Archive for environment

Watchdog: Energy companies use diesel in fracking without permits

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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

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Mexico & Central America-Emerging Clean Energy Powerhouses

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Mexico Energy
Image: mexconnect.com

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

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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?

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

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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?

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Underground Corrupted Water in 3 Vermont Counties, Protests Commence

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apricot-tree

Vermont is not as pristine as advertised, and when I heard about the protests and lengthy, seemingly endless lists of contaminated water in their home, business or schools. My high school, in North Clarendon, was included in the listings, as well as ski areas, stores that we've shopped at forever, nearby farms and farm families, plus nearby Mill River Union High School.

We happen to live within 4-7 miles of two of the sites that are spitting and spilling contaminatesfrom deeply buried gas storage. One is the town we border, North Clarendon, where my sister and her family live and the smallish high school I attended there are drowning in serious contaminated ground H2O water trouble.

Now we have a pretty good reputation for running a pristine state (excepting the protest-driven closing of the hideously dangerous closing of the nearby Yankee Nuclear Plant.

Time for another peck of protests to make some noise. This is a spot on display of Industrial Greed (guess these circumstances define it), and what piss poor regulation can achieve over time.

The Cleanup Fund began in 1941, and was quickly neglected with all the men and a few dedicated women shipping across the Pond after World War II got serious. Great decade for the Military Industrial Complex Generals.

Scanning the 42(!) page PDF from the state's Petroleum Clean-up Fund, I was aghast at the number of resolved situations.

And the hundreds of homes, business buildings, schools, restaurants, hospitals, shops and hair salons and gas stations. The link is above, it's a peeper popper.

petrol2
Image from the Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund.

For each site, a number of actual Vermonters exposed to contamination can vary. The actual users for public water supplies can be as low as 25 people per system to as high as many thousands of users. For sites with affected private water supplies, the number of contaminated wells depends on the specific conditions of the site. On average there are approximately three contaminated wells discovered per site, with an average of 3 users per household. However, one of the 161 sites listed above involved contamination to over 80 wells affecting approximately 240 users, and a site discovered in 2002 involves contamination to over 30 wells, including a public water supply, affecting hundreds of users.

Vermont has been trying to walk in the (pale) green footsteps of New Hampshire and New York to ban the additive M-T-B-E from the state's gasoline - for nine years - nine trips around the sun, and even MTBE is an additive to keep gas from leaking. Ironic much?

Surface water impact scan affect both public health and the environment. High concentrations of petroleum in a stream can cause detrimental affects to biota, and lead to an increased exposure to stream users.

Lastly, sites with indoor air impacts can lead to the greatest risk to public health. Petroleum
vapors entering a home can be at levels that are explosive. More often petroleum vapors reach
levels that pose a serious health risk. Of the 141 sites with indoor air impacts, the number of
exposed individuals varied from site to site. An average site involves three homes affected with
approximately three persons per home.

For a state that barely hits 500,00+/- population wise, and about 20% are second homes for Flatlanders.
wtf

 

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Bill Day Cartoon: Fracking Crazy

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Bill Day Fracking

Bill Day is one excellent, funny, smart cartoonist and a great guy.
Be sure to follow him on Facebook: Bill Day

Bill Day:

Florida Governor Rick Scott is 'no scientist' but he thinks acid fracking and drilling for natural gas near the environmentally fragile Everglades is a good thing. He also has a financial conflict of interest in a pipeline company to supply gas to northern Florida. Florida is the 'Sunshine State', but Scott has no interest in solar energy - for obvious reasons.

Bill Day Fracking

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

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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

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