tagged w/ Big Oil
On Thursday, I wrote about the 30,000 gallons of Canadian oil that spilled in Minnesota following a train derailment and noted the differences in oil spills caused by train accidents versus oil pipelines. Unfortunately, we now have another example of the large scale disasters oil pipelines create. On Friday, the ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline, which brings Canadian crude oil from Illinois to Texas, ruptured, leaking at least 80,000 gallons of oil into the Central Arkansas town of Mayflower.
Arkansas' THV11 reports:
It was a rough start to the Easter holiday weekend after an oil spill struck in Mayflower. Authorities said as many as 40 homes had to be evacuated Friday afternoon.
Lisa Song at Inside Climate News reports on the size of the spill:
The size of the spill remains unclear. Dodson said the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated the spill at 84,000 gallons. The EPA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management did not return calls for comment.
According to a Saturday afternoon press release from Exxon, 189,000 gallons of oil and water have been recovered from the site so far, and it is prepared to clean up more than twice that amount.
KARK posted some photos taken by residents in the affected neighborhood:
Chcek out the photos....
http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/oil-spill-arkansas-exxon-pipeline-breaks-spilling-84000-gallons-dangerously-close-lake-conway.htmlOn Thursday, I wrote about the 30,000 gallons of Canadian oil that spilled in... more
The story from Reuters:
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON | Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:24pm BST
(Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge by the oil lobby disputing a Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rule.
Various industry groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, originally challenged the 2010 regulation, which set a tighter Clean Air Act standard for short-term spikes in nitrogen dioxide pollution near roads ...
Link to full story:
I'm note sure how important this ruling is, but any loss for the American Petroleum Institute is probably a win for the rest of the country on some level.The story from Reuters:
By Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON | Mon Apr 1, 2013 3:24pm BST... more
The following 30-second climate change ad has already aired in three major media markets across the United States, to great acclaim as the first nationally crowdfunded climate change PSA. It was scheduled to play during Fox’s State of the Union coverage this past Tuesday. Then Exxon sent a single email, and it was unilaterally taken off the air. Here’s the ad you weren’t allowed to seeThe following 30-second climate change ad has already aired in three major media... more
Wildfires in the West. "Brown-Outs" in the East. Farmers losing crops to the worst drought since the Dust Bowl. Climate change is no longer a prediction for the future, but a startling reality of today. The U.S. Pentagon believes it to be a matter of national and international security. Yet, as the evidence of our changing climate mounts and the scientific consensus proves a human causation, there
continues to be no political action to thwart the warming of our planet.
"Greedy Lying Bastards" investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite consensus in the scientific community that it is not only a reality but also a growing problem that is placing us on the brink of disaster. The film details the people and organizations casting doubt on climate science and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior. Filmmaker and political activist Craig Rosebraugh documents the impact of an industry that has continually put profits before people, waged a campaign of lies designed to thwart measures to combat climate change, used its clout to minimize infringing regulations and undermined the political process in the U.S. and abroad.
Millions are spent each year by oil and related interests to fund the think tanks, groups, scientists and politicians waging what the film deems a campaign of deceit regarding the science of climate change and its dire impact on the planet. Between 1998 and 2012, "Greedy Lying Bastards" reports ExxonMobil spent over $25 million to dispel claims of global warming. The Koch brothers, who run the conglomerate Koch Industries, also provide significant funding. From 1997 through 2012, they spent over $60 million.
A far different story about climate change is told by the residents of Kivalina, a small Alaskan island above the Arctic Circle. Over the last fifty years, winter temperatures have risen nearly seven degrees and the ice that once protected the land is not forming properly leading to increasing erosion. As one tribal administrator notes: "The debate is over, we are dealing with the realities of climate change."
"Greedy Lying Bastards" also presents a shocking analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United. According to the film, not only did this 2010 ruling pave the way for unlimited corporate contributions to political campaigns, but additionally it highlighted the blatant corruption of the country's highest Court and its cozy relationship with top corporate interests.
Filmed in the US, Tuvalu, Peru, England, Uganda, Kenya, Belgium, Denmark and Germany, "Greedy Lying Bastards" includes interviews with scientists, industry experts, international political delegates, and people impacted by the changing climate as well as deniers. Among them: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; Rep. Henry Waxman (CA); former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman; top U.S. climate scientists Dr. Pieter Tans (NOAA), Dr. Mark Serreze (NOAA), Dr. Kevin Trenberth (NCAR), former President of Copenhagen Climate Summit COP15 Connie Hedegaard, UN Environmental Program Executive Director Achim Steiner, and leading climate science skeptics Myron Ebell, Christopher Monckton, and Jay Lehr.
More at the link
Oh and get this, Christopher Monckton, the propaganda payee of Gina Rinehardt the coal heiress was reportedly extricated from the COP 18 Conference for impersonating someone from the Malaysian delegation. That is how desperate these greedy lying bastards are. A sorry lot all of them.
Oh, and voting down these facts doesn't change the fact that you are an oil soaked idealogue with no credibility. If that's all you got here,...Amazing the psychological mind_ these sites do on people who actually think hitting a red or green box and getting their posse to help them validates their words and existence more than truth and facts.Wildfires in the West. "Brown-Outs" in the East. Farmers losing crops to the... more
Gorilla family in Virunga National Park https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/uploads/photos/teaser_small/kongo-virunga-np-gorilla-baby.jpg
The dense montane rainforest in the Virunga National Park is one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga is located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is the oldest national park in Africa. The park, about twice the size of Rhode Island, and along the shores of Lake Edward, was designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. In addition to the gorillas, it is home to other endangered species. Now the national park, the gorillas and the people living along the lake face an existential threat.
In late 2011, the UK-based oil company SOCO was granted exploitation rights for oil blocks in the eastern part of the Congo. Up until then, an exploitation moratorium had been in place for the country’s sensitive rainforest regions. Sixty percent of Block 5 covered by SOCO fall within the borders of Virunga. As Ephrem Balole of the park administration said: “The company has received a permission to start exploration in the park by presidential decree. However, law prohibits the exploitation of natural resources within the park.”
The park administration and the local population have joined forces in an attempt to prevent the drilling, which would destroy large parts of the Virunga rainforest and also threaten Lake Edward. The lake provides the livelihood of many people in the region. The UNESCO has issued a sharply worded note of protest to the Congolese government, declaring the oil drilling to be in violation of international law. The EU is providing funding for Virunga, but to date, only a small group of members of the European Parliament has issued a resolution against the drilling activities planned in the park.
Please write to the responsible institutions and demand the preservation of Virunga National Park *PLEASE READ, X-POST & SIGN*https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/mailalert/900/dr-congo-oil-company-threatens-gorilla-... more
Demand for oil is squeezing the life out of one of the world’s wildest places.
By Scott Wallace | January 2013
The leaves are still dripping from an overnight downpour when Andrés Link slings on his day pack and heads out into the damp morning chill. It’s just after daybreak, and already the forest is alive with hoots and chatter—the deep-throated roar of a howler monkey, the hollow rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker, the squeal of squirrel monkeys chasing each other from branch to branch. A strange, ululating chant starts up in the distance, fades out, then builds again.
“Listen!” says Link, grabbing my arm and cocking an ear. “Titi monkeys. Can you hear? There are two of them, singing a duet.” He imitates the high-pitched, rhythmic cry of one of the monkeys, then the other. Only then can I distinguish the two separate strains that make up the counterpoint chorus.
This raucous celebration is the daily background music for Link as he heads out on his morning commute through what may be the most biodiverse spot on Earth. Link, a primatologist from Universidad de los Andes, is researching the white-bellied spider monkey, and he’s on his way to a salt lick a half hour’s walk away, where a group often congregates.
Giant kapok and ficus trees with sprawling buttress roots soar like Roman columns straight into the canopy, their bifurcating branches draped with orchids and bromeliads that sustain entire communities of insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Strangler figs coil around their trunks in a tightening embrace. There is so much life here that tiny killifish are wriggling in a shallow puddle created by animal tracks.
We turn down a slope into a forest studded with bizarre-looking Socratea trees, commonly called walking palms, with four-foot-high stilt roots that allow the trees to shift location slightly in a quest for light and nutrients. It’s one of the untold millions of evolutionary adaptations unfolding all around the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS), a facility operated by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito on 1,600 acres (650 hectares) of pristine jungle on the edge of Yasuní National Park, which encompasses nearly 3,800 square miles (9,800 square kilometers) of prime rain forest habitat in eastern Ecuador.
“You could spend your entire life here and be surprised by something every day,” Link says. There are ten primate species in the forest around TBS, and a greater variety of birds, bats, and frogs than almost anywhere else in South America. There are as many insect species in a single hectare of the rain forest here as are known in all of the U.S. and Canada combined.
Yasuní’s location nurtures this abundance. The park sits at the intersection of the Andes, the Equator, and the Amazon region, an ecological bull’s-eye where extremely rich communities of plants, amphibians, birds, and mammals in South America converge.
Downpours are a near daily occurrence throughout the year, and there are few discernible changes of season. Sunlight, warmth, and moisture are constants.
This part of the Amazon is also home to two indigenous nations, the Kichwa and the Waorani, who live in settlements scattered along the roads and rivers. The first peaceable contact between the Waorani and Protestant missionaries took place in the late 1950s. Today most Waorani communities participate in trade and even tourism with the outside world, as do their former tribal enemies, the Kichwa. But two groups of Waorani have turned their backs on such contact, preferring to wander the upland forest in a so-called Zona Intangible—Untouchable Zone—set up to protect them. Unfortunately, this zone, which overlaps the southern sector of Yasuní, does not include the entirety of their traditional range, and the nomadic warriors have attacked settlers and loggers both inside and outside the zone, some as recently as 2009.
Far beneath the ground, Yasuní harbors yet another treasure that poses an urgent challenge to the precious web of life on the surface: hundreds of millions of barrels of untapped Amazon crude. Over the years, oil concessions have been drawn over the same territory as the park, as economic interests have trumped conservation in the struggle over Yasuní’s fate. At least five active concessions blanket the park’s northern section, and for a poor country like Ecuador the pressure to drill has been almost irresistible. Half of the nation’s export earnings already come from oil, nearly all of it from its eastern provinces in the Amazon.
In a proposal first put forward in 2007, President Rafael Correa has offered to leave indefinitely untouched an estimated 850 million barrels of oil inside Yasuní’s northeastern corner in a tract known as the ITT Block (named for the three oil fields it contains: Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini). As payment for preserving the wilderness and preventing an estimated 410 million metric tons of fossil fuel-generated carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere, Correa has asked the world to ante up in the fight against global warming. He is seeking $3.6 billion in compensation, roughly half of what Ecuador would have realized in revenues from exploiting the resource at 2007 prices. The money would be used, he says, to finance alternative energy and community development projects.
Hailed by supporters as a milestone in the climate change debate when it was first proposed, the so-called Yasuní-ITT Initiative has been hugely popular in Ecuador. National polls consistently show a growing awareness of Yasuní as an ecological treasure that should be protected. But the international response to the initiative has been tepid. By mid-2012 only about $200 million had been pledged. In response Correa has issued a succession of angry ultimatums, leading detractors to liken his proposal to blackmail. With the initiative stalled and Correa warning that time is running out, activity on the oil frontier continues to advance through eastern Ecuador, even within Yasuní’s limits. Every day, another bit of the wilderness succumbs to the bulldozers and backhoes.
A half hour after setting out from the TBS laboratory, Andrés Link reaches the mouth of a low cave at the bottom of a steep ravine. This is the salt lick he was looking for, but there are no monkeys here this morning. “They are afraid of predators,” he says, looking up through the canopy at the milky white sky. “When it’s overcast like this, they don’t like to come down.” The monkeys may be wary of jaguars or harpy eagles. But Link’s mind is on a more long-term and potentially definitive threat to the animals: the advancing oil frontier.
“You can see there is great interest in finding the oil,” he says. “The fear I have is that you need very little to get something started, and then ...” His voice trails off, as if the thought were too painful to articulate.
Continued at linkDemand for oil is squeezing the life out of one of the world’s wildest places.... more
Armenian Youth Discuss New Wave of Activism- Slovenians hold anti-austerity protest-Opponents of nuclear power vow to continue protests -Fresh protests mark €39bn austerity cut-Talking About a Revolution-Tibet self-immolation protests against China on riseArmenian Youth Discuss New Wave of Activism- Slovenians hold anti-austerity... more
– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to reject the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States, on Sunday.
There are rising concerns that if the government approves the Keystone construction, it will cause a surge in greenhouse gases, vast environmental and community degradation.– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to... more
In the past - diseases like tuberculosis and malaria have been number one health concerns around the world. But not anymore. In today's world - globalization is the number one health risk facing humanity. A new study released this week by the Blacksmith Institute reveals, for the first time ever, the impact of industrial pollutants on communities across the planet. It found that industrial waste dump sites containing lead, mercury, chromium, pesticides, and other toxic horrors, poison more than 125 million people in 49 different low and middle income nations around the planet.
And the authors of the study say this is a very conservative estimate - and likely even more people are sickened by this rampant industrial pollution. In fact, the report says that industrial pollution is now a bigger global health problem for the world than malaria and tuberculosis. Just look at what's happening in places like Zamfara, Nigeria. It's a state without children - or very few children walking around. Why? because hundreds of children who work in gold mines are exposed to high levels of lead.
Back in March of 2010 - the organization Doctors Without Borders arrived on the scene in Zamfara - and found that hundreds of children had died from lead poisoning - and thousands more were diseased by it. Mortality rates in some villages were as high as 43%. This is a genocide carried out by transnational corporations that have no restraints on how they operate in what were once sovereign nations. That's the consequence of globalism.In the past - diseases like tuberculosis and malaria have been number one health... more
So here's what's happening in East Texas. A foreign corporation - actually a multinational corporation based in Canada - is confiscating private land belonging to a 78-year-old great-grandmother - in order to build a a toxic pipeline to ship oil off to other foreign nations. It's just another day in third-world America. Eleanore Fairchild and actress Daryl Hannah stood in front of tractors that are clearing a pathway for the pipeline right through Fairchild's 300-acre ranch. Those tractors belong to the Canadian company - TransCanada - which recently won approval to build a massive toxic tar-sands-oil pipeline right through the United States - and right through Mrs. Fairchilds property - down to Texas - where oil billionaires can refine it - and ship it off to the rest of the world, making big profits for themselves and TransCanada.So here's what's happening in East Texas. A foreign corporation - actually a... more
On a cold, overcast afternoon in January 2003, two tanker trucks backed up to an injection well site in a pasture outside Rosharon, Texas. There, under a steel shed, they began to unload thousands of gallons of wastewater for burial deep beneath the earth.
The waste – the byproduct of oil and gas drilling –was described in regulatory documents as a benign mixture of salt and water. But as the liquid rushed from the trucks, it released a billowing vapor of far more volatile materials, including benzene and other flammable hydrocarbons.
The truck engines, left to idle by their drivers, sucked the fumes from the air, revving into a high-pitched whine. Before anyone could react, one of the trucks backfired, releasing a spark that ignited the invisible cloud.
Fifteen-foot-high flames enveloped the steel shed and tankers. Two workers died, and four were rushed to the hospital with burns over much of their bodies. A third worker died six weeks later.
What happened that day at Rosharon was the result of a significant breakdown in the nation’s efforts to regulate the handling of toxic waste, a ProPublica investigation shows.
The site at Rosharon is what is known as a “Class 2” well. Such wells are subject to looser rules and less scrutiny than others designed for hazardous materials. Had the chemicals the workers were disposing of that day come from a factory or a refinery, it would have been illegal to pour them into that well. But regulatory concessions won by the energy industry over the last three decades made it legal to dump similar substances into the Rosharon site –as long as they came from drilling.
Injection wells have proliferated over the last 60 years, in large part because they are the cheapest, most expedient way to manage hundreds of billions of gallons of industrial waste generated in the U.S. each year. Yet the dangers of injection are well known: In accidents dating back to the 1960s, toxic materials have bubbled up to the surface or escaped, contaminating aquifers that store supplies of drinking water.
There are now more than 150,000 Class 2 wells in 33 states, into which oil and gas drillers have injected at least 10 trillion gallons of fluid. The numbers have increased rapidly in recent years, driven by expanding use of hydraulic fracturing to reach previously inaccessible resources.
ProPublica analyzed records summarizing more than 220,000 well inspections conducted between late 2007 and late 2010, including more than 194,000 for Class 2 wells. We also reviewed federal audits of state oversight programs, interviewed dozens of experts and explored court documents, case files, and the evolution of underground disposal law over the past 30 years.
Our examination shows that, amid growing use of Class 2 wells, fundamental safeguards are sometimes being ignored or circumvented. State and federal regulators often do little to confirm what pollutants go into wells for drilling waste. They rely heavily on an honor system in which companies are supposed to report what they are pumping into the earth, whether their wells are structurally sound, and whether they have violated any rules.
More than 1,000 times in the three-year period examined, operators pumped waste into Class 2 wells at pressure levels they knew could fracture rock and lead to leaks. In at least 140 cases, companies injected waste illegally or without a permit.
In several instances, records show, operators did not meet requirements to identify old or abandoned wells near injection sites until waste flooded back up to the surface, or found ways to cheat on tests meant to make sure wells aren’t leaking.
“The program is basically a paper tiger,” said Mario Salazar, a former senior technical advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency who worked with its injection regulation program for 25 years. While wells that handle hazardous waste from other industries have been held to increasingly tough standards, Salazar said, Class 2 wells remain a gaping hole in the system. “There are not enough people to look at how these wells are drilled …to witness whether what they tell you they will do is in fact what they are doing.”
Thanks in part to legislative measures and rulemaking dating back to the late 1970s, material from oil and gas drilling is defined as nonhazardous, no matter what it contains. Oversight of Class 2 wells is often relegated to overstretched, understaffed state oil and gas agencies, which have to balance encouraging energy production with protecting the environment. In some areas, funding for enforcement has dropped even as drilling activity has surged, leading to more wells and more waste overseen by fewer inspectors.
“Class 2 wells constitute a serious problem,” said John Apps, a leading geoscientist and injection expert who works with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The risk to water? I think it’s high, partially because of the enormous number of these wells and the fact that they are not regulated with the same degree of conscientiousness.”
In response to questions about the adequacy of oversight, the EPA, which holds primary regulatory authority over injection wells, reissued a statement it supplied to ProPublica for an earlier article in June.
“Underground injection has been and continues to be a viable technique for subsurface storage and disposal of fluids when properly done,” a spokesperson wrote. “EPA recognizes that more can be done to enhance drinking water safeguards and, along with states and tribes, will work to improve the efficiency of the underground injection control program."
Some at the EPA and at the Department of Justice, which prosecutes environmental crimes, say the system’s blind spots suggest that many more violations likely go undiscovered – at least until they mushroom into a crisis.
By Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Sept. 20, 2012, 12:12 p.m.On a cold, overcast afternoon in January 2003, two tanker trucks backed up to an... more
Tar balls (oil) continue to wash ashore along the Gulf Coast after major weather events mostly due to the fact that BP used chemicals to sink the oil where it remains until churned up by strong currents like the ones from Hurricane Isaac.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=42269Tar balls (oil) continue to wash ashore along the Gulf Coast after major weather... more
By Carrie Mihalcik / current.com / @CDMihalcik
Climate change is one of the most politicized scientific issues in recent history, but Generation X is largely uninterested in the issue. Mother Jones reports on a study from the University of Michigan that shows interest in climate change has waned over the last several years among Americans born between the early 1960s and early 1980s.
The study polled nearly 3,000 Gen Xers on their level of interest, understanding and concern about climate change in general and gathered their opinions on specific climate issues. More than half of the respondents in 2011 said they paid little or no attention to the climate issue. The trend cuts though the political spectrum. Conservative, moderate and liberal Gen Xers all selected "disengaged" more than any other attitude to describe their feelings about climate change.
Sociologist Jon Miller told Mother Jones he sees this as a victory for climate denial campaigns.
"I was optimistic because this group of people is more scientifically literate; they've grown up in an era of of science and quantitative discussion, unlike their grandparents," Miller says.
The study suggests that the complexity of the issue combined with national campaigns launched by energy companies to promote the use of fossil fuels has caused Gen Xers to tune out climate issues.
Not only are a generation of Americans overlooking climate change, but our country as a whole is not making sustainable choices. The National Geographic Society's annual Greendex report found that American consumers were the "least sustainable" for the fourth year running — AND we're less likely to feel guilty about our impact on the environment.
The top scoring countries in the survey were India, China and Brazil — three of the biggest emerging economies in the world. Consumers in these developing countries were also more likely to feel guilty about their impact on the environment, despite having the lightest footprint as individuals.
By Carrie Mihalcik / current.com / @CDMihalcik
Climate change is one of the most... more
There was once a company named "Glori Oil" based in Houston, Texas, according to its website, it was:
"a Delaware corporation founded in 2005 to commercialize technology developed by 'The Energy and Resources Institute' (known as TERI). [...]
Our vision is to be the leader in bio-technology solutions to the global oil and gas industry and service provider of choice to both independent and major oil and gas producers. Our mission is delivering state of the art bio-technology solutions to improve and increase recovery from mature oil wells and to solve complex problems associated with the production of oil, gas and water."
http://globalpoliticalawakening.blogspot.com/2012/07/big-oils-secret-they-support-global.htmlThere was once a company named "Glori Oil" based in Houston, Texas,... more
Gasland director Josh Fox is back with a must-watch new short video taking a look at the controversy in New York where Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering plans to lift the state's moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for unconventional gas.
But it's much more than just a local story. Fox goes into some great details - including in interviews with former Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields and Merchants of Doubt co-author Naomi Oreskes - looking at the irresponsible journalism practice of 'he said, she said' reporting of issues where reporters don't bother to parse fact from industry propaganda.
Fox also details the facts behind the 'tapwater on fire' scene from Gasland and the extreme efforts by industry to attack Gasland on this point. It's a must-watch takedown of the industry's slippery PR efforts to distract the public from the real threats that fracking poses to our drinking water and health.
These are just a few highlights. It's really impressive how much great information is packed into this 18-minute video. Please watch it and share it widely. Otherwise, "the sky is pink" might actually turn into a reality for New Yorkers and everyone else being lied to by this reckless industry.
Watch video at link
http://vimeo.com/44367635Gasland director Josh Fox is back with a must-watch new short video taking a look at... more
Today, multinational corporations use their considerable resources to steamroll local councils and win sweetheart deals.
By Ellen Cantarow
If the world can be seen in a grain of sand, watch out. As Wisconsinites are learning, there’s money (and misery) in sand -- and if you’ve got the right kind, an oil company may soon be at your doorstep.
March in Wisconsin used to mean snow on the ground, temperatures so cold that farmers worried about their cows freezing to death. But as I traveled around rural townships and villages in early March to interview people about frac-sand mining, a little-known cousin of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” daytime temperatures soared to nearly 80 degrees -- bizarre weather that seemed to be sending a meteorological message.
In this troubling spring, Wisconsin’s prairies and farmland fanned out to undulating hills that cradled the land and its people. Within their embrace, the rackety calls of geese echoed from ice-free ponds, bald eagles wheeled in the sky, and deer leaped in the brush. And for the first time in my life, I heard the thrilling warble of sandhill cranes.
Yet this peaceful rural landscape is swiftly becoming part of a vast assembly line in the corporate race for the last fossil fuels on the planet. The target: the sand in the land of the cranes.
Five hundred million years ago, an ocean surged here, shaping a unique wealth of hills and bluffs that, under mantles of greenery and trees, are sandstone. That sandstone contains a particularly pure form of crystalline silica. Its grains, perfectly rounded, are strong enough to resist the extreme pressures of the technology called hydraulic fracturing, which pumps vast quantities of that sand, as well as water and chemicals, into ancient shale formations to force out methane and other forms of “natural gas.”
That sand, which props open fractures in the shale, has to come from somewhere. Without it, the fracking industry would grind to a halt. So big multinational corporations are descending on this bucolic region to cart off its prehistoric sand, which will later be forcefully injected into the earth elsewhere across the country to produce more natural gas. Geology that has taken millions of years to form is now being transformed into part of a system, a machine, helping to drive global climate change.
“The valleys will be filled… the mountains and hills made level"
Boom times for hydraulic fracturing began in 2008 when new horizontal-drilling methods transformed an industry formerly dependent on strictly vertical boring. Frac-sand mining took off in tandem with this development.
“It's huge,” said a U.S. Geological Surveymineral commodity specialist in 2009. “I've never seen anything like it, the growth. It makes my head spin." That year, from all U.S. sources, frac-sand producers used or sold over 6.5 million metric tons of sand -- about what the Great Pyramid of Giza weighs. Last month, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Senior Manager and Special Projects Coordinator Tom Woletz said corporations were hauling at least 15 million metric tons a year from the state’s hills.
By July 2011, between 22 and 36 frac-sand facilities in Wisconsin were either operating or approved. Seven months later, said Woletz, there were over 60 mines and 45 processing (refinement) plants in operation. “By the time your article appears, these figures will be obsolete,” claims Pat Popple, who in 2008 founded the first group to oppose frac-sand mining, Concerned Chippewa Citizens (now part of The Save the Hills Alliance).
Jerry Lausted, a retired teacher and also a farmer, showed me the tawny ridges of sand that delineated a strip mine near the town of Menomonie where he lives. “If we were looking from the air,” he added, “you’d see ponds in the bottom of the mine where they dump the industrial waste water. If you scan to the left, you’ll see the hills that are going to disappear.”
Those hills are gigantic sponges, absorbing water, filtering it, and providing the region’s aquifer with the purest water imaginable. According to Lausted, sand mining takes its toll on “air quality, water quality and quantity. Recreational aspects of the community are damaged. Property values [are lowered.] But the big thing is, you’re removing the hills that you can’t replace. They’re a huge water manufacturing factory that Mother Nature gave us, and they’re gone.”
It’s impossible to grasp the scope of the devastation from the road, but aerial videos and photographs reveal vast, bleak sandy wastelands punctuated with waste ponds and industrial installations where Wisconsin hills once stood.
Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/how-rural-america-got-fracked.aspx#ixzz1wBsPwsFKToday, multinational corporations use their considerable resources to steamroll local... more
"Over 10 billion dollars a year. Over 110 billion dollars a decade.
That’s how much we give, as taxpayers, to the Big Oil companies – we literally just give over $110 billion per decade in taxpayer funds away as corporate welfare subsidies, at a time of unemployment crisis and climate chaos. $113 billion of tax-breaks, handouts, and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the next 10 years. WTF!?
Thankfully, a new piece of legislation that would repeal the giveaway has been introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison – and a left-right coalition is joining together to give it steam. The bill would strip away these outrageous subsidies. As you can imagine, the fossil fuel industry is going to fight back hard, so we need to come out as strong as possible and say: We Stand With Bernie.
Not only is fossil fuel the richest industry on earth, but any of us who pay taxes write it a hefty check each year. It’s as if we’re paying them a performance bonus for wrecking the climate. We’ll never get to renewable energy if we keep handing gobs of money to Big Oil, Coal and Gas.
It’s time to take a stand, and stop giving away our money on the welfare of Big Oil companies that are already raking in record-breaking profits. Join us.""Over 10 billion dollars a year. Over 110 billion dollars a decade.... more
So, who does Keystone XL benefit? TransCanada, and US investors. As the Cornell study shows, for you and me, it’s all a huge pipe dream. Or nightmare; you decide...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=35857So, who does Keystone XL benefit? TransCanada, and US investors. As the Cornell study... more
Campaign Manager Ms. Cutter says to "share" this so I am - hope you enjoy and it helps when you see inaccuracies on Facebook, etc.
"I agree with Stephanie Cutter and think we all need to share this information, so I Hope you folks will do just that!!!" =)Campaign Manager Ms. Cutter says to "share" this so I am - hope you enjoy... more
New evidence of the devastating effects of the BP Gulf Coast oil spill on fish and wildlife is emerging...the public is loud in their opposition to the Keystone Pipeline...further evidence of alarming weather changes...and what is the reaction?
In a new analysis released by Media Matters, coverage of global warming in the media has taken an alarming nose dive...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=33957New evidence of the devastating effects of the BP Gulf Coast oil spill on fish and... more