Archive for no more drilling

Told ya so, frackers: Ohio geologists see link between fracking, sudden burst of earthquakes

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

frackers cartoon Clay Bennett

In a previous post, Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault, I couldn't help but wonder how greedy Big Oil could ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering the San Andreas Fault to erupt into The Big One. Apparently, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment means nothing to California frackers.

Did I just say "California frackers"? My bad. I meant Ohio frackers, too. Along with any other frackers, for that matter.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that in Ohio, geologists have found a connection between fracking and earthquakes. Clearly, they've been in contact with Captain Obvious. L.A. Times, previously:

"The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'"

Take it away, Captain Obvious:

obvious

Ohio geologists have found a probable connection between fracking and a sudden burst of mild earthquakes last month in a region that had never experienced a temblor until recently, according to a state report.

The quake report, which coincided with the state’s announcement of some of the nation’s strictest limits on fracking near faults, marked the strongest link to date between nerve-rattling shakes and hydraulic fracturing -- the process of firing water, sand and chemicals deep into the earth to eject oil and natural gas out of ancient rock.

Last month, Ohio indefinitely shut down Hilcorp Energy’s fracking operation near the Pennsylvania border after five earthquakes, including one magnitude-3 temblor that awoke many Ohioans from their sleep. [...]

They “believe the sand and water injected into the well during the hydraulic fracturing process may have increased pressure on an unknown microfault in the area,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement about the Poland, Ohio, operation.

You just know what frackers will do with the "unknown" word. How did former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld mangle it again? Oh yes:

And how did Hilcorp Energy mangle the truth again? Oh yes. They said they are “fully committed to public safety and acting in a manner consistent with being a good corporate citizen.” Because, hey, corporations are people, too, and they're the best corporate citizens EVER.

Sorry, Hilcorp, but you're no "citizen," but you are a disgrace. Hate to say we environmentally-aware types told you so about that whole "frackquake" thing, but well, we told you so. And don't get us started on climate change, the fracking chemicals that contaminate groundwater, and drought.

Speaking of which, if you've never seen Josh Fox's "Gasland," now's your chance. Our own lwdgrfx posted the entire video here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Frackers set sights on largest oil shale reservoir in US... near CA's San Andreas fault

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

oil shale Monterey CA fracking Big Oil

California is trying to solve a riddle: how to tap into the largest oil shale reservoir in the United States, one that covers 1,750 square miles, roughly from Bakersfield to Fresno. I'm trying to solve a different riddle: How greedy Big Oil can ignore the terrorizing prospect of triggering The Big One, the health of so many people and of our fragile environment.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on a gigantic oil trove that's trapped in San Joaquin Valley's Monterey Shale formation, 15 billion barrels, to be exact. While drilling and fracking could be a huge bonanza for oil companies and create a boom that could transform California's economy, the consequences could do just the opposite. "The process of reinjecting drilling fluids into the ground is thought by some to stimulate minor seismic activity around drilling pads, dubbed 'frackquakes.'" Yes, what California needs to kick start a thriving economy is a San Andreas "frackquake."

So far nobody has figured out an affordable way to extract the dirty, polluting fossil fuel. Good.

But that doesn't mean they haven't spent millions and millions of dollars trying. And, as the Times reports, "Oil companies are now paying farmers for their water rights, land and, in some cases, buying their homes outright to get at the reserves that might lie underneath."

Across the southern San Joaquin Valley, oil exploration sites have popped up in agricultural fields and on government land, driven by the hope that technological advances in oil extraction — primarily hydraulic fracturing and acidization — can help provide access to deep and lucrative oil reserves. [...]

The implications are profound, touching on public health, water use, water quality and the loss of agricultural land. The subsequent transformation also would alter the lives of families living in the resolutely rural communities dotting the valley.

For Tom Frantz, a retired teacher and third-generation farmer, the exploratory drilling is already too much.

"This is prime farmland and they have drilled between 200 and 300 wells in the last 10 years in the Monterey Shale," Frantz said. "Every one took out an acre or two of farmland. Every one has used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. Each one has contributed to our air pollution. Each one has had spills on the ground of different chemicals and crude oil. Each one is emitting methane as we speak. If this thing happens and there are thousands and thousands of wells — that's scary because an accident is bound to happen," he said.

What may be great for California's economy could just as easily destroy it, along with the lives of its residents. Thankfully, the jury is still out on how this can be done profitably. Leave the damned oil shale reservoir alone. Money isn't everything. Life (as the hypocritical Drill Baby Drillers love to tell us) is.

More here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: "Shell sent two rigs to go try to drill in the Arctic, and both rigs went ker-splat!"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

shell oil maddow show

ker splat

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via the L.A. Times:

Plagued with problems with both its drilling rigs and its oil spill containment vessel, Shell Alaska announced Wednesday that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year.

The decision to “pause” Arctic drilling during the upcoming ice-free months of summer will allow the company to repair and retool its troubled rigs and prepare for future operations in a program that has already cost the company nearly $5 billion.

Rachel Maddow:

"So Shell was the only oil company deemed ready enough to start drilling in the Arctic, to start drilling in this pristine environment where we have not allowed drilling in the past. Shell was the only company given the go-ahead by the U.S. government.

Shell sent two rigs to go try to drill in the Arctic, and both rigs went ker-splat!

And then today Shell said, 'You know what? Forget it. We're out. We can't do it.'"

"And given Shell's mess up there... the Interior Department is right now doing an emergency review of whether Arctic drilling can be done safely at all."

"What happens next in this industry is anybody's guess."

To repeat, what does it take? We were lucky this time, no spill, no leaks... that we know of.

Here's the back story:

Multiple safety, environmental violations on another Shell Alaska Arctic drilling rig

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. “What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?”

VIDEO: Big Oil is neither competent nor capable of safe drilling in the Arctic. Period.

bp maddow showoil geyser maddow show

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Multiple safety, environmental violations on another Shell Alaska Arctic drilling rig

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

what does it take

What does it take? Previously:

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. “What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?”

VIDEO: Big Oil is neither competent nor capable of safe drilling in the Arctic. Period.

It's bewildering that the Obama administration and Drill-Baby-Drillers still take risks with the world we live in, a world that needs care, not abuse. Sadly, corporate profits are a priority and lobbyists who apply so much political pressure triumph way more often than they should.

When will they learn that they and their families are as vulnerable as anyone else who inhabits this planet? Family values? Yeah, right. "Pro-life"? Don't make me laugh.

How many more of these reports, like this one from the L.A. Times, will it take to convince those who insist on drilling that clean energy ("clean" coal is not clean, by the way, and the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline is a disaster-in-waiting) is the only feasible solution if Mother Earth is to survive?

The U.S. Coast Guard has found evidence of multiple safety and environmental violations in Shell Alaska's Noble Discoverer Arctic drilling rig and forwarded it to the U.S. Justice Department for a decision about possible civil or criminal penalties, authorities confirmed Friday.

The news is the latest setback for Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program... It has been plagued with logistical and mechanical troubles that raise questions about the company’s ability to continue this year. [...]

The Coast Guard found a lack of preventive maintenance and “systematic failure” led the Discoverer to experience a loss of its propulsion system and an explosion in its exhaust system, according to a letter to Shell’s president from U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) that detailed 16 reported deficiencies. [...]

The violations appear to be serious enough that Coast Guard officials in Alaska said they have referred the case to the Justice Department for review.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: Big Oil is neither competent nor capable of safe drilling in the Arctic. Period.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
Via Mark Fiore/San Francisco Chronicle

Via Mark Fiore/San Francisco Chronicle

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Previously:

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. “What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?”

Please read those posts, and then watch the video. As opposed to fossil fuels, green energy doesn't cause widespread damage or death to living things. The wind and the sun don't pollute our waters, wildlife refugees, and seas. They don't leak radioactive waste or filthy, toxic oil, they don't threaten millions of people's lives nor do they threaten Mother Earth.

Yes, they have their problems, but please, compare and contrast. Drilling in the frigid, monster seas where emergency aid can be ineffective is a disaster waiting to happen. And for all we know, one is about to.

Rachel Maddow:

"Shell currently has two rigs in operation in the Arctic. The one on the left is the one that just ran aground off the coast. The one on the right is now as of today reportedly the subject of a criminal investigation. CBS news reporting tonight that the U.S. Coast Guard has opened up a criminal investigation into that Shell rig as a result of, among other things, serious issues with the ship's safety management and pollution control systems."

And we're supposed to trust these mega corporations and the Drill Baby Drill "pro life" Congress members who pocket their money?

yeah right

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. "What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

stop the madness

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Previously:

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

The Coast Guard had to evacuate the crew of an oil drilling barge off the coast of Alaska after engine troubles on its tow vessel left the barge drifting.

Then, the Coast Guard got itself into a pickle while trying to help the Shell rig that was stuck in monster seas.

I ended the second post with:

Tell me again, Obama administration and Drill-Baby-Drillers, why the hell we’re taking risks like this? Something about corporate profits and lobbyists and political pressure was it?

Today, from Bloomberg:

This week’s grounding of a rig off the coast of Alaska adds to a series of mishaps in Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s seven-year quest to tap the vast oil reserves of the Arctic and emboldened critics who say it can’t be done safely. [...]

The Kulluk’s grounding caps a series of episodes that have dogged Shell’s effort to tap Arctic oil. Environmental groups today said they would ask President Barack Obama to suspend all current and pending Arctic drilling permits until operators prove they can work safely in the region’s harsh conditions.

“This string of mishaps by Shell makes it crystal clear that we are not ready to drill in the Arctic,” Charles Clusen, director of National Parks and Alaska Projects for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said on a conference call. “Shell is not Arctic-ready. We are asking the Obama administration to immediately put a hold on all permitting activities.”

applause gif

And from an L.A. Times editorial:

The grounding of the Kulluk occurred within 50 miles of a major Coast Guard facility, allowing for a quick response. But what if the same problems had been encountered 800 miles away? In just the first season of Royal Shell's Arctic operations, the region already has proved to be a far more perilous place for oil exploration than proponents foresaw. The rigs probably should not head back to the Arctic seas this spring; federal regulators will be endangering a valuable and fragile environmental resource if they don't reexamine what's needed to drill safely under the most challenging conditions.

Why is it that the powers that be somehow manage to ignore the obvious or are so astonished when the "unexpected" occurs. Many of us predicted this, or worse, could happen, so it comes down to this: When will profits finally take a back seat to reality... and the sanctity life?

At what price do we continue this insanity? We're endangering living things and the health of the planet.

This is fast becoming my mantra: "Pro-life" my ass.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Dep't. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

that's oil folks smaller

Gee, what possible reasons could environmentalists such as yours truly have for repeatedly speaking out against drilling in the Arctic? I mean other than being a dirty rotten tree-hugging gay French Kenyan Marxist commie fascist hippie. I mean, come on, what could possibly go wrong? Why would I wring my hands over all that Big Oil money making all those corporate fatcats even fatter while Mother Earth dies a little more? Why would I fret the way I do if the top one percent is feeling no pain?

Could it be that only a few days ago, the Coast Guard had to evacuate the crew of an oil drilling barge off the coast of Alaska after engine troubles on its tow vessel left the barge drifting?

Nahhh.

Could it be that the Coast Guard got itself into a pickle while trying to help the Shell rig? Mmm, could be!

L.A. Times:

Adding to a season full of headaches for Shell Alaska’s debut offshore drilling program in the U.S. Arctic, the company’s Kulluk drilling rig was stuck in monster seas off the coast of Alaska on Friday as its tugboat’s engines failed and the Coast Guard cutter that came to assist became entangled in a tow line.

There were no immediate threats to crew or equipment, but Shell Alaska was rushing additional aid vessels to the scene as the Kulluk, which drilled the beginnings of an exploratory oil well in the Beaufort Sea over the summer, sat without ability to move forward in 20-foot seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak.

See, the weather was kinda bad, see, so they lost the tow line. Now imagine what could happen during a monster oil spill in the same monster seas. Imagine the many complications on a much grander and scarier scale, a sea life and human life-threatening scale, a BP-sized scale.

... Shell dispatched additional vessels to help. [...] However, the dispatch of those additional vessels is likely to delay the departure from Alaska of Shell’s second Arctic drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, which had been held up by the Coast Guard in Seward, Alaska, because of reported “discrepancies” in its safety and pollution discharge equipment.

Tell me again, Obama administration and Drill-Baby-Drillers, why the hell we're taking risks like this? Something about corporate profits and lobbyists and political pressure was it?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare