Mashable: This organic, wheat-based kitty litter caused a nuclear waste leak.
LANL must go gluten-free ...
Guardian.UK: Deepwater oil spill - BP steps up PR effort to insist all is well in the Gulf.
“This year, the NWF found that higher-than-normal rates of death for many species continued, and are likely linked to the disaster: dolphins along Louisiana’s coastline were found dead at four times historic rates last year, and research has shown the deaths of 12% of brown pelicans and 32% of a species of gull can be linked to the spill. The NWF report also says the eggs of many animals – from trout in the Gulf to pelicans nesting as far away as Minnesota – have been found to contain oil and the dispersant used by BP in the wake of the spill.”
NakedCap: Fracking’s New Nemesis - Earthquake Lawsuits.
“Indeed, some of the bigger players appear to have decided it’s best to keep these cases out of the press if possible. BHP Billiton and Chesapeake Energy settled a 2013 case lodged by five homeowners for a confidential amount.” Industries prefer to minimize case law on the books. Swift gag settlements are the first line of defense.
WaPo: A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say.
“North America’s last megadroughts happened in medieval times, during the 12th and 13th centuries. They were caused by natural changes in weather that give megadroughts a 10 percent chance of forming at any time.” We should be planning ahead, in the Southwest. Will we? Likely not. I think of Burt in Soap (snaps fingers, pretends he’s not corporeal).
Fuel Fix: Oil workers in West Texas and New Mexico were underpaid millions, Labor Department says.
“Among the problems found, employers were failing to include bonus payments when calculating overtime rates, weren’t paying for time spent working off-the-clock and paying flat rates despite the hours worked by employees. There were also instances of workers being misclassified as independent contractors.” Check out image #5, in the bottom gallery. Also, no word in this article about the workers getting their owed $$.
Pacific Standard: The Trembling Aspen Is in Trouble.
Quaking aspen, please. We have quite a few in these parts. I can tell you from drives up the Ski Basin Road, photographing the aspen ‘altitudes’, the ones closest to the road are the most unhealthy. You would imagine the asphalt would capture and store water underneath, but in practice, it seems the exposure to sun (edge of forest along road, no shorter trees to shade trunks) and pollution from vehicles stresses them more than overall drought does. My theory, anyway. YMMV. We had some particularly severe tent caterpillar incursions a couple of years ago, but they don’t seem to do lasting damage. The trees affected are now as full as they ever were.
PS Mag: ‘You Wouldn’t Drill for Oil in the Sistine Chapel’.
I’m afraid that argument doesn’t work. You’ve got to load your oppositional scattergun with every bit of counterargument you’ve got and shoot like you mean it to stop these bandits.
ABC: US Drillers Scrambling to Thwart OPEC Threat.
“Drillers are finding they can back into wells drilled only a few years ago to re-frack them or inject specially tailored fluids to get oil flowing again. That can return a well in some cases to peak output, without the expense of drilling a new well.” Perhaps, but to cut costs, where are all those ‘specially tailored fluids’ being dumped/injected? Quadruple the watch on your drinking water sources, people.
ProPublica: How Much Water Do You Use? Help ProPublica Investigate Water Use in the U.S.
Survey form. Let’s give ‘em a gout of info, shall we?
Slate: Georgetown, Texas, goes renewable.
“... contrary to renewable energy’s reputation as a luxury good, the new deals come at a discount to what Georgetown was paying for fossil fuel electricity.” My italic emphasis. I’ve been relating over the years the fact that Texas, in addition to drilling like crazy, is also raising windmills like crazy too.
Archaeology News Network: Study raises questions about cause of global Ice Ages.
NY Times: Obama Administration Unveils Federal Fracking Regulations.
I’ll certainly want to read these, after skimming by this ... “The Interior Department has spent more than three years developing the rules, in close consultation with oil and gas companies, states and environmental groups. The agency also said it has reviewed more than 1.5 million public comments.”
NY Times: Glut of Oil Pushes U.S. Crude Prices to 6-Year Low.
Vox: Al Gore should run for president.
Unrealistic. We need someone to play center and move left.
naked capitalism/Wolf Richter: The US Oil Bust Just Got Worse.
The charts are just insane.
The Tico Times/BREAKING: New explosions at Turrialba Volcano.
Costa Rica. Nice animated GIF.
SF New Mexican: House approves bill limiting local control of oil and gas development.
Kill it. The NM Senate is still Dem majority. Fingers crossed.
NY Times: Christie, Defending Exxon Deal, Says Environmental Damage Will Be Repaired.
Sellout. Diverting money from environmental remediation to filling gaps in the state budget. You taxpayers are going to be making up the substantial difference. President? Not on your life.
SF New Mexican: Rep. Nunez Calls for the Extinction of Wolves.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
Bloomberg: The Price of Oil Is About to Blow a Hole in Corporate Accounting.
“Using current prices instead of the SEC-prescribed $95 a barrel would erase $13.8 billion, or 61 percent, from the value of Continental’s oil and natural gas properties. It would also mean that 10 percent of the company’s reserves, the equivalent of 135 million barrels, would be too expensive to pump with prices where they are, the company said in the filing.” Question is, how will this ripple out into the general economy? We can already see a reduction in tourism from Texas and other drill-baby-drill areas since December.
BarnFinds: Not Quite Teslas - Pair of 1976 CitiCars
I remember these! Total blast from the past.
NY Times: Hermosa Beach, Calif., Voters Give Thumbs Down to Oil Drilling.
“As a result of the vote, Hermosa Beach now owes E&B $17.5 million to terminate the contract, under the terms of an agreement ending litigation with the firm.” Ouch. With oil prices so low, companies may pursue mineral rights litigation not to actually drill, but to simply minimize the red in their ledgers.
The Economist: Energy controversies - A frack too far.
Cash in and move out, I assume. They feel left out of the bounty.
VOX, CEPR’s Policy Portal: The cost of delaying action to stem climate change: A meta-analysis
“This analysis concerned the cost of trying to hit the same climate target with a later start date for the policies. It showed that the cost of achieving a given target would rise by about 40%. This, however, is only one factor to consider in assessing the timing and magnitude of action on climate change.”
ScienceDaily: Scientists bring oxygen back to dead fjord.
Of interest. Could be classified as minor geoengineering.