You're working from home on a Friday, winding down from the week, furiously reading the latest climate news until you commute from the living room to your bed to begin your normal 3:00 brainstorming session (aka a nap). Suddenly, the door rings. Who could be stopping by on a Friday afternoon?
Groggy from your midday siesta, you drag yourself to the front door wearing your pink fluffy robe (because seriously, if you're working from home and taking a nap, you're not wearing pants), only to open it to two smiling men in business suits.
“Ma'am, there's something wrong with your energy bill, you're being charged too much. May we see it?”
In your somewhat drunken stupor, you're baffled as to how that could be, but oblige. Somehow, 20 minutes later, you're signing a contract just to get these weirdos out of your doorway and back to your nap.
All of a sudden, the realization sets in- you've been scammed by energy brokers.
A lawsuit has been filed against the Obama administration over the economic claims that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) made in their 5-year plan to open up new areas around the United States to offshore oil and gas leasing. The suit, filed by the Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE), says that the administration not only grossly exaggerated the economic benefits of increased energy exploration, but also that they failed to take all costs into account.
BOEM’s plan would lease a total of 15 new areas for exploration, including areas within the Gulf of Mexico, the Cook Inlet, Alaskan waters, and the Beaufort Sea. But rather than focusing strictly on the environmental impact of the projects, CSE took an approach that tends to have better results in Washington – Economics.
The economic argument is very powerful, as CSE explains that the increased oil and gas exploration will cost the United States more than it will gain. And according to federal laws (specifically Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act), in order to grant permission for projects such as the leasing program, there must be a net public gain.
For example, the best estimates for the amount of money to be made from oil and gas in these areas ranges from $1 to $2 billion per year. However, these areas currently provide an economic boost of as much as $70 billion a year from fishing, tourism, and other activities, all of which could be decimated in the event of an oil spill.
As we approach the largest gift-giving season in the world, a top U.S. evangelist from the American Family Association (AFA) tells us that we need to be willing to accept one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon mankind: Fossil fuels.
Bryan Fischer, a director at the ultra conservative AFA, told his followers this week that refusing to use fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas hurts God’s feelings because those are gifts that He has given to mankind, and God loves to see us find those gifts.
Seventeen public interest groups, including the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close a loophole in U.S. laws that allows hydraulic fracturing operations to be exempt from disclosing the pollutants they release each year.
Under the current code, the fracking industry is exempt from having to disclose the pollutants that they release into the atmosphere every year, which is estimated by the EPA to be about 127,000 tons of pollution. These pollutants endanger both the environment and people living in and around areas where fracking wells are operated, and the lack of disclosure makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of illnesses and properly diagnose people when they become sick from exposure.
That is why the EIP and other groups have created a petition that was sent to the EPA, hoping to convince the agency to once again consider adding the fracking industry to their Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), which contains information about the amount and type of pollutants released into the environment by U.S. companies. The last time the agency considered adding the fracking industry to the list was in 1996, but those discussions ended with the industry as the victor.
The ACFN participated in a Fort McMurray rally today, asking for individuals, organizations and communities across Canada to stand in solidarity with their tribe.
“We are here today because a legal challenge may be the only remaining piece of law that can stop the destruction of our land,” said Allan Adam, chief of the ACFN. “We are thankful for the mountain of support we've been receiving. People understand the significance of this challenge and what we must do for our land.”
The proposed expansion will increase Jackpine Mine's production capacity from 200,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) to 300,000 bbl/d and will extend the mine's lifespan to 2049.
The project will add 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, roughly the equivalent of 280,000 additional cars on the road. The waste from the expanded project will amount to some 486 billion litres of liquid tailings including mercury, arsenic and lead, which Shell proposes to permanently bury in what is called a 'pit lake,' according to a press release.
With only a few weeks left for American voters to decide between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, more and more attention is being paid to the candidates’ respective energy policies.
But both candidates are now in a position where their current proposals and policy ideas are being shown to the public, so let’s break down what each presidential candidate says they will do with regards to energy and the environment, if elected.
Think Progress has put together a great side-by-side comparison of the two candidates, which gives us a very clear picture of where each candidate would take the country:
The next time I gas up my car, I will have a lot to think about after watching the new documentary film, Delta Boys, now available for digital download release starting today at Sundance and iTunes, and on DVD at Amazon.com.
The film chronicles the plight of the people of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States. Despite the wealth generated by this oil extraction, the majority of Niger Deltans live on less than a dollar a day and lack even basic public health and sanitation services.
The film brings to light the Niger Delta people’s ongoing struggles against multinational oil corporations and one of Africa’s most corrupt governments. While most of the revenue from oil development flows to the Nigerian government in the form of royalties, in the rural Delta villages where the drilling actually takes place, there are no water or sewage systems, no schools, no hospitals, no adequate roads, and no real job opportunities outside of joining one of the rebel militias.
Meet the Delta Boys – armed rebels who zoom around the Delta in high-speed motor boats, sabotaging oil infrastructure, blackmailing the oil companies, kidnapping workers, and tapping into their pipelines to feed a lucrative but dangerous black market in oil they claim is rightfully theirs.
The list contains numerous falsehoods coupled with half-truths and out of context information. When taken at face value, they give conservatives plenty to salivate over in the short time before the national election. But those of us who have been paying attention can easily conclude that the statements made by Heritage have no basis in reality.
And we’ve talked quite a bit about coal trains. All for very good reason. But we haven’t ever delved into the growing trend of shipping oil by train. Trains are a crucial – and growing – part of oil industry infrastructure, so it’s worthwhile to take a step back and get some perspective on this remarkable system. Understanding oil trains will help you understand, for instance, why oil markets are paying little attention to the pipeline debates.
Let’s start with the raw numbers.
Every week, over 17,000 carloads of oil are shipped in the U.S. and Canada. With roughly 600 to 700 barrels of oil in each carload, that’s between 1.4 and 1.6 million barrels of oil on the U.S. and Canadian rails every day. And these numbers are growing fast. This chart says it all.