Oh brother. Here we go again.

By Gwen Lachelt

September 14, 2011

ConocoPhillips launches natural gas campaign

Two weeks ago Conoco-Phillips invited me to a "Community Leader Engagement Meeting" in Durango, Colorado.

Besides a couple of environmental leaders, the room was filled with elected officials, school administrators and business leaders all hungry for donations and new convention centers.

C-P is the largest company operating south of the state line in San Juan County, New Mexico. It's the fifth largest producer in La Plata County, Colorado.

Five minutes into the "engagement" it was clear that the C-P employees had no intention of sharing future drilling plans and what steps they were going to take to prevent and minimize impacts to protect public health and the environment. Instead, the meeting was about what a great corporate neighbor the company is and how much the company contributes to local schools and communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, drilling, natural gas, dirty energy, conocophillips

The House entertains deep sea bed mining

By Aaron Mintzes

September 14, 2011

Yesterday, I attended a hearing in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals. They were reviewing a small package of bills that are part of a broader effort by the House majority to highlight the mining industry’s impact on job creation.

This second installment included a discussion of HR 2803, which is a bill instructing the Interior Department to conduct a study exploring the feasibility of drilling for minerals in the shallow and deep sea beds of the United States. The bill is offered by Delegate Faleomavaega of American Samoa and is intended to potentially facilitate the exploration of mineral resources in places like Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and other American territories.

I am generally in favor of study...

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Tagged with: house natural resources committee, deep sea bed mining

The oil and gas industry’s victory lap

By Aaron Mintzes

September 12, 2011

On Friday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Minerals and Energy had a hearing on the job creation effect of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

I remember the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as the controversial legislation negotiated behind closed doors with Halliburton on one side and Vice President Cheney on the other. One of the reasons why many of us felt like that law carried the specter of a sweetheart deal for Vice President Cheney’s former employer is Section 390- the provision describing categorical exclusions (CXs). That is, drilling activities that are exempted from the standard environmental review process.

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Tagged with: house natural resources committee, categorical exclusions, energy policy act, jobs

Wikileaks cables reveal U.S. mining co. negligence in Ghana Cyanide spill

By Nick Magel

September 12, 2011

Demonstrating youth at Yayaso. Photo: Ghana Chronicle
Youth Demonstrating at Yayaso
Photo: Ghana Chronicle

Wikileaks recently released a new batch of cables that expose Denver-based Newmont Mining’s negligence before and after a cyanide spill at their Ahafo gold mine on October 8 2009. The cables reveal that Government of Ghana went as far as to accuse Newmont of an attempted cover up, and criticize the company for a series of “blunders” following the spill.

What does this mean for Newmont, which is looking to push through another major mine in Ghana?

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Tagged with: gold mining, dirty gold, newmont, ghana, displacement

Natural gas: a detour on the way to a clean energy economy

By Alan Septoff

September 8, 2011

Count U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research researchers among those questioning the value of switching to natural gas as a "bridge" fuel from greenhouse-gas-intensive coal to a clean energy future.

[NCAR researcher] Wigley's computer simulations indicate that a worldwide, partial shift from coal to natural gas would slightly accelerate climate change through at least 2050, even if no methane leaked from natural gas operations, and through as late as 2140 if there were substantial leaks. After that, the greater reliance on natural gas would begin to slow down the increase in global average temperature, but only by a few tenths of a degree.

Along with the Cornell study and EPA analysis, 2011 may be the year that shows that -- far from a bridge -- natural gas is actually a detour on the road to a clean energy economy.

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Tagged with: natural gas, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, bridge fuel, ncar

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@GDBlackmon …If HB40 passes, the #fracking #oilandgas industry calls the tune, and democracy be damned.
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