A Fracked Earth News report.
__Remember the missile gap, the bomber gap, the technological gap, even the mine-shaft gap? Well, now we have the icebreaker gap which we’ve got to narrow because the US only has two of them whereas
the USSR Russia has 41.Why the need? Surely not for rampant exploitation of the pristine Arctic.
__President Obama is touring Alaska, meeting with Alaska Native peoples, addressing an Arctic climate summit, viewing the rapidly-retreating Exit Glacier on the Kenai Peninsula, visiting Bristol Bay where there’s a tense struggle between copper-gold mining interests and “the world’s salmon fishery.” Finally, he’ll to go Kotzebue where the sea is threatening the village of Kivalina.
Democracy Now! “Our Climate, Our Future”: As Obama Visits Arctic, Alaskans Urge Him to Reverse Shell Oil Deal
__The National Onion Association supports Shell’s Arctic drilling, despite not telling us exactly how onion growers benefit from it. Curiously, their message “is 78% identical to language from a Consumer Energy Alliance petition.”
__The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: 19 million acres covered with nature’s riches, fought over by the oil industry and environmentalists. “We will leave the Age of Petroleum behind,” either “willingly and in time to limit the devastation of climate change” or by exhausting oil supplies and making Earth uninhabitable (for us anyway).
__Obama visit impact? Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is “examining whether to revive a dormant group of officials dedicated to developing the state’s climate change policy.”
__NASA says there’s more to come: Future sea level rise will be by at least 3 feet.
__Can walruses survive global warming? They’re being forced onto very overcrowded shores of the Chukchi Sea since sea ice, their traditional habitat, is disappearing.
Extreme Ice Melt Forces Thousands of Walruses Ashore
__Overfishing, trash dumping are taking their toll on the oceans, as is CO2 which is acidifying them. Worldwatch warns: stop plundering the earth and its resources.
__Thanks to homo sapiens, “Up to 90% of seabirds have plastic in their guts.”
Global warming & food
__Citibank analysis shows costs of combatting global warming and costs of doing nothing are just about the same—but long-term savings of combatting global warming are greater. In the meantime, the oil industry is hung up on stranded investments.
__Only major reorientation and effort will keep temperature rise to 2 C. We’re on a trajectory to 3 C. Two countries are “in line with the 2C goal,” Ethiopia and Morocco.
__Forests cut down in 2014 occupied an area “twice the size of Portugal.” And that was an improvement.
__General Mills’ CEO warns of global warming’s negative impact on food production sufficient to sustain us.
__Biologist shares his concerns about the variety of risks of GMOs, and the lack of risk assessment.
__Overproduction of GMO corn, partly due to generous US subsidies, has led to rampant spread of pesticide-resistant bugs, including the rootworm.
Oil: slowdown, resistance
__Elon Musk weighs in on the absurdity of burning fossil fuels: “the dumbest experiment in history.”
__ConocoPhillips to ax about 10% of its 18,000+ positions worldwide.
__Texas Republicans are returning to Washington, DC soon and, by gum, they’re going to get that 40-year ban on crude oil exports overturned because their oily campaign contributors are experiencing “hardship” nowadays. Meanwhile, the Energy Department has issued a report “laden with caveats,” but favorable to lifting the ban.
__Hunting, fishing and wild rice harvesting are essential to the Ojibwe. Minnesota says harvesting wild rice can’t be done off-reservation, but the Ojibwe say US treaties give them such rights. The Ojibwe also don’t want oil and gas pipelines, such as Enbrige’s Sandpiper, because of the danger of rupture and permanent pollution of land, water and food. Pipelines galore in Minnesota; sadly, more planned.
__Activists, including tribal youth, gathered at Secretary of State John Kerry’s front door, protesting planned increases in the Alberta Clipper pipeline pressure so it’ll accelerate the amount of oil transported from 440,000 barrels/day to 800,000—tar sands oil coming from Alberta to North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They’re also suing.
__Shell’s drilling off Canada’s east coast, too. One member of the government Board in charge of such matters is “a Tory-appointed official who worked for Shell for decades.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Harper’s cut the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s budget by 40% and “fired hundreds of scientists.”
__To reduce ozone-producing methane, the EPA wants to “capture” methane at fracking sites, monitor and correct capture deficiencies. As you guessed, the oil and gas industry is opposed.
The Daily Show: “Living In Denali”
__Colorado’s Supreme Court has been asked to rule on whether local communities can ban fracking—or if the state can ban local communities’ bans on fracking.
__Ohio River toxic algae bloom continues to spread. Were frackers dumping waste into a creek? Video.
__Last July “five million litres of bitumen, sand and oil leaked” from Nexen Energy’s pipeline in Alberta. Now, 15 of Nexen’s pipeline licenses are suspended and its 95 pipelines cannot be re-started until operational safety can be proven. A “double-walled, high-pressure line installed in 2014” is the one that broke. Update: Nexen has halted operations. h/t Mike Hudema.
__Increasing gas drilling in British Columbia? Expect “five times as many fracking-caused earthquakes”. Drillers respond they just won’t drill so much, so no prob. The $36 bn Pacific NorthWest LNG project will mainly export gas to Asia.
__Oil wells seized, streets barricaded, rocks thrown as Peruvians in Loreta protest the government’s awarding an oil contract to Pacific Exploration & Production Corp.
__Anti-frackers in Britain have taken note of fracking-related earthquakes in the US and Canada.
__World’s largest natural gas fields discovered off the coast of Egypt.
Fracking & mining
__Abandoned coal mines are being used for illegal dumping of fracking waste. Radioactive contamination in a stream flowing from an old mine in western Pennsylvania is a case in point.
__Indian Peoples Action is taking on coal in eastern Montana and the impacts of fracking which spill over the North Dakota Bakken into Montana. IPA has confronted huge tar sands equipment convoys. Crow, Cheyenne, Assiniboine and Flathead peoples are affected and involved.
__Navajo Nation farmers were deeply concerned about opening irrigation gates following the poisoning of the San Juan River which flows through their lands. Navajo Nation’s EPA tests indicate the river water is ok for watering crops and larger livestock. Nonetheless, farmers have the option of opening their irrigation gates or keeping them closed. A little rain helped the situation.
__No wonder Don Blankenship, ex-CEO of Massey Energy, is trying to keep documents from the jury. They illustrate his relentless pursuit of profit above all. Health and safety regulations? Pfffft.
__Indigenous people and allies in Ecuador continue their struggle, “shutting down highways and staging protests.” They’re fighting Big Ag and extractive industries (oil and mining) trying to take over their land, their livelihoods, their culture. President Rafael Correa is vigorously opposed to their demands.
__Movement underway to preserve more of Peru’s hugely biodiverse Amazon Rainforest by expanding national parks, which will help protect indigenous communities from “illegal mining, deforestation, drug-trafficking activities, logging and oil drilling.”
__It was close, but they did it! In Australia’s Newcastle, “the birthplace of Queensland’s coal,” by a 6-5 vote, the City Council decided to divest its $270 million from coal and move it into “environmentally and socially responsible investments.”
__The US Trade Representative whined to the World Trade Organization that, rather than importing them from the US, India intended to use its own solar products in solar energy development. The WTO agreed, and the struggle against global warming takes a hit.
__Koch Industries is promoting “renewable energy subsidies as ‘a textbook case of corporate welfare.’” That’s really interesting since the US provided an estimated $37.5 bn subsidy to oil & gas industries in 2014.
Gyasi Ross: “Marlon Brando” feat. Sacred Water
Good things do happen
__Bellingham, WA street named for Billy Frank Jr.
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