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Friday, November 11, 2011

Only Five Years Left to Make Transition to Low-Carbon Infrastructure

Only Five Years Left to Make Transition to Low-Carbon Infrastructure

New sonar maps show East Coast at risk of tsunamis, too

New sonar maps show East Coast at risk of tsunamis, too

Ongoing 5-year investigation led by USGS was requested by nuclear regulatory agency

U.S. East Coast Tsunami Risk Investigated with Sonar

U.S. East Coast Tsunami Risk Investigated with Sonar

A sonar mapping cruise taken in June to the Baltimore, Washington and Norfolk Canyons and selected regions of the continental shelf revealed steep escarpments that probably pose no tsunami hazard

Pipeline Decision a Setback for U.S.-Canada Ties

Keystone decision a setback for U.S.-Canada relations

OTTAWA AND CALGARY— From Friday's Globe and Mail

Delay disappointing but Keystone XL merits approval

Delay disappointing but Keystone XL merits approval

PR Newswire
CALGARY, Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers today said the U.S. government's decision to re-examine alternate routes for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast is disappointing given the three years of extensive analysis already completed and after the U.S. government's own environmental impact assessment determined the proposed Keystone XL pipeline routing would not have an undue environmental impact.
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Keystone-XL pipeline decision postponed

Keystone decision pushed beyond election

U.S. Delays Pipeline Decision

U.S. Delays Pipeline Decision

Administration to Explore Rerouting Keystone Project Amid Environmental Concerns

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Exxon signs Kurd exploration contracts

Exxon signs Kurd exploration contracts ExxonMobil has become the first of the “supermajor” oil companies to venture into Kurdistan, in a controversial move that will be seen as a huge vote of confidence in the semi-autonomous region of Iraq but could spark a backlash in Baghdad
http://link.ft.com/r/J0VG55/8ZDHAP/D45D0H/L9J9O7/EX9AWX/YT/h?a1=2011&a2=11&a3=10

Harnessing the Power of the Sun for Oil Production

By Des King, November 10, 2011
Coalinga, a small town in California’s Central Valley, is home to the past, present and future of energy. The town was originally called Coaling Station A, and served as a coaling station for the railroads in the late 19th century. The name was later shortened to Coalinga.Coalinga sits on the aptly named Coalinga Oil Field – one of the largest in California. The oil field was discovered in 1887...  » Continue...

Cold, Hard Climate Economics

By Gernot Wagner, November 10, 2011
Global warming is happening faster and with more intensity than anyone expected, yet the fossil-fueled right has succeeded in removing the issue almost entirely from the agenda through a false pretense of defending "free markets." In response, environmentalists have tended to retreat further into their own organically padded corners, when what's needed is to get back to economic basics: Markets...  » Continue...

Will Energy Determine the 2012 Election?

Will Energy Determine the 2012 Election?

Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Breakdown

Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Breakdown

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Can Anthropogenic Global Warming Be Non-Catastrophic?

By Charles Barton, November 9, 2011
The denial of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is the latest right-wing front in its attack on climate science. Science deniers have set up a fall back strategy: Position 1: There is no evidence that Global Warming is happening.Position 2: Global Warming is happening but has natural rather than human causes.Position 3: Global Warming is happening and has human causes, but will not have...  » Continue...

How Shale Gas Will Rock Markets Like Walmart

By Marc Gunther, November 9, 2011
 The breakthrough energy innovation of the 21st century is not thin-film solar, sophisticated wind turbines, advanced biofuels or small-scale nukes. It’s shale gas. So says Daniel Yergin, the energy guru and author of The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World (Penguin, $35), who was interviewed today (Nov. by Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Institute in Washington....  » Continue...

6.9 Magnitude Earthquake off Okinawa; What Holds Clues to Massive Quakes?


6.9 Magnitude Earthquake off Okinawa; What Holds Clues to Massive Quakes?

Earthquake Today: Magnitude 6.9 Quake Hits Japan (VIDEO)

Earthquake Today: Magnitude 6.9 Quake Hits Japan (VIDEO)

Injection Wells May Trigger Earthquakes in Areas not Prone to Tremblers

Injection Wells May Trigger Earthquakes in Areas not Prone to Tremblers

North Dakota oil production has hit 464,129 barrels of oil per day which is almost 14 million barrels per month.

North Dakota oil production has hit 464,129 barrels of oil per day which is almost 14 million barrels per month. This is 80,000 barrels per day more than three months ago and 100,000 barrels per day more than four months ago.

China Threatens Massive Venting of Super Greenhouse Gases in Attempt to Extort Billions as UNFCCC Meeting Approaches

China Threatens Massive Venting of Super Greenhouse Gases in Attempt to Extort Billions as UNFCCC Meeting Approaches

Share Quantcast EIA World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States

Quantcast
EIA World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States

Opposition grows to $7bn tar sands scheme

Opposition grows to $7bn tar sands scheme Environmental campaigners are increasingly hopeful that the decision will at least be deferred until after the 2012 presidential election
http://link.ft.com/r/H60H77/AMIPYS/FXWIVG/VLTNPW/8ZK1XI/OS/h?a1=2011&a2=11&a3=8

Russian oil production hits new high; Russia oil high

Russian oil production hits new high; Russia oil high
Cuts in export duty pushed Russia's oil production, the world's largest, to a post-Soviet high of 10.34 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, the Energy Ministry today.
Full Article

Secretary Salazar announces 2012-2017 offshore oil and gas development program

Secretary Salazar announces 2012-2017 offshore oil and gas development program
Proposal makes available more than 75% of estimated undiscovered oil and gas resources on U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
Full Article

Kinder Morgan announces plans to build new oil terminal on Houston Ship Channel

Kinder Morgan announces plans to build new oil terminal on Houston Ship Channel
The initial phase of the project currently includes construction of 52 storage tanks that will have a capacity of 6.6 million barrels. 

http://www.pennenergy.com/index/petroleum/display/9278030009/articles/pennenergy/petroleum/offshore/2011/11/kinder-morgan_announces.html?cmpid=EnlDailyPetroNovember92011

PG&E agrees to $38 million fine for deadly Rancho Cordova explosion

PG&E agrees to $38 million fine for deadly Rancho Cordova explosion
The fine is the largest ever levied by state energy regulators, but could soon be topped.
Full Article

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Australia approves carbon tax

Australia approves carbon tax
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Nov 8, 2011 - Australia's controversial carbon pricing scheme has become law. Noting that the country has taken "the most effective step it can to cut carbon pollution," Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday, "Today's vote means we will begin to address the devastating impacts of climate change including more severe droughts, more severe floods, more extreme weather events and coastal ... more

New US offshore oil leasing plan includes Arctic

New US offshore oil leasing plan includes Arctic
Washington (AFP) Nov 8, 2011 - The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed a new plan for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, including the environmentally sensitive Arctic. The proposed program for 2012-2017 sets out 12 lease sales for areas owned by the federal government in the Gulf of Mexico and three in Alaska, including the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea areas off the northe ... more
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Exxon Accelerates Its Shift To Shale (XOM, CHK) from Clusterstock by Eric Platt

Exxon Accelerates Its Shift To Shale (XOM, CHK)

from Clusterstock

Why The $7 Billion Keystone XL Pipeline Is The Most Controversial Business Venture In America (TRP)

Why The $7 Billion Keystone XL Pipeline Is The Most Controversial Business Venture In America (TRP)

Did Fracking Help Cause Oklahoma Earthquakes?

Did Fracking Help Cause Oklahoma Earthquakes?

Could "fracking" lead to a major Utah earthquake?

Could "fracking" lead to a major Utah earthquake?

Oklahoma Earthquakes Stronger Than Fracking Tremors, Experts Say

Oklahoma Earthquakes Stronger Than Fracking Tremors, Experts Say

Oklahoma Earthquakes: God or Fracking?

Oklahoma Earthquakes: God or Fracking?

USGS Report: Link Between Fracking and Oklahoma Earthquakes


USGS Report: Link Between Fracking and Oklahoma Earthquakes

The Comparative Groundwater Law and Policy Workshop | Water in the West

The Comparative Groundwater Law and Policy Workshop | Water in the West

Occupy Keystone XL: 13,000 Protest Pipeline at Whitehouse

Occupy Keystone XL: 13,000 Protest Pipeline at Whitehouse

New Data On Carbon Emissions Per Capita

By Simon Donner, November 8, 2011
To follow up Friday's post, I put together a chart of per capita emissions, based on the CDIAC's preliminary 2010 fossil fuel CO2 data and the estimated population. The per capita emissions were calculated using the most up-to-date source of population data I know (Wikipedia!). The chart includes roughly the top twenty fossil fuel CO2 emitters in the preliminary 2010 data, shown in order from...  » Continue...

Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Breakdown

By Mark Green, November 8, 2011
Let's play multiple choice. In the typical fluid mix used to produce natural gas from shale during hydraulic fracturing, the percentage of water/sand/chemicals is: A) 70 percent water, 20 percent sand, 10 percent chemicals. B) 80 percent water, 15 percent sand, 5 percent chemicals. C) 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand, 0.5 percent chemicals. The answer is ... "C." Surprised? Lots...  » Continue...

Drying intensifying wildfires, carbon release ninefold

Drying intensifying wildfires, carbon release ninefold
Guelph, Canada (SPX) Nov 07, 2011 -
Drying of northern wetlands has led to much more severe peatland wildfires and nine times as much carbon released into the atmosphere, according to new research led by a University of Guelph professor. The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first to investigate the effect of drainage on carbon accumulation in northern peatlands and the vulnerability of that carbon to burning ... more

Excess heavy metals in 10% of China's land: report

Excess heavy metals in 10% of China's land: report
Beijing (AFP) Nov 7, 2011 -
About 10 percent of China's farmland contains excessive levels of heavy metals due to contaminated water and poisonous waste seeping into the soil, state media said Monday, citing a government survey. Pollution from heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cancer-causing cadmium is often blamed for poisoning entire villages and crop-growing land in China as factory bosses flout environmental ... more

Floods show what lies ahead for sinking Bangkok

Floods show what lies ahead for sinking Bangkok
Bangkok (AFP) Nov 7, 2011 -
The Thai capital, built on swampland, is slowly sinking and the floods currently besieging Bangkok could be merely a foretaste of a grim future as climate change makes its impact felt, experts say. The low-lying metropolis lies just 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of the Gulf of Thailand, where various experts forecast sea level will rise by 19 to 29 centimetres (7 to 11 inches) by 2050 as a ... more

Strange bedfellows? Techno-fixes and conservation

Strange bedfellows? Techno-fixes and conservation

I have a new paper out in the peer-reviewed journal Biological Conservation that will be of interest to BNC readers.
It is called “Strange bedfellows? Techno-fixes to solve the big conservation issues in southern Asia“, by Barry W. Brook & Corey J.A. Bradshaw. Here are some details:

New study suggests EU biofuels are as carbon intensive as petrol

New study suggests EU biofuels are as carbon intensive as petrol
Leicester UK (SPX) Nov 08, 2011 - A new study on greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm plantations has calculated a more than 50% increase in levels of CO2 emissions than previously thought - and warned that the demand for 'green' biofuels could be costing the earth. The study from the University of Leicester was conducted for the International Council on Clean Transportation, an international think tank that wished to as ... more

CLIMATE SCIENCE The human cause of climate change: Where does the burden of proof lie?


CLIMATE SCIENCE
The human cause of climate change: Where does the burden of proof lie?

Attribution of climate variations and trends to human influences and natural variability

Attribution of climate variations and trends to human influences and natural variability

Nullifying the climate null hypothesis

Nullifying the climate null hypothesis

In defense of the traditional null hypothesis: remarks on the Trenberth and Curry WIREs opinion articles

In defense of the traditional null hypothesis: remarks on the Trenberth and Curry WIREs opinion articles

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stalled weather systems more frequent in decades of warmer Atlantic

Stalled weather systems more frequent in decades of warmer Atlantic
(PhysOrg.com) -- Slow-moving winter weather systems that can lead to massive snowfalls are more frequent during the decades when the North Atlantic Ocean is warmer than usual, a new NASA study finds. The study demonstrates that the impacts of such systems, which are often fueled by an atmospheric phenomenon known as atmospheric blocking, go far beyond the atmosphere and can trigger changes in ocean circulation.

Dams -- what goes up must come down, and then what?

Dams -- what goes up must come down, and then what?
Time can take its toll on a dam. As dams age, they are more costly to repair and the risk of a catastrophic dam break increases--putting property and lives at risk. But, removing them can mean big changes to the community, and the environment.

Sea life 'must swim faster to survive'

Sea life 'must swim faster to survive'
Fish and other sea creatures will have to travel large distances to survive climate change, international marine scientists have warned. Sea life, particularly in the Indian Ocean, the Western and Eastern Pacific and the subarctic oceans will face growing pressures to adapt or relocate to escape extinction, according to a new study by an international team of scientists published in the journal Science.

Excess heavy metals in 10% of China's land: report

Excess heavy metals in 10% of China's land: report
About 10 percent of China's farmland contains excessive levels of heavy metals due to contaminated water and poisonous waste seeping into the soil, state media said Monday, citing a government survey.

In Marine Current Energy, Siemens Wants To Lead

In Marine Current Energy, Siemens Wants To Lead

New Technology Creates Solar-Powered Landfills

New Technology Creates Solar-Powered Landfills

350 PPM C02 Is No Longer Achievable

350 PPM C02 Is No Longer Achievable

Report: Dominion knew of geologic faulting at North Anna nuclear power plant

Report: Dominion knew of geologic faulting at North Anna nuclear power plant

Controversy Continues Over Possible Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes

Controversy Continues Over Possible Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes

Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Earthquakes & Fracking

Earthquakes & Fracking

Oklahoma Earthquake & Fracking

Oklahoma Earthquake & Fracking

EPA announces final study plan to assess hydraulic fracturing

EPA announces final study plan to assess hydraulic fracturing

Petrobras announces oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico

Petrobras announces oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico

N. Korea mineral exports to China triple: report

N. Korea mineral exports to China triple: report

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tepco Finds Dangerous Level of Radiation at Fukushima Station

Tepco Finds Dangerous Level of Radiation at Fukushima Station

Clean Energy President Embraces Dirty, Dangerous, and Expensive Future

Clean Energy President Embraces Dirty, Dangerous, and Expensive Future

What Caused the Oklahoma Earthquakes

What Caused the Oklahoma Earthquakes

Eight quakes reported in 24 hours in Oklahoma

USGS LogoImage via Wikipedia

Eight quakes reported in 24 hours in Oklahoma

U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Jill McCarthy said there were two temblors Saturday — a 4.7 magnitude about 2 a.m. and a 5.6 magnitude shortly before 11 p.m., and a series of aftershocks in between.

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As Dolphins Die, Gulf Residents Ask, 'What About Us?'

As Dolphins Die, Gulf Residents Ask, 'What About Us?'

Willie Seaman of Irvington, AL, lays carpet and floors for a living. But last summer, as the BP well gushed thousands of barrels of oil daily into the Gulf, Seaman signed up with the BP cleanup program, working on a shrimp boat several miles off shore.
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Caudrilla: Shale drilling caused quakes

Caudrilla: Shale drilling caused quakes

EPA Grants Clean Air Act Petition to Improve Air Quality in New Jersey


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2011

EPA Grants Clean Air Act Petition to Improve Air Quality in New Jersey

Action protects public health and cuts harmful emissions from Pennsylvania power plant

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today granted a petition submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to limit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from a Pennsylvania power plant that are adversely impacting air quality in Warren, Sussex, Morris and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. This is the first single-source petition the agency has granted and it will require the Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, Pa., to significantly cut its SO2 emissions within three years, with a portion of those cuts happening by the end of the first year. Carried across state lines by wind and weather, SO2 can aggravate asthma and cause other respiratory problems. SO2 emissions can also react in the air and contribute to harmful levels of particle pollution, which is linked to widespread illnesses and premature deaths.

"As someone who lived and worked in New Jersey, I know that communities have struggled for years with pollution crossing state lines, fouling the air they breathe and threatening their health. The Cross State rule EPA finalized this year and today’s action are two important steps designed to protect communities facing these exact challenges," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "In granting today’s petition, we’re taking a common-sense approach that gives the facility flexibility to find the most cost-effective methods for cutting pollution and for helping communities in New Jersey meet the Clean Air Act standards for sulfur dioxide."

The final rule provides the Portland plant with the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective strategy for meeting these limits, including installing proven and widely available pollution control technologies. The two units covered under this rule are large sources of SO2 emissions in the region, are about 50 years old and are currently among the 44 percent of coal-fired units in the country that do not have advanced pollution controls, such as scrubbers or catalysts, installed to limit emissions.

Actions taken to meet these limits are similar to those that the facility would need consider taking to meet the recently finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the upcoming Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This common-sense and coordinated approach supports the development of strategies that reduce all pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, particle pollution, ozone and others; minimize costs; and maximize public health protection.

EPA conducted air quality modeling analyses to evaluate SO2 levels in New Jersey. These analyses show that the level of SO2 in the air is exceeding the agency’s 1-hour national air quality standard and that the Portland plant is the main source of emissions. Monitoring data showing SO2 concentrations in Warren County exceeding the level of the 1-hour SO2 standard, support the agency’s modeling results.

Under the Clean Air Act, when a facility’s emissions impact air quality in another state, the affected state can petition EPA and request that the facility be required to reduce its impact. If EPA finds that the emissions do contribute to an air quality problem, the agency must set emissions limits that will eliminate this contribution. In a September 2010 petition, New Jersey asked EPA to find that emissions from the Portland power plant are impacting the state’s air quality and to require the facility to reduce its SO2 emissions. EPA proposed to grant the petition in March 2011.

More information on the petition: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html

Depressing climate-related trends – but who gets it?

Depressing climate-related trends – but who gets it?

I saw two particularly depressing trend lines this week. Both were confronting enough to make me stop, sit back and just contemplate. It was not as though these came as a great surprise — I’d been following these data for years. But for some reason, the seriousness of them really struck home like never before.
The first was a report on Arctic sea ice volume. Here is the graph that shocked me:
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