Posted on November 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A loggerhead sea turtle off the coast of New England. Photo courtesy NOAA/Matthew Weeks.
Scientists say pro-active mitigation could reduce risk
Marine biologists already know that a number of ocean species are at risk from massive seismic blasting operations used to map oil and gas reserves beneath the ocean floor. A new study by scientists with the University of Exeter warns that seismic surveys may also threaten sea turtles.
The review, published in the journal Biological Conservation, found that compared to marine mammals and fish, turtles are largely ignored in terms of research attention and are often omitted from policy guidelines designed to mitigate the environmental risks of seismic surveys. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, energy, Environment | Tagged: endangered species, energy, Environment, sea turtles, seismic blasting, seismic ocean surveys | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA satellite image shows the spread of oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Lab tests show nuanced response to application of oil dispersant chemicals
Lab tests suggest that more thought must be given to how dispersant chemicals are used during and after an oil spill. In some cases, the combination of dispersants and oil may actually inhibit microorganisms that can break down hydrocarbons, according to marine scientists. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, energy, Environment, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater Horizon, dispersants, Environment, Gulf of Mexico, Oil spill | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The U.S. is the second-largest producer of coal in the world, thanks in part to massive surface mines like this one in Wyoming. Photo courtesy BLM.
Can the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ campaign gain some political traction?
A new bill pending in the U.S. Senate would fundamentally shift U.S. energy policy by ending new leases for fossil fuel exploitation on public lands and canceling existing offshore federal oil and gas leases in the Arctic.
The bill, of course, has little chance of passing Congress at this point, but shows that some American politicians understand the politics — and the math — of climate change. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, energy politics, fossil fuels, global warming, keep it in the ground | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says only he has the power to decide whether to sue the federal government over environmental regulations. @bberwyn photo.
Petition to Colorado Supreme Court seeks clarity
By Bob Berwyn
In a petition to the Colorado Supreme Court, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says the state’s attorney general has wasted taxpayer dollars and undermined the authority of the executive branch by joining a series of lawsuits against the federal government.
Specifically, Hickenlooper said Attorney General Cynthia Coffman didn’t have the authority to enmesh Colorado in lawsuits against federal fracking rules, federal clean water rules and the EPA’s Clean Power plan. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, federal government, fracking | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado attorney general cynthia coffman, Gov. John Hickenlooper | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
How much methane is leaking through damaged and abandoned wells? Photo via USGS.
Damaged well casings and fractured ground eyed in New York study
Spiderweb networks of abandoned oil and gas wells and cracked rocks may be significant pathways for methane leaks that aren’t being accurate measured, according to University of Vermont researchers who studied well patterns in New York.
The scientists said that not all abandoned wells are leaking — only those that are damaged, but given the large number of abandoned wells, those damaged casings can pose an evironmental risk, they concluded. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: fracking, greenhouse gases, marcellus formation, methane leaks, New York, oil and gas drilling | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A fracking boom near national parks has already degraded air quality and fragmented wildlife habitat around some of the country’s most cherished public lands. @bberwyn photo.
Agency acknowledges potential for adverse impacts to park values
The recent surge in fossil fuel exploitation on public lands near national parks has raised serious concerns about air quality, wildlife and scenic values — to the point that the National Parks Conservation Association outlined threats in a report a few years ago.
Now, the National Park Service wants to tackle some of the concerns by updating drilling regulations. The proposal would revise current rules that are 36 years old, predating the modern fracking area. The agency hopes the update will give the fossil fuel industry more certainty, improve the agency’s ability to protect park resources and the values for which the parks were set aside, and protect visitors from potentially adverse impacts associated with fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, Uncategorized | Tagged: fracking, National park fracking rules, national parks, oil and gas drilling, public lands | 1 Comment »