July 12, 2010
The World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is considering providing a guarantee for support of a nickel mine in Indonesia that would destroy vast areas of tropical rain forest in the buffer zone of a National Park -- in an area that was previously nominated to be part of the National Park. And it would pollute rivers with large quantities of sediment and probably toxic waste drainage. And dump the processing waste water into the ocean at only 15m below the surface. In an area with coral reefs.
By Lauren Pagel
July 8, 2010
Earlier this week, Congressman Waxman, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Department of State Keystone XL Project Manager Elizabeth Orlando opposing the approval of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The State Department is charged with determining whether the pipeline is in the national interest and will issue, or not issue, a permit accordingly.
If built, the pipeline will transport tar sands oil from the Canadian tar sands in Alberta to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast. Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest fuels out there -- emitting high volumes of greenhouse gases during development, which contribute to global warming.
In his letters to the State Department, Chairman Waxman stated that permitting the Keystone XL pipeline would be a step in the wrong direction , undermining President Obama s efforts to move this country away from oil and towards a clean energy economy. We applaud Chairman Waxman for his strong stance against increasing our reliance on dirty fuels and hope that other politicians will join him in opposing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
By Lauren Pagel
July 2, 2010
Yesterday, Representative Arcuri of New York offered an amendment to the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010 to close a loophole that exempts the oil and gas construction activities from the storm water prevention permit requirement of the Clean Water Act. The amendment was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and should head to the House floor sometime this month.
The successful repeal of this exemption will be the first in a long list of exemptions that must be repealed to make sure that oil and gas drilling is conducted in a safe, responsible manner than protects communities and the environment.
Oil and gas production is still exempt from the storm water portion of the Clean Water Act. And all of you have heard about the absurd exemption that hydraulic fracturing has from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Oil and gas producers are also exemption from our hazardous waste law (RCRA), the federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated by hazardous waste (also known as Superfund), the National Environmental Policy Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (which requires companies to report their toxic releases), and part of the Clean Air Act.
June 25, 2010
Last week the Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) passed several new oil and gas rules. These new rules are a badly needed step in the right direction and it's important that states move forward with updating their oil and gas regulations.
But, let's not get too carried away with Wyoming's good works. The cozy relationship between industry and Wyoming regulators is still very much alive and protected by a lack of adequate local, state and federal regulation that is consistently enforced.
June 25, 2010
Gasland opens when Filmmaker Josh Fox is offered $100,000 for the drilling rights to the gas under his land in Pennsylvania near the New York border. Many people have signed on the dotted line and regretted it. But not Fox. He took off on a cross-country investigation of America to understand what it would mean to open the door to natural gas drilling on his family s land.
The film that resulted, Gasland, follows Josh as he exposes the environmental effects of drilling and hydraulic fracturing. What he uncovers is nothing new to OGAP members but horrifying to those unfamiliar with what it takes to turn on a light switch or light their stove top: homes with tap water so contaminated you can set it on fire; people with similar chronic illnesses and symptoms in drilling areas across the country; and toxic waste pits that kill livestock and wildlife.
From Dimock, Pennsylvania, to Wyoming s Powder River Basin to DISH, Texas and Aztec, New Mexico, Fox documents the dark side of America s energy policy: an oil and gas industry that is exempt from nearly every one of our federal environmental laws the Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, to name a few. In 2005, Congress, thanks to former Vice-President Dick Cheney and Halliburton, exempted hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") from the Safe Drinking Water Act.