ProPublica: Ed Rendell’s Plea for Fracking Fails to Disclose Industry Ties.
“What Rendell’s passionate plea failed to note was this: since stepping down as governor in 2011, he has worked as a paid consultant to a private equity firm with investments in the natural gas industry.”
Phys.Org: New discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere.
Great idea. Simply make improving the climate profitable.
Discover Mag: Wastewater Injection Blamed for Largest Human-Caused Earthquake Yet.
“And according to a study published this week, wastewater injection was the cause of a magnitude 5.7 earthquake in Oklahoma in 2011—the largest earthquake to date thought to have been caused by human activities.” For every fracking action there always seems to be a nefarious and predictable reaction.
SciAm: Climate Change, Herbicide May Doom Monarch Butterfly Migration.
“According to Mexico’s annual report on monarch populations in the reserve region, released in March, the number of hectares occupied by the butterflies — used as an indicator of population density — in the 2012-2013 season dropped by 59 percent compared with the year before. At barely 1.19 hectares (2.94 acres) occupied, it is the smallest monarch population registered in almost two decades.” It would be immoral to grab one now, but right at this moment I wish I’d saved my childhood butterfly collection.
Guardian.UK: US government sued over use of pesticides linked to bee harm.
“A series of high-profile scientific studies in the last year have increasingly linked neonicotinoids to harmful effects in bees, including huge losses in the number of queens produced, and big increases in ‘disappeared’ bees that fail to return from foraging trips.”
Guardian.UK: Drought that ravaged US crops likely to worsen in 2013, forecast warns.
“The drought that we accumulated over the last five or six years in the middle part of the country and also the south-west is going to take a long time to remove. [snip] The deficits in the soil and very unlarged, and it is very unlikely the seasonal mean precipitation will ameliorate that.” Er … ‘and very unlarged’? An audio transcription?
New Scientist: US gets tough on Arctic oil drilling.
“Shell must now submit a far more comprehensive plan detailing how its ships will get to the drill site, drilling procedures and the planned response to an oil spill. The report also recommends specific drilling regulations for the Arctic. These could include ice-class vessels and the type of relief well needed to alleviate a blowout.” It’s about time the Feds exercised some of their oversight power. Extraordinary conditions require extraordinary preparations, and lowest-bidder mentality won’t cut it.
CNN: Feds reap projected $1.2 billion from oil, natural gas leases in Gulf.
Hmmm. Yes. And Federal Gulf cleanup costs for the Macondo mess were what, ~$123 million? And the fines against BP ~$4 billion? Looking at this in a skewed fashion, when oil companies screw up the government makes quite a profit, doesn’t it? Because the Gulf sure isn’t back to robust health yet.
ProPublica: Drilling Deeper—The Wealth of Business Connections for Obama’s Energy Pick.
“His connections to the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries threaten to undermine the focus we need to see on renewables and energy efficiency.” Perhaps. I just can’t get past the hair. My God, who’d take him seriously?
OilPrice: Calculating the True Carbon Footprint of a Renewable Energy Grid.
Valuable numbers within. Hydro storage beats batteries by a long chalk. But as a NM’an would ask: where do you get the water?
The Atlantic: America’s Most Obvious Tax Reform Idea: Kill the Oil and Gas Subsidies.
Take something away, they’ll try to make us pay … anyway.
NY Times: The Facts on Fracking.
“The Pennsylvania experience with water contamination is also instructive. In Pennsylvania, shale gas is accessed at depths of thousands of feet while drinking water is extracted from depths of only hundreds of feet. Nowhere in the state have fracking compounds injected at depth been shown to contaminate drinking water.” Not the whole story … fracking casings have leaked. Using concrete for a job having a seismic component is not wise. The author may be well-respected, but I don’t admire that omission, nor the omission of the devastating amounts of infrastructure support and costs these operations require.
ProPublica: After a Powerful Lobbyist Intervenes, EPA Reverses Stance.
“The plan appeared to be dead on arrival until late 2011, when Uranium Energy hired Heather Podesta, a lobbyist and prolific Democratic fundraiser whose pull with the Obama administration prompted The Washington Post to name her the Capitol’s latest ‘It girl.’” Our water resources are under attack from both sides of the aisle, kids. Remember the AC/DC rule.
KOB: Natural gas production in NW New Mexico declines.
“… it’s hard to drill and make a profit with current prices for natural gas.” Note it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with costs, subsidies or the pit rule. Operations are reemphasizing oil over gas.
Colossal: Japan Erects Massive Sculpture of the Last Standing Tree.
Read the backstory.
EcoWatch: A Must Read Account of Fracking Colorado.
My blood boils.
Our weeny little bit of snow.
Had some decent rain last evening, so this was just the frosting on the moisture-cake.
SF New Mexican: Early spring winds kick up allergy miseries.
Yes, the junipers are loading up from this unusually warm winter/spring. Once they start, they ‘smoke’ in the wind they’re so full of pollen.
SF New Mexican: State’s light snowpack doesn’t bode well for spring supplies.
Whenever we have a bit more precip, the local paper hauls out the ‘good’ news. Just in case we misconstrue the real situation, and dissolve in an orgy of landscape-watering.
ABQ Journal: Water pollution fines won’t be raised.
“A proposal to raise the fines – from 1935 levels – for water pollution by oil and gas operators has been rejected again by the Legislature, with opponents complaining it would burden New Mexico’s premier industry.” Excuse me while I choke to death on ‘premier industry’ …
Fuel Fix: Dearth of skilled workers imperils $100 billion in projects.
“After spending years searching for enough crude to pump, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry now is struggling to find and pay for enough skilled workers to tap the abundant supply in shale rock, putting $100 billion in planned petrochemical projects at risk.” Freaking fracking corporations. Did you know you can make $75,000 a year driving a water truck down in the Permian Basin? $75k for knowing how to accelerate, shift and brake.
SF New Mexican: Los Alamos lab opens third waste facility.
“About 920 cubic meters of the waste is high-level radioactive waste that will be shipped to WIPP, according to lab spokeswoman Colleen Curran.” I thought WIPP was only approved for low-level waste … ?
New Scientist: True face of climate’s hockey stick graph revealed.
“How fast temperatures change is the real issue of climate change, says Mann. ‘That’s what challenges our adaptive capacity.’ Rapid change means farming practices must alter quickly, and preparations for extreme weather events must also be rapidly put in place.” Not a whole not new here, but worth the repost for the charts.
SF New Mexican: Feds look to ship Washington state radioactive waste to New Mexico.
Don’t truck it down 285; bad enough we have low-level radioactive waste being delivered in single-wall containers by our development. There’s only three ways out of Eldorado, all within roughly a mile on 285. There needs to be a ‘back way’ out of the community, if they go forward.
PhysOrg: US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2 (Update).
I suppose the bright side is that zombies decompose faster in higher heat. Bad, bad news, otherwise.
I did a brief recce out in the yard today (1.3 acres). Looks like we’re going to have another warm-winter year … which means an overpopulation of rodents. One of my junipers looks like it’s sitting on a dirt mount of Swiss cheese. Bring in the bobcats and coyotes, please … this is a war I never manage to win by myself.