Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 21, 2017, 08:11:28 pm »
Epic Video Captures the Moment Rescuers Dive From a Cargo Ship to Save a Trapped Whale
Plastic waste, the culprit behind one of the most burning environmental issues we are facing today, is an immense threat to a number of animals, especially marine mammals like whales. Whales, like many other animals, often mistake plastic trash for potential food and ingest it. During necropsies performed on whales after deadly in their consequences strandings, specialists found an increasing amount of plastic debris in the animals’ stomachs. Another danger posed by our waste is that of entanglement. For whales, even despite their size, abandoned fishing nets still pose a very serious risk.
In the video above we see the crew of a cargo ship “Sheikh Mokrani,” rescue a massive whale from a ghost fishing net. After struggling to free the massive animal, the crew managed to liberate the whale and send him back to deep waters!
This amazing rescue illustrates how real the dangers of plastic waste are for the animals in the oceans. Every year, we throw into the oceans around 8.8 million tons of plastic! Because of that unbelievable overflow of debris, 700 marine animals species are now faced with extinction, 50 percent of all sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs, and it is estimated that by 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. The conclusions are obvious – we have to do something about our plastic problem now or else it will be literally too late for an overwhelmingly huge number of animals.http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/rescuers-dive-from-a-cargo-ship-to-save-a-trapped-whale/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:09:10 pm »
21 Apr 2017 | Benjamin Wehrmann, Julian Wettengel
The diesel fairy tale / Making nuclear exit a business
Tags: #Cars #Climate & CO2 tageszeitung (taz)
The diesel fairy tale
Diesel cars use more fuel and thus emit more CO₂ than carmakers specify
, according to previously unreleased test results by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), reports Bernhard Pötter for tageszeitung (taz).
In the course of investigations surrounding NOx emissions from diesel cars in 2016, KBA also examined CO₂ emissions and found that they were 10 to 36 percent higher than specified in the 30 inspected models
, according to documents seen by taz. Tests were carried out according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), not real-life conditions, writes Pötter.
Until now, the transport ministry has not published the 2016 findings on CO₂ emissions. VW confirmed that they adjusted their models’ specifications in reaction to the KBA’s test results.
For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Tags: #Cars #Climate & CO2 tageszeitung (taz)
Fraud and self-deception
By not publishing CO₂ emissions test results, the federal government is protecting Germany’s auto industry and thus hindering important innovation
in efficiency and climate protection, writes Bernhard Pötter in an opinion piece in taz.
“If in ten years the auto industry collapses like the big power utilities do now, the federal government will also be to blame,” writes Pötter.
For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Tags: #Elections & Politics #Energiewende
BDEW: Energy transition to enter crucial stage only after next legislative period
Germany’s energy transition will face a critical phase after the next legislative period in 2021, according to the national utility association BDEW. “The real challenges lie between 2021 and 2030, when the nuclear exit has been completed and excess power capacities are drastically reduced," the lobby group’s head Stefan Kapferer told journalists in Berlin. Germany's last nuclear plant will shut down in 2022.
“After that, we’ll have to see how fossil power plant capacity, which will still be needed for the foreseeable future, will be structured,” Kapferer said.
Other crucial issues are building high-voltage transmission lines and electrifying the transport and heating sectors, he said. The BDEW expects wholesale power prices to pick up after 2022, he said. According to the BDEW, Germany's next government after September's elections had to prepare the right conditions for the critical 2020s.
This meant hurdles for storage solutions and decentralised supply had to be lowered, taxes and levies on power reduced, and a modernisation of the heating sector made a priority, it explained.
For more information, see the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.
Tags: #Nuclear phase-out WirtschaftsWoche
The most expensive construction site of our time
Dismantling Germany’s nuclear power plants is a lucrative business for companies carrying out the task, and final costs are hard to predict
, writes Konrad Fischer in WirtschaftsWoche. “Nobody has experience with such a task, so how is one supposed to calculate the costs?” asked Michael Klein, director of the nuclear power plant Stade in northern Germany, in the magazine.
In the future, companies that now gain experience in Germany will face a global market of dismantling nuclear power stations “virtually without competition,” writes Fischer.
For background read the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out and the CLEW factsheet Nuclear clean-up costs.
Tags: #Finances #Fossil fuels #International EurActiv
EU should pave the way for G20 fossil fuel subsidy phase-out
The EU needs to take a leadership role in addressing fossil fuel subsidies and the G20 platform is “an obvious way for EU leaders and ministers to showcase their efforts and actions to eliminate” them, writes Maeve McLynn, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe, in a guest commentary for EurActiv.http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/eu-should-pave-the-way-for-g20-fossil-fuel-subsidy-phase-out/?nl_ref=36031397
Tags: #Wind Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Wind power can be cheaper
Companies for whom offshore wind parks are a core business, but were not successful in Germany’s first competitive auction for the technology, will “have a problem”, as only one more auction was planned for offshore expansion until 2025, writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
This explained the low average successful bid. “The result of the tender is a setback for companies like RWE carve-out innogy or Sweden’s Vattenfall,” writes Mihm.On the topic, read the updated CLEW article Operators to build offshore wind farms without support payments.
Tags: #Efficiency #International Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
EU states say no to ambitious energy saving goals
Several EU countries are rejecting an ambitious and binding energy efficiency goal proposed by the EU Commission in its winter package, reports Hendrik Kafsack in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). The EU Council Presidency, currently held by Malta, aims to make the target non-binding, according to documents seen by FAZ. Germany, France, Luxemburg, Denmark and other member states will now try to prevent this weakening of proposals, the article says.
For background read the CLEW article German reactions to the EU energy package and the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency.
Tags: #EfficiencyRegulatory Assistance Project (RAP) / The Energy Collective
“Efficiency first: A crucial building block for the Energiewende”
Prioritising efficiency measures that cost less or deliver more value than planned investment in supply resources and infrastructure is “a crucial building block” for Germany’s Energiewende, writes Andreas Jahn of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) in an article carried by The Energy Collective.
Since the German government published its green paper on energy efficiency, it is now up to citizens and organizations to “step up to ensure that this topic becomes part of the next election platform and, thus, part of the next coalition agreement,” writes Jahn.http://www.theenergycollective.com/raponline/2402729/efficiency-first-crucial-building-block-energiewende
For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency.
Tags: #Fossil fuels #International Climate Home
EU should block Nord Stream 2 on climate grounds
The EU should block the Russian-German gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 not only for reasons of energy security, but also on climate grounds, writes Marcin Stoczkiewicz, head of Central & Eastern Europe at ClientEarth in a guest commentary on Climate Home. “If EU member states are serious about their commitments to tackle climate change, they should use every tool in the box to stop Nord Stream 2,” writes Stoczkiewicz. Nord Stream 2 would risk locking in fossil fuel use for decades. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/04/20/eu-block-nord-stream-2-climate-grounds/For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and its implications for international security.All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”. They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/diesel-fairy-tale-making-nuclear-exit-business
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 15, 2017, 05:14:24 pm »
Seven Gulf Animals Worth Protecting
Posted On April 14, 2017 by Marja Diaz
It goes without saying that all Gulf animals are worth protecting. But we couldn’t share them all. So like a mother’s abundant, yet somewhat hierarchical, love for her batch of offspring, our list of seven Gulf animals exists with a twinge of favoritism.
In recognition of next week’s seven-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, we’ve compiled a list of seven incredible Gulf animals. From ocean Einsteins to bus-sized carnivores, here are seven Gulf animals worth protecting:1. Whale Shark
Visuals of whale sharks are breathtaking. These gigantic yet gentle globs of mass can live up to 150 years, and are often found gliding with mouths wide open—mouths as wide as five feet. As the largest fish in the world, whale sharks can reach up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 20,000 pounds.
While primarily solitary animals, whale sharks rely on a sixth sense (not the one you’re thinking) to detect the presence of other animals through electromagnetic fields. However, whale sharks are relatively harmless, choosing to feed on plankton instead.
As for the official debate of whale versus shark? Whale sharks are just plain sharks. This means they are fish, and not mammals—the classification of whales. The name “whale” simply comes from a denomination of its enormous size.2. Bottlenose Dolphin
Fun fact: humans aren’t the only species on a first name basis.
Researchers discovered that, like us, dolphins have unique ways of addressing individual members of a pod. In the way that we use first names to call each other’s attention, dolphins use signature whistles to call specific members of their pod.
As Einsteins of the sea, dolphins are some of the smartest mammals around, known for their craft, cunning and social skills.3. Sperm Whale
Perhaps best known for the role of “whale” in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, sperm whales didn’t have the best reputation in the past. These carnivores are known for their massive size (longer than the average transit bus) and gigantic heads—holding the largest brain of any living mammal on earth! While brain size does not equal intelligence, they are relatively vocal and communicative animals.
Sperm whales often travel in groups, up to twenty large, and even practice communal childcare! Pods are typically made up of female and their young, while males tent to travel solo, or drift between groups.
Finally, their heads account for one third of their body and are filled with a curious substance called spermaceti. Although scientists still aren’t 100% sure of its use, some believe the spermaceti help these toothed whales regulate their buoyancy, helping them to dive down to 3,000 feet deep.4. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
When you think of tuna, whether in the context of small metal cans on store shelves or gripping tales from tanned fisherman, these apex predators play a major role in a balanced Gulf ecosystem. Prized by recreational and commercial fisheries, bluefin tuna are the largest of the tuna species, reaching up to 6.5 feet and swimming at speeds up to 45 mph. Oddly enough, these top predators are warm-blooded, meaning they can regulate their own body temperature.5. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is one of the smallest turtles in the sea, weighing in at about 100 pounds. These stalwart swimmers will travel hundreds of miles to reach their nesting grounds, and often return to the same beach where they hatched. Sadly, many of their nesting areas on the Gulf Coast are threatened by urban development and sea level rise, and the lives of these reptiles have become increasingly difficult since the BP oil disaster. Today, their female nesting population is estimated at only 1,000 individuals.6. Brown Pelican
Brown pelicans are both stunning flyers and impressive divers. While relatively clumsy on firm ground, they spend their time between water and air, plunge diving into the ocean to stun small fish upon impact and scooping them up into their extendable throat pouch. They can also hold up to three gallons of water in their pouch.
Although pelicans were once placed on the Endangered Species List due to pesticide pollution such as DDT, they’ve since become a recovery success story.7. Manatee
Everyone’s favorite sea cow comes in at number seven as a staple of the Gulf ecosystem. These warm water drifters can eat about 120 pounds, or 10% of their body weight, each day. As a distant relative of the elephant, these buoyant animals have thick, wrinkled skin that often hosts growing algae. Finally, despite their small eyes and tiny ear holes, manatees can see and hear very well!
As we approach the seven-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster, we are seven years closer to fully restoring the Gulf and better understanding the ecosystem and wildlife that speeds, drifts and thrives off its shores. This month, the first payments of the $20.8 billion BP settlement are being issued—something we’re lucky to have seven years after the disaster began. The Exxon Valdez oil spill case dragged on for 20 years in court, resulting in a much lower penalty. This seven-year anniversary is an opportunity, and we are lucky to continue improving our Gulf ecosystem for the incredible wildlife beyond its shores.
Looking for more information on ocean animals? Check out our wildlife fact sheets.
Posted in Ocean Life | Tagged BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, gulf of mexico, manatee, manatee facts, Marja Diaz, ocean animals, whale sharksAbout Marja Diaz
Marja G. Diaz is a RAY Marine Conservation Fellow and Digital Coordinator at Ocean Conservancy, based in Washington D.C. She grew up along the beaches of Southern California, and recently graduated from Stanford University, class of 2016. Her passion for travel has led her to every continent but Antarctica (it's on the list), and inspired a love for photography. She ultimately hopes to combine film and photography to spread awareness on the current and future state of the world's ocean and marine life.http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/04/14/seven-gulf-animals-worth-protecting/#more-14151
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 15, 2017, 12:57:42 pm »
April 10, 2017 | Rona Fried | Fossil Fuels
Maryland is the third state to ban fracking, after New York and Vermont did a couple of years ago.
Maryland Bans Fracking , As Activists Fight 9000 Miles of New Pipelines
In a rare case of bipartisanship, Maryland’s Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, signed a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Democratically controlled legislature. He says, “The possible environmental risks of fracking simply outweigh any potential benefits. Protecting our clean water supply and our natural resources is critically important to Marylanders and we simply cannot allow the door to be open for fracking in our state.”
Activists have been pushing for a ban since 2012. Food & Water Watch talks about how it came to fruition. After lots of rallies and knocking on doors, they say: “In March of 2013, we helped pass a ban on fracking wastewater in the Baltimore City Council, and in 2014, we worked with Montgomery County to ban fracking there. When the state legislature passed a fracking moratorium in 2015, things really started to pick up steam. Working with partners, we passed fracking bans in Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Friendsville in Garrett County. We also passed fracking resolutions in Frederick County and about a dozen other jurisdictions across the state. These local actions brought thousands of people into the anti-fracking movement, and set us up to win big at the state level.”138 communities in the US have banned fracking
, including Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Butte counties in California and Cincinnati and Athens in Ohio. Colorado has been at outlier, suing towns that have passed bans.
In the past, Hogan called fracking an economic goldmine, so we’re not sure what changed his mine
:exp-grin: – especially since he vetoed a bill to expand renewable energy in Maryland. Democrats overrode the veto, raising the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25% renewables by 2020, up from 20% by 2022. A bill to expand energy efficiency – utilities must cut electricity demand 2% a year by 2020 – became law without the Governor’s signature.Pipeline Spills All Too Common
Banning fracking is completely separate from the threat of pipelines
, however. Even with 2.7 million miles of oil and gas pipelines across the US, there are plans for 9,000 more miles, according to The Gas Rush: Locking America into Another Fossil Fuel for Decades, by Sierra Club. 19 new pipelines are planned for Appalachia alone, and fights are on-going in 10 states.
Bayou Bridge pipeline, for example, would connect refineries in Louisiana with North Dakota oil fields, putting 700 watersheds at risk. And a bill introduced in the House would allow oil and gas drilling in 40 National Parks!
Last week, New York denied a permit for the Northern Access Pipeline – which would have stretched from Pennsylvania to Canada – after turning down another pipeline last year. Portland, Oregon passed a resolution that bars new fossil infrastructure and new terminals are blocked in Vancouver, Washington. 28 pipelines, oil-by-train, and terminals have been stopped by activism and market conditions.
Center for Biological Diversity
Incredibly, only 528 government employees are in charge of inspecting pipelines – one inspector per 5,000 miles of pipelines. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is severely understaffed with just 188 inspectors (the rest are state employees) and is due for big budget cuts under Trump. Inspectors are also responsible for 148 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and 418 gas storage facilities, many of them old and deteriorating.
About 16% of fracked gas wells rupture per year according to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology. Over the past 10 years, there have been 6,648 spills in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania alone, where there are 31,481 wells. Half the spills are from pipelines and poor storage and the rest from failed equipment and loading/unloading trucks.
Since 2009, over 175 million gallons of wastewater spilled from ruptured pipes, overflows from storage tanks and even deliberate dumping,” reports Associated Press, poisoning agricultural land and drinking water, and causing mass die-offs of plant and animals. There have been almost 22,000 spills in 11 states.
Watch this time-lapse video that shows significant spills since 1986 – causing a total $7 billion in damages, over 2,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths. All told, 3 million gallons have spilled every year.Agelbert GRAPHIC NOTE:
SEE BELOWHow About Offshore?
Fracking is also happening in the Gulf of Mexico. With a court order in hand, the Center for Biological Diversity found that 1200 fracking permits were issued by the Obama administration’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the EPA allowed the wastewater dumped in the Gulf – without environmental review, public input or monitoring. It’s also been occurring in federal waters off California.
“Fracking has largely been in a shroud of secrecy,” says Miyoko Sakashita, the group’s Oceans Director. “Even regulators, until recently, were not really aware it was happening. The EPA doesn’t know which chemicals are being discharged into the Gulf of Mexico.”76 billions gallons of wastewater were dumped in the Gulf in 2014 alone
. On land, the EPA requires wastewater to be relatively clean before it goes into streams, for example, but there are no rules offshore. They don’t even keep track of wastewater dumping offshore
, Sakashita told ThinkProgress.
Fracking locations in Gulf of Mexico:
Center for Biological Diversityhttp://www.sustainablebusiness.com/maryland-bans-fracking-activists-fight-9000-miles-new-pipelines/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 10, 2017, 02:47:09 pm »
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 10, 2017, 02:30:06 pm »
A Pen Isn't the Only Gift Trump Gave Dow Chemical Agelbert NOTE:
For those of you who doubt that rather long each of Polluters in the USA,
this is a great example of how the FACTS about some toxic product they make are twisted to defend MORE profit over people and planet.
The following legalese disclaimer (posted IN MARCH OF 2017
) by Wikipedia placed just above the cleverly MASSAGED description of the effects of Chlorpyrifos (see "moderately toxic to humans"
), a SARIN GAS derivative that has been PROVEN TOXIC to humans in general, and CHILDREN IN PARTICULAR, says it ALL:
This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (March 2017)
Chlorpyrifos is a crystalline organophosphate insecticide, acaracide and miticide. It was introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical Company and is known by many trade names including Dursban, Lorsban, Bolton Insecticide, Nufos, Cobalt, Hatchet, and Warhawk . It acts on the nervous system of insects by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos
Chlorpyrifos is moderately toxic to humans, and exposure has been linked to neurological effects, persistent developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders. Exposure during pregnancy retards the mental development of children, and most home use was banned in 2001 in the U.S. In agriculture, it is "one of the most widely used organophosphate insecticides" in the United States , according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and before being phased out for residential use was one of the most used residential insecticides. On March 29, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt denied a petition to ban chlorpyrifos.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 09, 2017, 11:08:21 pm »
Pruitt's Rejection of Chlorpyrifos Ban Seems Based on "Alternative Facts"
Sunday, April 09, 2017
By Paul Koberstein, Earth Island Journal | News Analysis http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40154-pruitt-s-rejection-of-chlorpyrifos-ban-seems-based-on-alternative-factsAgelbert NOTE:
Pruitt behavior is par for the Repuklian course
(The Dumocrats aren't worth a plug nickel either).
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 03, 2017, 08:52:30 pm »
Fox News Grills Pruitt Over Climate Denial in Must-See Interview
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt on Sunday about his controversial statement last month that carbon dioxide is not "a primary contributor" to climate change.
"Mr. Pruitt, there are all kinds of studies that contradict you," the Fox News Sunday host remarked. "The UN's panel on climate change says it is 95 percent likely more than half of the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activities."
Wallace also cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's findings that there is more carbon dioxide now than in the last 400,000 years and that 2015 and 2016 are the two hottest years on record.
"Mr. Pruitt, are we supposed to believe that's all a coincidence?" Wallace asked.
Remarkably, Pruitt's response acknowledged that there is a "warming trend" and that human activity increases global temperatures "in some measure." However, he contended that the EPA should not have the power to regulate greenhouse gasses.
Wallace then shot back, "But sir, you're kind of sugar-coating what you have said."
"You said that you would not agree that carbon CO2 is a primary contributor to global warming," Wallace continued. "And the question I have is, what if you're wrong? What if, in fact, the earth is warming, what if it is causing dramatic climate change and that we as humans through carbon emissions are contributing to it?"
"Don't you think the fact that we have these coal power plants belching carbon emissions into the air, you don't think that plays a role?" Wallace pressed.
Pruitt replied, "I think that we've done it better than anybody in the world at burning coal clean, in clean fashion."
The tense 14-minute interview covered a number of topics including the Trump administration's devastating environmental rollbacks and the proposed 31 percent spending reduction for the EPA, the biggest cut of any federal agency.
Watch the interview here: http://www.ecowatch.com/wallace-pruitt-climate-change-2342442096.htmlAgelbert NOTE:
Pruitt, like his boss, is a TRAITOR. not just to this country, but to all of humanity (he is the one in RED
Left to right: Tillerson, Pruitt, Sessions, Price
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:54:56 pm »
So Simple A Child Can Understand
"Things always find a way to happen ... A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?!"
This short animation is a great addition to the more lengthy and serious videos, explaining why the process of hydro-fracking is highly toxic and dangerous.
Retro hip, sharp and funny - it hits the nail on the head when it come to getting across the basic message.
"Oil and gas companies drill into the ground. They take good water, mix it up with not so good stuff and shoot it into the wells to force out the gas. By 2010 they'll be drilling 32,000 wells a year."
So simple a child can understand. Let's spread the message so enough grown-ups do too!
This video was produced by Earthjustice.org http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/anti-fracking/delightful-animated-short-on-fracking-.htmlAgelbert NOTE:
We all now know that the EPA has
FINISHED its "study" of Fracking risks to the
, thanks to BOTH Obama and Trump. But for those masochists who want ALL the details on what FRACKING IS and what FRACKING DOES, watch this delightfully detailed video below.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 31, 2017, 06:51:32 pm »
Ice-Class LNG Tanker Forges Path for Arctic Shipping Super-Highway
March 30, 2017 by Reuters
ReutersBy Olesya Astakhova
SABETTA, Russia, March 30 (Reuters) – An ice-breaking tanker docked for the first time at Russia’s Arctic port of Sabetta to test a new route that could open the ice-bound Arctic Ocean to ships carrying oil and liquefied gas.
The route is eagerly anticipated by energy firms that want to develop resources in the Arctic but face obstacles in getting oil and gas from remote and freezing fields to world markets.
Environmental activists fear commercial shipping in the Arctic — now possible because climate change has thinned the ice for part of the year — will allow exploitation of a region that up to now has been a pristine wilderness.
The 80,000 tonne-capacity Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class tanker fitted out to transport liquefied natural gas, docked in the icy port of Sabetta, with Russian President Vladimir Putin watching via live video-link.
Putin congratulated the crew and energy company officials gathered on the ship’s bridge, saying: “This is a big event in the opening up of the Arctic.”
The South Korean-built vessel was not picking up a cargo on its maiden voyage, but will eventually be used to transport gas from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant, which is near the port.
File photo: The ice-class ARC7 LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie during sea trials.
The project, scheduled to start production in October, is led by Russian firm Novatek and co-owned by France’s Total , and China’s CNPC and the Silk Road Fund.
The ship is named after a former Total chief executive who died at a Moscow airport in 2014 when a snow-clearing tractor crossed the runway as his private jet was taking off.
The Yamal LNG consortium sees Asia as the biggest market for its gas in the long term. Shipments to China from Yamal should take about 18 days using the Northern Sea route.
That journey would take vessels east through the Arctic Ocean, down through the Bering strait that separates Russia from Alaska, and into the Pacific.
By contrast the alternative route involves heading west into the North Atlantic, south into the Mediterranean, and then through the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean. That would typically take about 32 days.
The tanker arrived at Sabetta earlier this week, after departing South Korea in November and sailing around Africa into the Atlantic, according to Reuters data.
The aim of the voyage was to prove the port can receive a tanker of that class. Other LNG tankers have already sailed via the Northern Sea route from Scandinavia to the Pacific.ARCTIC PUSH
The Arctic’s energy resources offer huge promise for Russia, heavily dependent on oil and gas exports. Many of its Siberian fields are growing old, forcing it to look to more remote areas for new reserves.
Its push into the Arctic — accompanied by a military build-up — has alarmed the West. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has described Moscow’s Arctic moves as “aggressive steps.”
Putin said projects such as the Northern Sea route would allow Russia to become the world’s largest LNG producer
Qatar is currently the world’s top LNG producer, followed by Australia, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.
After the Yamal plant reaches its full capacity, combined with the existing Sakhalin-2 LNG plant in the Pacific, Russia will produce almost 27 million tonnes of LNG annually,
equal to the amount imported by China per year.
Novatek is studying whether to build another LNG plant, Arctic LNG-2, with capacity comparable to Yamal or higher and first production in around 2023.
Putin said Russia’s energy projects in the Arctic were guided by the principle that they should do no harm.
The Christophe de Margerie, built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), belongs to a class of vessel which, ship designers say, can safely operate in icy waters.
Ice-class tankers usually have double hulls, strengthened structures to withstand battering from the ice, and reinforced propellers. The Christophe de Margerie is capable of moving through ice as thick as 2.1 meters.
The ship will only be able to navigate the northern route from July to September each year, because the ice is too thick at other times, according to Sovcomflot, the Russian state shipping firm that owns the vessel.
A total of 15 gas tankers will be built for the Yamal project by Daewoo.
Environmentalists say too little is known about the impact of the new route
on the Arctic’s ecology.
Alexei Knizhnikov, Russian oil and gas environmental policy officer for international campaign group WWF, said measures were needed to mitigate the risk of heavy oil from the ship’s engines leaking into the sea.
He said ships could
disturb wildlife such as walruses and whales. (Additional reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Denis Pinchuk in ARKHANGELSK, Gleb Stolyarov in MOSCOW; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe)http://gcaptain.com/ice-class-lng-tanker-forges-path-for-arctic-shipping-super-highway/Agelbert NOTE: Polar Bears Are Definitely Screwed - The Arctic Heat Wave Is Literally Off the Charts Right Now
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2017, 09:47:23 pm »
A Major Step Forward in the Flint Water Crisis
March 28, 2017 Rhea Suh
The residents of this Michigan city will finally have access to a basic right: safe drinking water. But the fight isn't over.
For once, I am excited to report that there is good news on the Flint water crisis front. The pipes at the heart of the disaster are going to be replaced. For the first time in the three years since this Michigan city’s water was turned to poison, Flint’s citizens have a guarantee that the resources are in place to replace its estimated 18,000 lead pipes. And for the first time, they know when the pipes will be gone.
Let’s be clear, Flint is not fixed. But things are going to get better.
This did not happen because of the city, state, or federal governments that failed them
. It happened because brave people in Flint stood up for their neighbors
. They went to court. One of the genius parts of American environmental protections are the citizen suit provisions in our major environmental laws. When the government fails to protect its citizens, we are all empowered to go to court and force the government to do its job.Full article and pictures of polluted pipes at link: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rhea-suh/major-step-forward-flint-water-crisis
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2017, 08:10:55 pm »
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 26, 2017, 01:59:55 pm »
Flame coming off perdido oil rig in gulf of mexico;Corpus christi texas usa
March 22, 2017 by gCaptain
The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced that Wednesday’s lease sale for all available oil and gas parcels in the central Gulf of Mexico yielded over $274 million in high bids.U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
said Lease Sale 247 garnered $274,797,434 in high bids for 163 tracts covering 913,542 acres in the Central Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A total of 28 offshore energy companies submitted 189 bids. The sum of all bids received totaled $315,303,884.
Secretary Zinke said the sale reflects strong market conditions
and industry interest
in Federal offshore oil and gas resources under the new Administration
“Today’s strong sale reflects continued industry optimism and interest in the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf, a keystone of the Nation’s offshore oil and gas resources and a vital part of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy independent,” Secretary Zinke said. “In cooperation with the Gulf offshore industry, we are committed to responsible energy development that spurs economic opportunities, generates jobs for American workers, and produces revenues for local, state, and federal partners. Expanded Gulf production is critical to America’s economic and energy security, and will play a greater role as we move to break our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen the Nation’s energy independence.”
Wednesday’s sale included all unleased and non-protected areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. The two previous lease sales in the Central Planning Area yielded $156 million and $538 million in March 2016 and March 2015, respectively.
The sale is the final to be held in the Gulf of Mexico under the current Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). The first eleven sales in the Five Year Program offered nearly 73 million acres for development and garnered more than $3 billion in bid revenues.
For Lease Sale 247, Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered 9,118 unleased blocks, covering 48 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).
“The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most productive oil and gas basins in the world, and its mature offshore and onshore infrastructure supports safe and responsible development of our domestic energy resources,” Secretary Zinke said.
BOEM estimates the lease sale could result in the production of 460 to 890 million barrels of oil, and 1.9 trillion cubic feet to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Earlier this month Secretary Zinke announced that the Department will offer 73 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The proposed region-wide lease sale scheduled for August 16, 2017 would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Opening more federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling is a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy independent,” Secretary Zinke said. “The Gulf is a vital part of that strategy to spur economic opportunities for industry , states, and local communities, to create jobs and home-grown energy and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
As of March 1, 2017, about 16.9 million acres on the U.S. OCS are under lease for oil and gas development (3,194 active leases) and 4.6 million of those acres (929 leases) are producing oil and natural gas. More than 97 percent of the leases are in the Gulf of Mexico; about 3 percent are on the OCS off California and Alaska.http://gcaptain.com/gulf-of-mexico-lease-sale-yields-274-million-in-high-bids/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2017, 03:48:48 pm »
Historic Win in Colorado Fracking Lawsuit
Mar. 24, 2017 03:55PM EST Our Childrens Trust
In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's order denying a youth-brought rulemaking petition against fracking and a lower court's order upholding the denial. The court remanded the case to the district court and the commission, finding that the commission erred in its interpretation of Colorado law:
"We therefore conclude that the commission erred in interpreting [the Oil and Gas Conservation Act] as requiring a balance between development and public health, safety and welfare."
"The clear language of the act ... mandates that the development of oil and gas in Colorado be regulated subject to the protection of public health, safety and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources."
had argued that the Oil and Gas Conservation Act required it to strike a balance between the regulation of oil and gas operations and protecting public health, the environment and wildlife resources. The six plaintiffs in the case are Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Itzcuahtli Roske-Martinez, Sonora Brinkley, Aerielle Deering, Trinity Carter and Emma Bray. All are members of the Boulder-based youth group Earth Guardians.
The youth hand-delivered their petition for rulemaking in November 2013 to the commission. Their petition asked the commission to develop and implement a rule to stop the permitting of fracking until and if, oil and gas development can be done without causing harm to humans and without impairing Colorado's natural resources, including atmospheric resources and climate change.
"By its decision today, the court has concluded that the commission has full statutory authority to adopt Petitioner's proposed rule," Julia Olson, plaintiffs' counsel and executive director of Our Children's Trust, said. "The commission can no longer decide to prioritize oil and gas development over the health and safety of Coloradans. This is an enormous victory for these youth. We look forward to helping the youth of Colorado go back before the commission on remand."
Martinez, youth director of Earth Guardians, shared his excitement on the win. "Our movement to fight for the rights of people and our environment is evolving," he said.
"From the streets to the courtroom, the voices of the younger generation will be heard and the legal system is a tool for our resistance. Small wins build up to create massive change. I'm very optimistic about the potential this lawsuit has to protect my Colorado. Now more than ever, we will see people reclaiming the power."
Martinez is one of 21 youth plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States, a climate case brought in federal court and headed to trial this fall in U.S. District Court in Oregon. The American Petroleum Institute (API) is an intervenor defendant in both Martinez's Colorado and federal case. API represents the interests of the oil and gas industry supporting the commission in Colorado and the Trump administration in federal court. On Friday, attorneys representing Martinez and his co-plaintiffs in that case, served API and the federal government with requests for emails to or from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's pseudonym,Wayne Tracker.
Judges ruling on the side of youth plaintiffs were Judge Terry Fox and Judge JoAnn Vogt, with Judge Laurie Booras dissenting. In Booras' dissent, she wrote:
"I respectfully dissent from the majority's conclusion that the statutory scheme of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (the Act), §§ 34-60-101 to -130, C.R.S. 2016, requires protection of public health, safety and welfare as a determinative factor, instead of requiring balancing between those considerations and oil and gas production."
Agelbert NOTE: Don't you just love how the defenders of fossil fuel POLLUTION like Judge Laurie Booras can prettify Profit over Planet with innocuous jargon about "balance"? The Koch Brothers must pay her well to BETRAY future generations. In this Colorado case, however, the youth won their right to have their health, safety and welfare take precedence over oil and gas drilling.
They will head back to district court with the support of Coloradans from across the state, hundreds of whom marched in support of their case prior to their hearing before the Colorado Court of Appeals last month. Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas
is one of many related legal actions brought by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children's Trust, seeking science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system.http://www.ecowatch.com/colorado-fracking-lawsuit-2327849684.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2017, 07:56:31 pm »
Action After Tragedy: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Posted On March 22, 2017 by Andrew Hartsig
Friday will be the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Nearly 11 million gallons of oil spewed into the ocean over the course of three days. Even today, there are still some places in Prince William Sound where you can find oil that is as toxic as it was 28 years ago.
But, I’m optimistic that we can learn from the mistakes of the past and work together to make sure another Exxon Valdez doesn’t occur off the coast of Alaska. We saw first-hand what happens when we don’t take preparedness seriously.
Will you join me in taking action to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
Now, nearly three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, the Arctic Ocean is facing threats from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Strait.
As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the Bering Sea—including the narrow Bering Strait—is experiencing more and more ship traffic. As ship traffic increases, so do the risks, including oil spills, vessel strikes on marine mammals, air pollution, discharge of waste into the water and production of underwater noise. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect the Arctic.
Take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to take steps to reduce the risks of increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea. This can’t wait—we need to put in place key measures to increase safety and reduce risk in the Arctic waters.
The Bering Sea is used by millions of seabirds and an array of marine mammals including whales, seals, walruses and polar bears. Alaska Native communities rely on these resources for food security and cultural practices that date back millennia.
There’s no doubt that the Arctic Ocean is unique and important—there is a lot at stake if we don’t work together to do all we can to protect this region. Please take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to reduce the risks from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea.http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/03/22/action-after-tragedy-the-exxon-valdez-oil-spill/exxon-valdez-2/Agelbert NOTE:
I do not share the optimism of the author. I think it is bad and it will get a LOT worse.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:23:26 pm »
Monsanto Isn't Feeding the World -- It's Killing Our Children
Saturday, March 18, 2017
By Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association | News Analysis
"How could we have ever believed that it is a good idea to grow our food with poisons?" -- Dr. Jane Goodall
Two new reports published in recent weeks add to the already large and convincing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us.
Both reports issue scathing indictments of US and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical companies to hide the truth from the public, while they fill their coffers with ill-gotten profits.
According to the World Health Organization, whose report focused on a range of environmental risks, the cost of a polluted environment adds up to the deaths of 1.7 million children every year.
A report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council, focused more narrowly on agricultural chemicals. The UN report states unequivocally that the storyline perpetuated by companies like Monsanto -- the one that says we need pesticides to feed the world -- is a myth. And a catastrophic one at that.Full article:http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39866-monsanto-isn-t-feeding-the-world-it-s-killing-our-children
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:16:06 pm »
Big Win Over Oil Trains in California -- Thank You
We're celebrating the news this week that the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors rejected Phillips 66's proposed oil-train offloading terminal.
The oil-train terminal would have allowed more than 7 million gallons of crude oil to be shipped via rail to its local refinery each week, and made it possible for Phillips 66 to refine volatile and carbon-intensive tar sands crude from Canada. These trains also would have jeopardized numerous ecologically sensitive areas along California's coast. More than 25,000 Californians opposed the project -- many thanks those who spoke out.
"This is a huge victory for public safety, health and California's environment," said the Center's Valerie Love. "Hopefully it spells the end for this reckless plan. Our communities will be safer and our air will be cleaner because of it."
Read more in the East Bay Times.http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/14/east-bay-activists-hail-crude-oil-by-rail-rejection-in-san-luis-obispo/The Center for Biological Diversity
released a groundbreaking report this week identifying the top 15 members of Congress trying to seize, destroy, dismantle and privatize America's public lands. These "Public Lands Enemies" are part of a growing movement to industrialize public lands for profit -- increased exploitation for oil and gas drilling, fracking, logging, mining and development.
The Center's report analyzed 132 anti-public-lands bills that were introduced in the past three congressional sessions and the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored those bills.
"These 15 members of Congress are trying to turn America's public lands into an open cash register for corporations," said Randi Spivak, the Center's public lands director. "Everyone who cares about our national forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and monuments need to watch these elected officials very closely -- and oppose them at every step." These 15 Public Lands Enemies are:1. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
2. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah, 1st District)
3. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
4. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz., 4th District)
5. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
6. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah, 2nd District)
7. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska, At Large)
8. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
9. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho, 1st District)
10. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah, 3rd District)
11. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev., 2nd District)
12. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
13. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M., 2nd District)
14. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif., 4th District)
15. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Check out our new Public Lands Enemies website, where you can download shareable "Wanted" posters and find out if your congressional rep is on our list.http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/public_lands_enemies/index.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 15, 2017, 02:09:02 pm »
What you see above is a Tanker Dumping Ballast Polluted Water with BMS (Ballast Management System). When a tanker offloads its crude oil, it must take on ballast ocean water to keep it stable in the return voyage. This water CAN be cleaned up, but it is NOT actually cleaned up as they claim. And yeah, they DO NOT put the ballast water in separate tanks form where they had the crude oil (which is toxic to marine life), no matter what you may have heard. They could do that, but they won't because then they would not be able to carry as much crude (ALL the tanks are filled with crude oil, not half, as would be required for separate tanks).
BMS is a fig leaf for in-your-face ocean pollution for fossil fuel industry profits. Ballast Management Systems (BMS) are a cruel joke. They are nothing but a threadbare excuse used to make the mendacious claim that tankers are not polluting the oceans willy nilly for the sake of fossil fuel industry profits.
THEY ARE POLLUTING!
THEY DO IT FOR PROFITS.
THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE BIOSPHERE DAMAGE THEY DO.
The article published with this photo is wishful thinking.
Shipping On Right Course for the Ballast Water Management Convention
March 14, 2017 by Editorial By Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping
The Ballast Water Management Convention (the Convention), aimed at establishing standards and procedures to prevent the spread of aquatic organisms
, enters into force and takes effect on 8 September this year
. While it represents a significant environmental milestone for our planet, the Convention also means that the maritime industry has to gear up for a huge operational change.
Under the Convention, ships trading in international waters will need to ensure they are fitted with a ship-specific Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), according to the agreed implementation schedule. The BWMS installed must be approved by the Flag State in accordance with approval process defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Even vessels from countries which have not acceded to the Convention are required to comply with the standards when entering the ports of IMO Member States that have ratified the Convention.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the Convention, ships entering U.S. waters will also need to meet the stringent standards laid down in the U.S. Ballast Water Regulations and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The U.S. has not acceded to the Convention but adopted its own ballast-water regulations in 2012.
Agelbert NOTE: What you just read means that the U.S. "standards" are EVEN MORE LAX, NOT "more stringent", than the new BMS standards BECAUSE we have a fossil fuel corrupted government.
This disconnect in requirements has left many shipowners wondering if their vessels will be able to operate in U.S. waters when the Convention comes into force. The uncertainty in this area has been compounded by the fact that only three equipment makers – Optimarin, Alfa Laval and Ocean Saver – have systems that are approved and considered fully compliant with both the Convention and US Ballast Water regulations. A fourth system is currently being considered by the USCG for full approval.
With the Convention entering into force in less than 7 months, the pressure is certainly on for shipowners who must find a suitably robust BWMS for their operations and in the case of existing ships have the system installed by the date of their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Renewal Survey after 8 September this year.
Industry watchers expect that the global maritime industry will spend upwards of USD75 billion on equipping their vessels with ballast water treatment systems. Depending on the size of the vessel, its ballast water capacity and type of treatment, estimates show that the cost of implementation of the treatment systems can range from half a million to five million USD per vessel with some 40,000 ships to be equipped. This is in addition to other maintenance and operational costs.
Given these costs, there is the consideration that it may be more economically feasible to scrap a substantial number of older ships rather than modify them to meet the Convention’s standards.
Moreover, individual shipowners will also need to invest in training crew members to handle new equipment, ensuring that appropriate safety protocols are well established, and costs associated with disruptions due to dry-docking and equipment installation are contained.
In the current depressed market, these compliance costs, and other ancillary costs have been of significant concern to shipowners. For many countries, they have even been a barrier to ratification.
In spite of the nervousness about the ratification, shipowners are generally confident of meeting the standards in time. Having a firm date for the Convention’s implementation provides certainty for timelines and budget.
Furthermore, faced with the pressure of the Convention, equipment manufacturers and engineering companies are innovating to ensure that effective equipment and systems are made commercially available to help shipowners move forward. Currently, there are over 60-type approved systems, some of which make use of UV.
To spur greater trust in ballast water systems, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has also been collaborating with the IMO to ensure a more rigorous type approval process exists and as a result, the IMO adopted the more robust 2016 Guidelines for the Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) in October 2016.
The IMO also agreed in 2016 that the approval guidelines should be made into a mandatory code and the Convention amended accordingly following its entry into force. As a result, the availability of commercial equipment that can be considered to effectively treat ballast water in conditions normally encountered in the daily operation of ships should grow as systems gain approval in accordance with the latest revision of the approval guidelines (G8). The availability of systems approved in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines (G8) and with USCG approval will fuel confidence in the Convention.
Navigating the way forward
It has taken 13 years to take the Convention from adoption to ratification and while there have been significant concerns and challenges in its ratification, the long-term benefits should outweigh the costs. The risks to aquatic biodiversity and human health arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water will be eradicated with the implementation of treatment systems.
As an aside, some in the industry are saying the Convention may address existing vessel over-supply in the market, by encouraging shipowners to consider scrapping vessels that are over 15 years old.
More importantly, compliance with the Convention offers shipowners the opportunity to feedback on the efficacy of treatment systems, to help shape the Convention, and the industry as a whole. Here, the ICS provides a key avenue for shipowners to collaborate with other industry players and the IMO to refine the Convention and help facilitate implementation.
The success of the Convention is ultimately dependent on multi-level collaboration within the global maritime industry. On a macro level, inter-agency coordination amongst the flag States is necessary for effective enforcement of ballast water management strategies. On a micro level, careful planning and coordination is vital if shipowners are to meet the requirements of the Convention while minimising preparatory and compliance-related costs.
This multi-level collaborative approach will also be in action during the Sea Asia 2017 conferences. Held in April in Singapore, Sea Asia 2017 will bring together leaders from across the industry and around the globe to analyse, debate and find solutions to issues confronting the maritime industry.
One of the areas we will discuss is the Convention and its expected impact on the sector. I look forward to continuing the discussion on how we can work together as an industry to navigate these challenges moving forward.Peter Hinchliffe is a speaker for the ‘Navigating Challenges: The Way Forward’ session at Sea Asia 2017.http://gcaptain.com/shipping-on-right-course-for-the-ballast-water-management-convention/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2017, 02:16:20 pm »
Opening Arctic Waters to Drilling Is Trump Priority, Key Senator Says
March 12, 2017 by Bloomberg
Bloomberg) — Senator Lisa Murkowski said President Donald Trump
is interested in opening up new coastal waters for oil and gas drilling and reversing Obama-era policies that restrict energy development in Alaska.Both Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke
are weighing ways to expand opportunities to drill in Arctic waters
though the changes could take years to accomplish administratively, Murkowski
said in an interview on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston. http://gcaptain.com/opening-arctic-waters-to-drilling-is-trump-priority-key-senator-says/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:43:27 pm »
March 7, 2017 | Rona Fried | Policy/Trends
War on Regulations Takes Off
Last week, Trump ordered supervisors installed in all federal agencies to carry out his “2 for 1” scheme to eviscerate big bad regulations that supposedly hold our economy back. Only regulations that cost industries $0 in 2017 can stay in place – forget any benefits of holding corporations accountable, such as saving lives, protecting human health, safeguarding fundamental rights, worker rights, environmental rights, and caring for wildlife and wildlands. And for any regulation that is put in place, two must be eliminated even if they are entirely unrelated.
“This fundamentally changes our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate “self-regulation,” says Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, which is suing Donald J. Trump for the regulations assault.
But this is just the beginning. If the Midnight Rules Act, REINS Act and Regulatory Accountability Act pass, major items long on the Republican wish list will finally be fulfilled. The bills have passed in the House and now await Senate action.
◾Midnight Rule Relief Act allows Congress – in just one vote – to repeal all regulations passed over the past year.◾REINS Act (Regulations From The Executive In Need of Scrutiny )
gives Congress control over major new regulations, taking it out of the hands of professionals in federal agencies. For the first time, Congress would be in charge of approving regulations. If not approved within 70 days, the regulation dies and the agency is barred from taking it up again.◾Regulatory Accountability Act
makes it very hard to set new regulations by bogging the process down with over 60 new steps
. Until now, agencies balance costs and benefits when considering new rules, but this law requires them to choose the “least costly” option as opposed to the “most effective” option.
The House passed the REINS Act several times during Obama’s term, but it was stopped in the Senate. The House voted down Democrat amendments to exempt rules that affect veterans’ health care, nuclear reactor safety, transportation of hazardous materials, and the safety of products used by children under the age of 2, reports USA Today.
Read our article, REINS Act Would Increase Toxic Pollution
These bills “give Congress sweeping authority to substitute political judgement for scientific judgement. It gives Congress permission to ignore all the years of technical work and public comment used to develop public health, safety, and environmental protections, and simply dismantle all these vital safeguards in one fell swoop,” says Union of Concerned Scientists. It’s ironic, because federal agencies develop regulations at the behest of Congress in the laws they pass!
The REINS Act “could, in effect, impose a slow-motion government shutdown, and would replace a process based on expertise, rationality and openness with one characterized by political maneuvering, economic clout and secrecy. The public would be less protected, and the political system would be more abused. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more far-reaching, fundamental and damaging shift in the way the government goes about its business of safeguarding the public
,” says Natural Resources Defense Council.
Conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute is helping out with a 193-page agenda with a long list of regulations to eliminate, and Rep. Meadows (R-NC)
has offered a list of 232 regulations that can be repealed immediately.
And who did Trump put in charge of advising on which regulations to gut? Billioinairre corporate raider Carl Icahn.
With $16.5 billion, Icahn has plenty of money to protect (and grow!).Corporations are Thrilled
Real estate developers, for example, are thrilled with the rollbacks. Eliminating the “Waters of the US” rule makes it much easier to build without worrying about protecting wetlands and the streams half of Americans rely on for their drinking water. When the Endangered Species Act is gone, that will take a big pain out of the way.Environmental Protection Agency
Federal contractors are thrilled that the House repealed Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which requires them to comply with worker health and safety laws before getting new contracts. 30% of the worst violators received $81 billion in federal contracts, according to a 2013 Senate report. It affects the family of Rodney Bridgett, who was killed when a piece of heavy equipment crushed him and Calvin Bryant, crippled by a workplace explosion that killed 14 co-workers, for example. A vote in the Senate is imminent.On the chopping block:
◾lead safety standards in drinking water
◾unsafe chemicals to be removed from the market under the Toxic Substances Control Act
◾gut enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts
◾prohibit payday lenders from praying on consumers with high interest rates
◾gut Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, Consumer Protection Act, Food Safety Modernization Act, Pipeline Safety Act and many more.
◾gut food safety regulations, net neutrality rules that protect he Internet from monopolies, energy efficiency standards for appliances and vehicles, and of course, the Clean Power Plan that reduces emissions from power plants.
◾no more restrictions on oil drilling or coal mines on public land
◾no more standards for healthy school lunches
◾standards that protect health workers from exposure to infectious diseases
◾a rule to prevent mining equipment from crushing miners
◾rules that protect communities from oil trains from exploding
◾protections for endangered species
Visit rulesatrisk.org to keep up (if you can!) with the rules on the chopping block.
“It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking
,” says Weissman.
“Congress totally lacks the technical competence to review these kinds of complex rules. Do we really want members of Congress deciding whether a chemical can safely be used in food packaging? Or the proper procedures for approving new drugs as safe and effective? Or setting the allowable safety standard for heavy metals in drinking water?,” asks Carl Pope, former Sierra Club president.
Say Goodbye to Class Action Lawsuits?
HR 985, which would make it almost impossible for citizens to join class action lawsuits – among the most effective tools for victims of corporate abuse – will soon get a vote. Think about the BP oil spill or Wells Fargo’s illegal bank accounts. HR 720, HR 725 and HR 732 would make it harder for victims of corporate wrongdoing to sue and hold them accountable.How About a Rule that Requires the President to Reveal His Taxes?
Although the vast majority of Americans want Trump to reveal his taxes, House Republicans don’t like that rule either. Every single one of them voted to block a resolution that would force Trump to do what all other presidents have done on their own volition.
The House Ways and Means Committee has the power to demand Trump’s taxes, but the full House voted it down
when Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ) brought it to the floor. http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/war-regulations-takes-off/Agelbert NOTE:
Message from the Trump Team to we-the-people:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2017, 05:49:32 pm »
Pascal Molineaux · Professor at Universidad Javeriana Cali
Trump's priorities are crystal clear. His proposed budget speaks volumes. As a corporate stooge who couldn't care less for our health, our well-being, worker rights and the environment. He is literally doing an EVE (extinction level event) with his power, bending backwards as far as he possibly can to ease their "burden" and deregulate all federal oversight and defunded all institutions meant to protect the common good.
While throwing even more massive amounts of money at the world's most bloated military budget (the USA is already out spending the next big seven spender countries TOGETHER). Such waste, such blusterful nonsense, such blind hubris, such a know-nothing approach to our most pressing and urgent issues.
By GOD, I hope the American voter soon gives him a kicking. That's all Pumpkin head deserves!
Trump Proposes Cutting Great Lakes Funding by 97%
Mar. 08, 2017 08:55PM EST '
Sierra Club By Melinda Pierce
New findings revealed Wednesday show which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs will be most affected
by the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts, including a 97 percent budget cut
for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative strategically targets the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, including toxic substances, invasive species and pollution. As the Senate currently works to finalize 2017 appropriations and develop legislation to fund the federal government in 2018, it is up to them to make sure that the EPA receives the funding it needs to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and the environment, through programs such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Budgets are statements about values and priorities. Trump's budget Don't miss the Graphic at article link: http://www.ecowatch.com/great-lakes-restoration-initiative-2306413346.html
shows his priorities are corporate profits , not our communities or drinking water for the 1 in 10 Americans who live in this region.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 08, 2017, 05:43:46 pm »
Trump Cuts Regulations as Oceanic Dead Zones Release Massive Amounts of Methane
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report
The Trump administration's campaign to roll back as many government regulations as possible is well underway. On the environmental front, Trump administration officials have already -- in one day alone, and without allowing any opportunity for public comment -- delayed the dates of 30 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. A rule that restricted animal welfare requirements for organic poultry and livestock has been delayed by two months, and a bumble bee which was about to be added to the endangered species list has just found itself in jeopardy of extinction since the Trump administration said it would postpone the listing until at least March 21.
Meanwhile, Trump administration officials are indicating that they will be making marked changes in oil and gas industry regulations. In November, the Obama administration's EPA requested that nearly 20,000 oil and gas companies measure their methane emissions within two to six months, depending on their type of facility. Methane is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2, and reducing methane emissions is a critical part of mitigating climate disruption. However, the Trump administration has been granting a 90-day extension on the measurement regulation to every oil and gas company that wants one. Many oil and gas officials now expect the methane survey to be scaled back dramatically, or altogether abandoned. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39752-trump-cuts-regulations-as-oceanic-dead-zones-release-massive-amounts-of-methane
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 07, 2017, 02:28:13 pm »
Forecast: Trump to Shower Industries with Gifts This Week
The forecast this week calls for flurries of climate (in)action from the White House. Let’s run through the list of nightmares.
Today, the EPA and DoT are expected to announce that they’re starting the process to revise fuel economy standards. The rollbacks will be a gift to the auto and oil industries, while the American public will pick up the tab at the pump. There are also murmurs that Pruitt will also go after California’s right to create stricter fuel efficiency standards than the federal government--a remarkably hypocritical position for Scott “States’ Rights” Pruitt to take.
Also expected this week is an executive order instructing the EPA to begin the long and intensive process of undoing the Clean Power Plan while also lifting the moratorium on coal leasing on public lands. This will be framed as energy independence or security, but we all know it’s just another piece of corporate welfare for Trump’s fossil fuel buddies.
Speaking of which, here’s a scary sentence from E&E: “The Inhofe infantry
continues to grow at U.S. EPA.” Apparently a number of alums from Inhofe’s staff have found positions within the EPA and across the Trump administration. Which is just lovely.
On a slightly sunnier note, Team Trump has not yet figured out what to do about the Paris Agreement, despite conflicting reports. While they deliberate, we’ll read and re-read Andrew Freedman’s perfect explanation of why “Leaving the Paris Agreement would be Trump's worst move yet.”
In the meantime, there are still clouds on the horizon to worry about. One big storm cloud we’re watching: Trump’s proposed budget
. While Congress’s budget will most likely be better than the bloodbath of Trump’s initial proposal, it will still be bad. It’s not surprising that the proposed cuts to the EPA’s scientific research would be so severe as to cause the department to “implode,” but Trump’s even going after bipartisan-supported efforts like the Energy Star program, turning it over to industry.
Fortunately even GOP appropriators have said the money that pours from the EPA to states will make it difficult for Congress to cut the budget to the degree Trump is asking. And if the pork barrel rationale doesn’t save the budget, maybe the GOP majority will actually listen to their constituents?
That might be a good idea: a new survey out of Yale shows there is widespread support for reducing carbon pollution and increasing our investment in renewables
. Even 62% of Trump supporters think there should be taxes or regulations on carbon pollution.
Unfortunately, not polled were the only voices Trump appears to listen to: the corporate overlords he will apparently do just about anything to appease.
So while uncertainty rains in the Trump camp, one thing is certain: we’re bracing for a SHITSTORM.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:52:51 pm »
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 04, 2017, 01:40:06 pm »
It's going to flood again in Texas. So, you Texans that still have two neurons to rub together had better take precautions. Trumpers be warned: No Regulations means NO CLEANUP of oil and gas "industry" produced toxins
in the water.
AUSTIN — Scores of photographs taken by state emergency-management officials show that when floodwaters rise in Texas, they inundate oil wells and fracking sites, sweeping crude and noxious chemicals into rivers throughout the Lone Star State.
Most recently, rainbow sheens and caramel plumes can be seen radiating from tipped tanks and flooded production pads during the March flood of the Sabine River, which forms much of the state’s boundary with Louisiana. Similar scenes are visible in photos from last year’s floods of the Trinity, Red, and Colorado rivers.
“In other areas, cattle that drank the fracking fluid actually died an hour after drinking it. There are potential carcinogens that can lead to leukemia, brain cancer and other endocrine disruptors that can affect premature births.”
2013 photo of a flooded fracking site.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 01, 2017, 06:04:26 pm »
Analysis: Clean Power Plan repeal could cost $600B, result in 120,000 premature deaths
•Repealing the Clean Power Plan would have significant impacts on the United States' economy and the health of its citizens, according to new analysis from Energy Innovation, a clean energy think tank.
•Rolling back the carbon rule would lead to $100 billion in extra costs by 2030, rising to $600 billion by 2050, according to the organization's power sector modeling tool. And the resulting impacts to air quality would lead to more than 40,000 premature deaths in 2030, and 120,000 in 2050.
campaigned on rolling back regulations, focusing on energy production and undoing the CPP. He has now installed former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and is preparing a budget that is expected to slash the agency's finances and resources.http://www.utilitydive.com/news/analysis-clean-power-plan-repeal-could-cost-600b-result-in-120000-prema/437036/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2017, 05:22:39 pm »
WOTUS On the Chopping Block Today
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today repealing the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule, administration officials told multiple outlets Monday. The EO, which an official told Politico directs the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to "review and reconsider the rule," will have no immediate legal impact on its own but will serve as a signal to new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt to prioritize undoing WOTUS, a lengthy task which experts say could last well beyond this administration. Today's EO is also expected to be the first in a series of executive actions targeting the EPA. Finalized by the Obama administration in 2015, WOTUS gives the federal government authority to regulate pollution in smaller streams and wetlands feeding into larger bodies of water, and has been fiercely opposed by industry interests. (New York Times $, Washington Post $, Bloomberg, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Greenwire $, Reuters, Time)
EPA May Have 3,000 Empty Desks
The Trump administration proposed slashing the EPA's funding by nearly 25% in a budget plan it sent to the agency Monday, agency sources told various outlets. The proposal cuts the EPA's $8.1 billion budget by nearly $2 billion, and would also potentially eliminate one-fifth of the agency's 15,000-person workforce, reducing the EPA to its funding and staffing levels of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The White House is seeking an additional $54 billion in military spending by cutting funding across agencies, with the EPA reportedly one of the top targets for cuts. The administration will send its first submission to Congress by March 16, and could face backlash from lawmakers over the radical changes proposed at EPA. (E&E $, Politico, Bloomberg, The Hill, Vox, Huffington Post, Climate Central)
DC: EPA removes mention of "climate change" in water utilities program (InsideClimate News), records show EPA’s Pruitt used private email, despite denial
(Washington Post $), dumping Interior rules means tossing waste safeguards
(EnergyWire $), Senate moves closer to final Zinke vote (Politico Pro $)
DIPLOMACY: Marshall Islands first to ratify global HFC greenhouse gas pact (Reuters, Climate Home), EU clashes with maritime industry over ship emissions (Climate Home)
JUSTICE: Judge to hear arguments today on Dakota Access oil pipeline work (AP), is Pa. pipeline fight on Amish farm the next Standing Rock? (Penn Live), in Portland, one plan tackles climate change and racial discrimination (Governing)
INT'L ENERGY: Japan accelerates wind power development as govt support pays off (Reuters), China's coal consumption falls for 3rd year in a row (AP, Climate Home), Pakistan races to tap virgin coal fields to meet energy crunch (Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Guardian)
SCIENTISTS: Scientists are at the Vatican discussing how to save the planet (Fusion), Bill Nye warns Trump administration could have ‘catastrophic’ effect on the planet
INFRASTRUCTURE: Water shut from Oroville Dam's damaged spillway in race against Mother Nature (LA Times $), California moves to ease pressures on aging dams (New York Times $), Senate GOP to investigate Oroville failure (Washington Examiner)
STATES + RENEWABLES: Minnesota: Legislation would boost standard for renewable energy (Minnesota Star Tribune), clean energy advocates ask Iowa regulators to reconsider solar ruling (Midwest Energy News), a Texas energy company offers a glimpse of what carbon capture could look like (Texas Monthly)
LOCAL ACTION: How will Alaskans talk climate change with the Trump administration? (Alaska Dispatch News), Indiana’s forests are for sale — but this bill tries to stop them from being cut down (Nexus Media News)
CALIFORNIA: California is likely to see more flooding due to climate change (KQED), how California's utilities are mapping their grids for distributed resources (Utility Dive), wrong statements by lawmaker on solar energy stir backlash (Sacramento Bee)
COLORADO: Climate change is already reducing flows in the Colorado River, scientists report (Washington Post $), new study sheds light on how climate change affects Colorado's snowpack (AP, CPR, EcoWatch)
BUSINESS: Warren Buffett says global warming is not impacting the way Berkshire writes insurance (CNBC), Hawaiian Airlines joins international climate change study (AP)
ARCTIC: Scientists just measured a rapid growth in acidity in the Arctic ocean, linked to climate change (Washington Post $), for some Arctic plants, spring arrives almost a month earlier (New York Times $)
SHELL: ‘Shell knew’: oil giant's 1991 film warned of climate change danger
(The Guardian), Shell shuns new oil sands projects as low prices force cost control (Bloomberg)
WILDLIFE: Before Vaquitas vanish, a desperate bid to save them (New York Times $)
HEALTH: "A sense of despair":
The mental health cost of unchecked climate change
FUTURE OF FOOD: Robots are raising your kale now (Grist), bread's environmental costs are counted (BBC)
READ UP: American teachers may soon face several state restrictions on teaching climate science (Mother Jones), rogue librarians are in a race to save the truth from Trump (GOOD Magazine), 6 words that could go extinct because of climate change (Outside)
•Senate should stand up for environment and not block Obama methane regulation (LA Times editorial $)
•Develop 'renewables first' energy strategy (Philadelphia Inquirer, David J. Murphy op-ed)
•Just who are these 300 'scientists' telling Trump to burn the climate? (The Guardian, John Abraham column)
•What Is Wrong with a Carbon Tax (Scientific American, Keith Harrington op-ed)
•New York's nuclear subsidies contradict economic principles (UtilityDive, Devin Hartman guest post)
•RGGI is good for NH businesses (New Hampshire Union-Leader, David Worthen op-ed)
•Is February Washington’s new May?
Freak thunderstorms pound area for second straight year. (Washington Post, Ian Livingston analysis $)
•Severe heatwaves show the need to adapt livestock management for climate (The Conversation, Elisabeth Vogel & Christin Meyer op-ed)
•Trump Is Very Wrong About Clean Coal (Gizmodo, Sidney Fussell analysis)
•Did President Trump save 77,000 coal mining jobs? (Washington Post, Glenn Kessler fact-check $)
•The mobile solar boom is just beginning (The Hill, Craigh Erhlich op-ed)
Pruitt’s Private Emails Bad, Scientist’s Public Participation good
Hey, remember that time the GOP and climate deniers made a huge stink over an ex-EPA administrator using a private email address? Or all those times deniers sued for climate scientists’ emails? Or the time the GOP made a massive fuss over a presidential candidate’s emails?
They, apparently, do not. Because despite explicitly telling the Senate during his confirmation hearing that he never used a personal email account for state business, the Oklahoma attorney’s general office has confirmed that Scott Pruitt... used a personal email account to conduct state business.
We eagerly await the months of investigations, hearings and op-eds to discuss this circumvention of transparency laws and abuse of process.
Just kidding! Obviously, that’s not going to happen, because as we all know those “concerns” were pretense for pointed political attacks.
And those political attacks aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Take, for example, the list of 300 so-called “experts” who called on Trump to pull out of the UNFCCC. John Abraham took a quick look at the signatories, and, surprise surprise, there are not many actual climate scientists on the list
. The few who are nominally credible on climate (like Richard Lindzen) are far from consistently correct on the issue.
On the other hand, actual scientists across the country are gearing up for the March for Science in DC at the end of April
. With major groups like AAAS coming on board, there seems to be a growing acceptance of the fact that scientists are feeling more comfortable speaking up about politics.
For those who oppose the effort and claim that it’s a bad idea that will damage the credibility of science, well, science says you’re wrong. A new study found that climate scientists can speak out on social media about recent findings, the risks and impacts of climate change, policy options available, broad actions and specific co2 reduction policies without losing any credibility with a Facebook audience. The only message that resulted in a dip in trustworthiness was a proposal to build more nuclear power.
So all you scientists wondering if joining the march is going to cost you, fear not! You’re safe to engage with the public. Just maybe don’t talk about nuclear power!
Or send too many emails...
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2017, 04:57:10 pm »
Chief Engineers Convicted in ‘Magic Pipe’ Pollution Case
February 24, 2017 by gCaptain
Yep, this ship rigged to pollute
(built in 2014!
) is named "Green Sky
Evidence presented to the jury showed that the Green Sky was regularly pumping this contaminated and oily water directly overboard
, while failing to disclose the discharges on the vessel’s oil record book as required. The illegal overboard discharges were falsified from February to August 2015.
“Methods of falsification included omitting illegal bypass operations, claiming that the oil water separator was used when it had not been, and a series of false entries regarding the levels of the bilge holding tank, which were designed to further the cover-up. While most of these discharges occurred in international waters, evidence at trial revealed that at least two of these discharges were within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States during the ship’s voyage from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Houston, Texas in May 2015,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on Thursday.
The evidence presented during the fifteen-day trial demonstrated that the chief engineers covered up illegal overboard discharges that took place through two systems of “magic” hoses and a separate “magic” valve system designed to bypass the ship’s oil water separator. Koutoukakis and Julian falsified the oil record book to hide their illegal discharges. The vessel arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on August 26, 2015, when the false record was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard during an inspection of the vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard was tipped off by three whistleblowers who came forward to report the crimes and ask for protection from U.S. authorities.Full article with "magic pipe" picture included for your viewing pleasure: http://gcaptain.com/engineers-convicted-in-magic-pipe-pollution-case/Agelbert NOTE:
As usual, the top dogs who influenced the crew members to do this creative criminal exercise in profit over planet will not be caught, charged, fined or imprisoned. This "magic pipe" trick is the tip of the massive pollution iceberg in the shipping industry.
Do you want to guess who the champion polluter ships in the oceans are? If you said, CRUDE OIL Tankers, you win the prize. The foot dragging on regulating them began with Reagan and has continued pretty much until today.
And now that Trump is there to make sure the Coast Guard looks the other way when the tankers do their ballast fun and games after discharging the crude, the pollution will be TOTALLY UNREGULATED. That means more of THIS
for marine life in and around ports.
Have a nice day.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 27, 2017, 05:43:10 pm »
International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean
February 27, 2017 Over the last decade, the Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) and US collaborators have studied the environmental and climate changes of the western Arctic Ocean and has witnessed rapid expansion of the 'acidified' water in the upper water column. This photo shows the science team working on an ice station in front of the icebreaker XueLong during the summer 2010 cruise in the northern Canada Basin, very close to the North Pole. Credit: Zhongyong Gao and Di Qi
The research shows that, between the 1990s and 2010, acidified waters expanded northward approximately 300 nautical miles from the Chukchi slope off the coast of northwestern Alaska to just below the North Pole. Also, the depth of acidified waters was found to have increased, from approximately 325 feet to over 800 feet (or from 100 to 250 meters).
"The Arctic Ocean is the first ocean where we see such a rapid and large-scale increase in acidification, at least twice as fast as that observed in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans," said Cai, the U.S. lead principal investigator on the project and Mary A.S. Lighthipe Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at UD.
"The rapid spread of ocean acidification in the western Arctic has implications for marine life, particularly clams, mussels and tiny sea snails that may have difficulty building or maintaining their shells in increasingly acidified waters," said Richard Feely, NOAA senior scientist and a co-author of the research. Sea snails called pteropods are part of the Arctic food web and important to the diet of salmon and herring. Their decline could affect the larger marine ecosystem.
Among the Arctic species potentially at risk from ocean acidification are subsistence fisheries of shrimp and varieties of salmon and crab.
Other collaborators on the international project include Liqi Chen, the Chinese lead principal investigator and scientist with the Third Institute of Oceanography of State Oceanic Administration of China; and scientists at Xiamen University, China and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, among other institutions.Pacific Winter Water
The researchers studied water samples taken during cruises by Chinese ice breaker XueLong (meaning "snow dragon") in summer 2008 and 2010 from the upper ocean of the Arctic's marginal seas to the basins as far north as 88 degrees latitude, just below the North Pole, as well as data from three other cruises.
Scientists measured dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity which allows them to calculate pH and the saturation state for aragonite, a carbonate mineral that marine organisms need to build their shells
This graphic, produced by the University of Delaware, shows where ocean acidification is spreading in the Arctic Ocean, both in area and in depth. Credit: Tammy Beeson, University of Delaware
International team reports ocean acidification spreading rapidly in Arctic Ocean
This graphic, produced by the University of Delaware, shows where ocean acidification is spreading in the Arctic Ocean, both in area and in depth. Credit: Tammy Beeson, University of Delaware
Data collected by ship and model simulations suggest that increased Pacific Winter Water (PWW), driven by circulation patterns and retreating sea ice in the summer season, is primarily responsible for this OA expansion, according to Di Qi, the paper's lead author and a doctoral student of Chen.
"This work will help increase our understanding of climate change, carbon cycling, and ocean acidification in the Arctic, particularly as it affects marine and fishery science and technology," said Chen.
PWW comes from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait and shelf of the Chukchi Sea and into the Arctic basin. In recent years, melting sea ice has allowed more of the Pacific water to flow through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean. Pacific Ocean water is already high in carbon dioxide and has higher acidity. As the ocean mass moves north, it absorbs additional carbon dioxide from decomposing organic matter in the water and sediments, increasing acidity.
The melting and retreating of Arctic sea ice in the summer months also has allowed PWW to move further north than in the past when currents pushed it westward toward the Canadian archipelago.
Arctic ocean ice melt in the summer, once found only in shallow waters of depths less than 650 feet or 200 meters, now spreads further into the Arctic Ocean.
"It's like a melting pond floating on the Arctic Ocean. It's a thin water mass that exchanges carbon dioxide rapidly with the atmosphere above, causing carbon dioxide and acidity to increase in the meltwater on top of the seawater," said Cai. "When the ice forms in winter, acidified waters below the ice become dense and sink down into the water column, spreading into deeper waters
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 26, 2017, 05:46:35 pm »
Trump Gives Pen to Dow Chemical CEO After Signing Executive Order to Eliminate Regulations
Feb. 24, 2017 08:43PM EST
President Donald Trump has signed another executive order aimed at eliminating regulations that he claims are damaging to the U.S. economy, but some worry that the measure will roll back critical environmental protections.
The order, called "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda," directs each government agency to create a task force to evaluate existing federal regulations and recommend whether they should be kept, repealed or modified.
A White House official told POLITICO that the task forces will "focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations."
The new order also directs agency heads to appoint "regulatory reform officers" to ensure that agencies are carrying out the president's other executive orders, such as his recent 2-for-1 rule that requires federal agencies to repeal two old regulations for every new one.
"Excessive regulation is killing jobs," Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it."
"We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States," Trump added. "It's going to be absolutely just the opposite. They will be incentivized to doing business."
The president was flanked by leaders of major U.S. corporations, including Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Chemical Co. and Campbell Soup.
Dow Chemical Co. chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris, who leads Trump's advisory council on manufacturing and received the presidential signing pen. Just yesterday, Liveris praised the Trump administration for being "the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers."
Bloomberg Politics pointed out that The White House already has an entire agency, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, that reviews all government regulations before they are issued. It is unclear how the existing office will be working with the new officials.
Environmental groups have criticized Trump's latest executive order, saying that it is crafted to help the country's biggest polluters.
"The Trump administration wants less government, except when it wants more to carry out its oil and gas industry agenda ,"
Greenpeace spokesperson Travis Nichols said in a statement. "This executive order will put Trump's unvetted corporate minions
above experts at our federal agencies in charge of protecting our water, our land and our climate."
"We can only hope that the resistance inside these agencies will be strong enough to stop these destructive Trump toadies from dismantling protections for the American people," Nichols continued. "This administration and its deluded enforcers will never understand what it feels like to worry about the water their families are drinking, the food their families are eating or if their houses will survive the next superstorm. It's up to all of us outside the billionaire bubble to resist the ways in which the Trump administration is destroying this country."
Tiernan Sittenfeld of the League of Conservation Voters had similar sentiments.
"President Trump is rigging the system so corporate lobbyists can lower standards that protect the public health and safety of all people in this country," Sittenfeld told NPR . "These task forces will attempt to roll back common-sense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the lands we cherish."
Waterkeeper Alliance said that Trump's latest order will only help destroy agencies and regulations that are designed to protect people and the environment. For instance, rules that ensure that tap water does not contain pollutants that cause cancer or brain damage could be on the chopping block.
"President Trump's action to slash regulation is more like a pollution prison sentence, subjecting our communities to increased exposure to polluted water, toxins, disease and economic burden for generations to come. There is no justification for this type of brazen policy that only benefits the richest and most powerful corporations in the world," said Waterkeeper Alliance Executive Director Marc Yaggi. "Americans and all world citizens want and deserve clean water and clean air. President Trump will face massive resistance to this misguided executive order." The Waterkeeper Alliance pointed out that the assumption that regulations have a negative impact on job creation is false.
"The reality is that only two-tenths of one percent of layoffs are caused by all governmental regulations
, including environmental ones,"
the organization said. "Earlier this month, job loss was cited as a major reason for overturning
the Stream Protection Rule despite the fact that the Congressional Research Service found the rule would have created as many jobs as it eliminated.
If implemented, the Stream Protection Rule would have protected an estimated 6,000 miles of streams over the next two decades
from the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining
Earlier at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday, Trump promised to slash 75 percent of regulations all while claiming he wanted to "protect our environment."
"We're going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business. And by the way, I want regulation. I want to protect our environment.
I want regulations for safety,"
Trump said, according to CNBC. "I want all of the regulations that we need and I want them to be so strong and so tough.
But we don't need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs." But Trump's first month in the White House has been a nightmare for environmentalists and the planet alike.
He has appointed a cabinet full of polluters with ties to the fossil fuel industry
, and signed executive orders to push through the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline and nullify Obama-era climate policies such as the Stream Protection Rule.
And as Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group's senior vice president for government affairs, put it, "President Trump is engineering the most hostile assault on public health, and mark my words, his administration's planned destruction of many rules will put the health of millions of hard-working Americans and their families in jeopardy."
Incidentally, it emerged Friday morning that his daughter, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pushed the president to exclude language that criticized the Paris agreement from an upcoming executive order, the Wall Street Journal reported.http://www.ecowatch.com/trump-executive-order-regulations-2282814216.html
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