Yoko Ono Takes Anti-Fracking Crusade to Andrew Cuomo
John Lennon’s widow, a passionate opponent of fracking, is campaigning with son Sean to persuade the governor to ban the process in New York. She tells Lloyd Grove about her effort—and getting blamed for the Beatles’ breakup.
A fracking horror story: Do you know who owns what’s underneath your land?
For your weekend reading, a horror story from North Carolina, via Reuters:
Cuomo’s Fracking Process in Serious Trouble
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must have winced as state environmental commissioner Joe Martens was grilled on fracking during budget hearings last week. One legislator after another hacked at Martens, as he acknowledged that the state’s fracking health review wouldn’t be ready for “a few weeks,” despite being “critical” to an environmental impact statement that must be finished in a week.
German environment minister: no fracking for shale gas in Germany any time soon
Germany’s environment minister says he doesn’t expect the extraction of natural gas by “fracking” will start any time soon in Europe’s biggest economy.
Shale gas is located underground across Europe, but environmental concerns over extracting it are widespread. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” frees natural gas from shale by injecting a well with chemically treated water and sand. Supporters say it can be an economic boon, but critics say it can pollute groundwater.
Questions Linger in Ohio Fracking Waste Spill
The unlawful disposal of thousands of gallons of fracking waste in Ohio is drawing the ire of residents and environmental groups. The Ohio EPA is investigating the intentional dumping of an estimated 20,000 gallons of crude oil and brine into a storm drain in Youngstown by Hard Rock Excavating. The incident occurred on Jan. 31, but was not reported for five days.
Brewers voice concern over fracking
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let’s just stop what we’re doing a minute and think about this.
We are diving headfirst into this natural-gas fracking business — especially in the lovely state of Pennsylvania — but have we thought it through?
Birds of Prey Delay Polish Fracking Boom
Poland’s path to energy independence through shale gas is being delayed by skylarks, red kites and local farmers hesitant to grant access to their land.
The nation is sitting on the European Union’s biggest reserves of the fuel, enough to last at least 50 years and free it from dependence on Russia, according to the Polish Geological Institute. Exploiting the deposits will require the government to allay the concerns of the Kashubian ethnic minority, farmers, environmentalists and the tourism industry that hydraulic fracturing, the drilling method that made the U.S. the world’s biggest producer, will pollute their water.
Agreement to Disclose Fracking Chemicals
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation has agreed to publicly disclose its policy and procedures for eliminating or minimizing the use of toxic substances in its hydraulic fracturing fluids. As a result of the agreement, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposal submitted for the company’s 2013 proxy statement calling for a report on the use of these substances in Cabot’s shale energy operations
Potential Glacier concession bidder has ties to Blackfeet Reservation fracking
Managing the largest concession business in Glacier National Park is a complicated and expensive undertaking, and the job’s express business requirements give rise to a rarefied air of deep-pocketed hospitality outfits up to the task.
With Glacier’s concession contract out for bid for the first time since 1981, at least one company capable of making the transaction feasible may be in a compromised position – it is owned by an entrepreneur who is currently drilling for oil and gas beneath the park’s front door.
Despite Deepwater, Deep Pentagon Pockets for BP
If you think BP Plc. is faring poorly after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its subsequent suspension from government contracts, consider this: its Pentagon contracts had already doubled since the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
According to Bloomberg, BP (NYSE: BP) won $1.04 billion in Pentagon contracts in fiscal year 2010 and $2.51 billion in fiscal year 2011. In November 2012, it was suspended from further government contracts.
Essentially, then the Pentagon felt the coming punishment and in the meantime, ensured a fast-tracking of BP contracts to make up for the looming suspension.
BP Cedes Top U.S. Gulf Oil Producer Spot to Royal Dutch Shell
The U.K. oil giant had been the Gulf’s most prolific oil producer since 2008, the year in which it took the crown from Shell, according to U.S. government data.
The shift underscores the lingering fallout from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which led to a deep restructuring of BP and prompted it to sell billions of dollars in assets.
On Civil Disobedience, XL Pipeline and the Sierra Club
The news that the new Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune was planning to get arrested in Washington DC protesting the XL Pipe Line has received wide spread media attention. It was met approval by many, skepticism by some and criticism by others, on both the left and right. What are they doing. What does this really mean? Or even, what the heck is it; a media stunt? An act of desperation? An attempt to take over Occupy Wall Street?
To understand any of this we may need to, as Brune does, go back to our Henry David Thoreau, as have so many others since Walden and the publication of On Civil Disobedience. We might also read Muir and Carson as well. And we should, while we are at it, consider Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. We should also think of Danail Berrigan, Nelson Mandela and a host of others who have chosen the path of non-violence and why they did it.
A Presidential Decision That Could Change the World
Presidential decisions often turn out to be far less significant than imagined, but every now and then what a president decides actually determines how the world turns. Such is the case with the Keystone XL pipeline, which, if built, is slated to bring some of the “dirtiest,” carbon-rich oil on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. In the near future, President Obama is expected to give its construction a definitive thumbs up or thumbs down, and the decision he makes could prove far more important than anyone imagines. It could determine the fate of the Canadian tar-sands industry and, with it, the future well-being of the planet. If that sounds overly dramatic, let me explain.
Big Oil Demands the Right to Kill Polar Bears
The Marine Mammal Protection Act—which bars hunting, killing, capture, or harassment of any marine mammal, and the trade in their body parts, within the United States—recently turned 40. But it’s long been treated as past its prime. Now, at the behest of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, it’s being used to fashion a regulation enabling “incidental” and “insignificant” harms to polar bears and Pacific walruses, during exploratory drilling, seismic surveys, platform and pipeline surveys, and a general sallying forth to pillage an ecosystem on the brink, beginning on 11 June 2013.
Radioactive Metal from Nuclear Weapons Facilities May End up in Your Shopping Bag
How would you like radioactive metal from nuclear weapons facilities to be recycled for use in consumer goods like silverware, pots and pans, eye glasses, zippers, kid’s braces, and even pacemakers and artificial hip joints? If the U.S. Department of Energy gets its way (after a public comment period ends Feb. 11), that is exactly what we can expect in our future.
DOE, the steward of the sprawling—and massively contaminated—American nuclear weapons complex, wants to lift a ban on recycling imposed in 2000. That action came in response to an earlier proposal to sell radioactive metal from DOE facilities to scrap metal recyclers. Once the contaminated metal is mixed into the scrap supply, it could be turned into virtually anything made with metal.