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Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Gulf Requiem

A Gulf Requiem 

'This is no eulogy for the Gulf" writes Rowan Jacobsen in the opening pages of "Shadows on the Gulf." Adopting a sort of defiant cheerfulness, the author offers to take readers on a tour of places unaffected by the 2010 BP oil spill, those lovely lands of grass and water and shimmering light, of tight-knit communities of fishers and bayou dwellers that dot the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. "Most of the Gulf Coast has not been touched by the oil spill," Mr. Jacobsen reports, "and is beautiful and vital as ever."

 

Clinton: Global Food Shortages, Rising Prices Threaten Destabilization from VOA News: Top Stories by Sabina Castelfranco

Clinton: Global Food Shortages, Rising Prices Threaten Destabilization

from VOA News: Top Stories

Floods swamp tornado-ravaged central US

Floods swamp tornado-ravaged central US

Vicksburg, Mississippi (AFP) May 6, 2011
Weary residents in the storm ravaged central United States packed their belongings into moving trucks and prayed for levees to hold Friday as swollen rivers swallowed roads, farms and homes. "When you see the Mississippi River and it's two miles (three kilometers) wide it's sobering," Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam told CNN
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Indonesia turns ASEAN focus to food, energy security

Indonesia turns ASEAN focus to food, energy security

Jakarta (AFP) May 7, 2011
Indonesia on Saturday warned fellow Southeast Asian states that rising food and energy prices could drive more people into poverty and urged coordinated action to fight inflation. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the start of the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit that the regional bloc must take steps to ease the surge in consumer prices. "
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Fukushima Groundwater Contamination Worst in Nuclear History

Fukushima Groundwater Contamination Worst in Nuclear History

A report from the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission Ex-Secretariat, Dr. Saji, credits the current status of the accident to "luck". Gundersen discusses what could have happened if the wind had been blowing in-land. 

Expert: "It Seems To Be Part Of The Pattern Of The EPA Trying To Make Sure That There Are No Measurements That Could Cause People To Be Concerned”

Expert: "It Seems To Be Part Of The Pattern Of The EPA Trying To Make Sure That There Are No Measurements That Could Cause People To Be Concerned”

Study: Global warming reduced corn, wheat harvests

Study: Global warming reduced corn, wheat harvests

Washington (AFP) May 6, 2011
Climate change has stunted the worldwide increase in corn and wheat yields since 1980 by 3.8 and 5.5 percent respectively, according to a new study in the journal Science. Without global warming, total harvests of both crops would have been significantly larger than they were, the statistical analysis found. The shortfall equals the annual yield of corn in Mexico, some 23 metric tonnes,
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Ultimate Potential for Unconventional Natural Gas in Northeastern British Columbia’s Horn River Basin

Ultimate Potential for Unconventional Natural Gas in Northeastern British Columbia’s Horn River Basin

Report doubles BC shale-gas estimate

Report doubles BC shale-gas estimate

Friday, May 6, 2011

Next post Price Tags Needed for Gulf of Mexico’s Ecology


Price Tags Needed for Gulf of Mexico’s Ecology

Environmental Suits Threaten Gulf Drilling

Environmental Suits Threaten Gulf Drilling
Wall Street Journal
By RYAN TRACY WASHINGTON—As oil and gas exploration in the western Gulf of Mexico resumes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, companies and federal regulators are facing a new reality: Environmentalists are gearing up for a legal fight. ...

China's Policy Impasse: The Case of the "Green GDP" Initiative By Eve Cary

China's Policy Impasse: The Case of the "Green GDP" Initiative
By Eve Cary

Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Nino

Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Nino
El Niño and its partner La Niña, the warm and cold phases in the eastern half of the tropical Pacific, play havoc with climate worldwide. Predicting El Niño events more than several months ahead is now routine, but predicting how it will change in a warming world has been hampered by the short instrumental record. An international team of climate scientists has now shown that annually resolved tree-ring records from North America, particularly from the US Southwest, give a continuous representation of the intensity of El Niño events over the past 1100 years and can be used to improve El Niño prediction in climate models. The study, spearheaded by Jinbao Li, International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, is published in the May 6 issue of Nature Climate Change.
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Vatican science panel calls attention to the threat of glacial melt

Vatican science panel calls attention to the threat of glacial melt
A panel of some of the world's leading climate and glacier scientists co-chaired by a Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researcher issued a report today commissioned by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences citing the moral imperative before society to properly address climate change.
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Book Review: Douglas Brinkley on BP and "A Sea in Flames"

Book Review: Douglas Brinkley on BP and "A Sea in Flames"
"The Disastrous Cost of Oil Addiction" -- "The 2010 Gulf of Mexico blowout brought more than oil to the surface," writes Carl Safina in his new book investigating the impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout.
http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/the_disastrous_cost_of_oil_addiction_20110505/

The Energy Collective: The Future Of Oil In Mexico

The Energy Collective: On Waiting for Catastrophe

 

On Waiting for Catastrophe

NBER: Air Pollution Lowers Labor Productivity

Jospeh Romm By Jospeh Romm - … We find robust evidence that ozone levels well below federal air quality standards have a significant impact on productivity: a 10 ppb decrease in ozone concentrations increases worker productivity by 4.2 percent….  » Continue...

Climate activists target all 50 states, DC with legal actions to establish ‘atmospheric trust’

Climate activists target all 50 states, DC with legal actions to establish ‘atmospheric trust’

House passes measure to expand offshore oil drilling

House passes measure to expand offshore oil drilling

The Republican-sponsored legislation, which comes as the nation faces high gas prices, is opposed by the White House. It would open up the Virginia coast to drilling and expand production in the gulf.

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Expert panel calls for transforming US agriculture

Expert panel calls for transforming US agriculture
Pullman WA (SPX) May 06, 2011 - A group of leading scientists, economists and farmers is calling for a broad shift in federal policies to speed the development of farm practices that are more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Writing in the journal Science, they say current policies focus on the production of a few crops and a minority of farmers while failing to address farming's contribution to g ... more
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Researchers propose whole-system redesign of US agriculture

Researchers propose whole-system redesign of US agriculture
Davis CA (SPX) May 06, 2011 - Transformative changes in markets, policy and science, rather than just incremental changes in farming practices and technology, will be critical if the United States is to achieve long-term sustainability in agriculture, according to a nationwide team of agriculturists that includes a University of California, Davis, animal scientist. The team's recommendations, first published as a 2010 ... more
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More Petroleum Research and Data

More Petroleum Research and Data
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - A Catalyst for Developing Stringent Offshore Safety Policies and a Game Changer for the Offshore Oil Industry and BP
Offshore Drilling Industry in the Americas to 2015 - New Deepwater Discoveries and Stringent Offshore Regulations Affecting the Future Industry Outlook
Worldwide Seismic Vessel Survey 2011
Offshore Exploration & Production Industry Worldwide Directory
Total United States Active Drilling Rigs Offshore - Monthly

US Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Discoveries and Status 2011

US Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Discoveries and Status 2011
Offshore Magazine's Drilling Forecast is the source for this survey on the status of US Gulf of Mexico deepwater discoveries. Spreadsheet data includes: Field Name, Location, Year of Discovery, Status, Year Onstream, and Production Equipment Type.

Arctic warming could raise oceans 5 feet

Arctic warming could raise oceans 5 feet
Oslo, Norway (UPI) May 5, 2011 - Arctic warming, occurring twice as fast as the global average, could raise sea levels more than 5 feet in 90 years, an official multinational study forecast. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program forecast - for the international Arctic Council of eight arctic rim countries, including the United States - predicted sea levels would rise 2.75 times more than the top figure of the ... more
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Effects of climate change in the Arctic more extensive than expected

Effects of climate change in the Arctic more extensive than expected
Lund, Sweden (SPX) May 06, 2011 - A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season and thawing tundra. The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind th ... more
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can the World Feed 10 Billion People?

Can the World Feed 10 Billion People?

Raj Patel, Foreign Policy
Can we feed a growing world?

Internet satellite images available to all

Internet satellite images available to all

Blue Revolution Key to Getting "More Crop per Drop"

Blue Revolution Key to Getting "More Crop per Drop"
Washington DC (SPX) May 05, 2011 - Increasing demand for water continues to threaten the livelihood of millions of small-scale farmers who depend on water for their crops. At a time when one in eight people lacks access to safe water, the Worldwatch Institute's a href="http://www.NourishingthePlanet.org">Nourishing the Planet project /a> points to low-cost, small-scale innovations to better manage this vital resource. Worl ... more

What lies beneath the seafloor

What lies beneath the seafloor
Miami FL (SPX) May 05, 2011 - An international team of scientists report on the first observatory experiment to study the dynamic microbial life of an ever-changing environment inside Earth's crust. University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science professor Keir Becker contributed the deep-sea technology required to make long-term scientific observations of life beneath the seafloor. During ... more
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After a three-decade hiatus, sea-level rise may return to the West Coast

After a three-decade hiatus, sea-level rise may return to the West Coast
Washington DC (SPX) May 05, 2011 - The West Coast of North America has caught a break that has left sea level in the eastern North Pacific Ocean steady during the last few decades, but there is evidence that a change in wind patterns may be occurring that could cause coastal sea-level rise to accelerate beginning this decade. That is the conclusion of a new study that says that conditions dominated by cold surface waters al ... more

OTC: Fossil fuels, technology key to future energy supply

OTC: Fossil fuels, technology key to future energy supply

New Study: US oil and natural gas industry stays strong through recession

New Study: US oil and natural gas industry stays strong through recession

BNC Decarbonise SA - regional action for greenhouse gas mitigation

Decarbonise SA - regional action for greenhouse gas mitigation

Barry Brook | 5 May 2011  | URL: http://wp.me/piCIJ-1bg
Global warming can only be tackled seriously by a massively reduction in anthropogenic greenhouse gas production. It's that simple. But just hoping for this to gradually happen -- locally, regionally or globally -- by tinkering at the edge of the problem (carbon prices, alternative energy subsidies, mandated targets and loan guarantees, "100 ways to be more green" lists, etc.), is just not going to get us anywhere near where we need to be, when we need to be. For that, we need to develop and implement a well-thought-out, practical and cost-effective action plan!
Back in early 2009, I offered a A sketch plan for a zero-carbon Australia. Overall, I still think this advocates the right sort of path. I elaborated further on this idea in my two pieces: Climate debate missing the point and Energy in Australia in 2030; in the latter, I explored a number of potential storylines, along with an estimate of the probability and result of following these different pathways. But the lingering question that arises from thought experiments like this is... how do you turn it into something practical?
Sadly, I can't think of any liberal-democratic government, anywhere in the world, that actually has a realistic, long-term energy  plan. Instead, we have politicians, businesses and other decision makers with their head's in the sand (peak oil is another issue where this is starkly apparent). This must change, and we -- the citizenry -- must be the agents of that change. That is why the new initiative by Ben Heard, called "Decarbonise SA", is so exciting. I'll let Ben explain more, in the guest post below.
But before that, just a small  note from me. For the many non-Australian readers of BNC, don't dismiss this as something parochicial. Think of it instead as a case study -- a working template -- for what you can help organise in your particular region (local council, city, state/province, whatever). We need all of you on board, because this is a problem of the global commons. Over to Ben.
--------------------

Decarbonise SA

Ben Heard -- Ben is Director of Adelaide-based advisory firm ThinkClimate Consulting, a Masters graduate of Monash University in Corporate Environmental Sustainability, and a member of the TIA Environmental and Sustainability Action Committee. He is the founder of Decarbonise SA. His recent BNC post was Think climate when judging nuclear power.
I have been a fan of the work of Brave New Climate for some time now. Barry’s knack for cutting through the noise to highlight the information we need to consider for making good decisions is remarkable. His reputation and tenure at Adelaide University also give Brave New Climate a global reach and relevance, exemplified by the one million hits it received in the week following the Sendai quake and tsunami.
Remarkable though it is, BNC can’t do everything, nor should it try. That’s why I have started Decarbonise SA. The first thing you need to know is that this is more than a blog, it is a mission. The purpose of Decarbonise SA is to form a collective of like-minded people who will drive the most rapid possible decarbonisation of the economy of South Australia, with a primary focus on the electricity supply.
To achieve that goal, South Australia needs to introduce nuclear power into the mix of generating technologies. The primary driver for our support of nuclear power is recognition of the fact that the scientific findings in relation to climate change are now so serious, that we require the fastest and deepest cuts in emissions possible. That means attacking the biggest problems first.  In Australia, that’s electricity supply, specifically the coal and gas that provides most of our baseload generation. While climate change may be the catalyst, nuclear power provides many important environmental and safety benefits compared to coal, beyond greenhouse gas, that will give us a cleaner and healthier environment for the future.
Read more of this post

ESA and the World Bank join forces

ESA member countries, CA and ECA countriesImage via WikipediaESA and the World Bank join forces
Paris (ESA) May 05, 2011 - Recognising the value of using Earth observation satellite data to support development activities, ESA and the World Bank will work together on several projects through the 'eoworld' joint initiative. ESA and the World Bank first started collaborating two years ago when ESA carried out small-scale pilot projects that demonstrated the potential of Earth observation for the Bank's operations ... more

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Marine energy has potential, but at the expense of other renewables

Marine energy has potential, but at the expense of other renewables Marine energy turbinesThe numbers from today's report by the Carbon Trust into the potential of marine energy are impressive.
http://link.ft.com/r/M2ZOXX/UUFK92/LQER5V/S3Q5TY/26LYWU/6C/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=5

Energy headlines: BP to pay $25m for 2006 Alaska spill

Energy headlines: BP to pay $25m for 2006 Alaska spill

- BP to pay $25m for 2006 spill in Alaska – FT
- Energy prices boost Statoil – WSJ
- Discord over European nuclear plant tests – FT
Turmoil, disasters cloud atomic energy pact – WSJ
- Sharp rise in European anxiety on nuclear safety – FT
- German nuclear shift hits Eon – WSJ
- Five arrested at Sellafield nuclear site – FT
- Sellafield terror arrests prompt London police raids – The Guardian
- Takeover panel blocks reduced Chinese offer for Kalahari – FT
- Adani buys Australian coal port for $1.98bn – FT
- UK will ‘utterly destroy’ North Sea industry – The Telegraph
- Treasury should rethink North Sea oil tax hike – FT Lex
- Madagascar oil initiates arbitration – FT
- Hoof power returns on small farms – NY Times

Energy headlines: Iraq halves oil output target

Energy headlines: Iraq halves oil output target

- Iraq halves oil output target as reality replaces ambition – The Times
- UN calls for oil price controls – Bloomberg
- Huhne defends tax burden on oil and gas – FT
- North Sea oil tax: What the bosses are warning – The Telegraph
- China may levy 10% resource tax on oil and gas – Bloomberg
- BP deal may point to big Gulf of Mexico fine – Reuters
- Cuts cloud outlook for commercial solar sector – FT
- Japanese nuclear workers enter Fukushima reactor – The Guardian
- Eon warns on profit – WSJ
- India to add 17GW of renewable energy in 2012-2017 – WSJ
- Renewables to leap, costs to fall, says UN – Reuters
- Buffeted Vestas anticipates fair wind – FT
- Chevron expands in Marcellus shale – WSJ
- Ukraine looks to Texas for energy path – NY Times

North Sea oil and gas confidence slumps (but it’s still positive)

North Sea oil and gas confidence slumps (but it’s still positive) Oil and gas operators in the North Sea have ramped up their lobbying efforts to persuade the government to reverse, or at least dilute, its tax hike on those companies to pay for the cut in fuel duty.

http://link.ft.com/r/M2ZOXX/UUFK92/LQER5V/S3Q5TY/8A6JEC/6C/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=5

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Record Arctic warming to boost sea level rise

Record Arctic warming to boost sea level rise
Oslo (AFP) May 3, 2011 - Record warming in the Arctic over the past six years will substantially contribute to a global sea level rise of up to 1.6 meters by 2100, according to a study published in Oslo Tuesday. "Surface air temperatures in the Arctic since 2005 have been higher than for any five-year period since measurements began around 1880," the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) said. "In th ... more
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Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100: study

Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100: study
Paris (AFP) May 3, 2011 - Warming in the Arctic occurring at twice the global average is on track to lift sea levels by up to 1.6 metres (5.3 feet) by 2100, a far steeper jump than predicted a few years ago, a consortium of scientists reported Tuesday. Melting ice and snow has accounted for 40 percent of recent increases in ocean levels and are likely to play an even larger role in future, according to the Oslo-based ... more
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where To Find The Biggest Oil Reserves In The World

Where To Find The Biggest Oil Reserves In The World

from Clusterstock

Health Crisis Rocks the Gulf in Aftermath of the Spill, But Feds and BP Turn a Blind Eye

Health Crisis Rocks the Gulf in Aftermath of the Spill, But Feds and BP Turn a Blind Eye

A year later there is widespread complaints of nosebleeds, GI pain, memory loss, persistent coughing, skin lesions and other serious conditions. But where's the help?

Report sees sharper sea rise from Arctic melt (Update)

Report sees sharper sea rise from Arctic melt (Update)
(AP) -- The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.

Climate change analysis predicts increased fatalities from heat waves

Climate change analysis predicts increased fatalities from heat waves
Global climate change is anticipated to bring more extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves that could impact human health in the coming decades. An analysis led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calculated that the city of Chicago could experience between 166 and 2,217 excess deaths per year attributable to heat waves using three different climate change scenarios for the final decades of the 21st century. The study was published May 1 edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

African ocean current could boost Gulf Stream: Scientific American

African ocean current could boost Gulf Stream: Scientific American
An ocean current that flows down the east coast of Africa could strengthen a circulation pattern that brings warmth to Europe, according to a new study that ...

Sustainability for the Global Biofuels Industry - Minimizing Risks and Maximizing Opportunities -- DOE Webinar

Sustainability for the Global Biofuels Industry - Minimizing Risks and Maximizing Opportunities -- DOE Webinar

from PEN

Genetic study says China source of rice

Genetic study says China source of rice
New York (UPI) May 2, 2011 - Genome researchers tracking the evolutionary history of rice say domesticated rice may have appeared as far back as around 9,000 years ago in China. Previous studies had suggested domesticated rice may have had two points of origin, India and China, but genetic evidence points to China as the older source of the crop species, a release from New York University said Monday. The st ... more

LOGA: "Legacy" lawsuits negatively impact exploration

LOGA: "Legacy" lawsuits negatively impact exploration
Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA) President Don Briggs outlines why “Legacy” lawsuits negatively impact exploration.
Full Article

EIA cancels 2011 US reserves compilation as it cuts budget

EIA cancels 2011 US reserves compilation as it cuts budget
The US Energy Information Administration will not prepare or publish US oil and gas reserves data for 2011 as it cuts $15.2 million, or 14 percent from its budget.
Full Article

Statoil outlines fast-track development plan for Katla discovery in the North Sea

Statoil outlines fast-track development plan for Katla discovery in the North Sea
Statoil has submitted a plan for development and operation for the Katla discovery in the North Sea to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
Full Article

GE expands offshore drilling blowout preventer, RM&D technologies

GE expands offshore drilling blowout preventer, RM&D technologies
GE Oil & Gas has expanded its suite of blowout preventer and remote monitoring and diagnostic (RM&D) technologies for the offshore drilling industry.
Full Article

The case for climate change

The case for climate change
Pasadena CA (JPL) May 03, 2011 - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.K. Meterological (Met) Office are combining forces - bringing together the expertise of observing Earth from space on the one hand, and the expertise of developing climate and weather models and forecasting on the other. Professor Julia Slingo OBE, Chief Scientist of the U.K. Meteorological Office, recently visited JPL and gave us her perspective on cli ... more
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Public will push China on environment: EU climate chief

Public will push China on environment: EU climate chief
Seoul (AFP) May 3, 2011 -
Pressure from a growing middle class will encourage China's leaders to push ahead with cleaning up the environment, the European Union's climate action commissioner said Tuesday. Beijing also acknowledges the need to combat climate change and sees big business opportunities in green energy projects, Connie Hedegaard told a briefing during a visit to South Korea. China, the world's second ... more

Energy headlines: US becomes net exporter of fuel


Energy headlines: US becomes net exporter of fuel

- US becomes net exporter of fuel – FT
- Chesapeake swings to a loss – WSJ
- Falling gas prices dent Anadarko’s profits – FT
- North Sea oil cap ‘may fail’ in deep waters – The Telegraph
- Venezuela plays down oil tax hike – FT
- Oil rigs may close early to beat tax changes – The Times
- Resource industry angry at tax increases – FT
- Shell plans Alaska deep-water drilling – The Telegraph
- Shell tries to calm fears on Alaska drilling – NY Times
- Shell sued over Niger Delta oil spill – The Telegraph
- Big oil keeps getting bigger – FT Lex
- Petrobras resists gasoline price rise – Bloomberg
- Arch Coal to buy ICG in $3.4bn cash deal – FT
- Tepco may face $25bn in liabilities – Reuters
- What will the NRC learn from Fukushima? – NY Times Green blog
- Hedegaard seeks 2030 targets – The Guardian

Monday, May 2, 2011

Saving the Seas: Smarter Hooks and Nets Feature Wiping out bycatch before it wipes out more marine life

Saving the Seas: Smarter Hooks and Nets

Feature
Wiping out bycatch before it wipes out more marine life

Uneasy Times For Spain's Age-Old Bluefin Fishing

Uneasy Times For Spain's Age-Old Bluefin Fishing

Over fishing remains a threat to Pacific tuna

Over fishing remains a threat to Pacific tuna
Radio Australia
Regional environments groups in the Pacific will to work more closely together to address the issue of offshore oceanic fishing

Ocean acidification: A national strategy to meet the challenges of a changing ocean

Ocean acidification: A national strategy to meet the challenges of a changing ocean

Researcher Interviews
Scientists are working to better understand how ocean acidification will impact habitats, animals, and people. Here, two ocean scientists—both members of the committee that wrote Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean (2010) —share insights from their own research.

 

Shell Pushes to Open the Arctic

Shell Pushes to Open the Arctic

New York Times - ‎May 1, 2011‎
With oil production in Alaska's North Slope in decline, the industry is eager to tap new wells in the Arctic. For five years, Shell has tried to convince regulators, environmentalists and Native Alaskans that expanded offshore drilling can be managed ...

Interior mulling remote monitoring of offshore rigs

Interior mulling remote monitoring of offshore rigs

By Andrew Restuccia - 05/02/11 02:44 PM ET
The Interior Department is examining the prospect of monitoring offshore oil-and-gas drilling projects remotely, the country’s top offshore drilling official said Monday.

Regulator Says U.S. Can Oversee Contractors Wall Street Journal

Regulator Says U.S. Can Oversee Contractors
Wall Street Journal

Shell to submit new Arctic offshore drilling plan

Shell to submit new Arctic offshore drilling plan
The Associated Press
The company hopes to see results from a $3.5 billion investment into Arctic Ocean drilling that has been thwarted in recent years by court challenges or inability to obtain federal permits.

About Those Oil Subsidies

About Those Oil Subsidies

It turns out that they are all tax "breaks." I even hesitate to call them "breaks" because some of them amount to little more than Congress defining accounting terms.