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June 21st, 2012 Archives
June 20, 2012 | 5:29 pm
A new report on hydraulic fracturing has taken stock of the controversial procedure's effect on water supplies in Colorado, echoing concerns of California lawmakers as they seek to regulate "fracking" here.
Western Resource Advocates, an environmental group, analyzed government and industry data to produce what it calls the first study of its kind to quantify how much water is used in the process, which involves injecting chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to tap oil and natural gas deposits.
According to the report, oil and gas companies in Colorado use as much as 39,500 acre-feet of water annually in fracking operations -- enough to meet the yearly residential needs of up to 296,100 people, a population the size of Cincinnati or Orlando, Fla. The volume is troublesome for arid Western states, especially because the waste water cannot be treated and returned to drinking water supplies, the report said.Share This Post
Special to The Bee Published Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012
Heather Cooley is the co-director of the water program at the Pacific Institute in Oakland.
Fracking – a process to improve the production of oil and gas wells – has generated tremendous controversy in recent years. There are daily and confusing media reports from outlets across the United States and other countries, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, France and England. While fracking is hailed by some as a game-changer that promises increased national energy independence, job creation and lower energy prices, it has also been severely criticized by others because of serious and unresolved environmental, social and public health concerns.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, refers to the process by which a fluid – a mix of water, sand and chemical additives – is injected into oil and gas wells under high pressure to create cracks and fissures in rock formations that increase the productivity of these wells. It is standard practice for extracting oil and natural gas from unconventional sources, including shale and tight sands, and is increasingly being applied to conventional sources. According to some estimates, 90 percent of oil and gas wells drilled in the United States now use hydraulic fracturing.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/4577755/new-report-helps-separate-the.htmlShare This Post
New Anti-Fracking Film by Gasland’s Josh Fox Targets Cuomo: ‘Governor, What Color Will the Sky Be Over New York?’
RS Politics Daily
by: Jeff Goodell
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of the great state of New York, I’d like you to meet Josh Fox. As you may know, Josh, who is 39, wrote and directed a film called Gasland, which I’m sure is at the top of your Netflix queue. In 2010, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and helped bring the world’s attention to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking. To put it another way, Josh is the guy who is largely responsible for the political minefield that you now find yourself tip-toeing through as you consider whether or not to lift the moratorium on fracking in New York State.
FYI, Josh is working on a sequel for HBO, called Gasland 2, which will be out later this year. But meanwhile, he has written and directed The Sky Is Pink – a short (18-minute) film that is, well, just for you, governor. You can watch it below.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/new-anti-fracking-film-by-gaslands-josh-fox-targets-cuomo-governor-what-color-will-the-sky-be-over-new-york-20120620Share This Post
By EDWARD WELSCH June 20, 2012, 2:21 p.m. ET
CALGARY, Alberta—Three large Canadian oil spills over the last 30 days have increased concern over pipeline safety here, just as the government and the Canadian petroleum industry are trying to drum up support for a series of new pipeline projects.
Enbridge Inc. ENB +0.46% said late Tuesday that one of its pipelines, carrying heavy oil-sands crude, spilled some 1,450 barrels in eastern Alberta earlier in the week. Earlier this month, Plains All American Pipeline LP PAA +0.60% spilled up to 3,000 barrels into a reservoir near the small resort town of Sundre, Alberta. And last month, Pace Oil & Gas Ltd. PCE.T +0.78% spilled some 5,000 barrels from a well in a remote corner of northwestern Alberta.
More pipelines cross the oil-rich province of Alberta than anywhere else in Canada, and the province's economy relies heavily on oil and natural-gas production. That has all helped to raise tolerance for minor spills among many residents. But amid a spate of big spills this year and last year, environmental groups have stepped up calls for more regulation.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404577478610992607188.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
By TOM FOWLER Updated June 20, 2012, 5:09 p.m. ET
HOUSTON—The U.S. held its first oil- and gas-lease sale for the central Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon spill, drawing $1.7 billion in winning bids from energy companies, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday.
The central Gulf of Mexico is widely considered the region's most promising drilling location, but new offshore lease sales were stalled after the 2010 rig accident, which killed 11 and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Interest in the auction, which attracted winning bids from companies including Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC and Statoil ASA, underscores the eagerness of major energy players to explore in the area after months of squabbling with U.S. officials over strengthened drilling regulations.
To read the entire article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404577478920293940762.html?mod=WSJ_Energy_leftHeadlinesShare This Post
As one of the world's largest sun-powered plants takes shape, observers debate the risk to birds, planes and drivers.
By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times
June 20, 2012, 5:49 p.m.
IVANPAH VALLEY, Calif. — At what temperature might a songbird vaporize?
Will the glare from five square miles of mirrors create a distraction for highway drivers?
Can plumes of superheated air create enough turbulence to flip a small airplane?
What happens if one of the Air Force's heat-seeking missiles confuses a solar power plant with a military training target?
No one knows for sure. But as the state and federal government push hard to build solar energy plants across the Mojave Desert — there are more than 100 solar applications pending — the military, birders, aviation officials and others are eager for answers.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-heat-plume-20120621,0,917543.storyShare This Post
David R. Baker Wednesday, June 20, 2012
California regulations designed to fight global warming could force half of the state's refineries to close, trigger fuel shortages and add $2.70 per gallon to the cost of gasoline, according to a study released Tuesday by an oil industry lobbying group.
The study, issued by the Western States Petroleum Association, argues that California's upcoming cap-and-trade system to cut carbon dioxide emissions could wreak havoc with fuel supplies as early as 2015. So could the state's low carbon fuel standard, a policy requiring refiners to lower the carbon intensity of the fuel they sell in California.
Oil companies have a history of resisting California's climate change rules. But Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the petroleum association, said Tuesday that her group isn't trying to overturn the state's global warming law, known as AB32.
Instead, the association wants to change how the state implements the law. If gasoline prices jump due to the fuel standard and cap and trade, she warned, Californians would probably demand that the entire law be scrapped.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/20/BUMJ1P4HTJ.DTLShare This Post
The perennial debate returns, this time at a symposium on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard
June 20, 2012 | 12:38 PM | By Thibault Worth
Original source: http://blogs.kqed.org/climatewatch/2012/06/20/can-cutting-carbon-fuel-growth/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FClimateWatchBlog+%28KQED%27s+Climate+Watch+Blog%29
Do environmental regulations boost innovation and job creation, or do they just make the state a more expensive place in which to live and do business?
The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the section of California’s landmark 2006 global warming act that deals with the decarbonization of transport fuels, has become the latest focus of that debate.
The enforcement element of LCFS begins January 1, 2013. But the standard—complex and 5 years in the making—remains largely unknown to the public.
In Sacramento Tuesday, stakeholders and transportation experts sought to bring more attention to the LCFS at symposium sponsored by Fueling California, an industry trade group whose board members include United Airlines, Walmart, Chevron and the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The standard calls for a 10% reduction in the “carbon intensity” of gasoline and diesel by 2020. It’s the first in the United States to use a “life cycle” evaluation for counting carbon, meaning that every stage of production from drilling (or cultivation in the case of biofuel) to combustion is tallied—an approach called “seeds to wheels.”Share This Post
New state funding will help local companies invest in alternative energy
This article was published on 06.21.12.
Could a new grant help put Sacto’s green economy on the map?
The California Energy Commission thinks so. Last week, it awarded $23 million to firms working to develop renewable transportation fuels, such as biogas and hydrogen, as part of the state’s program to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
More than $6 million went to Sacramento companies Clean World Partners and Atlas Disposal, who are expanding the Sacramento biorefinery at the city’s transfer and recycling station on Fruitridge Road. The biorefinery, which converts organic waste into natural gas for Atlas garbage trucks, will be expanded with a new biofuel storage facility and increased capacity for 100 tons of garbage per day.
The best part about the newly funded expansion, says Warren Smith, vice president for Clean World Partners, is that local government vehicles can also start filling up at the biorefinery once the project is finished. Atlas Disposal is currently the only company using the natural gas produced from the facility.
“We happen to think there’s great opportunity for biogas to be used as a transportation fuel,” said Smith. “This will open it up to other people other than Atlas Disposal.”Share This Post
firstname.lastname@example.org Published Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012
The Brown administration is abandoning legislation it proposed to insulate California's high-speed rail project from environmental lawsuits, the administration told environmentalists on Wednesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who is seeking legislative approval this summer to start construction on the $68 billion project, angered environmentalists when his administration proposed this month to limit the circumstances in which a court could block construction of the project under the landmark California Environmental Quality Act.
Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, said a Brown adviser sent environmentalists and transportation advocates an email Wednesday indicating the Democratic governor was backing off.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/4577932/jerry-brown-abandons-bid-to-protect.htmlShare This Post
email@example.com Published Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012
A plan for two massive tunnels diverting water from the Delta has been scaled back 40 percent in size. The project would divert only 10 percent less water, however, and it remains to be seen if this proves less harmful to fish and their habitat.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is an unprecedented effort by state and federal water agencies to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a source of water for 25 million Californians and more than 3 million acres of farmland. The goal is to improve the reliability of Delta water exports while also restoring salmon, smelt and other imperiled fish.
For two years, the plan's centerpiece has been a pair of 33-foot diameter tunnels, estimated to cost $14 billion, to divert water from five intakes on the Sacramento River. The assumption was that these screened intakes would prove less harmful to fish than the current diversions in the south Delta near Tracy.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/06/21/4577854/hed-here.htmlShare This Post