Spills, Explosions, Earthquakes and War: Welcome to American Energy “Independence”

Fri, 2014-04-04 12:07Don Lieber
Don Lieber's picture

Spills, Explosions, Earthquakes and War: Welcome to American Energy “Independence”

A well-deserved show of gratitude to the efficient and reliable fossil fuel sources of American energy independence — oil, coal and gas — is in order, following a truly remarkable string of success stories in recent days nationwide.      

On March 25, the BP refinery in Whiting, IN, leaked some 1,600 gallons of crude oil about eight miles upstream from a main drinking water inlet to Chicago. (As of this writing, investigators have not yet determined if the oil is conventional crude or heavy tar sands.)

Three days prior, on March 22, nearly 170,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil spilled into Galveston Bay, TX, from a barge, soiling one of the nation’s busiest export terminals with one of the heaviest, stickiest forms of oil on Earth. As a result, 20 containment vessels were dispatched. 

And five days before that, on March 17, a Sunoco-owned oil pipeline leaked 20,000 gallons into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve in Ohio, some 20 miles from Cincinnati. To be fair, the leak was only ‘discovered’ on March 17. Nobody knows when the leak actually began, and the true amount of oil leaked will be impossible to conclude.   

These impressive gains by the oil industry, however, pale in comparison to the string of breakthroughs achieved in the coal industry in recent days in North Carolina.

Since February 2, an ongoing spill at Duke Energy’s Dan River power plant has leaked more than 25 million gallons of toxic coal waste, resulting in the contamination of more than 70 miles of the Dan River. Testing has confirmed dangerous levels of arsenic and other carcinogens chemicals in the river.

Six weeks later, on March 20, state regulators cited Duke, the largest electrical supplier in the nation, for yet another achievement in helping America achieve energy independence: the company intentionally and illegally dumped an additional 60 million gallons of coal waste into another local waterway — the Cape Fear River.  

The other member of the fossil fuel ‘trio,’ natural gas, is touted by the industry as the promising savior of our clean energy future. In March, its performance continued to live up to its true potential.

On March 11, a gas explosion in Trenton, N.J., killed one person and destroyed 12 townhouses. 

The next day, on March 12, a gas explosion in Harlem, NY, destroyed two apartment buildings, killing eight people. New Yorkers expressed their gratitude to former Mayor Bloomberg, who championed the introduction of massive new amounts of natural gas into the least-maintained system of urban gas pipelines in the nation, prior to leaving office — to provide New Yorkers the benefits of energy independence, of course. 

And finally, in Colorado, health officials are now investigating a “sudden rise in fetal abnormalities” in areas with high densities of active gas wells. The investigation, reported on DeSmogBlog, comes just weeks after the publication of a study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives which showed an “association between density of natural gas wells within a ten mile radius of expectant mothers' homes and the prevalence of fetal anomalies such as low birth weight and congenital heart defects in their infants.”  (See the full report here: Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado.)

The scope of these fossil fuel successes, however, goes far beyond mere accidents, leaks and fetal abnormalities.  

Seismologists report that hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”) is likely responsible for earthquakes, and U.S. military leaders report that oil was a major reason we went to war.

Taken together, we can all pause in gratitude and say, with reverence:

We salute you, the fossil fuel industries — oil, coal and gas: the key to affordable and reliable American energy independence — our future is safely in your hands.

Photo: Workers take a water sample after the Duke Energy Dan River Coal Ash spill. From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region via Flickr

Comments

Solar would also make the US energy independant.  It could easily be subsidized by cutting the military, since they won't be needed to go get oil.

A well-deserved show of gratitude to the efficient and reliable fossil fuel sources of American energy independence — oil, coal and gas — is in order, following a truly remarkable string of success stories in recent days nationwide.”

Read that sentence 3 times and finally thought “Oh, I get it. Sarcasm, eh? Haha!” 

See, I'm not as stupid as you all think I am.  ;)

While the “show of gratitude to the efficient and reliable fossil fuel sources of American energy independence” is shear sarcasm here, much of the denial & attitude of the energy industry reminds me of one past incident. Just after the Chernobyl accident, Radio Free Europe broadcasted information to Europeans on how to minimize radiation exposure from the disaster. Direct dial telephone connections were in place, allowing those in Eastern Europe to call in to RFE shows.

One retired Bulgarian General called in during that time, and complained about the fear that RFE was causing. And, he said how Bulgarians should be grateful for everything the Russians have done for them, even if 2 million Bulgarians die from Chernobyl!

So, be glad for what's been done for you, even if it makes you sick, or, outright killls you?

Meanwhile, the agenda over at right wing fossil fuel lobbyist blogs like WUWT has become even more clearer what the motivations of the site are, who they support and who they lobby for:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/05/what-is-to-be-done/

Even their normaly overtly conservative audience are alarmed at the blatant partisanship and the openness of their lobbying for fossil fuels. There is no mistaking that WUWT is a political site, lobbying for fossil fuels. 

Instead of the loftiest ideals of “thinking of the children” and so on, President Obama and the EPA are driven by the basest of motives – that their fellow Americans be poorer with reduced opportunities.”

Oh yes, of course. That's exactly what they want. Sheeesh.

Barack Obama: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” (January 2008)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTxGHn4sH4

Say what you want, Phil, but the vast readership of WUWT is way too diverse to be simply another group of 'right wing' loonies. You should read there more often my friend.

Chas, not surprisingly you provide a heavily edited you tube video, because doing otherwise would expose your rubbish. The snippet you provide is about a minute long. The whole interview was 43 minutes.

http://cdn.sfgate.com/blogs/sounds/sfgate/chroncast/2008/01/17/20080117-...

Provisions in the plan were to compensate the low paid or disavdvantaged, exactly like they did here in Australia, as well as reinvesting into alternate sources of energy. Yes, high CO2 emitting enterprises paid more, but clean energy business exploded.

Electricity and fuel prices have been historically going up anyway:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/electricity.cfm

http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_retail_price_chart.aspx?time=3

And you are deluded if you were thinking they would go down. There was no downward trend under pro fossil fuel powered Bush. People have more applicances, smart phones, computers, plasma tv etc than ever and the power companies have been upgrading the distribution network like crazy in every modern country trying to keep up. It's nuts.

Say what you want, Phil, but the vast readership of WUWT is way too diverse to be simply another group of 'right wing' loonies.”

Sounds exactly like what a fox news viewer would say. Accurate reporting, fair and balanced. It's a conspiracy theorist site.

 

I realize it's a totally new thing to worry about the poor for you Chas, but people die in Alberta right now when they can't pay their electricity bill.  I didn't see you stand up and act all indignant about this. If you were an actual conservative like me, you'd also know that military think tanks are saying war over resources is coming. War driven by climate change.

Any ways I have priced out solar PV for my home in Alberta Canada, and I'm looking at about $0.33 per kWh if I drop off grid.  I spend about $0.20 per kWh right now when I include all the fees they charge me.   This hardly sounds like the end of the world to me.

I realize it's a totally new thing to worry about the poor for you Chas, but people die in Alberta right now when they can't pay their electricity bill.”

That's exactly right. The fossil fuel lobbies have enormous success in telling people that if we do anything other than use their product, the world will end and prices will go up. Well in countries that have virtually no CO2 policy or mitigation strategies, prices continue to rise. Here in Australia even before our carbon tax, prices were and still are going up fast all the time. Despite Australia having one of the largest coal reserves on earth. Amazing prices dont go down.

Any ways I have priced out solar PV for my home in Alberta Canada, and I'm looking at about $0.33 per kWh if I drop off grid.  I spend about $0.20 per kWh right now when I include all the fees they charge me.   This hardly sounds like the end of the world to me.

Ive had it for a couple of years now. All my energy needs are created onsite. I dont get bills anymore. When i hear power prices are going up again this year, I yawn. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_generation

 
[x]

Deploying the age-old “Friday news dump,” President Barack Obama's Interior Department gave the green light on Friday, July 18 to companies to deploy seismic air guns to examine the scope of Atlantic Coast offshore oil-and-gas reserves.

It is the first time in over 30 years that the oil and gas industry is permitted to do geophysical data collection along the Atlantic coast...

read more