tagged w/ Endangered Fish
Los Angeles Times...
Gulf to open up for oil and gas leases
The Obama administration will hold its first auction since last year's BP oil spill. More than 20 million acres in the western gulf will be offered up in December.
PHOTO: A rig and supply vessel sit in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. (Gerald Herbert, ASSOCIATED PRESS / August 20, 2011)
By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
August 19, 2011, 9:45 p.m.
The Obama administration announced Friday that it would hold its first oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico since the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
"This sale is an important step toward a secure energy future that includes safe, environmentally sound development of our domestic energy resources," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "Since Deepwater Horizon, we have strengthened oversight at every stage of the oil and gas development process, including deep-water drilling safety, subsea blowout containment, and spill response capability."
The Interior Department plans to offer in December more than 20 million acres in the western gulf for energy leasing — despite a recent Interior report that found companies were not exploring or producing oil or gas on about two-thirds of the 34 million acres they already lease in the gulf.
The administration came under sharp criticism from the oil industry and gulf state politicians for imposing a deep-water drilling moratorium after last year's BP spill — and then for not approving new drilling quickly after the ban was lifted.
"This lease sale is an important and encouraging step toward getting the Gulf of Mexico and its hardworking people back to work," Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the slow pace of new permits in the gulf places lingering uncertainty over this critical industry."
The conservation group Oceana condemned the move as premature. "Rushing this lease sale in the western gulf puts animals like turtles, dolphins and bluefin tuna at risk," said senior campaign director Jacqueline Savitz. "The Obama administration still hasn't addressed significant shortcomings in spill response and cleanup capabilities."
The Environmental Defense Fund was more positive. "This announcement proves that the Obama administration is serious about allowing oil companies to return to deep-water drilling in the gulf, as long as they follow essential new rules … to protect the environment, workers and the economy," said Elgie Holstein, the group's senior planning director and former chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Energy.
The new lease areas are located from nine to about 250 miles offshore in both shallow and deep water, and could, Interior officials said, produce 222 million to 423 million barrels of oil and as much as 2.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Acknowledging that many existing leases were sitting idle, the Interior Department said it intended to increase the minimum bid amount for deep-water blocks to $100 per acre from $37.50 to "discourage companies from purchasing leases they are unlikely to explore in the near term."
The sale will include environmental safeguards for marine life and, "when conditions warrant," monitoring by trained observers to ensure compliance, the department added.
An Interior Department analysis released in the spring found that gulf lease auctions before the BP spill drew little interest. Of nearly 53 million acres offered in 2009 in the central and western gulf, only 2.7 million acres were leased. Last year, only 2.4 million acres were leased out of about 37 million acres offered.
.Los Angeles Times...
Gulf to open up for oil and gas leases
The Obama... more
Two of the world’s largest food sellers -- Walmart and Supervalu (the parent company of grocery store chains like Shaws and Albertsons) -- are helping to destroy the world's ocean population by selling massive quantities of endangered fish.
Ninety percent of the seas' top predators have already disappeared. These are fish like bluefin tuna, orange roughy, and shark -- the same species that line the seafood coolers of the two companies.
After pressure from Greanpeace, Change.org members, and others, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Target have all pulled many imperiled species from their stores to prevent further catastrophe. But Walmart and Supervalu keep pushing these species toward the brink of extinction.
Their survival -- and the survival of the entire ocean ecosystems they're a part of -- could rest on the decision making of Walmart and Supervalu.
They may hold billions of dollars in purchasing power, but they’ve got a major weakness: consumer demand. If shoppers pressure these supermarkets to shape up their acts, they’ll have no choice but to make sustainable seafood the only choice.
Sign the petition asking Walmart and Supervalu to immediately develop sustainable seafood programs and stop selling endangered fish:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-wal-mart-supervalu-to-clean-up-their-act-and-save-the-oceans#?opt_new=fTwo of the world’s largest food sellers -- Walmart and Supervalu (the parent... more
Buras, Louisiana (CNN) -- The sign out front points the way: birds, please enter to the right; humans, enter on the left.
Huddled in a pen and covered in brown streaks of oil, a dozen pelicans await treatment after exposure to the pools of crude on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Increasing numbers of birds are arriving at the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in this coastal Louisiana town as the environmental disaster in the Gulf stretches on. At least 50 birds were treated on Tuesday alone.
Wildlife workers say the birds get oiled when diving for fish. Their efforts at preening sometimes worsen the coating of crude on their feathers.
The lucky ones are found by state workers and volunteers in time to save their lives.
"The animals that are coming in are covered in oil," the center's Rebecca Dunne says. "But they are pretty healthy animals. So that makes us feel like like we have a chance to save them. We have been pretty successful so far."
While around 200 birds have been dead on arrival at the center, so far none of the 400 birds brought in alive have died.
But not all of them express their gratitude.
"If you let 'em loose, they'll bite ya," says one volunteer holding shut the bill of a brown bird tucked under his arm.
New arrivals get a physical, and a day to "de-stress." Next, it's time for a scrubbing. They're washed with Dawn soap, rinsed and dried.
Finally, it's out to the aviary pens out back -- labeled "pelican island" -- where they are kept for observation and recovery.
On Tuesday, top football stars from the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints came out to thank the center's volunteers.
"It's all about doing whatever we can down here in south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, to help these people come back," quarterback Drew Brees told CNN's John King.
After rehab, the birds are scheduled for release in Florida, where they are less likely to repeat their run-in with the spilled oil.
But not all birds are so lucky.
"For every bird they rescue, there are other birds that are oiled, but that they couldn't rescue," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal says. "That is what is so heartbreaking to the people of Louisiana."
The latest Consolidated Fish and Wildlife Collection report says 380 oiled birds and 50 sea turtles have been rescued; 594 birds and 250 sea turtles have been found dead.
For better or for worse, more birds are being found and brought in each day. Workers are planning to build eight more receiving pens in the coming days to handle the increasing influx of winged guests.Buras, Louisiana (CNN) -- The sign out front points the way: birds, please enter to... more
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