It’s the holidays for goodness sakes. So I may take next week off too. I have never done that before. It has been a slow energy week. If it don’t interest me, I don’t print it.
They poisoned our skies. ExxonMobile should pay for that. They poisoned our water. BP should pay for that. They poisoned our soil. Chevron should pay for that. They poisoned our our wildlife. Royal Dutch Shell should pay for that. They poisoned US! ConocoPhillips should pay for that.
Fossil Fuels on Trial: Where the Major Climate Change Lawsuits Stand Today
Some of the biggest oil and gas companies are embroiled in legal disputes with cities, states and children over the industry’s role in global warming.
Updated Aug. 14 with a judge dismissing one of the state-level children’s climate lawsuits, in Washington.
A wave of legal challenges that is washing over the oil and gas industry, demanding accountability for climate change, started as a ripple after revelations that ExxonMobil had long recognized the threat fossil fuels pose to the world.
Over the past few years: Two states have launched fraud investigations into Exxon over climate change. Nine cities and counties, from New York to San Francisco, have sued major fossil fuel companies, seeking compensation for climate change damages. And determined children have filed lawsuits against the federal government and various state governments, claiming the governments have an obligation to safeguard the environment.
The litigation, reinforced by science, has the potential to reshape the way the world thinks about energy production and the consequences of global warming. It advocates a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy and draws attention to the vulnerability of coastal communities and infrastructure to extreme weather and sea level rise.
From a trove of internal Exxon documents, a narrative emerged in 2015 that put a spotlight on the conduct of the fossil fuel industry. An investigative series of stories by InsideClimate News, and later the Los Angeles Times, disclosed that the oil company understood the science of global warming, predicted its catastrophic consequences, and then spent millions to promote misinformation.
Go there and read all night. Really good article. More next week
This is a happy fuzzy story, that i normally wouldn’t post. But here is the thing, as fun as it is, I dare you to say the name of the monument. Can you huh huh huh?
Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas
A 583,000-square-mile “no-take” zone: President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii.
Capping a week of 100th anniversary celebrations for the National Park Service, President Barack Obama on Friday turned to the ocean to create the largest protected area anywhere on Earth—a half-million-square-mile arc of remote Pacific waters known for both exceptional marine life and importance to native Hawaiian culture.
The Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, already covered 140,000 square miles of ocean around the uninhabited northwestern islands of Hawaii, Obama’s home state. (Learn about the name and how to pronounce it.)
Obama more than quadrupled Papah?naumoku?kea’s size, to 582,578 square miles, an area larger than all the national parks combined. Using his executive authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act, he extended most of the monument’s boundary—and its prohibition of commercial fishing—out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).(Read about a monument established this week in the Maine woods.)
Go there and read in wonderment. More next week.
This is a really hopeful story.
The Sahel region in Northern Africa is sandwiched between the Sahara desert in the north and the savanna in the south, stretching across nearly a dozen countries. It is a hot, dry region where it’s hard to grow most crops, so locals depend on subsistence livestock herds, mostly cattle, sheep, and goats.
Overgrazing has long been blamed for creeping desertification of the Sahel, especially in the wake of devastating droughts in the 1970s and ’80s.
Now, research from South Dakota State University blows both claims out of the water, showing that 84 percent of the watersheds in the Sahel have recovered.
“In the past people have had a negative perception of the Sahel, that the pastoralists are misusing and overgrazing the land, but these findings prove that’s not true,” said Niall Hanan, a savanna ecologist with SDSU who has focused on Africa for the past 25 years.
Go there and read. More next week.
This is such a cool idea. I do not know which plants take in the most carbon. Probably young tree saplings. So they would not be good to use because their uptake slows down as they age. Maybe switch grass? Anyway this is about the concept and the New Mexico experiment to attempt it.
Thursday, August 28,2014
Your next roadside attraction: Carbon storage
As you watch the miles roll by on family road trips this summer, look just behind the guard rails to see what some scientists believe is a significant untapped resource in the battle against climate change.
Roadside soils and vegetation on federal lands and along U.S. highways are already capturing nearly 2 percent of total U.S. transportation carbon emissions
The land alongside the 4 million miles of U.S. public roadways, already being maintained by federal, stat, and local governments, could be planted with vegetation that helps transfer carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, say scientists. Road banks and berms, in other words, could be managed as valuable “banks” for carbon sequestration.
“We’re talking millions of acres,” says biologist Rob Ament, of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, who led a recent study to gauge carbon storage potential on just a fraction of that real estate — roadsides on federal lands.
Shrubs, grasses and other plants already along roads in U.S. National Parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands currently are capturing about 7 million metric tons of carbon each year, Ament said in a report on his findings at this month’s North American Congress for Conservation Biology. That’s equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 5 million cars — without any effort made to optimize the mix of plantings and soil management practices for carbon storage.
Go there and read. More next week.
Normally I do not run purely local environmental articles, but this is pretty cool. I hope this actually happens.
Study urges better use of Sangamon River
The Sangamon River is a major untapped resource for tourism, recreation and Abraham Lincoln history in the region.
A just-completed state study of an 85-mile section from Petersburg to Decatur also concluded the river is in need of a major image upgrade, including acknowledgement of the role it played in the life of Lincoln, improved boat access, bike and hiking trails, more public facilities, scenic driving routes, conservation incentives, and stepped-up efforts to reduce fly dumping.
Public presentation of the report — “Lincoln Heritage Water Trail” — at a policy breakfast of the Citizens Club of Springfield on Friday is timed to the 50th anniversary in 2015 of the Lincoln Heritage Canoe Trail.
Gov. Otto Kerner approved creation of the original 65-mile river trail in 1965
But had I read this article before dealing with the problem in my basement I would have known to go straight for the water sources and not messed around with the other stuff I put outside on the porch or on the compost pile. But getting rid of that stuff did not hurt. I mean pancake mix that is two years old. Plant dubris that is months old and could act as food for the midges. So the energy saved in this case is MINE and that is important too.
BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF NON-BITING AQUATIC MIDGES
By: Charles Apperson, Michael Waldvogel and Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomology
Insect Note – ENT/rsc-15
|Non-biting midge flies or chironomids commonly occur in inland and coastal natural and man-made bodies of water. These midges are commonly known as “blind mosquitoes” because they are mosquito-like but do not bite. Midges are also called “fuzzy bills” because of the male’s bushy antennae. These aquatic insects are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Chironomid midges are found in swift moving streams, deep slow moving rivers, stagnant ditches, and in lakes and ponds that are rich in decomposing organic matter. The presence of certain chironomid midges is often used as an indicator of water quality.Bodies of water in urban and suburban areas are subjected to intensive human use through residential, recreational and agricultural activities. Through runoff, these ponds and lakes often become exceedingly rich in nutrients. Consequently, the variety of organisms in such habitats is usually low with just a few pollution tolerant species developing large populations. Some species of chironomid midges that are tolerant of low dissolved oxygen conditions often are a major component of the bottom invertebrate organisms of urban and suburban lakes, ponds and storm water retention ponds.
Most species of chironomid midges are highly desirable organisms in aquatic habitats. Midges are an important food source for fish and predatory aquatic insects. Larvae “clean” the aquatic environment by consuming and recycling organic debris
Go there and read. Got the little bastards. More next week.
Well that makes sense because humans are driving themselves to extinction.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a voluntary agreement designed to protect the lesser prairie chicken and its dwindling habitat from oil and gas drilling activity as the deadline approaches for the service to decide whether to list the colorful bird as threatened.
FWS and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) announced late Friday that they had signed the formal agreement, called the Range-wide Oil and Gas Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances.
Landowners and companies that enroll in the Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances (CCAA) through WAFWA agree to take steps to protect lesser prairie chicken habitat and to pay a mitigation fee if their actions harm the bird’s habitat. In exchange, the service agrees not to impose any further restrictions or mandates on the participants if the bird is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Go there and read. More next week.
I know this area is where the mantra – Government is BAD was born. Mainly because of integration and the regulation of tobacco (not to mention the moonshiners). This attack on all things paid for by taxes has continued unabated for the last 60 years. But really, 2 major rivers have suffer significant contamination in the past month and nothing has been done? Nothing. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now North Carolina and Virginia, and no legislation has been proposed. We do not even have testing to find out what these contaminates really are. And in the second case no studies into MGHM to say even what the chemical does. Really?
ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.
On the riverbank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.
Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation’s largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.
And earlier this was West Virginia.
Federal grand jury investigates West Virginia chemical spill
(CNN) — A federal grand jury investigation has been launched into the West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 people unable to use their water supply, CNN learned Tuesday.
Sources familiar with the grand jury’s activities tell CNN that subpoenas have been issued requiring testimony for what one federal official confirms is a criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, an independent water test conducted at CNN’s request has found trace levels of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, remain in both untreated river water and tap water from two homes in Charleston.
The results by TestAmerica found the chemical is within the safe level of 1 part per million set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; whether that level is safe is disputed
Go there and read. More next week.
No Frackers will go to jail if they violate WHAT LAWS? IDNR might as well give away the state of Illinois to being totally trashed. Where will the Fracking start? In our State Parks?
Day 49 1/2/13
Topic: Fines penalties, suspensions and revocations
- Go to: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx
- Click the button: Subpart K: Enforcement
- In the “Section” dropdown box, click: 245.1110 Notice of Violation
- Submit your comment/s (below)
- Click “Submit”
For regulations to work, levied fines must exceed the financial benefit a company gains by violating the rules. None of the rulemaking sanctions meet this criterion. This results in the other 150 pages of rules being essentially meaningless because they will be ignored. The draft rule sanctions place the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA) on the road to failure before the first permit is issued.
- Section 1-100(b) of the law specifies misdemeanor and felony criminal charges for a number of violations of the law. Yet there are NO criminal charges in the rules
- In Section 1-60(a)1-6 of the law, there are six (6) grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit. These are re-listed with a 7th in section 245.1100 of the rules. But the very next section of the Rules–245.1110–reduces the grounds for an immediate permit suspension to one: “an emergency condition posing a significant hazard to the public health, aquatic life, wildlife or the environment.” This is the most stringent requirement of the seven grounds listed in section 245.1100. Why bother to list seven possible grounds for permit suspension or revocation in section 245.1100 if you then require the Department to identify the most stringent criteria for an immediate suspension.
- Section 1-60(b) of the law requires a much lower standard of proof to suspend, revoke or deny a permit than the rules (245.1110). Under the law, the Department need only serve notice of its action (to suspend, revoke or deny), including a statement of the reasons for the action.
- In the law, if a well operator’s permit has been suspended, the burden of proof is on well operator to prove that the identified problem is “no significant threat to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment” [Section 1-60(d)]. In the rules, this phrase becomes something IDNR must prove before ordering a permit suspension [Rule Section 245.1100(b)3A].
- Sections 1-100 and 1-101 of the law have some stiff penalties that accrue on a daily basis until the reason for the fine is corrected. These fines can go as high as $50,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per day. These are replaced by fines so trivial ($50-$2500) that it will cost the IDNR more to impose and collect a fine than the dollar value of the fine itself.
Revisions Needed: Return to the standards of the law with regard to fines, penalties and revocations.
Bloomington, IL 61701
Go there and comment. We are done with this.