Posts Tagged ‘pollution’
More on fracking : a new web video series designed to provoke discussion and disrupt conventional thinking on a wide variety of contemporary issues released its second episode — about the use of hydraulic fracturing – fracking – and its impacts on economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The “Summits on Tenth” series is a joint project of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a social change philanthropy and AlterNet, an online source of independent news and commentary. Read the rest of this entry »
Why does the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, method of drilling for natural gas and oil get a pass for its unintended consequences, such as soil, water and air pollution, water waste and earthquakes, among other really bad things?
No need to answer, but there’s another alarming outcome of fracking that could hit close to home, especially if your home is in Bradford County, PA, where 93 percent of the acreage is under lease to a gas company. Read the rest of this entry »
The future of tar sands development could reside in a potentially precedent-setting legal battle in Utah.
A coalition of conservation groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and others, recently filed a 253-page “request for agency action” urging the Utah Department of Air Quality to revoke its recent approval of a new oil refinery in Green River, Utah. The refinery is planned by the Calgary-based U.S. Tar Sands. Read the rest of this entry »
Richard Heinberg and the Post Carbon Institute, in a new book, have effectively deconstructed the supposed benefits—foisted upon us by the oil industry—of the hydraulic fracturing method of gas and oil extraction, or fracking..
In his latest book, SNAKE OIL: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future, Heinberg—journalist, author and senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute—says the “false hype” surrounding shale gas and oil production “has hijacked America’s energy conversation.”
Heinberg’s research shows that “rather than offering the nation a century of cheap energy and economic prosperity, fracking may well present us with a short-term bubble that comes with exceeding high economic and environmental costs.”
He continues, “Horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas pose a danger not just to local water and air quality, but also to sound energy policy, and therefore to our collective ability to avert the greatest human-made economic and environmental catastrophe in history.” Read the rest of this entry »
Large water desalinization plant installations that will replenish water supplies hit by shrinking aquifers are good and necessary things, but those plants require a tremendous amount of energy produced from heavily polluting coal-fired plants, a story in the March 18 New Yorker reported.
Devouring a passel of “mega-crabs” from the Chesapeake Bay is pretty great if you’re a big fan of the Maryland Blue Crab, but not so good if that enjoyment comes at the expense of the Bay’s oyster population.
It’s hard not to get the feeling that addressing climate change and pollution is often a case of one step forward and two steps back. Or like a perverse game of whack-a-mole. Read the rest of this entry »
Good news about the air we breathe is, well, good news indeed. Also rare. But there is some good news regarding ground level ozone, or smog, courtesy of research from Rice University and the EPA.
This can get a bit technical, but thanks to the EPA the difference between ground level ozone and high-altitude ozone, in simple terms, is: ozone is “good up high, bad nearby.” We need that high altitude ozone layer to protect the atmosphere and us. But ground level ozone, created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight, is harmful. Read the rest of this entry »
The Supreme Court will hear a trucking industry challenge to rules Los Angeles adopted five years ago that are designed to curb truck emissions at the nation’s busiest port.
The case (American Trucking Associations vs. City of Los Angeles) will determine the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Clean Truck Program at the Port of Los Angeles. Similar rules are also in force at the nearby Port of Long Beach. The question centers on whether cities and states have authority to limit pollution from trucks moving long-haul cargo.
The answer to that question would seem a no-brainer, especially in environmental circles, but the ATA contends that the local clean truck regulations run afoul of a federal law that deregulated motor carriers. So complications ensue. There is a provision in the law that preempts any state or local measure that is “related to the price, route or service of any motor carrier.” The purpose of that provision is to speed the free flow of trucks, buses and other shippers and to prevent local or state rules that would add to costs to those movements. Read the rest of this entry »
Say you’re watching Ed or Rachel for your daily dose of progressive news on MSNBC; they go to a commercial break and this 30-second ad pops up:
Just in time for the regulatory review and so-called scoping coal export proposal season here in the Northwest! It prompted me to take a look at the website that flashes briefly during the ad – the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports.
One minor detail that gets brushed aside is that this is about selling cheap and dirty coal to international – mostly Asian – markets and hauling tens of millions of tons of it through heavily populated regions in the Pacific Northwest to new and/or upgraded export shipping terminals. Even the alliance’s name shuns the four-letter word. Jobs! Exports! Who can oppose that? Read the rest of this entry »
Fracking is getting heat—or at least a lot of attention—at the grassroots and at the federal levels. President Obama this month issued an Executive Order forming an interagency working group “supporting the safe and responsible development of unconventional natural gas resources.”
“Unconventional” in this case is hydraulic fracturing—aka fracking—a natural gas extraction method in which water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground at high pressure in order to fracture, or crack open, layers of rock, making oil and natural gas accessible. Fracking makes it easier to get at the large deposits of oil and gas from shale formations.
But many also contend that it is risky and, in effect, cruel and unusual punishment to the earth’s crust and water resources. Fracking can release harmful pollutants into the air and underground water tables. There is also alarming evidence that the process causes earthquakes, which apparently is what happened last year at a fracking site near Blackpool, England. Read the rest of this entry »
We knew or at least surmised that this was true, but the really scary conclusion from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is that it could get way, way worse: Without more ambitious actions by governments global greenhouse gas emissions could increase 50 percent by 2050.
The warning from the 34-member-nation OECD, whose mission is to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world,” in a recent report, OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction, is that rising living standards over the coming decades will mean increased demands for energy, food and natural resources. This will result in sharply higher GHG emissions and pollution.
OECD says the report presents the latest projections of socio-economic trends over the next four decades, and their implications for four areas of concern: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of environmental pollution. Read the rest of this entry »