Environmental Must-Reads – February 4, 2013

Fracking With Bad Water

So, you have a dwindling supply of fresh water for drinking and for wildlife, you have large amounts of contaminated water from old mining operations that we don’t know what to do with and are really expensive to clean-up, and you have the need for large amounts of water for the dramatic increase in fracking operations that don’t need to use fresh or potable water but are presently using both fresh and potable water from these very dwindling supplies.

Environmentalists Oppose Shipping Fracking Waste By Barge

As more oil and gas drilling takes place in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, there’s more liquid waste that needs disposing. A proposal to carry that waste to disposal sites using river barges is getting attention. But some environmentalists say it’s just too risky a way to transport the waste.

“Fracking” opponents to pack NY budget hearing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t mention “fracking” in his budget proposal, but the issue will figure prominently at a legislative budget hearing on environmental spending.

Busloads of opponents of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are heading to Albany to hear Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens testify Monday morning. Lawmakers are expected to question Martens about fracking, as they did with Health Commissioner Nirav Shah at a budget hearing last week.

Energy Industry Develops Nontoxic Fracking Fluids

The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it’s not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies.

Houston-based energy giant Halliburton Inc. has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well.

Oil, gas industry develops nontoxic fluids for fracking

The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking.

But it’s not clear whether the fluids will be widely embraced by drilling companies.

Oil and gas industry develops nontoxic fluids for fracking, but level of use is unclear

The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it’s not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies.

Energy industry develops environmentally friendly fracking fluids

The oil and gas industry is trying to ease environmental concerns by developing nontoxic fluids for the drilling process known as fracking, but it’s not clear whether the new product will be widely embraced by drilling companies.

Houston energy giant Halliburton Inc. has developed a product called CleanStim, which uses only food-industry ingredients. Other companies have developed nontoxic fluids as well.

Poll: NY voters evenly split on “fracking”

A poll shows New York voters nearly evenly divided on natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

The Siena Research Institute poll released Monday says voters statewide were split 40-40 percent when asked if the Department of Environmental Conservation should lift a 4 ½-year-old moratorium on fracking. The remaining 20 percent had no opinion. In the Southern Tier region where drilling would most likely start, the poll showed 48 percent opposed and 47 percent favored lifting the ban.

$50 million lawsuit pitting gas company, Town of Avon enters court today

The lawsuit pitting a natural gas drilling company against the Town of Avon and state Department of Environmental Conservation arrives today in Livingston County Court.

Lenape Resources, which is based in Alexander, Genesee County, is seeking at least $50 million in damages from the town, claiming a local moratorium on gas drilling and storage has cost Lenape millions of dollars in lost business and unused mineral rights.

Artists Against Fracking Posts Plea For Frack-Free New York (VIDEO)

With only weeks to go until Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Feb. 27 deadline to decide the fate of hydraulic fracturing in New York state, the anti-fracking community is stepping up its game.

Visiting Pennsylvania’s Destructive Fracking Footprint By Yoko Ono

After being invited to visit Pennsylvania by residents who have experienced the impacts of fracking, my son Sean and I decided to go see the harms of fracking up close. Our friend Susan Sarandon came with us, and we had the incredible honor of being joined by Mahatma Ghandi’s grandson, Arun Ghandi, as well. We also invited members of the media.

Driving into the quaint town of Montrose, PA, I could hardly have anticipated how upsetting the next stops on our tour would be: a gas pad of four drills and a hissing pressure release, a giant compressor station under construction, large trucks full of sand and toxic chemicals rumbling down narrow dirt roads, and a drilling rig reaching to the sky.

Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up

Secure in this state’s history and mythology, the venerable Midway-Sunset oil field near here keeps producing crude more than a century after Southern California’s oil boom. Many of its bobbing pump jacks are relatively short, a telltale sign of the shallowness of the wells and the ease of extracting their prize.

Committee: outline for spending environmental fines from BP oil spill will be released July 6

The committee set up to manage most environmental fines going to the states affected by the BP oil spill of 2010 says it will release its plan July 6.

The Courier (http://bit.ly/Yx0vj2 ) reports that a seven-page document released last week by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council includes a list of projects that would meet the goals of the Restore Act. It also describes how the trust money will be made available over the next 10 years and a three-year project and program priority list.

Surprise! Oil Companies Vastly Underreport Size of Oil Spills

In November 2012, BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster. As part of their plea agreement, company executives admitted they had misled Congress and the American public by providing false information about the extent of the oil spill.

BP fudged the numbers in a big way, which left some researchers wondering how accurately “minor” oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico were being reported by the dozens of other companies with leases to drill.

Genesis Energy to spend $125 million in BR on pipeline

Houston-based Genesis Energy announced Monday the company plans to spend $125 million on a new 18-mile crude oil pipeline connecting its Port Hudson terminal to ExxonMobil Corp.’s Baton Rouge refinery.

Arctic nations’ oil spill plans too vague –environmentalists

Plans by Arctic nations to start cooperating over oil spills are vague and fail to define corporate liability for any accidents in an icy region opening up to oil and gas exploration due to global warming, environmentalists said on Monday.

Concerns raised over ‘useless’ Arctic oil spill plan

Environmental campaigners say that a draft plan to respond to an oil spill in the Arctic ocean is inadequate and vague.

Proposed Arctic Council treaty on oil spills ‘useless,’ Greenpeace says

As Canada prepares to take the helm of the eight-nation Arctic Council, a proposed treaty dealing with blowouts and oil spills is being criticized as so pro-development that it will delight drillers but leave the fragile Arctic environment exposed to catastrophic damage, according to Greenpeace Canada.

Shell Wriggles Free Of Oil Spill Liability In Nigeria, But Case Is Far From Closed

A Dutch court acquitted oil giant Shell of allegations regarding oil contamination in Nigeria. Reported earlier in The Guardian, the court ruled in favor of the company for 4 counts of polluting land and waterways in the African country, but was held accountable on a fifth count

Northern Gateway Pipeline Hearings To Address Oil Spill Plan, Cleanup

Despite years of planning for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline and myriad legislative changes that will affect the project, the regulations and best practices from other jurisdictions where tankers tread have not been put in place for British Columbia, studies find.

Robert Redford: ‘Keystone Pipeline Would Carry the Dirtiest Oil on the Planet’

There’s a domestic energy boom happening in America producing thousands of jobs with the likelihood of creating thousands more if Washington doesn’t get in the way.

Not according to Robert Redford who published a scathing attack on such efforts at the Huffington Post Sunday evening calling on President Obama to “say no” to the Keystone pipeline

Nigeria: Delta Community Shuts Down Chevron’s Pipeline Project

Men of Joint military Task Force, JTF, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, Sunday, arrested Niger Delta youth leader and businessman, Chief Ayiri Emami, over the shutdown of Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas pipeline project in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The project was reportedly shut down by aggrieved indigenes of Ugborodo community, who were protesting the company’s failure to provide electricity to the town.

New Fukushima pictures show wreckage of plant

The shattered remains of a reactor building loom against a lowering sky, smoke or steam pouring from a gaping roof in the days after a huge tsunami smashed into Japan, crushing a nuclear power plant.

This is just one of the more than 2,000 previously unseen images released by Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power showing the period between March 15, 2011, just four days after the tsunami struck, and April 11.

Former Fukushima nuclear plant chief’s testimony siezed by criminal prosecutors

Masao Yoshida, the former chief of the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, cannot be questioned by prosecutors due to his failing health. But his testimony given to a government disaster investigation team five months after the nuclear disaster has now been seized and may be used to file a criminal case against him.

Prosecutors seize testimony of former Fukushima nuclear plant chief

Prosecutors investigating responsibility for the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster have seized testimony from the plant’s former chief, who cannot currently be questioned due to poor health.

Prosecutors obtained records documented by a government disaster investigation team, apparently judging them necessary in deciding whether they can form a criminal case against the former chief, Masao Yoshida. Normally, disaster investigations are performed on the basis that they won’t be used to lay blame on the parties involved.

The day the earth shook: Dramatic new amateur footage reveals the panic as Japan’s biggest ever earthquake struck

Astonishing new footage of the 2011 Japanese earthquake has been released and reveals in real time the panic caused as the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit.

The dramatic video captures schoolchildren, office workers and parents with young children reacting to the force of the earthquake as it struck on March 11.

BlackBerry Z10 worse than iPhone 5 for peak cell phone radiation exposure

Not since the development of the first iPhone in 2007 has one company’s fortunes pivoted on the release of one smartphone. There’s a lot riding on the BlackBerry Z10 and that’s what has made it one of the most analysed and discussed phones of the past six months.

Beyond the tech specs and the economics, Israeli start-up tawkon has been examining the smartphone from a rather different perspective; health.

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