Nova Scotia is potentially on the hook for millions of dollars in decommissioning costs as ExxonMobil prematurely winds down production at a ...
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- Anne Landman joined the DeSmog team as a Fellow in November 2012. From 1999-2006, Anne Landman worked as a tobacco document research specialist, and published several studies on tobacco industry behavior in medical journals. She has testified against the tobacco industry, and served as a national and international speaker on corporate PR strategies and tactics. After observing similarities between the way the tobacco industry operates and the PR strategies and behaviors other big industries are now adopting, since 2006 Anne’s interests have expanded to corporate, government and political PR strategies, including tactics like greenwashing, pinkwashing, healthwashing, greedwashing, use of front groups and so-called “corporate social responsibility.” From 2006 until 2012 she worked for the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of PRWatch.org and SourceWatch.org. While there, she started SourceWatch’s Tobacco portal and served as Managing Editor of PRWatch and SourceWatch.
For two years, residents around Whitewater, Colorado, have struggled to live with a terrible stench emanating from the Deer Creek waste disposal facility nearby. Operated by Alanco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Alanco Technologies of Scottsdale, Arizona, the facility was created expressly to profit from the waste and contaminated water produced by the oil and gas industry.
Environmentalists won big May 8 in a lawsuit brought against the federal government over two coal mines near the northern Colorado town of Craig.
The nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior, over permits granted in 2007 to expand the coal mines, saying OSM failed to seek public input or consider impacts on the environment when it approved expanding the mines. The mines are operated by Colowyo Coal Company and Trapper Mining, Inc.
Fidelity Exploration and Production Company, the largest hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operator in southeastern Utah, has chosen Patrick O'Bryan to replace its outgoing CEO, Kent Wells.
Both executives have ties to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and both have links to BP's questionable accountability structure, poor safety record and overall bungled responses to the oil disasters.
O'Bryan was on the Deepwater Horizon rig on the day it exploded. His visit displaced key safety personnel that day, and delayed a key cement test that would have revealed faulty seals in the well.
A second earthquake struck Greeley in northeastern Colorado on Monday, June 23 prompting the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to order a halt to the injection of contaminated drilling wastewater into a deep disposal well in the area.
The ban on injecting wastewater will last for 20 days as officials explore a potential link between the injection activity and the sudden jump in seismicity in the area. The most recent quake was a 2.6 magnitude temblor that hit about five miles north of Greeley at 12:27 p.m. It follows a 3.4 magnitude quake which struck the same area May 30.
Two quakes in less than a month, in an area the U.S. Geological Survey formerly called “aseismic,” has led to speculation that the temblors are “frackquakes,” seismic activity induced by the injection of drilling wastewater into deep rock formations.
At 9:35 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, Greeley, Colorado was struck by a 3.4 magnitude earthquake. Earthquakes are highly unusual in eastern Colorado, raising speculation that it was a “frackquake” — a man-made earthquake stimulated by the disposal of contaminated drilling water in deep injection wells. This disposal technique forces wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deep into underground rock formations, lubricating layers of rock that would not ordinarily be subject to movement.
Earthquakes are so rare in eastern Colorado that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has labeled the area “aseismic.” The Greeley Tribune reported that the May 30 quake's epicenter was roughly two miles away from two deep oil and gas wastewater injection sites that have not been inspected for two years.
Scientists placed seismometers around the area to try to gather more detailed information on what may have generated the quake and its aftershocks. Colorado currently has very few seismometers in place because earthquakes are so rare in the state.
The first tar sands strip mining project in the U.S. is gearing up to start operation in Utah, but not without resistance from a group that announced on May 29 that it is setting up a permanent protest vigil at the site.
The Canadian company US Oil Sands Inc. (USOS) leased over 32,000 acres in the Bookcliffs range in eastern Utah near the PR Spring campground for what it calls the first bitumen mining operation in the U.S. Bitumen is the sticky black substance also known as asphalt, with a viscosity similar to cold molasses.
US Oil Sands plans to dig up huge amounts of sand containing the bitumen and then heat the sand to release the bitumen, separate out the sand, and then use solvents to thin the gooey substance enough so it will flow through pipes and into trucks. USOS got the green light to go ahead with the pilot project from the Utah Water Quality Board in 2012, and then solicited investors to fund the project.
In mid-May, USOS announced (pdf) that its tar sands pilot project was fully funded, and they are purchasing equipment and moving into the operational phase.