Archive for Big Oil

Grain crops could rot because of Big Oil "pushing" them off trains

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

sad cheerios grain crops

North Dakota farmers have a big Big Oil problem. And by big Big Oil problem, I mean oil being transported by rail taking precedence over all those wheat, corn, and soybean passengers. Grain crops could now have a long wait at the train station. Cheerios boxes may become collector's items. Oh, but I kid, but General Mills will not be happy.

Yes, it seems we've got a rail-car traffic jam that's going to take a big bite out of many a agro-pocketbook. And we have the oil industry to thank for, erm, derailing (bygones) grain farmers.

The New York Times:

FARGO, N.D. — The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills.

The backlog is only going to get worse, farmers said, as they prepared this week for what is expected to be a record crop of wheat and soybeans.

“If we can’t get this stuff out soon, a lot of it is simply going to go on the ground and rot,” said Bill Hejl, who grows soybeans, wheat and sugar beets in the town of Casselton, about 20 miles west of here.

Oil and gas have replaced agriculture as the biggest contributors to North Dakota's gro$$ domestic product. One grower said he's not even sure he can survive if this goes on much longer, because huge companies like General Mills that make bread and cereal are canceling orders.They just can't wait for grain shipments.

For farmers, the delays often mean canceled orders from food giants that cannot wait weeks or months for the grain they need to make cereal, bread and an array of other products. [...] Farmers and agriculture groups say rail operators are clearly favoring the more lucrative transport of oil.

One farmer put it this way: “Oil seems to be pushing us off the trains.”

money talks

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Watchdog: Energy companies use diesel in fracking without permits

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

what the frack sign Via The Tyee.ca

watchdog

What the frack? Via the Los Angeles Times, Diesel is used in fracking without permits, report says:

Energy companies have used thousands of gallons of diesel to frack for oil and gas without obtaining the necessary permits required under federal law, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project.

The watchdog group's review of industry and federal data from 2010 to 2014, released Wednesday, found 351 wells in 12 states that used diesel in fracking. [...] The EPA said it was reviewing the integrity project's report.

Oh em gee, the GOP is right! It's all so clear now. What we need is less oversight.

sarcasm

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Quickie: Surprise! Fracking a risk to drinking water, per research

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

quickie15 better sizeToday's Quickie:

Via the Los Angeles Times, a study of fracking in Wyoming came up with this:

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. [...]

[T]hey point out that there is no way of knowing the effects of fracking into groundwater resources because regulators have not assessed the scope and impact of the activity.

Mmm, mmm, mmmm! What better to quench a health enthusiast's thirst after a strenuous workout than a nice, big, refreshing glass of carcinogens and neurotoxins ?

That was today's Quickie. Will you still respect me in the morning?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Quickie: State Dep't. underestimated #KeystoneXL emissions, per study

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

quickie24

Today's Quickie, via the Los Angeles Times:

Building the Keystone XL pipeline could lead to as much as four times more greenhouse gas emissions than the State Department has estimated for the controversial project, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change that relies on different calculations about oil consumption.

“The sole reason for this difference is that we account for the changes in global oil consumption resulting from increasing oil sands production levels, whereas the State Department does not,” wrote authors Peter Erickson and Michael Lazarus, scientists based in Seattle with the Stockholm Environment Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Of course, who would trust a nonprofit, fact-based scientific organization when we can rely on the expertise of wealthy, self-serving TransCanada Corporate oil oozers?

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Radioactive waste a toxic byproduct of fracking, drilling in N. Dakota

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

headdesk radioactive waste fracking

Back in May I wrote, Hey Big Oil "pro-lifers": Fossil fuels may be killing babies! Today's Los Angeles Times has an extensive report about how, in North Dakota, fracking may very well be producing radioactive waste. Again, "pro-lifers," the question is: What do you value more, life or profits?

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

So you know how Republicans despise oversight? Because, freedom! Don'tcha wonder if they ever consider their fellow Americans' freedom to keep breathing? Especially those self-proclaimed right-to-lifers. It's hard to fathom that they are actually this okay with exposure to deadly toxins as long as their corporate gods make a buck.

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

Am I repeating myself? I tend to do that when I'm livid. And appalled. And sickened. But I'm not sickened in a way that will potentially kill me. No, that's reserved for the victims of Fracking, Inc. in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state, right after Texas.

Did I mention that North Dakota doesn't have an environmental protection agency?

Did I mention that New Mexico GOP Gov. Susana Martinez weakened her state's rules on hazardous waste last year?

Did I mention that the EPA is not providing adequate oversight? That would be the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

Did I mention that my head is throbbing from banging it on my desk?

Via the L.A. Times must-read story:

Nearly 1,000 radioactive filters were found last year at the landfill, part of a growing tide of often toxic waste produced by the state's oil and gas rush. Oil field waste includes drill cuttings — rock and earth that come up a well bore — along with drilling fluids and wastewater laced with chemicals used in fracking.

To many local and tribal officials, environmentalists and some industry managers in North Dakota, the dumping of the socks [filters clotted with radioactive dirt] and the proliferation of other waste shows the government falling short in safeguarding the environment against oil field pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency decided during the Reagan era to classify oil field waste as not hazardous, exempting it from tight controls and leaving it to be managed by widely varied state laws. Nationally, no one tracks how many millions of tons of waste the fossil fuel boom generates, or where it ends up.

There's that "leaving it to the states" beast raising its ugly head again. Republican-run states have done so well with the Affordable Care Act and voting rights. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing, North Dakota situating "slop pits" of poison over "known aquifers" could be a teeny tiny problem.

Some of the people quoted in the article requested anonymity because they were afraid of repercussions-- like, you know, getting fired-- for trying to point out things like waste management failures, fear of carcinogens in groundwater, exemptions for radioactive elements being classified as hazardous waste, and for putting frackin' lives in danger. Things like that.

And then there's-- ta-daa!-- Congress:

The EPA says it cannot reclassify oil field waste as hazardous without legislative action, which, with the current Congress, is unlikely.

bangheadSee: "Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Maine town to Big Oil: We don't want to bathe in bottled water

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

tar sands maple leaf oil Maine

Portland-Montreal Pipe Line (PMPL) is owned by a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Suncor Energy Inc., "both heavily involved in extracting petroleum from oil sands," per a report by the Los Angeles Times. And now PMPL wants to start exporting toxic tar sands crude goo from Canada through South Portland, Maine. You all know what tar sands is, right? If not, please scroll through my many, many posts here to learn about the very real dangers of tar sands pipelines.

You'd think by now that impending climate change disaster and that other infamous, short-sighted, corporate disaster-in waiting would be a wake-up call. But no-o-o. Pollution be damned. Fresh air and water? Pfft! The health and well-being of anyone who gets in their way? Meh.

But there is a town in Maine that's not afraid to put up its dukes. The L.A. Times has the story:

On Monday night, the South Portland City Council, including Blake, is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by residents and Maine environmental groups, the measure is a response to plans by Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, or PMPL, to reverse the flow of its import pipeline in order to export oil sands crude from Canada, the same petroleum that would run through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the Great Plains.

"This isn't an anti-Portland pipeline company measure," Blake said. "It's anti-dirty oil." [...]

Communities along the pipeline route, from Vermont to Maine, also grew alarmed by spills of oil sands crude into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010 and then in a subdivision in Mayflower, Ark., in 2013... The Portland-Montreal pipeline six times crosses the watershed for a major tributary into Sebago Lake, the drinking water source for the greater Portland area.

That can't end well.

One resident's take says it all: "All you need is one break, not even a huge break, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to be drinking and bathing in bottled water."

Bingo.

Please read the entire article at the link.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

TransCanada to small town: Here's $28K. Now shut up about tar sands pipeline project.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

tar sands maple leaf oil

TransCanada is buying an Ottawa town's silence, and it will only cost them a few thousand dollars. TransCanada has aggressively pursued a rather unique "no comment" policy about their gigantic tar sands pipeline proposal. Why? It has to be because TransCanada knows that the project, which is bigger than our own Keystone XL project, is a disaster waiting to happen. Scroll through my many, many posts here to learn about the very real dangers of a tar sands pipeline.

By paying off an entire town, TransCanada can sidestep some of the challenges to the pipeline’s approval. Well, for five years, anyway.

TransCanda's new PR slogan should be, "Money talks so opponents don't have to!"

Via Think Progress:

A small town in Ottawa, Canada will be receiving $28,200 from energy company TransCanada Corp. in exchange for not commenting on the company’s proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline project, according to an agreement attached to the town council’s meeting agenda on June 23.

Under the terms of deal, the town of Mattawa will “not publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations or business projects” for five years. In exchange for that silence, TransCanada will give Mattawa $28,200, which will ultimately go towards buying a rescue truck for the town. [...] If approved, Energy East would carry about 1.1 million barrels of tar sands crude across Canada each day. That’s more than Keystone XL...

tar sands keystone xl protest climate change disaster

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare