Category Archives: Oil

Obama’s policies of extreme energy extraction take another step

A number of news sources reported this weekend on the White House approving the use of underwater sonic blasts to pinpoint oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean. This is a step in the process to large-scale offshore oil drilling in federal waters.

The Washington Post reported:

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will be harmed but ultimately decided to approve this exploration in the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida.

The sonic blasts are, of course, just the very start.

Energy companies need the data as they prepare to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when current congressional limits expire.

Offshore Oil Rig. Reuters.

Offshore Oil Rig. Reuters.

Oil companies, with the government’s blessing, plan to drill offshore all along the East coast, with only the North East off limits.

A quote by an engineer for American Petroleum is particularly ominous:

 

“One thing we find is, the more you get out and drill and explore to confirm what you see in the seismic, you end up finding more oil and gas than what you think is out there when you started,” Radford said.

Florida communities have pushed back, in particular:

Florida has already felt the devastating effects of an uncontrolled oil release with the Deepwater Horizon event, of which cleanup efforts are still ongoing,” said John Morris, a county commissioner whose constituency includes the beach town.

However, the drilling would happen on federal waters, outside of reach from any local ban. While the article emphasizes the devastating effects of sonic booms on marine life and possible pollution from drilling, the dangers of such deepwater drilling extend even further. The thoughtlessness is mind-boggling, unless the whole thing is seen as desperate attempts in the era of extreme energy.

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil

Breaking Action Alert: Enbridge Blockaded

17 July 2014.  Source: Swamp Line 9 via Earth First! newswire

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Individuals from Six Nations and their allies have interrupted work on a section of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline. The work stoppage began around 10am this morning. Individuals involved asked workers to leave, asserting that the land is Haudenosaunee territory guaranteed under the Haldimand deed, and that Enbridge’s workers were present without consent or consultation.

Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Tar Sands, Uncategorized

Fracking firm offers locals $50,000 hush money

By Naveena Sadasivam, July 2, 2014. Source: TruthDig

Photo from Shutterstock

Photo from Shutterstock

For the last eight years, Pennsylvania has been riding the natural gas boom, with companies drilling and fracking thousands of wells across the state. And in a little corner of Washington County, some 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh, EQT Corporation has been busy – drilling close to a dozen new wells on one site.

It didn’t take long for the residents of Finleyville who lived near the fracking operations to complain – about the noise and air quality, and what they regarded as threats to their health and quality of life. Initially, EQT, one of the largest producers of natural gas in Pennsylvania, tried to allay concerns with promises of noise studies and offers of vouchers so residents could stay in hotels to avoid the noise and fumes. Continue reading

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Akwa ibom youths protest fresh oil spill from mobil facility

By Jules, June 30, 2014. Source: Nigerian Bulletin

oilspill

Youths in Eket and Esit Eket in Akwa Ibom on Monday staged peaceful protests against fresh oil spills in Nkpana community from a Mobil facility in Ibeno.

The youths numbering more than 500 protested on major streets in Eket, including the Marina and Terminal roads.

The protesters, under the ages of Core Youth Forum, carried placards with inscriptions: “Oil spill is killing our aquatic life’’, “No compensation for oil spill” and “Enough of this oil spillage,’’ among others.

Mr Godwin Peter, the spokesman of the protesters, said the spill occurred on Saturday and occupied communities along the spill line on Sunday. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Oil, Youth

Days before Obama announced CO2 rule, Exxon awarded Gulf of Mexico oil leases

By Steve Horn, June 3, 2o14. Source: DESMOG BLOG 

Photo by Shutterstock

Photo by Shutterstock

On Friday May 30, just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced details of its carbon rule proposal, the Obama Administration awarded offshore oil leases to ExxonMobil in an area of the Gulf of Mexico potentially containing over 172 million barrels of oil.

The U.S. Department of Interior‘s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proclaimed in a May 30 press release that the ExxonMobil offshore oil lease is part of “President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production.”

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell formerly worked as a petroleum engineer for Mobil, purchased as a wholly-owned subsidiary by Exxon in 1998.

Dubbed a “Private Empire” by investigative reporter Steve Coll, ExxonMobil will now have access to oil and gas in the Alaminos Canyon Area, located 170 miles east of Port Isabel, Texas. Port Isabel borders spring break and tourist hot spot South Padre Island. Continue reading

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Colombia: protest, rebel attacks depress oil output

May 31, 2014. Source: WW4 Report

Photo: El Espectador

Photo: El Espectador

Colombian crude production sank to a 20-month low of 935,000 barrels per day in April as guerilla attacks and community protests curbed output. Technicians from parastatal Ecopetrol were barred for over a month by indigenous protesters from repairing the Caño-Limon pipeline after it was damaged in a March 25 guerilla attack. Ecopetrol was forced to declare force majeure on at least 25 delivery contracts due to the stoppage. U’wa indigenous at Toledo municipality, Norte de Santander, agreed to lift their blockade May 1 after the Mines & Energy Ministry agreed to suspend  the nearby Magallanes gas exploration project to evaluate its environmental impacts and to despatch a team to demarcate the boundaries of U’wa territory. But the very next day, the pipeline was blown up again, at Cubará muncipality, Boyacá. The first attack was attributed to the FARC rebels, now in talks with the government. The second one was blamed on the ELN guerillas, which may be hoping to pressure the government to similarly open talks with them. There were 33 pipeline attacks in the first quarter of this year and a total of 259 in 2013. (UDW, May 28; El Tiempo, May 8; InfoSur Hoy, Bloomberg, May 6; EBR, May 5; Reuters, May 2)

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil

BLM’s failure pollutes Colorado River water supply with oil

May 30, 2014. Source: Waterkeeper Alliance.

Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A Utah oil spill has entered the water supply of the Colorado River, raising grave questions about impacts to the water supply of Las Vegas. The oil spill began after 100,000 to 125,000 gallons of oil leaked from a 45 year old oil well onto lands near the Green River, the largest tributary to the Colorado River. The spill occurred about 50 miles north of Moab, UT.

A rainstorm two days later flooded the area, overrunning inadequate containment ponds housing the oil, thereby dumping thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of gallons of oil directly into the Green River. No known sampling of downstream water supplies has been performed, raising criticism from residents across the region.

“It’s offensive to hear the BLM say they’re ‘pleased’ after a large quantity of oil entered the water supply for millions of people,” said Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council. “The BLM failed the public and it’s high time to acknowledge their mistakes instead of greenwashing this pollution. They should be warning the public about exposure to this oil, instead of pretending its not there.” Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oil, Pollution, Water

George Osborne accused of making climate change worse with tax breaks

By Angela Monaghan, June 1, 2014. Source: The Guardian.

Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Friends of the Earth has accused the chancellor George Osborne of exacerbating climate change by handing out £2.7bn of incentives to energy companies to fuel North Sea oil and gas production. FoE said he was too focused on propping up oil companies at the expense of making renewable energy cheaper.

David Powell, economics campaigner at FoE, said: “The chancellor falls over himself to claim renewable energy is expensive, while bending over backwards to offer oil barons massive tax breaks.

“Reducing the tax bill for rich oil companies will either bolster their already fat profits, or cause more climate changing fossil fuels to be extracted that would have been left in the ground, or both.” Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Oil