A Fracked Earth News report.
High seas, low prices
__Drama on the Arctic seas: 7 Chinese People’s Liberation Army ships were in the Bering Sea during Obama’s visit to Alaska. A Shell contractor looking for oil in the Arctic attracted the attention of a Russian intelligence ship. The US’ 16 intelligence agencies now have full-time Arctic specialists. Canada, Norway, Denmark, the US and Russia are competing for “jurisdiction over the Arctic seabed.”
__10 Sep 2015: US crude at $44.45/barrel and Brent at $47.73.
__Due to low oil prices, Saudi Arabia will have a budget deficit of around $140bn this year, Canada’s GDP is in “a modest recession,” and Venezuela, Libya, Russia, Qatar and Iraq “are all taking a hit.”
__South Louisiana governments are feeling the pinch of lower oil prices as their revenues decline, local “business activity falls and workers are laid off.”
__Analysis of oil executives’ exorbitant compensation, their reward for exploiting oil resources which harm the planet. Parallels with the 2008 financial bust and those “stranded assets” the industry has created— estimated at $100tn—are discussed.
__Well, shucks. “Industry groups and their backers had hoped President Obama would use his trip last week to Alaska to say something about the need for more oil and gas drilling in the United States.” He didn’t.
Oil, gas struggles
__Navajo Nation: “We have rights which are being violated.” The Bureau of Land Management can issue “new gas and oil drilling permits” around Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, a National Heritage Site. There’s also the proposed Pinon Pipeline.
A flight over Chaco Canyon
__The mighty California legislature caved to the oil industry, and dropped efforts to reduce gasoline consumption by 50% by 2030. The other part, increasing renewables and energy efficiency, remained.
__SEECO (Texas-based gas company), will be forking over $950,000 for illegally drilling in federal gas wells in Arkansas’ Conway and Van Buren Counties. SEECO sold the gas for $950,000.
__Bill preventing PG&E writing off most of $1.6 bn penalty for the San Bruno gas line explosion rejected in the California legislature. Author may try again.
__Big win! Nexen Inc. cannot pump millions of gallons of water from a local lake for fracking. British Columbia granted Nexen the license. Fort Nelson First Nation successfully appealed.
__Peruvian legislators passed a law allowing the state’s Petroperu to control the large oil block that President Humala’s administration had granted to Pacific Exploration and Production Corp—which Peruvians, particularly in Iquitos, protested vigorously.
__Russia’s Gazprom will be developing “tight and shale gas in Argentina.” The head of Argentina’s YPF said of the agreement: “We hope Gazprom becomes a good partner for YPF like Chevron, Dow and Petronas are now.” Ah, yes.
__Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Ecuadorans who sued Chevron for “mass dumping of oilfield waste” in Lago Agrio “can seek to enforce in Canada a multi-billion-dollar Ecuadoran judgment against … Chevon”—though whether they can actually get it enforced remains to be seen.
__Russia, quite dependent on its oil and gas revenues, says it has no intention of reducing production.
Rocking along with renewables
__There are three US cities running on 100% renewable energy: Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas, joined now by Aspen, Colorado.
__Major renewable energy advances at Blue Lake Rancheria in Humboldt County, California through a collaborative effort and a $5m grant from the state Energy Commission. The Rancheria is one of 16 US “Climate Action Champions.”
__British survey reveals the public would prefer living near wind turbines (62%) than fracking sites (14%).
__West Australians polled support “a 50% renewable energy target”, and rank renewable energy higher than national security.
__Two women from a village in Chile’s Atacama desert went to Barefoot College in India where they learned installation and maintenance of solar panels. They returned home and set to work, providing villagers three hours of electricity/day.
—40,000 Detroit residents had their water turned-off as rates escalated. In this instance, said the UN, “the shutoffs … are a violation of the basic human right: access to clean drinking water.”
__Many families in the Navajo Nation have no running water and are entirely dependent on the Navajo “Water Lady” and her big yellow truck for their monthly water supply. Why does this situation exist?
CBS Sunday Morning: “The Navajo Water Lady”
__The federal judge in Montana who recently imposed a temporary injunction against the Obama administration’s regulating small waterways says the halt applies only to the 13 states that sued, contrary to their claim that his ruling applied to the entire US.
Vice News: Louisiana’s Coastal Crisis — Oil And Water
Disappearing land, forests, creatures
__“The oil fields started it; mother nature’s finishing it.” How and why Louisiana is losing so much land.
__Although “extremely low,” crude oil that gushed from the Exxon Valdez back in 1989 was sufficient to cause “heart problems in embryonic” herring and salmon, according to federal scientists. “Metabolically, they’re different. … can’t grow as well … can’t swim as fast.”
__Nestled in Quebec’s Broadback River valley are some 5,000 square miles of untouched Boreal forest. The Cree have been fighting to keep it pristine, though logging has claimed “90 percent of adjacent lands.” Greenpeace has joined the fight.
__Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is again increasing, due to “cattle ranching aimed at the U.S. market.” Meanwhile, the Guarani-Kaiowa are under siege in Mato Grosso do Sul where they live confined in miserable conditions although their ancestral lands have been confirmed by the government. Farmers are fighting against the Guarani in the courts–and with live ammo back home.
__A federal judge has struck the lesser prairie chicken from the endangered species list, a decision praised by the president of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. Petition here to the US Fish & Wildlife Service to protect the Greater Sage Grouse and other threatened species. h/t EE
Pew Trusts: Protecting the Wild West and Greater Sage Grouse
Money & science
__Two case histories—one scientist employed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the other by the University of Alaska—whose concern about oil drilling and the decline of polar bears resulted in harassment and withdrawal of financial support. Was the oil industry involved? Does a bear …
__Monsanto wooed “Professors/researchers/scientists [because they] have a big white hat in this debate” about Monsanto products, such as GMOs. Now, Monsanto-types and organic businesses are competing to get those scientists to defend one industry and/or attack the other. Consumers lose.
Speaking of Monsanto
__New study links Roundup exposure to liver and kidney cancers in mice.
__Not just Germany and Scotland, but also Greece and Latvia are banning Monsanto GMO crops. Claim is the European Commission is doing some behind-closed-doors maneuvering on behalf of “big biotech companies,” though.
__California’s Environmental Protection Agency will be labeling Roundup “as a chemical ‘known to cause cancer.’”
__Radioactive coal ash, stored near coal-fired plants where it could contaminate groundwater, is not regulated nor inspected — but will be next month, when the EPA issues coal ash regulations.
__Good grief: “there are at least 161,000 abandoned hardrock mine sites in 12 western states and Alaska. Around 33,000 are causing environmental problems, including water contamination.
__California’s Public Employee Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System must divest from coal—about $167m and $40m, respectively.
__Canada’s Mienra IRL has halted Corihuarmi gold mine operations in Peru after protests by locals about damage to the environment and themselves—and those $10bn in profits foreign mining companies take out of Peru, leaving only 2% in taxes.
__Zambia residents dependent on the Kafue River for water are suing Vedanta Resources, saying their nearby copper mine has turned the river and streams into “rivers of acid,” poisoning adjacent farmlands.
__The National Australian Bank has decided not to fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine after all — giving the Great Barrier Reef a reprieve.
Warm El Niño Waters Lead To Rare Crab Swarm Near Channel Islands
__Siberia’s melting permafrost is yielding huge viruses many thousands of years old.
Content posted to MyMPN open blogs is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to MintPress News.