Norwalk named ‘Climate Champion’ for banning fracking waste

NORWALK — Norwalk has received the “Climate Champion Award” for having passed an ordinance aimed at keeping fracking waste outside city limits.

The city was presented the award by Live Green, The Discovery Museum and Planetarium, and Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition, which held the Regional Conference for Sustainable Development at the museum in Bridgeport on June 5.

“It was really nice to find out that Norwalk received the award for passing the ordinance, and we’re definitely happy to join 45 other (Connecticut) municipalities in passing a fracking-waste ban ordinance,” said Norwalk Councilwoman Eloisa Melendez, a District A Democrat who chairs the council’s Ordinance Committee, before summarizing local support for the ban. “From the very first meeting, the room was packed.”

On May 22, the full council passed the new ordinance “Prohibiting Natural Gas Waste and Oil Waste from Natural Gas Extraction Activities within the City of Norwalk.” The ordinance is intended to discourage the transport or storage of fracking waste in Norwalk.

Fracking is a practice where water is forced deep into the ground to create cracks, releasing natural gas and oil. The water is mixed with chemicals that aid the process and can be exposed to radioactive deposits occurring naturally in the earth. Contaminated waste is a byproduct of the process.

Mayor Harry Rilling announced the award recognizing Norwalk’s effort to keep such waste at bay during Tuesday evening’s Common Council meeting. He and others counted the award as an example of ongoing efforts by the city and Board of Education to make Norwalk more environmentally friendly.

“Norwalk does want to be a green community and everything that we can possibly do to add to that, to do the things we need to do, to save energy, use more sustainable energy and reduce our carbon footprint is always something that’s desirable,” Rilling said. “I want to thank the council, too, because you’re a part of this, you’re a part of this process, and I think we’re making leaps and bounds that we probably haven’t seen in the city of Norwalk ever before.”

He credited Norwalk Building and Facilities Manager Alan Lo and Norwalk Public Schools Director of Facilities and Management Director Williams Hodel for spearheading many energy-saving initiatives.

One such initiave got unanimous support Tuesday evening to move forward.

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Permian Basin on track to rival OPEC nations

The Permian Basin in West Texas is on track to produce more oil within five years than any OPEC nation except Saudi Arabia, positioning the Texas Gulf Coast to rival the Persian Gulf when it comes to oil and gas activity.

Crude volumes from the Permian will more than double by 2023, making the region the world’s third-largest producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the research and consulting firm IHS Markit. Most of that oil is headed to refineries and ports near Houston and Corpus Christi, as U.S. crude exports are expected to surge to nearly 5 million barrels a day by 2023, up from more than 2 million today.

“In the past 24 months, production from just this one region — the Permian — has grown far more than any other entire country in world,” said Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit vice chairman.

The comeback of the Permian, which today accounts for more than half the nation’s active oil drilling rigs, is among the the most remarkable stories in the industry’s history. At the beginning of the decade, the aging oil field was struggling with declining production. But advances in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling pioneered by Houston companies such as EOG Resources, have tapped massive reserves of previously inaccessible oil and gas.

By 2023, the shortage of pipelines to move oil, gas and natural gas liquids to Gulf Coast markets and beyond is expected to be alleviated by multibillion-dollar projects now underway or planned. Oil, petrochemical and liquefied natural gas companies are investing billions of dollars to process and export petroleum from the Permian and other shale plays, which, according to the International Energy Agency, has made the Gulf Coast a global trading center as vital to world’s energy needs as the Straits of Hormuz, through which tankers filled with Middle Eastern crude travel to the world’s markets.

Near Corpus Christi, for example, the Houston exploration and production company Occidental Petroleum, is continuing to expand its crude export terminal at Ingleside. In 2017, Texas accounted for three-fourths of U.S. crude exports, which recently hit a weekly record in May of 2.6 million barrels a day.

IHS Markit estimates that $308 billion in new spending is required to drill more than 40,000 new wells in the Permian needed to meet its projections. That’s more than double the $150 billion invested there from 2012 to 2017. The report also assumes that oil prices will continue to average at least $60 a barrel.

Oil settled in New York Thursday at $66.89 per barrel.

gulf fracking – Continue Reading…

53-gallon oil spill reported at The Dalles Dam

A turbine generator at The Dalles Dam leaked 53 gallons of oil into the Columbia River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday.

The cause of the leak is still under investigation. The leak was first suspected May 31, said Sarah Bennett, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps in Portland. The unit was taken from the river for analysis sometime after and it was confirmed on Thursday to have been spilling oil.

The damaged unit, which generates electricity from running water, will remain out of the water as technicians try to determine what caused the leak, Bennett said.

This is the second reported oil leak at the dam this year. A blade seal that failed caused another unit to leak 470 gallons of oil in March. That unit has since been repaired.

oil leak OregonLive – Read More…

Antarctica is screwed and so are we – The Outline

Buckle up, folks, because we know a lot more about Antarctica than we did yesterday—and it is not good.

According to several Antarctica-related studies all published today, a series of natural processes protected the Antarctic ice sheet from melting completely 10,000 years ago. Now, we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere way too quickly to rely on these processes to protect the icy continent from melting in the future.

For perspective, Antarctica has enough water stored in its ice to raise sea levels by 58 meters, or 216 feet, if it disappeared entirely. That would completely obliterate states like Florida and displace hundreds of millions of people in Brazil, Argentina, Guinea-Bissau, Denmark, China, Indonesia, and Australia.

Researchers from Northern Illinois University who studied Antarctica’s rebound 10,000 years ago found that, at its worst, the continent melted to a dangerous place where it was even smaller than it is today. However, they urged against undue optimism: what happened 10,000 years ago was natural. What’s happening today is human-caused, and it’s happening far more quickly.

“What happened roughly 10,000 years ago might not dictate where we’re going in our carbon dioxide-enhanced world, where the oceans are rapidly warming in the polar regions,” lead researcher Reed Scherer said in a press release. “If the ice sheet were to dramatically retreat now, triggered by anthropogenic warming, the uplift process won’t help regrow the ice sheet until long after coastal cities have felt the effects of the sea level rise.” Read more

Easiest Way To Counterattack Russia — Go Electric

As you may have seen, Russia interfered with the last US presidential election via an extensive, nuanced cyber warfare campaign. It sowed strife in the US via all sorts of aggressive, extremist social media campaigns, and it specifically tried to help Donald Trump (aka Don the Con*) get elected.

Russia’s cyber warfare campaigns reached 126 million Americans or more on Facebook alone. Russia also had extensive Twitter and reddit campaigns going, and still does. The result has been extra internal conflict, extra anti-democratic messaging, unusual attacks on our security and investigative bodies, and potentially even an illegitimate president. (Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper believes that he is indeed illegitimate. Former CIA Director John Brennan, meanwhile, believes Vladimir Putin actually has something on Trump since Trump hasn’t been acting innocent and there’s so much lying about sketchy as hell meetings like this.)

It’s frustrating when you’ve clearly been attacked by a hostile foreign country; when your national leader appears to be compromised; and when he is doing one thing after another that benefits Russia over the USA, that favors catastrophe and suffering over human health and comfort, and that subsidizes the oil & gas industry instead of clean energy and electric vehicles.

But that last bit gets to the crux of the matter. Russia is highly dependent on its oil & gas industry. Its economy is already quite weak and its people suffer under a low quality of life as a result, but it’ll get worse if Russia’s oil & gas business is harmed. And, more importantly for the Russian oligarchs running the show over there, it gets much worse for them if they can’t hoard another billion or 10 from oil & gas sales.

CleanTechnica  Read More…

The Impacts Of Illegal Fishing And How Blockchain Can Improve The Industry – Forbes

Throughout history, the earth’s oceans have often been viewed as limitless resources.

Again and again, that view has been proven wrong. Whether you look at the relentless whaling of the 19th century or the boom years of Cannery Row, each time the oceans’ resources are taken for granted, environments suffer.

In both cases, the industries cannibalized themselves, fishing at an unsustainable pace and paving the way for their own destruction as the natural resources they relied on became increasingly scarce.

Lessons like these should have taught society about the dangers of the illegal fishing industry that’s currently flourishing around the world. But too often, the quest for profits is more important.

“The illicit fishing industry is worth tens of billions of dollars a year,” says David Luna, a former U.S. Diplomat and national security official. “Environmental crime is one of the top five illicit crime areas because it’s so profitable for criminals.”

A 2016 study found that total global fish catches were falling three times faster than the UN had predicted—and named overfishing as the culprit. Now, any hope of getting the world’s overfishing problem under control involves cracking down on illegal activities. If left unchecked, it will have wide-reaching effects. Read more

Hundreds of gallons of oil spills into Greenwich brook

“There was a malfunction,” he said, and the oil began to discharge into the nearby Horseneck Brook. “It’s a tidal creek, and it flows into Long Island Sound,” Koczak said. “We ensured that the leak was controlled, and then we responded with …

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Measure Z fracking battle continues in Monterey County


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EU will limit the use of palm oil as car fuel but won’t stop it

It’s a planet-wrecking fudge. The European Union’s own scientific reports have shown that its renewable energy policies are actually increasing carbon dioxide emissions and driving deforestation. Yet it is only going to tweak some of the offending …

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Antarctica Has Lost More Than 3 Trillion Tons Of Ice In 25 Years – NPR


Antarctica Has Lost More Than 3 Trillion Tons Of Ice In 25 Years
Scientists have completed the most exhaustive assessment of changes in Antarctica's ice sheet to date. And they found that it's melting faster than they thought. Ice losses totaling 3 trillion tonnes (or more than 3.3 trillion tons) since 1992 have
Antarctica is losing ice twice as fast as anyone thoughtPBS NewsHour
After Decades of Losing Ice, Antarctica Is Now Hemorrhaging ItThe Atlantic
Antarctica Is Losing An Insane Amount of Ice. Nothing About This Is Good.Live Science
CNN –Los Angeles Times –TIME
all 136 news articles »

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