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Saturday, February 11, 2012

More environmental rules needed for shale gas

More environmental rules needed for shale gas

Stanford CA (SPX) Feb 08, 2012
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama praised the potential of the country's tremendous supply of natural gas buried in shale. He echoed the recommendations for safe extraction made by an advisory panel that included Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback. The panel made 20 recommendations for regulatory reform, some of which go well beyond what the president ment

Arctic Oil Drilling Threatens Polar Bear Birthing Grounds

By Rocky Kistner, February 11, 2012
Up in the frozen arctic, where polar bear rule over a biogem world, massive oil drilling plans threaten the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Shell, the oil behemoth that made $4.8 billion in profits last quarter, intends to boost those numbers by drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off Alaska. And the Obama Administration appears eager to help them. Last year...  » Continue...

Friday, February 10, 2012

New radar imaging system shows how earthquakes warp a landscape

New radar imaging system shows how earthquakes warp a landscape

February 10, 2012BAJA, CaliforniaA team of geologists from the U.S., Mexico and China are using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) laser altimetry to study how an earthquake can change a landscape. In particular, the geologists want to know more about the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck April 4, 2010, near Mexicali in northern Mexico. Airborne LiDAR equipment, which bounces a stream of laser pulses off the ground, can measure surface features to within a few centimeters. The researchers were able to make a detailed scan of the affected area over about 360 square kilometers in less than three days, they report in the February 10 issue of the journal Science. In the above image, blue shows where ground surface moved down whereas red indicates upward movement compared with the previous survey. Some changes brought about by the quake are readily visible from the ground, such as a 1.5-meter clifflike ridge created when part of a hillside abruptly moved up and sideways. But the LiDAR survey also revealed some features that could not easily be detected otherwise, Oskin reports, such as a warping of the ground surface above the Indiviso Fault, which runs beneath agricultural fields along the Colorado River floodplain. The 2010 Mexicali earthquake did not occur on a major fault, such as the San Andreas, but rather ran through a series of smaller fractures in Earth’s crust. The new LiDAR survey shows how seven of these small faults came together to cause a major quake. –Scientific American

The Future of American Shale Gas

The Future of American Shale Gas

Adriaan Kamp, Energy Collective
This article was inspired by the most recent State of the Union: America's plan for an "all-out on local energy"- and the subsequent discussions in the industry on its implications, its opportunities and its challenges.I promised to give you my take on the present on-going market developments with shale gas as well as my predictions for America's energy future from my civic venture point of view.

Coal, Oil, Gas All Want Same Turf

Coal, Oil, Gas All Want Same Turf

Casey Junkins, Wheeling News-Register
ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Belmont and Monroe County landowners, as well as natural gas and oil companies, hope the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will allow drilling in the liquids-rich Utica Shale formation to proceed.However, a dispute regarding plans to conduct coal mining operations in these same areas may delay the drilling plans of companies like Chesapeake Energy, XTO Energy and Hess Corp. to drill on land they paid as much as $5,200 per acre to lease.

Pennsylvania Sells Out Cheap In Frack Fight

Pennsylvania Sells Out Cheap In Frack Fight

Christoper Swann, Reuters
Pennsylvania is selling out cheaply in the fight against fracking. The Keystone State, the nucleus of national opposition to the deep-drilling technique, is poised to levy a gas tax, ostensibly to cover drilling damages. The charge may soften the hostility. But the levy is less than half that of other states, suggesting the industry still has the upper hand. . .

Current and Emerging Legal Issues on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Webinar


Bloomberg BNA









Current and Emerging Legal Issues on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

















As surface coal mining in Appalachia is coming under increasing scrutiny from citizens' groups, state and federal regulators, and the courts, the Environmental Protection Agency's Appalachian surface coal mining initiatives are some of the most controversial environmental actions taken by the Obama administration. This webinar, led by our expert speakers, will analyze the impact these initiatives will have on Sections 402 and 404 of the Clean Water Act, as well as states such as Tennessee, even though mountaintop removal and valley fills are no longer allowed there.
This live webinar will help you:
·         Understand the basic practice of mountaintop removal mining and associated valley fill
·         Identify recent initiatives of EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Office of Surface Mining, and state regulatory agencies
·         Learn about the impact on Clean Water Act Section 402 and 404 permits, including increased regulatory requirements and permitting delays
·         Analyze the validity and appropriateness of Clean Water Act permit limits for specific conductance as well as mining-related heavy metal water pollutants, including selenium
·         Address recent case law, including Kentucky Riverkeeper v. Midkiff, National Mining Association v. Jackson, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Coal-Mac, and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Patriot Coal
Register easily and securely to reserve your space now for Bloomberg BNA's upcoming EHS Webinar and get a $75 discount as a Bloomberg BNA subscriber off the non-subscriber rate of $224! Or, call 800-372-1033, menu Option 6, submenu Option 1, and refer to the date and title of this conference. Lines are open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, excluding most federal holidays.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a lively, dynamic presentation. Not only are EHS Webinars an excellent way for you to stay current, with Bloomberg BNA you also get:
·         Quality. Count on it. Nothing is canned.
·         Objectivity. Bloomberg BNA provides you with the best and most objective information. Unlike other companies, we don’t use our Webinars as a forum to sell outside solutions.
·         Affordability. EHS Webinars are inexpensive compared to the cost of travel to attend a conference. Plus, you may use a speakerphone and invite as many of your colleagues as you want to listen in—all for the price of a single registration.
·         Convenience. No airlines. No travel. No time out of the office.
In addition, you’ll receive:
·         Personal attention. Once you’ve registered, send your questions in advance to Anne Brown at annebrown@bna.com and they’ll be included in the program. You’ll also have a chance to ask your questions during the Webinar.
·         Follow-up materials. You need no materials upfront to follow along to our live conference. But Bloomberg BNA always issues a follow-up e-mail with contact information for our speakers as well as other materials related to the topic.
·         CLE credits will be available for this EHS Webinar.
View Bloomberg BNA's complete schedule of Upcoming Webinars.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

STUDY: Fracking Chemicals Are Killing And Neutering Pets And Farm Animals

STUDY: Fracking Chemicals Are Killing And Neutering Pets And Farm Animals


holstein cow
Exposure to wastewater from natural gas fracking has violent effects on livestock and other animals, a new study shows (h/t Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Pipeline).

How Fracking, Drilling and Earthquakes Are Linked

How Fracking, Drilling and Earthquakes Are Linked
StateImpact Texas
By Terrence Henry Dr. Cliff Frohlich of the University of Texas at Austin is researching the links between fracking and earthquakes.

Bill McKibben on the Truth About Climate Change


Bill McKibben on the Truth About Climate Change
"The Great Carbon Bubble" -- If we could see the world with a particularly illuminating set of spectacles, one of its most prominent features at the moment would be a giant carbon bubble, whose bursting someday will make the housing bubble of 2007 look like a lark.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_great_carbon_bubble_20120208/

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Geologists says Earth’s next super-continent will form in the Arctic

Geologists says Earth’s next super-continent will form in the Arctic

February 8, 2012ARCTICGeologists have long predicted that North and South America will eventually fuse together and merge with Asia, forming a new supercontinent along the lines of the ancient Pangea — the precursor to today’s great land masses, which separated about 200 million years ago. In the past, researchers had guessed that the new continent, often called Amasia, would form either in the same location as Pangea, closing over the Atlantic near present-day Africa, or 180 degrees away, on the other side of the world. But a new study predicts that Amasia will form over the Arctic Ocean. “The fusion of North and South America together will close the Caribbean Sea and meet Eurasia at the present-day North Pole,” said Ross Nelson Mitchell, a geologist at Yale University, who worked on the study as part of his doctoral research. “And Australia is moving north, and would probably snuggle to join Asia somewhere between India and Japan,” he added. Mr. Mitchell and colleagues from Yale, who discuss their theory in the current issue of the journal Nature, modeled the movement of supercontinents of the past using paleomagnetic data, a measurement of the force between the earth’s rocks. Once each supercontinent is assembled, it undergoes back-and-forth rotations about a stable axis on the Equator, Mr. Mitchell said. This motion is called true polar wander. Using this, the researchers determined the center of each of the previous supercontinents — Pangea (often spelled Pangaea), Rodinia and Nuna. There was a clear pattern. In each case, the centers of the supercontinents were separated by 90 degrees. –NY Times

So Who's Afraid of Fracking?

So Who's Afraid of Fracking?

John Kemp, Business Spectator
Reuters - Fracturing oil and gas from tight rock formations promises secure energy supplies for generations, but only if industry and regulators can convince voters it can be done safely without poisoning water supplies or adding to global warming.

The True State of the Shale Gas Industry

The True State of the Shale Gas Industry

Kurt Cobb, OilPrice.com
Estimates for recoverable shale gas just keep falling. Last year, the Potential Gas Committee, an industry consortium that focuses on long-term projections, estimated that recoverable natural gas from shale deposits in the United States would amount to 687 trillion cubic feet (tcf). (This optimistic appraisal laid the groundwork for the oft-repeated notion that the United States has 100 years of natural gas supply at current rates of consumption. The estimate was also based on so-called "speculative resources" of another 615 tcf.)

NRC Releases Draft Report on Simulated Accident at Two Nuclear Power Plants

NRC Releases Draft Report on Simulated Accident at Two Nuclear Power Plants

Edwin S. Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists comments on a draft report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission analyzing the potential consequences of a serious accident at the Surry nuclear plant in Virginia and the Peach Bottom nuclear plant in Pennsylvania.

Union of Concerned Scientists Gives Monsanto an ‘F’ in Sustainable Agriculture

Union of Concerned Scientists Gives Monsanto an ‘F’ in Sustainable Agriculture

UCS published a new web feature documenting how Monsanto is failing to deliver on its promise to make the U.S. agriculture system more sustainable.

Information on the Quantity, Quality, and Management of Water Produced during Oil and Gas Production -- GAO


A new tool for mapping water use and drought

A new tool for mapping water use and drought
Farmers and water managers may soon have an online tool to help them assess drought and irrigation impacts on water use and crop development, thanks to the work of two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

Study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

February 8, 2012 Study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annuallyEnlarge
A new CU-Boulder study using the NASA/Germany GRACE satellite shows Earth is losing roughly 150 billion tons of ice annually. Credit: NASA

Is Climate Change Bringing the Arctic to Europe?

By Joseph Romm, February 7, 2012
Less Summer Arctic Sea Ice Cover May Mean Some Colder, Snowier Winters in Central Europe [For Now] [T]he probability of cold winters with much snow in Central Europe rises when the Arctic is covered by less sea ice in summer. Scientists of the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association have decrypted a mechanism in...  » Continue...