Fracking waste contaminated water harms foals.Scan107
Pennsylvania collects very little when it permits private companies to tap the commonwealth’s fossil fuels. If the well owner goes bankrupt, who pays to close the well?
Well, Damn[from NumLock News]
When an oil and gas extraction company goes belly up, they can leave behind wells that will seep methane and other hydrocarbons into the atmosphere for decades to come, if not longer. In the past five years, 207 such businesses failed in the United States, leaving the states holding the bag in terms of plugging the wells, and 190 more companies could file for bankruptcy by 2022. There are 3.2 million deserted oil and gas wells in the United States and 29 million globally. Until very recently scientists did not incorporate those abandoned wells into their greenhouse gas estimates, but that turned out to be a mistake, as post-abandonment the wells are leaking some of the worst emissions possible. A study of 88 abandoned wells in Pennsylvania found 90 percent leaked methane, a measurement of 43 wells in Texas found significant leaks in 28, and in the U.K. researchers found methane emissions in 30 percent of 102 wells checked. Plugging a well — clearing it of any obstructions and then filling it with cement — can cost $20,000 to $145,000, and for a modern shale well the cost can hit $300,000. If companies see the red ink of filling a well exceeds the black gold coming out of it, they can just abandon it in bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers holding the bag and a massive legal mess in their methane-choked wake.
It must be mighty tempting to those energy moguls to drain away all the liquid assets and then declare bankruptcy.
Nothing good comes of fracking.
There are serious consequences to climate change. Looks like they are finally getting the attention of the financial world.
Citing unfavorable business climate and COVID-19 Elcon has withdrawn its application for a toxic wastewater facility on the banks of the Delaware. Many of us voiced out protests repeatedly at hearings and public meetings. The siting of the facility was seriously flawed and the the application had many serious deficiencies.
We should remember that the permitting process exists to allow things to be done that are generally not allowed. Often private interests seek permits that are clearly not in public interest, and which, if granted, would degrade the quality of life and impose risks to the environment. We celebrate the decision to withdraw, it was an ill conceived project from its inception.
Legislators are still serving private interests over public well-being. Spotlight PA is accountable high-integrity investigative reporting – I trust them to be honest and forthright. Our public servants, on the other hand, are too vulnerable to political winds, and the blandishments of the fossil energy lobby to be trusted, as these pages amply document. When your paycheck depends on not speaking with candor, nothing good happens.
“After all the evidence was heard … this was [the grand jury’s] conclusion — the giant fracking companies were given free passes by unprepared agencies, and the public was harmed,” said Jacklin Rhoads, a spokesperson for Shapiro.– Spotlight PA
My family has deep roots in the original Chautauqua — my wife calls it summer camp for grownups. For many decades people have pilgrimaged to this small community for intellectual, spiritual, and physical renewal. Alas, COVID-19 forced cancellation of the program on Chautauqua Lake near Jamestown, New York.
But be of good cheer, it’s free and you can participate from home starting Monday.
|Don’t miss the Chautauqua Lecture Series …Climate Change: Prioritizing Our Global and Local ResponseHow we talk about climate change is rapidly shifting. But amid the ongoing political debates, how are we — and should we be — responding? All events are at 10:45 a.m. unless noted.Monday, June 29: Christine Todd Whitman, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, on “Government, Economics and Climate”Tuesday, June 30: Janis Searles Jones of Ocean Conservancy on “The Ocean and the Climate: How to Save Both”Wednesday, July 1: Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown on “How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases”Thursday, July 2: Former UN official Amb. Christiana Figueres on “The State of Global Environmental Action”Please note a special start time of 11:30 a.m. for this programFriday, July 3: Geoffrey Kemp and Amb. Barbara K. Bodine discussing “The Geopolitics of Climate Change and the Environment”|
Conversation over lunch or coffee is a big part of the Chautauqua Experience. At Pennswood, the community where I live, we are organizing Zoom/Conference Call discussion groups for those interested. If you want to participate in one of these, please use the contact form to let me know.
Polluters have been attacking scientists and science for years in much the same ways the tobacco industry did. The adverse health impacts of fossil fuel use are well documented and it’s no surprise that they exacerbate the consequences of COVID-19 infections. Now comes a Harvard study that is further evidence.
Here’s the Harvard paper:
Solar panels in Germany smashed a record Monday, producing 32,227 megawatts of power and beating the previous record set March 23. Ample sun and a lack of human-created smog enabled solar generation to produce 40 percent of German power Monday compared to 22 percent produced by coal and nuclear facilities. Fully 78 percent of the electrical output in Germany on Monday was renewables.
You probably saw the news that air pollution increases the risk of fatal outcomes with COVID-19. We have all experienced the surprising improvement in air quality with the shutdown of industrial operations and the reduced automobile traffic. In china it was dramatic.
It’s a wakup call. Fossil energy needs to be phased out and fracking’s cheap fuels are the economic enemy of renewables because they kill the market for innovative technology. Despite the adverse market effects both wind and solar have become competitive.
I’m pleased that journalists are picking up on the obvious.
Opinion | Coronavirus May Kill Our Fracking Fever DreamAmerica’s energy independence was an illusion created by cheap debt. All that’s left to tally is the damage.
Living in these areas of the US raises your risk of death from coronavirus, study saysCNN’s Jake Tapper reports.
Pollution made COVID-19 worse. Now, lockdowns are clearing the air.Even before the coronavirus, air pollution killed seven million people a year. Will today’s cleaner air inspire us to do better?
When a government agency grants a permit, it is usually allowing something that is potentially or actually harmful or dangerous. Permits for the construction of public utilities are supposed to weigh the convenience and necessity of the greater public against the harm done to individuals.
Pipelines require a clear right-of-way for their construction and the government delegates its sovereign power to take land by eminent domain to corporations. Takings are supposed to be compensated to make those affected whole. But it’s rare that the compensation is satisfactory or sufficient for the loss of quiet enjoyment of one’s home or business property.
The Mariner East Pipeline is in the news again because people allege construction is harming them. And what public interest justifies this? Who needs the products it carries? Not the US public. It’s for off-shore producers of plastics and other fossil fuel products.
Thanks to big dollar lobbying by the industry, our legislators are not representing us the public. And the permits to do harm get issued for no good public purpose.