Category Archives: big oil

On-going BP Oil Spill Effects

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VVyPiV5xdY[/youtube]

The best piece of professional journalism I’ve read on this issue in a long time comes, not surprisingly, from Al Jazeera:

New Orleans, LA - “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”

Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.

Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants. (read the entire article)

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.

The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground. The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.

Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.

Read the rest of the article – >  NYT

WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.

Questions, additional information or related tips can be sent to urbina@nytimes.com.
Green

A blog about energy and the environment.

The chemicals were used by companies during a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, which involves the high-pressure injection of a mixture of water, sand and chemical additives into rock formations deep underground. The process, which is being used to tap into large reserves of natural gas around the country, opens fissures in the rock to stimulate the release of oil and gas.

Hydrofracking has attracted increased scrutiny from lawmakers and environmentalists in part because of fears that the chemicals used during the process can contaminate underground sources of drinking water.

The Alaska Women Reject Palin Rally

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Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage.  The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators).  This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state.  I was absolutely stunned.  The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by.

Thanks to my sis for passing along the good news.

.:: For more photos & a first hand account of the rally –> check Mudflats

Vulcan Projecct: Texas Takes the Cake

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Here’s a map put together by scientists at Purdue University’s Vulcan Project of 2002 CO2 emissions per capita [click on the map for a high-res version]. So…is anyone surprised that Texas is the reddest state? I thought not. Interestingly, here is a map of CO2 concentration with out accounting for population density, which looks pretty much identical to a population map.  It also looks to be almost inversely proportional to the population map, which presents fairly good evidence that dense urban living is the most carbon efficient way to go.

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Here’s a 2000 US Census Bureau population map for comparison:
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Read the rest at WIRED, World Changing & catch an introductory video from the scientists at the Vulcan Project website.

Exxon Valdez v Alaskan Fisherman: Still in Legal Purgatory

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Nearly two decades after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the class action law suit representing the fishermen of Prince William Sound has made it to the Supreme Court. The fishermen who lost their livelihoods as a result of the spill will find out if they will be the awarded the $2.5-5 billion they were awarded in the first round of court hearings, or if they will get zero.

In the spring of 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground and gushed nearly 11 million gallons of fuel, killing more than 200,000 seabirds as well as otters, harbor seals and other marine life. It shut down the region’s fishing industry.

In 1994, they were awarded $5 billion in punitive damages in U.S. District Court. In a series of appeals, that was cut to $2.5 billion. That verdict could be upheld, or done away with entirely, when the Supreme Court rules sometime later this year.

Exxon, in a press statement, called the oil spill a tragic accident that the corporation deeply regrets. But a spokesman said the corporation already has spent more than $3.5 billion in compensatory and cleanup payments and does not believe that maritime law allows for punitive damages.

Such comments reignite the anger in the 63-year-old Copeland. Back in 1989, he was so frustrated by the slow progress of the cleanup that he built his own oil skimmer made of hoses, flour scoops, five-gallon buckets and a small pump.

That was the start of the “fishermen’s bounty program” that eventually corralled some 40,000 gallons of oil that Exxon purchased.

Here is a pretty moving Sierra Club Chronicles episode (introduced by Darryl Hannah) on the saga [via ExxposeExxon.com], The Day the Water Died:

[googlevideo]http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2200919808132393024&hl=en[/googlevideo]

[Seattle Times]

Cali Sues the EPA

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[image from WIRED]

The Govinator is poised to strike! California is suing the Environmental protection agency for denying California a waiver it and 16 other states need to regulate greenhouse gases from new cars and trucks. The reason, you ask? Well Dubya signed a bill [just in time] to cut greenhouse emissions gradually over time [much less drastic than the California regulations], and the EPA decided that California’s waiver was therefore no longer needed. Once again, this administration shows that it prefers mediocrity [and auto/oil lobbyist money] to innovation and forward thinking.

Read the article here, via YAHOO Green and WIRED.