Oil Industry Reaps Billions From Subsidies
With federal officials now considering a new tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup, the industry is fighting the measure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, as well as an increased dependence on foreign oil. But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.
Who a BP boycott hits hardest
Consumer anger over BP's oil spill and rig disaster is being carried over into boycotts of BP stations. But if you refuse to buy BP gas, will Tony Hayward, BP's embattled CEO, get your message? Possibly not. The reason is that plenty of BP outlets, like all gas stations, are franchise arrangements owned by independent operators. If you shun their products, you will hurt the local owners, not the British energy giant.
Massive cleanup effort underway after oil leak in Red Butte Canyon
June 12th, 2010—A massive effort is underway to clean up the damage left behind when a Chevron pipeline leaked up to 21,000 gallons of oil into Salt Lake City waterways Saturday. Though the site of the leak has been contained, officials estimate up to 500 barrels of oil have already been released.
What BP doesn't want the President or you to see
"When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at," said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana. His motive: simple outrage. "There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don't want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It's important to me that people know the truth about what's going on here," the contractor said. "The things I've seen: They just aren't right. All the life out here is just full of oil. I'm going to show you what BP never showed the President." "When you see some of the things I've seen, it would make you sick," the contractor said. "No living creature should endure that kind of suffering."
BP Refinery Dumps Mercury into Lake Michigan
A BP (BP) refinery in Indiana will be allowed to continue to dump mercury into Lake Michigan under a permit issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The permit was issued in connection with the plant's $3.8 billion expansion, but only late last week began to generate public controversy. It gives the company until at least 2012 to meet the federal standard. The action was denounced by environmental groups and members of Congress. "With one permit, this company and this state are undoing years of work to keep pollution out of our Great Lakes," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., co-sponsor of a resolution overwhelmingly approved by the House last week that condemned BP's plans. Studies have shown that mercury, a neurotoxin, is absorbed by fish and can be harmful if eaten in significant quantities, particularly by pregnant women and children. Each of the eight Great Lakes states warns residents to avoid certain kinds of fish or limit consumption. The permit comes as the states, working with the federal government, are trying to implement the $20 billion Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, an umbrella plan to restore the health of the lakes signed in late 2005.
Why Is BP Using Highly Toxic Corexit Oil Dispersant?
Corexit is a line of oil dispersants or solvents, originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Company (NHC) of Naperville, IL. Interestingly, NHC is associated with Exxon and British Petroleum (BP) — the latter is the same company that insists on using Corexit. Is Corexit Safe to Use? The short answer is “No!” Corexit is highly toxic to humans as well as marine life.
Gulf Oil Spill "Could Go on for Years and Years" ...
The Obama Administration and senior BP officials are frantically working not to stop the world’s worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual ecological catastrophe. Senior researchers tell us that the BP drilling hit one of the oil migration channels and that the leakage could continue for years unless decisive steps are undertaken, something that seems far from the present strategy. In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States “could go on for years and years … many years.”  According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, “What BP drilled into was what we call a ‘migration channel,’ a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.” Ghawar, the world’s most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico. As I wrote at the time of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster, Haiti had been identified as having potentially huge hydrocasrbon reserves, as has neighboring Cuba. Kutcherov estimates that the entire Gulf of Mexico is one of the planet’s most abundant accessible locations to extract oil and gas, at least before the Deepwater Horizon event this April. “In my view the heads of BP reacted with panic at the scale of the oil spewing out of the well,” Kutcherov adds. “What is inexplicable at this point is why they are trying one thing, failing, then trying a second, failing, then a third. Given the scale of the disaster they should try every conceivable option, even if it is ten, all at once in hope one works. Otherwise, this oil source could spew oil for years given the volumes coming to the surface already.”
Waking America From the BP Nightmare
For years, the oil industry swore this could never happen. We were told that technology had advanced, that offshore drilling was safe. BP said they didn't think the rig would sink. It did. They said they could handle an Exxon Valdez-sized spill every day. They couldn't. BP said the spill was 1,000 barrels per day. It wasn't. And they knew it. Now the other big oil companies, testifying in Congress today, contend that this was an isolated incident. They say a similar disaster could never happen to them. And yet it is this kind of Blind Faith -- which is ironically the name of an actual rig in the Gulf -- that has led to this kind of disaster.
In Gulf: Who's in charge?
A six-member panel of Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service officials pressed for answers about what occurred on the rig on April 20 before it exploded. They wanted to know who was in charge, and heard conflicting answers.
The Next Deepwater Horizon?
Many news accounts on the moratorium extension implied that all deepwater Gulf operations had been shut down. But that's not the case. The administration is allowing deepwater drilling operations already in production in the Gulf to continue--including some that may pose a greater risk than the Deepwater Horizon. Exhibit A: BP's other major Gulf operation, the Atlantis, which sits 124 miles off the Louisiana coast.
Why Windmills and NOT Oil-wells belong offshore
The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life. "This is one of only two spawning areas for bluefin tuna in the world," Savitz said. "If larvae are exposed, there's a good chance they won't survive or their survival will be reduced because of the oil spill." British oil giant BP confirmed Thursday that at least 200,000 gallons, of oil a day are spilling from the site of the deadly oil rig explosion. [J&E Editor: End drilling for oil in ecologically sensitive areas. NO exceptions.]
Killer Crude Makes Landfall
The oil slick is on its way to becoming America's worst environmental disaster, threatening more than 400 species of fish, birds and other wildlife in one of the world's richest marine environments. Even before the spill neared the coast, wildlife experts said that a toxic mix of chemicals was poisoning the waters of endangered marine life and fisheries, including one of only two breeding grounds worldwide for Atlantic bluefin tuna. The Gulf’s abundant oyster and shrimping grounds are also in danger of severe damage. Valuable fisheries for oyster and menhaden fish are at risk, as is the breeding of endangered turtles. If the slick is taken by the Gulf’s defining current, known as the Loop, the rare manatees of the Florida panhandle could be under threat.
Oil rig explosion unmasks 'dangerous myth' of safety
“Big Oil has perpetuated a dangerous myth that coastline drilling is a completely safe endeavor, but accidents like this are a sober reminder just how far that is from the truth,” said Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg in a statement. The $600 million fifth-generation Deepwater Horizon rig had been in the process of capping an exploratory well above the Macondo deposit when an abnormal buildup of pressure probably caused a "blowout" – the oil from which fueled a violent fire that raged for 36 hours before the rig finally exploded again and sank Thursday morning. Eleven crew members are missing and are now believed to have perished in the immediate blast.
The report of the Bloomington Indiana Peak Oil Task Force
The transition to a post peak oil world will likely entail the shortening of commercial and trade supply lines and the relocalization of essential community needs, such as food production. Products that require little oil in their composition and manufacturing will be favored. We will have to develop and employ new technologies that are both environmentally benign and based on renewable resources and energy. There will also be a need for skills that have been neglected in the age of cheap energy, and knowledge thought to be outdated and obsolete. Prosperity may take on new meaning – from a simple metric of accumulated money to a broader meaning of community well being, security, and commonwealth.
Stop Tar Sands, the Dirtiest Form of Oil
Every day it seems as if we see another energy company trying to convince us of new ways to keep us tied to oil and coal. Yet these fuels always turn out to be dirtier and more expensive, especially when their environmental costs are considered. Right now, unfortunately, Canada is pursuing an energy policy that could have a huge impact on winter sports by accelerating global warming – and the U.S. is following suit. The Canadian province of Alberta is home to a form of oil that’s considered the dirtiest on earth. It’s called the oil sands, also known as tar sands, and each barrel creates three times the global warming pollution as conventional oil. In fact, oil sands are now the fastest growing source of global warming pollution in Canada. They are also one of the most expensive forms of gasoline on the planet.
Goodbye to "Drill Baby, Drill"
In a move that should break the hearts the "drill baby, drill" crowd, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the United States is terminating the "drill anywhere, whatever the cost" energy policy that characterized the Bush Administration. We believe we have to have a balanced, thoughtful approach that allows for the development of oil and gas resources but at the same time protects the treasured landscapes of America.
A $27 Billion Court Case Is Making Oil Giant Chevron Pretty Nervous
The oil industry is more powerful today than at any other time in history save the early 20th century. Thanks to last year's record run-up in oil prices, seven of the world's most valuable corporations are now oil companies. Perhaps the largest coordinated activist campaign in history is being launched against the San Ramon-based Chevron Corporation. This unprecedented campaign to make Chevron the poster child of corporate irresponsibility has already persuaded pension funds in California, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania to consider selling a total of $12 billion in Chevron shares on the grounds that the firm is mismanaging its operations around the globe. THE TRUE COST OF CHEVRON REPORT
Diesel Soot Health Impacts
Emissions from the 13 million diesel engines in the U.S. are associated with respiratory illness, cancer, heart attacks and premature death. Here, for the first time, Clean Air Task Force presents an interactive web site with national, state, metropolitan area and local (county) estimates of the health impacts of diesel particulate matter. [Editor: these findings are for petroleum based diesel and do not necessarily apply to biodiesel, which should be studied separately.]
Drilling Ourselves Deep in a Hole
At one point in his masterful People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn reflects upon the unspeakable carnage wrought by the Conquistadors in South and Central America, all in the pursuit of gold, and wonders at how those obscene riches sustained imperial greatness… for barely a hundred years. All that bloodletting, enslavement, massacres — genocide in places — for a temporary wealth that quickly vanished on the stage of history. It reminds me of our current oil craze: in one century we have plundered billions of years of stored hydrocarbons, and what do we have to show for it? Fleeting prosperity — one that is hardly shared by all — a highly volatile Middle East, and awesome ecological devastation that will require centuries of recovery. And now, as the age of oil finally signals its inevitable demise, our president and his allies in Washington announce that their grand response is … to drill for more oil. In his latest book, former World Bank director Joseph Stiglitz claims that the war in Iraq will end up costing three trillion dollars. Imagine if that amount had been dedicated to researching and sustaining the transition to renewable energies. A mere trillion dollars would have gone a long way towards remodeling American suburbia for lifestyle and transportation changes. Instead, we have sacrificed unimaginable funds (from future generations, Stiglitz tells us), and tens of thousands of lives (at least) for a resource that is soon to be economically irrelevant!
Mr. Bush - Addicted
Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was “addicted to oil,” and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Now we have the new Bush energy plan: “Get more addicted to oil.” Actually, it’s more sophisticated than that: Get Saudi Arabia, our chief oil pusher, to up our dosage for a little while and bring down the oil price just enough so the renewable energy alternatives can’t totally take off. Then try to strong arm Congress into lifting the ban on drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.” It is hard for me to find the words to express what a massive, fraudulent, pathetic excuse for an energy policy this is. But it gets better.