Anyone telling you that the XL Pipeline shouldn’t worry you a bit should take a look at what happened in Mayflower, Arkansas recently: the town is the site of a rupture in Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline, which spilled thousands of barrels worth of crude into the neighborhood, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes. Weather is expected to complicate cleanup efforts. (Photo: Karen Seagrave / Greenpeace via Reuters / The Wall Street Journal)
Drill, baby, drill?
President Obama should totally re-enact a scene from that late 1990’s Bill Pullman / Will Smith / Jeff Goldblum sci-fi classic and address a bunch of freedom fighters an yell out IT’S ENERGY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
Then-Democratic presidential candidate BARACK OBAMA, in 2008.
FRACK ME Smoke and flames engulfed Royal Dutch Shell’s Pulau Bukom offshore petroleum complex in Singapore. The fire started Wednesday afternoon and has resulted in the shutdown of a hydrocracker unit at its 500,000-barrel-a-day refinery. At least six people were injured, the company said. (Photo: Edgar Su / Reuters via the Wall Street Journal)
Oil companies drilling for the stuff in places like North Dakota are happy to let perfectly good natural gas — a by-product of the drilling process — go to waste. From the New York Times:
They are not wildfires caused by lightning strikes or other acts of nature, but the deliberate burning of natural gas by oil companies rushing to extract oil from the Bakken shale field and take advantage of the high price of crude. The gas bubbles up alongside the far more valuable oil, and with less economic incentive to capture it, the drillers treat the gas as waste and simply burn it.
Every day, more than 100 million cubic feet of natural gas is flared this way — enough energy to heat half a million homes for a day.
The flared gas also spews at least two million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, as much as 384,000 cars or a medium-size coal-fired power plant would emit, alarming some environmentalists.
All told, 30 percent of the natural gas produced in North Dakota is burned as waste. No other major domestic oil field currently flares close to that much, though the practice is still common in countries like Russia, Nigeria and Iran.
Yes, by all means, let’s trust oil and gas companies to do the right thing.
(Photo of natural gas being flared off near Ray, North Dakota by Jim Wilson for the New York Times)
Maybe they should just drill for irony.
This is, like, irony or something or other, right?
(EDIT: oops, forgot to h/t arigeezay!)
The BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010. Now, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of that horrific environmental disaster — which also killed 11 of BP’s own workers — guess who wants to start drilling again? From The Washington Post:
BP is in talks with the Interior Department about permits that would allow it to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The company hopes that it can restart several projects sometime this summer.
The discussions come just before the anniversary of the April 20 blowout on the Deepwater Horizon rig that BP leased for an exploration well called Macondo. The blowout killed 11 workers, set the rig on fire and triggereda huge oil spill that gushed for 87 days.
BP hopes to ultimately obtain permission to begin drilling about 10 wells to boost output in fields that are already producing oil; none of them would be an exploration well, one of the sources said. No work would be done in the near future on the field discovered by the Macondo well.
Discussions with Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) about other BP wells are still underway, focusing on BP’s safety program. Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the agency, said that BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich meets regularly with companies to discuss their operations and that “BP is no different.”
(Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP via The Washington Post)
This is very disturbing, and very unreported: Have you heard about the plight of Jennifer Rexford? The Gulf resident and BP cleanup worker has been documenting on YouTube and Twitter the health issues she and others have faced in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill. She’s having trouble getting any sort of financial help. Plus, she says she’s not alone, and that others are in the same situation as she is. Very disturbing. Very eye-opening. Also worth watching? The story of Paul Doom, a twentysomething Florida resident who was planning on going into the Marines, but instead became paralyzed after swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. The two have only gotten limited press coverage. What’s going on? We want some answers. Not just studies. (Thank you definitelynotcanon – sincerely! This story needs our attention.) source
And to think BP is still running commercials saying all is okay.