CNBC: New US oil and gas well November permits tumble nearly 40 percent.
Less pollution, less infrastructure impact, less taxpayer liability. What’s not to like? I know, I know ... lower revenues for the state coffers. I can live with that. Emphasis on the word ‘live.’
PS Mag: America’s Railroads Are Ill-Equipped to Act as Oil Pipelines.
“Using rail networks has saved the oil and gas industry the time and capital it takes to build new pipelines, but the trade-off is greater risk: Researchers estimates that trains are three and a half times as likely as pipelines to suffer safety lapses.” My italic emphasis, while ignoring the grammar.
Guardian.UK: How a ruby-red Texas town turned against fracking.
“The fracking ban that comes into effect on Tuesday in the heart of Texas may never have happened at all, if industry had not insisted on fracking beside a local hospital, a children’s playground, and the 100-year-old farmhouse that was Cathy McMullen’s retirement dream. That brought fracking a step too far.” This is how they operate, take note. And nary a penny for infrastructure improvements. YOU pay for that, as a taxpayer.
Guardian.UK: Hillary Clinton says fracking carries risks in conservation speech.
Piffle. H, you’re bordering on ‘too little, too late’ in my book. You’ve been carrying water for Big Oil for too long.
SciAm: Rooftop Solar Cost Competitive with the Grid in Much of the U.S.
But that’s great news. Should be shouted from the mountaintops.
Guardian.UK: Reflecting sunlight into space has terrifying consequences, say scientists.
naked cap: Who Will Wind Up Holding the Bag in the Shale Gas Bubble?
The taxpayer, ultimately.
SF New Mexican: Officials - Hiker found north of Santa Fe ski basin died of hypothermia.
In late JULY, note. When we’re nearly at our hottest temps. I keep banging on about this, but you can so easily be hiking, have a thunderstorm crest those mountains, and experience a 60 degree temperature drop in minutes. I see so many people, too far from the trailheads, woefully unprepared. I do stop and advise (gently), when there’s an opportunity.
NY Times: Where Oil and Politics Mix.
“Reluctant landowners standing in the way of progress.” A lot of big money behind fracking; they steamroll rather than negotiate. No municipalities have regulations or laws in place for the onslaught, other than the 1860’s mining law.
Guardian.UK: Taxpayers to fund hundreds of fracking boreholes across the country.
One of the most bone-headed concepts I’ve ever heard. Every single one of those boreholes will have to be capped with concrete, and then monitored in perpetuity. Paid for by taxpayers, of course. “Manage the subsurface safely.” What a crock.
365/2: 322. Meet ‘Flit’, our wintering hummingbird.
We have a wintering hummingbird. Up at 6AM to give him warm sugar water (it’s below 27 at night here, when sugar water freezes). He’s skittish as all get-out, and I have to sneak up on him to get any image at all. Tight crop, through a screen. Hopefully he’ll get tamer if he sticks around.
Job #1 right now is keeping him alive through these cold nights. The skittish behavior is something we’ve observed before, when instinct takes over. He obviously would love to migrate, but can’t lace up enough food sources to make it ... so he’ll disappear for a day, half a day, and then reappear. If he could make it to the Bosque down in Albuquerque, he’d have food sources all the way down to Mexico. It’s this first 75 miles that’s brutal for late migrators.
CJR: Texas reporters fight for access to fracking facts.
Let some sun shine in. To me, this policy bespeaks a great deal of fear.
NY Times: The Civil War’s Environmental Impact.
“Man has too long forgotten that the earth was given to him for usufruct alone, not for consumption, still less for profligate waste.” A useful word for upcoming drone issues, methinks. Or knocking Ms Nockett.
Modern Farmer: Landmark 20-Year Study Finds Pesticides Linked to Depression In Farmers.
“Earlier this fall, researchers from the National Institute of Health finished up a landmark 20-year study, a study that hasn’t received the amount of coverage it deserves. About 84,000 farmers and spouses of farmers were interviewed since the mid-1990s to investigate the connection between pesticides and depression, a connection that had been suggested through anecdotal evidence for far longer.”
Outside Online: Alberta’s Tar Sands and the High Cost of Oil.
“‘Industry is industry,’ he said. It exists for one purpose—profit — and pushes relentlessly toward that goal. If people want to control industry, they should elect government officials committed to strict regulation.”
Guardian.UK: Republicans vow to use expanded powers to thwart US-China climate deal.
“As we enter a new Congress, I will do everything in my power to rein in and shed light on the EPA’s unchecked regulations.” New Republicans, same as the old Republicans. Gird thyselves.
Outside: Does The Wild Truth Tell the True Story of Chris McCandless?
NY Times: New Potato, Hot Potato.
The McPotato is here. Less cancer is a good thing, no?
Archaeology News Network: Arctic warming - Scientists identify new driver.
I always wanted a light boat to carry up to the mountains; most weigh a ton (30-40lbs). This one’s 10 pounds. But at a cost ... $1,900.00. Woof.
SciAm: Fracking Threatens to Crack Politics.
The Atlantic: It’s Coming - $65 Oil.
A welcome reprieve. I still maintain most of Clinton’s ‘good economy’ was the result of lower energy prices. Notice the Fed is making noise about ending the stimulus. Interesting timing. I hope this puts the kibosh on new fracking starts - they want to encroach Chaco. That’s a big NO from me.
DeSmogBlog: When the Shale Runs Dry - A Look at the Future of Fracking.
“... the cement plugs have a life expectancy of roughly 20 years. This means that every two decades, it is necessary to drill through the old plugs and install new ones. Some wells are even costlier and more complicated to seal because they are now underwater, requiring the deployment of barges and scuba divers.” Fracking is a ‘gift’ that keeps on giving to taxpayers, long after the oil and gas folks are gone with their profits.
Self-absorbed Instagrammer defaces National Parks.
This makes me livid. Most know I spent over half a year working in Big Bend National Park in between years of college. We spent a great deal of our time trying to preserve things for future generations. I cannot even begin to express how impenetrably self-absorbed this young lady is.
I say put her on the Park Service’s lowest payscale job. She works as long as it takes to pay for the remediation of the damage she caused, plus a generous fine. Lives in park housing, eats park meals.
Normally, I’d say she needs to visit a psychologist, but I find hard work often smooths out such narcissism. Working in a park, she’ll learn to appreciate it ... make her work with the public, she’ll learn how obtuse the average park visitor can be. She will experience her behavior as in a mirror, and have to deal with the repercussions. Every. Single. Day.
She must be an example, a deterrent. Otherwise more will follow. More will follow anyway, but a proper balanced punishment will go far to prevent this behavior from spreading.
OilPrice: Low Oil Prices Hurting U.S. Shale Operations.
“Much rides on the decision making of officials in Saudi Arabia. Although exact calculations vary, the world’s only swing producer needs oil prices between $83 and $93 per barrel for its budget to break even. But that may not be as important of a metric as it appears. Saudi Arabia has an enormous stash of foreign exchange, and could run deficits for quite a while without too many problems. With average costs of oil production from wells in the Middle East sitting at only $25 per barrel, the Saudis can clearly wait out U.S. shale if they really want to.” So, OPEC could bankrupt US shale operations? That’s interesting.