Archive for oil 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

No, Rand Paul, "drilling in every possible conceivable place" is not the answer to Ukrainian crisis

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

rand paul cut out cpac 2014Rand Paul cutout at CPAC 2014

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) won the CPAC straw poll yesterday. That poll is as meaningless as Rand's plagiarism denials.

Now he's compounding his consistently puzzling behavior with calls for "drill baby drill" as a panacea for the Ukrainian crisis. Yes, he believes that echoing that paragon of fine intellect and reason, Sarah Palin, will strengthen his appeal as a strong, decisive leader.

His brilliant idea? Drilling for oil and natural gas “in every possible conceivable place” here in the U.S. to show Big Bad Vladimir "Bluto" Putin who's boss and make himself-- and the United States-- look like the Popeye (post-spinach consumption) of all nations.

popeye bluto

Video via Raw Story.

Rand Paul:

“The other thing I’ve said is, that I would do something differently than the president, is I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas. And I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”

A few things come to mind. One is how Paul's idea would be about as effective as that cardboard cutout at CPAC. Why? Think Progress explains:

But some say exporting natural gas to Europe and Ukraine is a more complicated solution than these lawmakers let on. As Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations points out, decisions on where to ship gas are made primarily by the market, not by governments, and it’s much more profitable for the U.S. to ship gas to Asia. The New York Times Editorial Board added Friday that Putin “would not stand idly by” if the U.S. exported gas to Europe, and could lower the price of Russia’s gas to keep customers from switching to American gas. The Times also noted that even if bills expediting permits were approved, “setting up more facilities to liquefy and ship gas would take years and cost billions of dollars.”

Rand Paul has no qualms about giddily diving headlong into the backwash of Former Alaskan Half Gov Myopia McOilSlick's anachronistic, petroleum-soaked mantra. That alone should eventually banish him straight to Facebookland, where all failed right wing extremists go to vent their deranged twaddle to their heart's content.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Oil spills send fish hearts into cardiac arrest

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

SickFishw398h239

Who knew fish could have heart troubles? Then again, they're living beings with beating hearts. It's just that it never occurred to me to think about the little (and big) scaly guys in quite those terms. I should have, it's not like I never write about BP, Big Oil, and pollution, right? P.S. At this point, those words are all synonymous.

And they're also lethal.

In my morning Los Angeles Times, I came across a story about fish going into cardiac arrest because of the effects of the BP disaster... a story hidden on page A12. Of course, poisoning our waters is not only a health issue, it's also an economic one, and the two issues merge into one big fat mess.

Take it away, L.A. Times:

In studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bluefin tuna spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, the research team discovered that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, block “signaling pathways” that allow potassium and calcium ions to flow in and out of cardiac cell membranes and sustain normal heart rates. [...]

Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common form of injury among a broad range of species in the vicinity of the oil spilled into one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world.

Previously, cancer was the concern when it came to the toxicity of PAH. Now this. By the way, PAHs are found in coal tar (see how "clean" coal is?), air pollution, urban runoff, and creosote:

Creosote is the portion of chemical products obtained by the distillation of a tar that remains heavier than water, notably useful for its anti-septic and preservative properties.[1] It is produced in some quantities from the burning of wood and coal in blast furnaces and fireplaces; commonly found inside chimney flues when the wood or coal burns incompletely, producing soot and tarry smoke, and is the compound responsible for the preservation and the flavor of meat in the process of smoking. ... The two main types in industrial production are wood-tar creosote and coal-tar creosote. The coal-tar variety, having stronger and more toxic properties..

Study leader Barbara Block is a professor of marine sciences at Stanford. Here's what she had to say:

This raises the possibility that exposure to environmental PAHs in many animals -- including humans -- could lead to cardiac arrhythmias and bradycardia, or slowing of the heart."

Now about that dirty, filthy, disaster-in-waiting, Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline that affects more people than it does fish...

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Gulf Justice?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

Well, maybe there will be some justice for this poor bird and all the other people damaged by flat-out negligence from BP.  Take a look at this story:

From Daily Kos:

The U.S. Department of Justice claims Robert Kaluza's and Donald Vidrine's negligence caused the 11 rig worker deaths in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which sent nearly 5 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The 23 count indictment accuses them of mishandling a crucial safety test and failing to report abnormally high pressure readings that attorneys say were signs of an impending disaster.

Here's the original story:

Now I'd like to know why it took so long.  I certainly hope these people get locked away for a long, long time but they'll probably just get tax-deductible fines.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO- What they don't want you to know about the oil disaster: "People were basically treated as collateral damage by BP."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

BP lies newsweek
corexit dispersant 2
About a week ago, I posted BP still hasn’t paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups. As you well know, BP destroyed lives, businesses, the environment, plant life, sea life, and wildlife. They accepted criminal liability in the 2010 oil disaster and were supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

Additionally, tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP’s negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

For years I've covered their atrocities (BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes), including their use of Corexit, a chemical dispersant that breaks up the oily mess and makes it appear as if it has diminished or even disappeared. Actually, the tiny globs are still around, lingering and endangering lives and the health of anyone who comes in contact with it.

Dispersants accelerate the absorption by the skin of toxic chemicals, and they continue to damage the gulf because they are also easily absorbed into the food chain. Blood tests have shown that oil and dispersant chemicals are “causing big health problems.”

I’ve ranted endlessly about the toxic and lasting effects that chemical dispersant has had on Gulf residents, sea life and wildlife, and complained about how little press coverage the topic has gotten.

Thankfully, a film called "The Big Fix" exposed this, the biggest environmental coverup ever... and Rachel Maddow is right there with them:

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

Rachel Maddow:

BP admitted in court that while they were saying publicly and saying to Congress even, that their gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico was only leaking 5,000 barrels a day, that was it, merely a flesh wound. while they said that publicly, not only was that wrong, but they knew it was wrong.

BP as a company internally was having all sort of discussions about how it wasn't 5,000 barrels a day. It was more like 60,000 barrels or maybe even 140,000 barrels a day. But publicly, they kept assuring everybody that it was no big deal, only five.

The important part was not just that BP was wrong or that they didn't know the answer and they were guessing. The important part in their culpability, of course-- the reason they ended up paying the largest corporate fine in history of corporate fines was not because they got it wrong-- it is because they did know the truth and they lied about it. They lied about it publicly, they lied about it to Congress.

"Newsweek" published some remarkable new reporting on the question that ... was expressed to me the most by people who live on the gulf coast and make their living on the water there, three years ago in the middle of that spill, this is what folks worry about more than anything. And now, 3 years later, we are starting to get some answers  about it.

Mark Hertsgaard, Newsweek:

These people were basically treated as collateral damage by BP. As part of BP's coverup, they were willing to sacrifice the health of these workers, hundreds and possibly thousands of them, and also coastal residents, a little 3-year-old boy we write about in this story who was fine until he started breathing this stuff in. And now he got terribly sick.

And let's not forget the gulf eco system where 33%, one-third of the seafood we Americans eat comes out of that gulf. That too was terribly damaged by this use of Corexit. Which is an Orwellian term if I've ever heard one, Corexit as a name for a dispersant. Once you put that with oil it is 52 times more  toxic.

dispersant 2Here's what Nalco has on its Corexit web page:

Prompt deployment of Nalco COREXIT® oil spill dispersants is one very effective and proven method of minimizing the impact of a spill on the environment. When the COREXIT dispersants are deployed on the spilled oil, the oil is broken up into tiny bio-degradable droplets that immediately sink below the surface where they continue to disperse and bio-degrade.  This quickly removes the spilled oil from surface drift…reducing direct exposure to birds, fish and sea animals in the spill environment.  By keeping the oil from adhering to wildlife COREXIT dispersants effectively protect the environment.

BP we care

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

BP still hasn't paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

suck it bp

If you have an ounce of logic in you, then you know that the longer we wait to repair what BP destroyed, the more difficult it will be to fix their mess. BP accepted criminal liability in the 2010 gulf oil disaster and was supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

And tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP's negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes, because:

BP we care

USA Today:

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the spill in 2010, but only a small fraction of the billions in fines and other money owed by BP has trickled in for use on restoration projects, environmental groups say.

Local, state and environmental groups are banking on money from several sources

However, BP is proud to use their money to pay people to go on the Tee Vee Machine and say reassuring things like this:

bp adbp ad smaller

And they lavish us with ads like this repeatedly force ads like this down our throats:

Here's what's really going on:

Gulf Coast groups say the region is still struggling.

Environmental groups say an unusually high number of sick dolphins are washing up on shore. They're also finding tar balls on beaches, particularly after big storms.

USA Today has all the gory details.

If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this via the Government Accountability Project:

On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [...]

Conclusions from the report strongly suggest that the dispersant Corexit was widely applied in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it caused the false impression that the oil disappeared. In reality, the oil/Corexit mixture became less visible, yet much more toxic than the oil alone. Nonetheless, indications are that both BP and the government were pleased with what Corexit accomplished. The report is available here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

"We will clean this up. We will make this right."

We won't hold our breath.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare