The Atlantic: The Texas Miracle.
Say it, Atlantic. Fracking rendered these numbers, not any policy miracle (other than letting energy companies have free rein).
Guardian.UK: ‘Fifty miles out we could smell the pollution’ - sailing amid the ocean lit
Albuquerque Journal: Judge overturns Mora County’s drilling ordinance.
“Historically, a county cannot enact or supersede federal law.” I understand why, but it’s still a sad loss. Mora hasn’t much water underground, and the area is just gorgeous. Golden eagles nest in pines on the cliffs. I hope low oil prices kill off any potential development.
Coconino National Forest: FS seeking info on vandalism.
If you can identify any of these individuals, won’t you help the Forest Service out?
Guardian.UK: Benzene found in Montana water supply after Yellowstone oil spill.
“Elevated levels of benzene were found in samples taken from a water treatment plant that serves about 6,000 people in the agricultural community of Glendive, near the North Dakota border, officials said.” Leukemia is usually the result of being around benzene. Even just getting it on your skin. Nasty stuff. And yet, “Exxon Mobil is facing state and federal fines of up to $3.4m from the spill. The company has said it spent $135m on the cleanup and other work.” The main water source is likely destroyed. Price tag?
AP/Bigstory: Pope’s climate-change stand deepens conservatives’ distrust.
“What they’re worried about is the solution. [snip] Climate change is the ultimate collective-action problem. It’s going to require local, state and national policy change, and it’s going to require international cooperation, which means the United Nations.”
naked cap: Money Dries Up for Oil and Gas, Layoffs Spread, Write-Offs Start.
“Their hope rests on cutting operating costs and capital expenditures, and coddling every dollar they get, while pushing production to maximize cash flow, which ironically will contribute to the oil glut and pressure prices further. They’re hoping to hang on until the next miracle arrives.” Good luck with that.
Carlsbad Current-Argus: 10 percent of Yates Petroleum Corporation laid off.
First signs of oil price effects on New Mexico frackers.
SciAm: Fracking Brings Ammonium and Iodide to Local Waterways.
“The estimated volume of oil and gas industry wastewater generated in the U.S. is now more than 837 billion gallons (3.18 billion cubic meters) per year. For comparison, that’s nearly three times the volume of all the oil and gasoline that the United States consumes each year (291 billion gallons).” My emphasis. Completely idiotic, from my spot here in the drought-stricken Southwest.
SF New Mexican: Texas town that prepared for oil boom now waits for bust.
Just wait until the cleanup and long-term maintenance costs hit. The new ghost towns of the West. New-oil-money Texans have been all over Santa Fe during the holidays; the last hurrah?
Truthout: Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses.
“It has been estimated that the six largest ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts, those same gambling instruments that brought us the 2008 housing collapse. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives.” This one’s going to hurt bad, if it breaks. Folks have no financial padding left.
naked cap: The Real Cause Of Low Oil Prices: Interview With Arthur Berman.
People keep asking in social situations, conversations. Here’s one take.
Guardian.UK: Methane plume over western US illustrates climate cost of gas leaks.
“The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near the desert trading post of Cuba, New Mexico, may be colourless and odourless, but it’s not invisible. It can be seen from space.” And encroaching Chaco. This cannot stand.
ArtDaily: Longwood Gardens commissions Klip Collective to create immersive nightscape.
“In the Topiary Garden, for instance, the geometric-shaped yew trees will be transformed into dynamic stone-like sculptures. In other parts of the Gardens, the projections will amplify the colors and textures of existing flora.” Hmmm. Please, please don’t turn it into Las Vegas.
FT: Opec leader vows not to cut oil output even if price hits $20.
“‘It is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production, whatever the price is,’ he told the Middle East Economic Survey. ‘Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant.’ He said the world may never see $100 a barrel oil again.” I plan to remember that quote.
Automatic Earth: Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion.
Of note. “Anyway, this is what we have on offer: the oil industry faces a triple whammy. Oil prices are down 50%, oil company share valuations are also down 50%, and their production costs are rising, in quite a few cases exponentially so. That’s what they, and we, face while slip-sliding into the new year. Do I need to explain that that does not bode well?” My italic emphasis.
SciAm: Fracking Banned in New York.
Good for the health of NY; not for their bottom line.
PA will probably wave the revenues in NY’s face. Until the boom ends. And the back-end infrastructure and cleanup costs bankrupt the state.
Mashable: Private land in Grand Teton now open to hunters
“A reinterpretation of the park’s regulations by the Park Service means wildlife on private land within Grand Teton’s boundaries now falls under Wyoming Game and Fish Department rules, which allow hunts for bison, mountain lions, mule deer, waterfowl and other game. Any wolves in the park are protected and cannot be hunted.” This will impact the park negatively. Quite negatively. I’m surprised at the NPS.
Julia Butterfly Hill, the young lady who tree-sat in Luna, has been injured.
A car accident. Her friends are building a fund to meet her deductible, along with helping finance her recuperation.
Later: And a side comment, think of how many are living with 6k deductibles, “affordable” health care.
naked cap: Oil Price Drop Not Affecting US Drilling Much.
“How low can the price of shale oil drop before it becomes too expensive to extract? The conventional wisdom is that the threshold is $60 per barrel.” Is it me, or does the number keep dropping?
Atlas Obscura: Quietly Growing Among Us, These Trees Flew to the Moon and Back.
There’s a bit of trivia that’s new.
BBC: Why is diesel now bad news?
“First, there have been problems with the particle traps - some drivers have removed them because they sometimes don’t work properly unless the car is driven hot. Second, the diesels are still producing nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which irritates the lungs of people with breathing problems. Diesels make several times more NO2 than petrol cars.” ‘Clean Diesel’ is apparently a misnomer.
Bloomberg: Why Elon Musk’s Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company.
“‘The mortal threat that ever cheaper on-site renewables pose’ comes from systems that include storage ... [snip] ... ‘That is an unregulated product you can buy at Home Depot that leaves the old business model with no place to hide.’” (Rubs hands together in glee ...)
Guardian.UK: Fracking chemicals could pose risks to reproductive health, say researchers.
Well, duh. Get this: “I certainly wouldn’t dismiss it lightly, but I think we will have to wait for detailed prospective data from well-organised studies ...” Wait? For what? We know many of the compounds. We know those compounds’ lethality. We know they’re getting spilled and/or leaked. Do you really want to be a lemming?
naked cap: New Study Says US Fracking Boom Will Fade Quickly After 2020.
Just wait until the cleanup brouhaha starts. It will be epic, and epically expensive.