New rules for Texas injection wastewater well operators offer no relief to people impacted by more than 30 earthquakes that hit Azle, Reno and Springtown almost a year ago. Many buildings in the three small cities, 50 miles west of Dallas, Texas, suffered broken windows, cracked walls, damaged plumbing and foundations.
Seismic activity is not something the region is known for. It was only after deep injection disposal wells used to house fracking's toxic wastewater went into operation that the earthquakes started. There are several injection wells in the area — three of which some suspect to be the cause of the quakes due to their proximity to impacted neighborhoods and the volume of disposal operations.
“Injection raises the underground pressure and can effectively lubricate fault lines, weakening them and causing earthquakes, according to the U.S Geological Survey,” reports McClatchy Washington Bureau.
The Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, was met with public outcry after the first earthquake swarm. The commissioners acted fast (by the agency’s standards), coming up with new rules to address the situation released on Oct. 28.
The new rules require oil and gas companies to check local seismic data from the U.S. Geological Survey before opening a new waste disposal well. They also give the agency the power to change, suspend or revoke an injection operator’s permit if the commission determines the well is contributing to seismic activity.
Today Vivian Krause published an opinion piece in The Province claiming “a vote for Vision is a vote for U.S. oil interests.” So, you might be wondering: just who is Vivian Krause? We’re so glad you asked…
An essential component of all public relations campaigns is having the right messenger— a credible, impassioned champion of your cause.
While many PR pushes fail to get off the ground, those that really catch on — the ones that gain political attention and result in debates and senate inquiries — almost always have precisely the right poster child.
And in the federal government and oil industry’s plight to discredit environmental groups, the perfect poster child just so happens to be Vivian Krause.
When the coal industry says its product is the only way the world’s poor can lift themselves from poverty, some people in Australia believe them.
Chief among the industry’s promoters has been the country’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who has said that coal is “good for humanity” and that the energy source and main driver of climate change shouldn’t be “demonised”.
But a new report from progressive think tank The Australia Institute (TAI) has put a looking glass up to the industry’s claims to a glistening future and found what it claims is little more than self-serving industry spin.
The industry has been pushing its supposed concerns for “energy poverty” in media statements, columns, industry presentations, reports and advertising campaigns this year.
According to the International Energy Agency, there are about 1.3 billion in the world without access to electricity and about 2.7 billion without access to clean cooking and heating. Almost all these people live in rural areas in either sub-Saharan Africa or Asia.
The United States agrees to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent from 2005 levels by the year 2025 and China commits to levelling off its carbon emissions by 2030.
When China or the United States act on any major global political issue, other countries take notice. And when China and the U.S. work in partnership on a major global issue, other countries definitely take notice. Looking at early analysis of what these announced targets represent in terms of the impact on our climate, it is clear they don't go far enough. However, it is a grand gesture by two powerhouse countries and that will have big ripple effects.
This all leaves Canada and its Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a very awkward position.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.