 67 million-acre Andes-Amazon Conservation Corridor.” About 1 billion tons of CO2 annually will be sequestered by the Park.
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