Environmental Must-Reads – June 26, 2013

NC Senate committee says full chemical disclosure not required to frack

A state Senate committee voted Tuesday to allow shale gas drilling companies to engage in fracking in North Carolina without disclosing all the toxic chemicals they plan to inject into the ground.

NC Senate bill adds divisive new fracking measures

What’s often considered an annual environmental housecleaning bill in the North Carolina Legislature drew fierce criticism Tuesday after lawmakers presented a sweeping new version of the bill with provisions governing hydraulic fracturing and air quality.

API reviews fracking standards

The energy industry in the United States is leading the way in ensuring the safe development of domestic oil and natural gas reserves, a trade group said.

The American Petroleum Institute said it gathered more than 600 experts in Washington to review and develop standards for hydraulic fracturing.

Hagan states case before House panel on fracking regs

State Rep. Robert F. Hagan, a frequent critic of Republican-backed oil and gas industry regulations, had his day before the House’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, offering testimony on four separate bills aimed at horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

France Says No Merci To Fracking After Looking At Impact In The U.S.

After reviewing the “considerable” environmental damage in the U.S. caused by fracking, France is upholding its national ban that’s been in place since 2011.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is the controversial method used to extract natural gas from the earth. The practice had been banned in many European nations due to concerns of environmental damage. However in recent years those bans have begun to be lifted, despite protest.

Fracked Gas Isn’t a Bridge Fuel—It’s a Gangplank

It’s amazing to watch the bully pulpit, with all the power of this president’s ability to command words, focus on the greatest crisis of our generation. I applaud the President for tackling climate change in his speech today. It’s the most important issue we face. Reducing coal pollution, increasing energy efficiency, stimulating more renewable energy—it’s about time. Especially because Dr. Hansen and other climate scientists have shown that time is running out.

Halliburton Adapts US Submarine Spy Technology to Improve Fracking Efficiency

Acoustic spy technology used by US submarines is being adapted for use in the fracking industry. Halliburton is just one of the frilling companies that is developing the technology that will be able to record the slightest of sounds made deep within the earth, in order to accurately guide fracking engineers as they work to maximise the output of a well, and predict how much oil will flow.

President Obama, Fracking is Part of the Climate Change Problem, Not Solution

Increased natural gas and oil development is part of the climate change problem, not the solution.

President Obama should know this. His own agencies are effectively telling him so.

NOAA studies based on actual measurements of methane emissions from natural gas development, transport and consumption, report that the methane leakage rate is much higher than commonly assumed. It’s so high, in fact, that natural gas—from gas well to consumption—is more harmful to climate than coal because methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Don’t Believe Thomas Pyle’s Hype That Misleads the Public on Fracking

Industry’s denial of the dark side of natural gas fracking shouldn’t fool anyone. Thomas Pyle’s claim on Real Clear Energy that there is not one “confirmed case of groundwater contamination” from fracking is the big lie, repeated often. It’s like saying cigarettes don’t cause cancer. And industry’s intentional disinformation campaign comes from the same tobacco playbook (it even uses the same PR firm).

Obama Uses Major Climate Speech to Cheerlead for Natural Gas Industry; Keystone XL Fate Still Undecided

Obama’s much anticipated speech on climate change delivered today at Georgetown University in Washington DC was full of highs and lows. Since his election many hoped he’d be a leader on environmental concerns, but the last five years have mostly been disappointing — gains in renewables and fuel efficiency are worth noting, but his allegiance to an “all of the above” energy strategy is foolhardy at best.

Obama Climate Plan Touts Gas Fracking As “Transition Fuel,” Doubling Down on Methane Risk

Today, President Barack Obama announced his administration’s “Climate Action Plan” for cutting carbon pollution in his second term in the Oval Office at Georgetown University and unfortunately, it’s a full-throttle endorsement of every aspect of fracking and the global shale gas market.

Tribes, residents say EPA deserted them in ground water investigation east of Pavillion

The Northern Arapaho tribe wrote a letter on Monday June 24 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to reconsider its June 20 decision to surrender to the state of Wyoming its lead role in the investigation of ground water quality outside of Pavillion in Fremont County.

Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternative Energy

Since the Gulf oil disaster in 2010, BP has spent hundreds of millions of ad dollars to cleanse its image as a dirty-energy giant. In the company’s latest TV ad, wind turbines whirl in the sun as a voiceover touts the number of American jobs created by BP and promises, “We’re working to fuel America for generations to come.” There’s just one problem: BP’s commitment to wind energy is virtually nonexistent.

Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternative Energy

Since the Gulf oil disaster in 2010, BP has spent hundreds of millions of ad dollars to cleanse its image as a dirty-energy giant. In the company’s latest TV ad, wind turbines whirl in the sun as a voiceover touts the number of American jobs created by BP and promises, “We’re working to fuel America for generations to come.” There’s just one problem: BP’s commitment to wind energy is virtually nonexistent.

Massive tar mat dug up off Louisiana, 3 years after Gulf spill

Three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, workers have dug up a massive chunk of weathered crude from the shallows off a Louisiana beach.

The tar mat — a slab of oil residue mixed with wet sand — was about 165 feet long by 65 feet wide, said Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Murphy, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. It weighed more than 40,000 pounds, but more than 85% of that weight was sand, shells and water, she said.

BP Challenges Settlements in Gulf Oil Spill

BP is placing full-page advertisements in three of the nation’s largest newspapers on Wednesday as the company mounts an aggressive campaign to challenge what could be billions of dollars in settlement payouts to businesses after its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

With ad and letter to lawyers, BP mounts offensive in Gulf oil spill settlement dispute

BP is warning lawyers for many Gulf Coast businesses that it may seek to recover at least a portion of their clients’ shares of a multibillion-dollar settlement if it successfully appeals a key ruling in the legal wrangling spawned by the company’s massive 2010 oil spill.

Ocean Conservancy releases maps of Gulf

When the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster occurred in 2010, researchers and others tried to determine where the oil might go and how it might affect the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline.

Deadline for sinkhole buyout talks extended to July 31

Nearly half of the eligible residents and families in an evacuation area affected by a sinkhole induced by a Texas Brine Co. salt dome failure last summer have agreed to company buyout offers, while the rest have more than a month to complete negotiations.

Calgary floods trigger an oil spill and a mass evacuation

Epic floods forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes last week in Calgary, Alberta, the tar-sands mining capital of Canada. More than seven inches of rain fell on the city over the course of 60 hours.

Now the floodwaters are subsiding throughout the province, leaving in their wake an oil spill, power outages, and questions about how climate change might affect flooding.

Scientists Find Canadian Oil Safe for Pipelines, but Critics Say Questions Remain

Diluted bitumen — the blend of thick Canadian crude that would be shipped by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — is no riskier to transport than other types of crude oil, a new study has found, a conclusion that came under sharp attack by environmentalists.

Canada still confident Keystone XL oil pipeline will be approved, despite Obama remarks

Canada’s natural resources minister said Tuesday he’s confident the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada to Texas will be approved because it meets President Barack Obama’s requirement that it not lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama says Keystone XL pipeline should be approved only if no increase in carbon emissions

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project from Canada to Texas should only be approved if it doesn’t worsen carbon pollution.

The $7 billion pipeline has become a contentious issue, with Republicans touting the jobs it would create and demanding its approval and environmentalists urging the Obama administration to reject it, because it would carry carbon-intensive oil from Canadian tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Keystone Pipeline Is Not Dead Yet, Activists Say

Environmental activists who have been fighting the Keystone XL pipeline for years were heartened Tuesday by President Barack Obama’s assertion that the emissions impact will be decisive in its fate – but they aren’t ready to declare victory yet.

Tepco’s Shareholders Decline to Pursue GE for Fukushima Claims

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) shareholders rejected a proposal to look into pursuing claims for compensation against companies that supplied parts for the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, including General Electric Co. (GE)

Japan: Signs of Contamination at Plant

The operator of Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant said Monday that it had detected a rise in levels of radioactive tritium in seawater near the plant, a sign that contaminated groundwater may be seeping into the Pacific Ocean.

Exposure data wrong for 16,000 in Fukushima

Fukushima Prefecture and the National Institute of Radiological Sciences have said they erroneously estimated the radiation exposure of 16,118 people in a survey covering the first four months after the outbreak of the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Japan utility behind nuke crisis faces investors

Shareholders angry at the utility company behind Japan’s nuclear catastrophe peppered executives with questions Wednesday about leaking radioactive water and demanded a phase-out of atomic power.

More radioactive water leaking from storage tanks at Fukushima nuclear plant

The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant said Tuesday it had detected a fresh leak of radioactive water from one of the facility’s storage tanks.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. previously said two of seven huge underground tanks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had been leaking since Saturday if not earlier.

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