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It’s possible, though far from certain, that oil prices will spike in the years ahead. Here’s why—and how you can prepare
Six lessons from the BP oil spill - 3 views
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4 House members aim to cut military oil usage - Army News | News from Afghanistan &amp;... - 0 views
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Deteriorating Oil and Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water, Homes Across the Country - Pro... - 0 views
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Normally these academics would be fine without our fascination. They weren't looking for glory when they decided to study organisms most people either can't see or wish they hadn't. But when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in April 2010, our collective bias toward cute big creatures started to matter a great deal. That's because the instant the spill-cam was switched off and it became clear that there would be no immediate mass die-offs among dolphins and pelicans, at least not on the scale of theExxon Valdez spill deaths, most of us were pretty much on to the next telegenic disaster. (Chilean miners down a hole—and they've got video diaries? Tell us more!)
Mike Utsler, BP's Unified Area Commander, summed up its findings like this: "The beaches are safe, the water is safe, and the seafood is safe." Never mind that just four days earlier, more than 8,000 pounds of tar balls were collected on Florida's beaches—and that was an average day. Or that gulf residents and cleanup workers continue to report serious health problems that many scientists believe are linked to dispersant and crude oil exposure.
For the scientists aboard the WeatherBird II, the recasting of the Deepwater Horizon spill as a good-news story about a disaster averted has not been easy to watch. Over the past seven months, they, along with a small group of similarly focused oceanographers from other universities, have logged dozens of weeks at sea in cramped research vessels, carefully measuring and monitoring the spill's impact on the delicate and little-understood ecology of the deep ocean. And these veteran scientists have seen things that they describe as unprecedented. Among their most striking findings are graveyards of recently deceased coral, oiled crab larvae, evidence of bizarre sickness in the phytoplankton and bacterial communities, and a mysterious brown liquid coating large swaths of the ocean floor, snuffing out life underneath.
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All this uncertainty will work in BP's favor if the worst-case scenarios eventually do materialize. Indeed, concerns about a future collapse may go some way toward explaining why BP (with the help of Kenneth Feinberg's Gulf Coast Claims Facility) has been in a mad rush to settle out of court with fishermen, offering much-needed cash now in exchange for giving up the right to sue later. If a significant species of fish like bluefin does crash three or even ten years from now (bluefin live for fifteen to twenty years), the people who took these deals will have no legal recourse.
A week after Hollander returned from the cruise, Unified Area Command came out with its good news report on the state of the spill. Of thousands of water samples taken since August, the report stated, less than 1 percent met EPA definitions of toxicity. It also claimed that the deepwater sediment is largely free from BP's oil, except within about two miles of the wellhead. That certainly came as news to Hollander, who at that time was running tests of oiled sediment collected thirty nautical miles from the wellhead, in an area largely overlooked by the government scientists. Also, the government scientists measured only absolute concentrations of oil and dispersants in the water and sediment before declaring them healthy. The kinds of tests John Paul conducted on the toxicity of that water to microorganisms are simply absent.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, whose name is on the cover of the report, told me of the omission, "That really is a limitation under the Clean Water Act and my authorities as the federal on-scene coordinator." When it comes to oil, "it's my job to remove it"—not to assess its impact on the broader ecosystem. He pointed me to the NOAA-led National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, which is gathering much more sensitive scientific data to help it put a dollar amount on the overall impact of the spill and seek damages from BP and other responsible parties.
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EIA - Press Releases - EIA Assesses Impact of Economic Growth, Oil Prices, and Future P... - 0 views
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today released the complete version of the Annual Energy Outlook 2010 (AEO2010), which includes 38 sensitivity cases that show how different assumptions regarding market and policy drivers affect the Reference case projections that EIA previously released in December, 2009. In addition to considering alternative scenarios for oil prices, economic growth, and the uptake of more energy-efficient technologies, the AEO2010 includes cases that examine the impact of changes in selected policies, such as the extension of existing policies that are currently scheduled to sunset as well as the sensitivity of natural gas shale production to variations in drilling activity and the size of the resource base.
Cleantech Blog: Big Oil Fights Big Ag - 0 views
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