A Fracked Earth News report.
Disaster out West
__Mining wastewater that EPA accidentally released from old abandoned Gold King Mine in Silverado, Colorado into the Animas River was “flowing at one to two miles per hour,” reaching New Mexico over the weekend and “headed toward the San Juan River, which flows through the Navajo Nation.”
__Update: Since the San Juan flows into the Colorado River in Utah, Lake Powell is expected to be affected. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, copper, and other heavy metals.
__Second Update: The Navajo Council in New Mexico has proclaimed this disaster “an assault on Navajo culture and life.” Major concerns, including “Who is going to pay for bottled water?”
__Third Update: EPA now saying they “misjudged pressure in gold mine” and triggered the breach while trying to lower a pipe into the mine. 3 million gallons of highly toxic sludge released. There are many more such abandoned mines in the area.
Contaminated water floods Animas River after Gold King Mine breach
__Fourth Update: EPA to Navajo Nation: It’ll take decades to clean this up, including the San Juan, the Navajo’s lifeline.
__Fifth Update: EPA says water in the Animas River is safe to drink. Really.
__Scientists are trying to find all the missing CO2. The rainforests, oceans, grasslands and other systems absorb CO2, but they don’t account for all of it. Much of the missing CO2 could be in China, where runoff from irrigated fields seeps into the Tarim Basin underground aquifer—perhaps as much as 1 trillion tons.
__More Canadians employed in clean energy now than in those awful tarsands! h/t Sam Gunsch
__Burping cows increasing CO2 emissions? A food additive for cow burp reduction is being tested. Think it’ll work for beer-imbibers?
__Charles Koch’s recent
burps statements on climate change have been reviewed by climate change scientists. You don’t want to miss the results.
__Pope Francis expecting his flock to participate in a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1st.
United Nations: Suicide and Despair among Brazil’s Indigenous
__International Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated Sunday. Bruce Babbitt, former US Secretary of the Interior, reminds us that “indigenous people are being threatened, murdered, and driven from their homelands” as their habitat is destroyed. The plight of the Guarani of Brazil’s Matto Grosso is an example of what has and is happening to many indigenous people worldwide.
__Palm oil production has heavy environmental and social costs, including destruction of major native forests in Indonesia, and dislocation of local populations. The US and European countries have dramatically reduced consumption of it, but it’s widely popular in India. A movement’s afoot to support only sustainable palm oil.
__$11.8 million in US Tribal Climate Resilience Program funds has been awarded to help tribes “in the front lines” of climate change, such as Alaskan villages Kotzebue and Kivalina which are disappearing into the sea.
__EPA ordered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to “issue a new regulation concerning the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos,” or at least some form of response. It’s only been 8 years.
__San Jose, California’s Guadalupe River has dried up due to the drought, leaving “fish and other wildlife … either missing or dead.”
__Beginning September 8th, the Panama Canal Authority will be limiting the size of ships—temporarily—it can accommodate since drought has lowered the level of water. This was done once before (1997-98).
__Fires raging in Spain over the week, particularly in the drought-parched south. 12,000 hectares ablaze in Andalucia. No human deaths reported, but fears that “dozens of horses, donkeys and goats have died.”
__Add beautiful Lake Baikal to the list of places overwhelmed by forest fires. What’s not burning is caked in ashes. Photos.
__Fires raging in the US West, too as this interactive US fire map shows.
From the oil patches
__A 2013 study by the University of Texas “systematically” underestimated the amount of methane emissions from “natural gas production [fracking] sites due to instrument sensor failure.” The Environmental Defense Fund was “collaborating with natural gas companies, which agreed to partially fund the research.” No conflict of interest there, no siree.
__”The surge in supply is unrelenting,” and the drop in prices is, too. Oil going at $43.08/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange ($48.82/barrel in London). Iran’s starting to increase its output (guess we don’t have to harp on that possibility any longer), and OPEC is increasing its output, too.
__Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has sued in an on-going effort to obtain Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling safety plan from federal agencies.
__52% of British Colombia residents are opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.
__$4.5 million spent by Canada’s Harper government promoting its tar sands, including arrogantly advertising its “efforts to ‘advance energy literacy amongst BC first Nations communities,” who understand all too well what’s going on.
__Canada’s United Church, its largest Protestant church, to divest $5.9 million in fossil fuel assets.
__Video of 62-year old Enbridge pipeline running between Lakes Huron and Michigan at the Straits of Mackinaw sure instills confidence, doesn’t it?
__38-year old man in Texas whose water well exploded from contamination due to nearby fracking has sued EOG Resources, Fairway Resources and three of Fairway’s subsidiaries. The man “suffered severe burns … and ‘significant neurological damage.’” Other family members were injured, too.
__Suit by a Kern County, California family against Governor Jerry Brown: “new fracking regulations do not protect the health of Latino public school children.”
__Scandal in Ecuador as documents surface about spying on individuals and political groups opposed to President Rafael Correa’s push for oil exploration in the Amazon.
Some mining news
__No less than the World Bank is arguing that clean energy is far preferable over coal in terms of reducing poverty.
__Chutzpah maximus! Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship arguing that certain evidence about the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 mine-workers needn’t go to the jury.
__”Even longtime coal watchers are unsure if they are witnessing the death of the coal industry, or a gruesome resurrection.”
__Adani (big coal company out of India) was planning a behemoth coal mine in Australia, but a court has blocked them. Turns out, banks wouldn’t invest, coal prices continue to drop and there’s much opposition from environmentalists. So, Adani’s plan are “in doubt”.
On the nuclear front
__In 1946 the population of Bikini had to go into exile because the US wanted to drop nuclear bombs on their homeland. They were eventually relocated to Kili Island, which is now threatened by rising ocean and storm flooding. They are appealing to the US to keep them from homelessness. Shame!
__At last, some action. Canada’s Ontario Power Generation wants to dispose of its nuclear waste by burying it within a mile of Lake Huron. Serious stuff. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Powers (D-MI) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) have proposed legislation to stop this until an International Joint Commission study of the situation is completed.
__They even backed legislation to protect their secret, but it’s out now: Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear reactor will cost a stunning $19 billion+, or $13,000+ per installed kilowatt.
__”Tokyo is set to resume its atomic energy program for the first time in two years. Anti-nuclear sentiments remain strong in the country after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.”
Monarch butterflies amazing migration to Mexico
__Studies done in Canada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and other US states “found no significant declines of monarch populations in their summer breeding areas.” Over in the UK, they are so concerned that global warming is threatening their butterflies that they are actively thinking of ways to rescue them, such as protecting wilderness areas. Yay on both counts!
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