Our sun over the past five years.

*Worldwide. Destroying the world that feeds us: shellfish are now threatened. Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing as the oceans try to absorb all the carbon we produce, thus endangering much ocean life. Most vulnerable US coastal areas affected are identified, along with OA “drivers and amplifiers” and how to reduce them.

*USA. Go youth! Teens and young adults are turning to courts for help in combatting climate change. “‘Every suit and every administrative petition filed in every state in the country and against the federal government asks . . . for the government . . . to bring down carbon emissions . . . necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.” Good videos.

*USA. The bad news: half of “the U.S.’s lakes, rivers and streams are unsafe” due to pollution. The good news: Americans submitted over 800,000 public comments in support of Clean Water Act provisions covering small waterways. The challenge: Keeping Americans’ message about clean water front and center as big corps spend $$$s to ensure continued dumping of “206 million pounds of toxic materials” into those waterways annually. Table shows 10 top polluters, the toxic tonnage released and how much they spend to keep at it.

*USA. What timing. “Two days before contract negotiations are schedule to resume between Royal Dutch Shell and the United Steelworkers’ oil union, the company announced plans to run its second-largest U.S. refinery without union labor.”

*USA. While the US should produce about 9.27 million barrels per day of crude oil this year, can US refineries process all of it? Prolly not, since most are “configured for sour, high-sulfur imports from the Middle East.” And the solution is . . . ? Well, apparently not to stash it somewhere until later, since the US “is running out of places to put it”, indicating “even lower . . . prices . . . in the coming months.”

*USA. 33 oil rigs down by the end of last week, a decrease of 39% “since October, an unprecedented retreat.” Do note, though, that “new efficiencies in U.S. drilling and pumping may make raw numbers of rigs . . . misleading.” Accompanying chart is very interesting.

*USA. Here they are: The 1998 Climate Change Denial Team, courtesy of Big Oil. Who they are, what they did and where they are now, including a couple who apparently paid attention to evidence and subsequently moved on.

*USA. Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) responds to the Senator with the Snowball. {More}

Our sun over the past five years.

*Worldwide.  Destroying the world that feeds us:  shellfish are now threatened.   Ocean acidification (OA) is increasing as the oceans try to absorb all the carbon we produce, thus endangering much ocean life.  Most vulnerable US coastal areas affected are identified, along with OA “drivers and amplifiers” and how to reduce them.

*USA.  Go youth! Teens and young adults are turning to courts for help in combatting climate change.  “‘Every suit and every administrative petition filed in every state in the country and against the federal government asks . . . for the government . . . to bring down carbon emissions . . .  necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.”  Good videos.

*USA.  The bad news:  half of “the U.S.’s lakes, rivers and streams are unsafe” due to pollution.  The good news:  Americans submitted over 800,000 public comments in support of Clean Water Act provisions covering small waterways.  The challenge: Keeping Americans’ message about clean water front and center as big corps spend $$$s to ensure continued dumping of “206 million pounds of toxic materials” into those waterways annually.   Table shows 10 top polluters, the toxic tonnage released and how much they spend to keep at it.

*USA.  What timing.  “Two days before contract negotiations are schedule to resume between Royal Dutch Shell and the United Steelworkers’ oil union, the company announced plans to run its second-largest U.S. refinery without union labor.”

*USA.  While the US should produce about 9.27 million barrels per day of crude oil this year,  can US refineries process all of it?  Prolly not, since most are “configured for sour, high-sulfur imports from the Middle East.”  And the solution is . . . ?  Well, apparently not to stash it somewhere until later, since the US “is running out of places to put it”, indicating “even lower . . . prices . . . in the coming months.”

*USA33 oil rigs down by the end of last week, a decrease of 39% “since October, an unprecedented retreat.”  Do note, though, that “new efficiencies in U.S. drilling and pumping may make raw numbers of rigs . . . misleading.”  Accompanying chart is very interesting.

*USA.  Here they are: The 1998 Climate Change Denial Team, courtesy of Big Oil.  Who they are, what they did and where they are now, including a couple who apparently paid attention to evidence and subsequently moved on.

*USA.  Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) responds to the Senator with the Snowball.

*AK.  The Iñupiat village of Kivalino  must be moved since the thick sea ice that protected the 400 inhabitants has thinned dangerously.  No action, however:  the people have no funds for the relocation and Republicans in  Congress won’t appropriate funds to help.

*AK.  Tractor trailer “lost traction” in the ice and snow, overturned, releasing 3000 – 4000 gallons of diesel on the Dalton Highway.

*AK.  Fight over two natural gas pipelines from the North Slope,  the larger one  being built by the state and oil producers and the smaller one built solely by the state.  Gov. Bill Walker (I) wants the smaller one (bringing gas to Alaskans) to be on par with the larger one (taking gas to ports). House Speaker Mike Chenault (R) is opposed.

*CA.  It gets worse.  Kern County water “officials . . . discovered that oil producers have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of unlined pits that are operating without proper permits.”  300 “previously unidentified waste sites” identified thus far.

*CA.  And worse:  officials don’t know “who put the chemical-laden water [in those Kern County wastepits nor] how to remediate any potential environmental damage.”  Oh, but they’re working on it.

*CA.  Persistent drought translates into no federal water deliveries for 100s of farmers this year.

*FL.  Places like Miami are considering water pumping stations (cost around $32 million for Miami) to prevent sinking.  Water could rise 24” around Miami by 2060.

*Gulf Coast.  Heckuva run-down of what BP has avoided paying for the Deepwater Horizon blowout and subsequent damage.

*MT.  Sioux and Assiniboine tribes at Fort Peck are now officially opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.  Reservation drinking water is a primary concern.

*ND.  Apartment rents have dropped by as much as 20% in Williston, center of the Bakken oil fracking boom, in response to “the plunge in crude oil prices”.

*ND.  The Bakken oil field boom has produced a meth and heroin boom in the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara).  It’s such a scary mess, with ties to Central American gangs,  that “the three tribes flew Guatemalan gang experts” in late last year to instruct local law enforcement.  The FBI is setting up an office nearby.

*NE.  A York County judge “issued a temporary order to stop” land seizures by TransCanada for the Keystone XL pipeline.  Another stop order is in effect in Holt County.  TransCanada says it’ll halt other eminent domain actions until several pending lawsuits are resolved.

*NE.  Why are conservatives, usually vociferously defending private property, so silent about TransCanada seizing people’s land through eminent domain for the Keystone Xl pipeline?

*NJ.  “A long-fought legal battle to recover $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil Corporation for the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in northern New Jersey has been quietly settled by the state for around $250 million.”  Update:  According to this source, Christie inserted his substantial self into the matter and it concluded right quick like, and at the much smaller amount.  Rachel’s on it.

*NV.  There’s now a $60 million agreement concluding the 25-year effort to obtain guaranteed water rights for the Shoshone-Paiute Duck Valley Reservation.

*NY.  Ira Rennert, worth some $6 billion, will have to cough up $118 million to pay for damages after a jury found he took money from now-defunct MagCorp magnesium mining company and used it to build a humongous house for himself in the Hamptons (which Kurt Vonnegut Jr. lampooned).

*VA.  “Since 1970, the sea level has risen eight inches in Norfolk.  By 2030, scientists expect the sea to rise another six inches.”

*WA.  All “Ayes” on the Vancouver City Council to extend its moratorium on crude oil facilities.

*WI.  Gogebic Taconite is now going to abandon their “huge and controversial [iron ore] mine in northern Wisconsin”.  They came roaring in, promising “jobs and $2.2 billion in investment.”  Their spokesman now has a nice new job in state government, courtesy of Gov. Scott Walker (R).

*WI.  Much demand for Wisconsin sand, with “thousands of acres now in mines”. What happens once the sand is all gone; what about negative air quality contributing to cardiovascular and pulmonary problems?  This is Scott Walker country where monitoring for sand mine pollutant PM 2.5 is not done.

*WI.  Gov. Scott Walker (R) to slash funding for state parks, land conservation, fish protection, recycling, removing road-kill deer, and also for “preventing manure and other materials from running off the land and polluting state waters.”

*WY.  Rejoice, children of Wyoming:  the legislature has passed a bill “that would allow the state board of education to consider the Next Generation Science Standards, which acknowledge man-made climate change.”

*Canada/Mexico.  Was Excellon Resources (Canadian mining company) aided by the Canadian Embassy in Mexico in achieving “high level connections that led to violent repression against” protesters?

*Canada.   Oil prices are half what they used to be, tar-sands oil companies have backed off new investments and are “axing jobs by the thousands”, the Canadian dollar is down, there’s a projected C$2.3 billion deficit, and Justin Trudeau is looking pretty good.  Stay tuned.

*Colombia.  The “newly elected president [of Colombia’s constitutional court is] accused . . . of having sought a $200,000 bribe . . . “ so Fidupetrol oil company wouldn’t have to pay $9 million in fines.

*Chile.  Hmmmm. “Chile isn’t as friendly a jurisdiction [toward miners] as it once was.”  Barrick Gold Corp. even had to suspend  work on a “massive” project in 2013 after aboriginal communities complained about violations of environmental standards. Pity.

*France.  A pipe in its oldest nuclear power plant developed a problem Saturday, so the entire facility is shut down.

*Poland.  Farmers protesting “GMO infiltration and land grabs by biotech and Big Ag corporations . . . blocked roadways and . . . [held] numerous demonstrations”.

*Greece.  Eldorado Gold Corp’s plan for a mine in Greece has been blocked, “prompting a furious response”.  Elections do have consequences.

*Russia.  Bad news.  That huge (100-ft diameter) sinkhole that appeared suddenly in Siberia has “unusually high concentrations of methane”.   Russia’s gas fields are nearby.

*South Africa. Great relief:  all 486 workers trapped by a fire in Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine have been safely rescued.

*Dubai.  From a new report for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi  “. . . renewables will be an established and significant part of the future energy mix . . . globally.”  Renewables will considerably lower energy costs and intense carbon generation.  More; check it out.

*Iran.  “Iran will be facing water shortage next year”.  Rainfall down 18%, “cross-country water flow” down 50% and snow down 40%.

*Japan.  Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked radioactive water since last May—and Tepco kept it quiet.

*Antarctica.  Big melt “going way faster than anyone [(scientist)] had thought.”  Very worrying.

Oxdown Diaries

Oxdown Diaries