Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Schwarzenegger to seek federal help for California budget,0,7164018.story?track=rss
“One new source of revenue in the budget: Schwarzenegger will revive a plan to allow offshore oil drilling from an existing platform off the Santa Barbara coast. The proposal was so controversial during last summer's budget debate that after the Assembly voted down the plan, members expunged the vote, erasing it from the public record.”

On a related note, we thought it would be interesting to point out this text from the Schwarzenegger administration' s California Ocean Action Strategy (2004):

"Eliminate Adverse Impacts of Offshore Oil and Gas Development. The Schwarzenegger Administration will continue to defend California’s right and duty to protect the California coast from the impacts of new offshore oil and gas leasing, exploration, or development on the federal Outer Continental Shelf and will encourage the federal government to seek a settlement to extinguish the 36 leases off the California Coast."

Environmentalists: Why T-Ridge is a Bad Deal (CA)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Offshore Oil Drilling - Not the Answer in Oregon

In Oregon, Rep. Ben Cannon, chairman of the House Environment and Water Committee, says he’ll ask the Legislature in its February session to renew the state’s oil-drilling moratorium and turn it into a permanent ban. Portland-based Environment Oregon and Surfrider Foundation's Oregon chapters support this action.

Cannon stated that there’s not enough oil and gas in Oregon coastal waters to risk marring the state’s fishing and tourism industries, and the state is promoting wave energy as a cleaner, renewable energy source. “As far as Oregon is concerned, it’s just a poor economic use of our ocean,” Cannon says of oil drilling.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Terrible Place to Drill for Oil

The following is from an article by Greg Haegele, Deputy Executive Director, Sierra Club and Athan Manuel, Director of the Sierra Club Public Lands Protection Program.

Image credit: Beehive Collective, Art Not Oil.

The Chukchi Sea is a terrible place to drill for oil, both because of its ecological importance and because it would be incredibly difficult to remove and transport any oil found in the region. Remote and pristine, the Chukchi Sea provides important habitat for threatened polar bears and endangered whales. The area Shell has leased is 80 miles off shore, in waters frozen solid most of the year and only open when the ice breaks up from July to mid-October. Worse, the Chukchi's churning sea ice would make it impossible to clean up an oil spill.

Shell's pursuit of oil in the Chukchi Sea simply doesn't make sense. Right now, the rest of the world is working together to end our dependence on fossil fuels and move into the clean energy economy. But Shell is continuing to blindly pursue its desperate search for oil - even in a place as unpromising and risky as Alaska's Chukchi Sea.

Drilling in the Chukchi Sea is a foolish move on Shell's part. We shouldn't allow the company to destroy important Arctic habitat in the pursuit of its outdated pipe dream. It's time to stop chasing every drop of oil on the planet and start focusing on clean energy instead.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Alaska groups sue to stop offshore drilling

Scott Maddox: Drilling won't give us what proponents promise (FL)

Captiva official urges SW Florida legislators to oppose offshore drilling

Oil Rigs Close Near Australia as Cyclone Intensifies
Tropical Cyclone Laurence, Australia’s first storm of the season, is intensifying as it moves closer to the northwestern coast, triggering evacuations of offshore oil and gas rigs.
Winds with gusts as high as 165 kilometers per hour are being experienced in the Kimberley area and winds with gusts to 130 kph are expected later today further southwest, along with heavy rain.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Senate Climate Roadmap Caters to Nuclear, Offshore Drilling Proponents
“Offshore drilling would also see new incentives under the bill. The senators said their legislation would seek to boost the supply of domestically produced oil and natural gas both on land and offshore. "We will do so in a way that sends money back to the states that opt to drill and also provides new federal government revenues to advance climate goals," the framework states.”

Solving climate change through oil, nukes and coal?
“And, apparently concerned that the hundreds of billions of dollars earned by oil companies isn’t enough profit, these 3 Senators pledge to open more oil and gas drilling offshore and on land, and promise to protect the domestic oil refining industry.”

Offshore drilling would put $100 million in state coffers: Democrats balk at plan (CA)
As I’ve noted before, it always seems to be the “inland” legislators that are advocating for new offshore oil drilling.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big Oil Pushes False Solutions in the Southeast

Right now, big oil and their allies are making a huge push to expand offshore drilling operations in the Southeast. They are working tirelessly to deceive the public about the risks and so-called “benefits” of rigging the coastlines. Elected officials, particularly those in the Florida state legislature, are hearing more from (and listening to) oil lobbyists than they are from concerned coastal constituents on this issue. Talk of drilling in the Southeast is even rearing its ugly head in federal climate and energy policy discussions, a place where polluting fossil fuels certainly do not belong.

Expanding drilling in the U.S. can never make us sinificantly less dependent on foreign oil. The United States contains only 2.5% of the world’s oil resources yet we consume 24% of them. Based on current consumption rates (20 million barrels of oil per day), even if we were to recover all of the “technically recoverable” oil in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic shoreline, it would only last the US 13 months. We could drill every national park, wildlife refuge, and coastline, and still need to import over 60% of what we would need. U.S. oil is only a drop in the bucket. The only ways we will ever reduce our dependency are to reduce our consumption and develop new clean energy sources.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Full Speed Ahead to ???

Two stories caught my eye today. First was Spill is among worst ever on North Slope, discussing a 24-inch rupture in a pipeline that began pouring oil and water Nov. 29, creating one of the biggest North Slope crude oil spills ever, with a "working estimate" of the spill's size about 46,000 gallons of crude and produced water.

Then there was Offshore oil drilling gets go-ahead in Alaska's Arctic, which stated that the Interior Department had given the go-ahead for Shell Oil to begin drilling three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea, a move that opens the door for offshore oil and gas production in the Arctic. "This is progress," said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Uh...............right. We're making good time as we move down the wrong road.

Monday, December 7, 2009

County might not go with the flow on oil drilling (FL)
"That's just the other side of Anclote Island," Hildebrand said, referring to the possible three-mile limit for offshore oil rigs. Possible impact on tourism remains a big concern, Mulieri commented. Nor is it clear how much additional oil-drilling royalty revenue might flow into state coffers.

Drilling's economic impact (FL)

Scott Maddox Says No, Baby, No on Oil Drilling (FL – YouTube video)
Also see Facebook page (no candidate endorsement implied)

Shell is overselling claims about arctic spill cleanup

Australian oil spill seeps into Senate debate about drilling offshore in U.S.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Not the Answer in B.C. Either

Just as in the U.S., there are mis-guided proposals in Canada to drill for oil in near-offshore waters.

British Columbia has a long-standing offshore oil ban, established in 1971. The provincial government tried to lift the ban during the 1980s, but the Exxon Valdez disaster, spilling 40 million litres of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, scuttled that movement.

With the extreme weather along the B.C. coast, the potential for an oil spill there would be high. The Exxon Valdez spread oil over 2,400 kilometers of coastline, contaminating both ocean and land-based ecosystems.

Allowing offshore oil production in B.C. would increase pollution of coastal waters and place vulnerable ecosystems (such as the Great Bear Rainforest, and the beloved Spirit Bear) within range of potential oil spills.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Report Says Beaches Worth More Than Oil

According to “Oceans Under the Gun: Living Seas or Drilling Seas?”, a report released by Environment America, clean beaches and oceans support a vibrant coastal tourism and fishing economy that generates almost $200 billion per year and accounts for over 4.1 million jobs in coastal counties. By contrast, based on a very optimistic scenario, the American Petroleum Institute claims that vastly expanded drilling off every coast might create 160,000 new jobs. Offshore drilling puts jobs that are dependent on clean beaches and oceans at risk from oil spills, a realistic concern given the two month spill off the coast of Australia that shows spills still inevitably happen even with new technology and good regulations.

At least 7 chambers of commerce on the West coast of Florida in jeopardy from drilling proposals have recently passed resolutions against the expansion of drilling because of the threat posed to tourism by oil drilling. For the full list of chambers of commerce, cities and counties that officially oppose drilling in Florida, see:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Offshore drilling near Santa Barbara brings energy debate home (CA)

Offshore Oil Drilling Debate Renewed in Senate Hearing (US)
Statistics from the Energy Information Administration say that in 2030, when OCS production is expected to reach its peak, it will reduce US dependence on foreign oil only 2.5 percent, which translates into three cents a gallon at the pump. In April of this year, the EIA said the U.S. imported 58 percent of its petroleum in 2007 and expects that dependence of foreign sources to decline over the next two decades. Still, the report says that the US produces 10 percent of the world’s petroleum and consumes 24 percent. If reducing dependence on foreign oil is a primary concern, say some groups, then the best solution is not necessarily to drill for more domestic oil but to reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed in the domestic economy.”

Transcript of Skytruth’s John Amos to Senate on Offshore Oil Drilling (US)
“In summary, offshore drilling is an inherently risky venture. Accidents happen despite the most technologically advanced systems. Nature can create insurmountable situations, and infrastructure ages and becomes vulnerable. Recent history shows that when things go wrong the consequences can become severe.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You Can Believe Big Oil, Right?

Today's headlines included two gems.

Wow, what a shocker. Big oil is in favor of drilling off your beach. When Jeffrey Short of Oceana stated "The potentially irreversible effects of oil pollution on marine ecosystems and their dependent economies do not justify the potential short-term economic gains that might accrue from offshore oil and gas development," the industry responded by saying that "improved drilling technology allows oil companies to search for supplies in an environmentally friendly way." I guess that improved technology must have happened real recently, like since the 9-million gallon oil spill off Australia that finally was capped a couple of weeks ago.

The oil companies (BP, Shell, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Statoil Hydro of Norway, Eni of Italy and Total of France) paid for a study that concluded that (surprise), even though oil spills are really, really unlikely, if they do happen in icy areas "ice can act as a natural blockade, giving responders more time for cleanup." The article then notes that "The findings conflict with conventional wisdom. Environmentalists cite botched spill cleanup experiments that occurred a decade ago in the Beaufort Sea. At the time, the state of Alaska determined that Prudhoe Bay oil field operator BP could not adequately clean spills in slushy water."

But, not to worry America, Big Oil has your best interests at heart.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pinellas lawmakers lash out against offshore drilling (FL)
"I don't know who in their right mind would consider moving this legislation forward," cracked Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island. "Obviously, someone who doesn't live in coastal Florida."

Senate candidates vie to show their green credentials (MA)
“All four candidates said they opposed offshore drilling.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

Drilling: wrong way to go (FL)

Don't risk our future by drilling off our coasts (FL)

Brakes tapped on oil drilling (FL)

US to lease 36 mln offshore acres for oil drilling (Central Gulf of Mexico)
"Lease Sale 213 will involve about 6,800 tracts spread over 35.9 million acres located 3 to 250 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The blocks are in water depths from 10 feet to more than 11,200 feet.
The proposed sale blocks include about 4.2 million acres in an area know as 181 South, near the Alabama-Florida offshore border. Drilling off Florida in the Gulf is only allowed far from the state's shoreline."

Official: NC offshore oil potential is overstated

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Hunk, A Hunk of ... Burned Oil Rig

Aftermath of the oil rig fire that broke out at the end of the 10-week-long, 9 million gallon oil spill in the Timor Sea off Northwestern Australia.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bill Nelson advises Tampa Chamber of Commerce to fight offshore drilling

Gulf of Mexico oil, gas facilities shut by Ida
Oil companies evacuate workers as Ida approaches
But don’t worry, Florida. New oil rigs off your coast won’t spill oil during a Hurricane.

State panels studying offshore drilling (NC)

Offshore oil drilling will not solve U.S. dependence on foreign oil or reduce costs
“Proponents of offshore oil drilling ignore reality—offshore oil reserves are too small to significantly impact world oil prices or U.S. reliance on foreign oil, explains a new paper from the Carnegie Energy and Climate Program. Offshore oil, which necessitates costly and environmentally dangerous drilling, would produce about 514 million barrels annually by 2030—less than 1 percent of global oil production.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

ASBPA Wimps Out on Oil Drilling

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) just issued a press release on offshore oil drilling. You would think that an organization that is "dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the beaches, shores and other coastal resources of America" would be at least a little concerned about the "coastal resources of America" being slimed from an oil spill.

But no, all they say is: "ASBPA has taken no position on the general proposition of increasing oil and gas production along the U.S. coast. However, it is critical that any new oil and gas development be carefully reviewed to assure that pipelines and supporting equipment do not impede, diminish or eliminate vital offshore sand resources that are needed for the protection of America's shorelines."

So, all they really care about is being able to dredge offshore sand so they can keep coastal engineers employed to implement expensive, un-sustainable beach fill projects. Hey ASBPA - Do you think the coastal tourism industry that you talk so much about will still be there to enjoy your "nourished" beach after it's coated with oil?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oil spills poison the Red Sea
“Egyptian tourism commercials present the Red Sea as an untouched paradise where “the sun shines 365 days a year” and the water is full of exuberant marine life. But the reality is that the beaches and marine life are being destroyed as a result of offshore oil drilling and spills.”

Huge Australian Oil Spill Raises Questions
Leak from Deep-Water Rig Has Released an Estimated 9 Million Gallons of Fuel; Bad News for the "Drill, Baby Drill" Crowd?

Australia Sets Up Commission for Timor Sea Oil Spill

Shell Oil deciding on Alaska offshore drilling

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spill Ends After 74 Days, But............

Irregular Times reports:

Of course, a good deal of oil that’s already leaked still has to come up to the surface, and the pollution resulting from the spill is spread out over tens of thousands of square miles. The environmental impact of the spill is likely to persist for decades – long enough for another spill to take place, unless a moratorium on offshore drilling is put into effect.

But hey, let’s look on the bright side. The Montara offshore drilling platform did not collapse into the sea. It just turned into a melted, oily, twisted, smoking, disgusting, useless heap.

And reportedly:

  • The cleanup of the pollution from the oil spill will take 7 years to complete.

  • PTTEP Australasia, the oil company responsible for the ten week long oil spill will begin drilling again in the same oil field in a matter of months.

  • A PTTEP spokesperson says that his company knows what caused the oil spill, but won’t tell anyone else what that cause was.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five Alternatives that Make More Sense than Offshore Oil

Offshore oil drilling proponents ignore the reality that offshore oil reserves are too small to significantly impact world oil prices or U.S. reliance on foreign oil. Offshore oil, which necessitates costly and environmentally dangerous drilling, is estimated to be able to produce only about 514 million barrels annually by 2030—less than 1 percent of global oil production.

Instead, these five alternatives to offshore oil for the transportation sector would decrease energy demand, limit U.S. dependence on foreign oil, cut costs for consumers, and reduce carbon emissions.

1. Increasing fuel economy standards

2. Hybrid-electric vehicles

3. Alternative commuting patterns

4. Plug-in hybrids

5. Cellulosic ethanol

Read more

Australian Rig on Fire Video

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey Florida - Is This in Your Future?

Burning Rig May Sink
“The fire is out of control,” Jose Martins, a director of the Thai driller’s Australian unit, said today in Perth. “It looks like the rig’s going to sink,” Holly Pattenden, head of oil and gas analysis at Business Monitor International in London, said in a telephone interview.

Offshore Oil Rig Blazing in Australia
Includes video of burning oil rig

Australian Oil Spill – Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse

West Atlas Rig and Montara Well Head Platform on Fire
Australian oil spill well on fire
Timor Rig Ablaze as PTTEP Starts 4th Bid to Cap Leak
Flaming Oil Rig Award Goes to... a Flaming Oil Rig


Wondrous claims about offshore drilling bogus
Gulf states with offshore rigs get paltry royalties

Flaming oil rig award goes to... a flaming oil rig

Here at NTA we have been giving out the "Flaming Oil Rig" award to politicians supporting offshore drilling in particularly egregious ways. Like CA Rep. Sam Blaskesless' attempt end-run the CA State Lands Commission's denial of the PXP project in Santa Barbara.

Today, we are awarding the Flaming Oil Rig award to none other than.... A FLAMING OIL RIG.

The oil rig off the coast of Australia, which has been spilling for 71 days, burst into flames on the weekend.

The damaged West Atlas rig, situated 125 miles off the coast of West Australia, caught fire on Sunday during the latest attempt (at least the 4th) to plug the leak which covered an area of at least 5,800 square miles in the ocean.

Read more....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Energy Expert Ballentine: Promise of Florida’s Offshore Oil is Exaggerated
Original article -
“The recent hype concerning offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida falls into the category of "Much ado about almost nothing." The US Minerals Management Service estimates that the Eastern Planning Area of the Gulf contained only 1 million barrels of crude oil, which isn’t even enough to supply the US for one hour. Let's stop pipe dreaming about vast quantities of oil and gas off Florida and, instead, begin serious preparation for an inevitable paradigm change as the world's oil production begins its inexorable decline.”

Drilling's benefits unproven to Florida

Judah gets fired up over offshore drilling (FL)

Chamber, BDA worried about drilling (FL)

Australia oil spill fuels debate here (FL)

Offshore-drilling debate reveals upcoming battle lines (FL),0,1136191.story

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Supporters for offshore drilling in Florida still hiding (FL)

Fla. offshore drilling debated on Internet

Viewers respond, raise their own concerns about off-shore drilling (FL)

Clean Beaches and Ocean Worth More Than Oil

According to “Oceans Under the Gun: Living Seas or Drilling Seas?”, a new report released today by Environment America and the Sierra Club, clean beaches and oceans support a vibrant coastal tourism and fishing economy that generates almost $200 billion per year.

The report shows that the annual value of the sustainable economy based on tourism and fishing in the most regions of the country, with the exception of parts of the Gulf of Mexico, is approximately one and a half to twenty times larger than the annual value of oil and gas resources that we might find offshore. In the North Atlantic the ratio is 12 to 1; in the Mid-Atlantic the ratio is almost 4 to 1; in the South Atlantic the ratio is almost 21 to 1; on Florida’s west coast the ratio is almost 1.5 to 1; and on the Pacific coast the ratio is about 3 to 1.

Over the next few months Congress will decide whether to allow expanded drilling off our coasts as part of the energy and global warming legislation now moving through Congress. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is the area most at risk, but other regions like California, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast are also threatened by some proposals.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Offshore Oil Drilling Forum Tonight!

Think energy (FL)
“Another way of thinking about propelling us to the future, however, will be explored tonight in a forum on offshore oil drilling, broadcast from Florida State University's TV studio from 7 to 9 p.m. on 4FSU and streamed live on”

Learn, ask about offshore drilling tonight (FL)

Australian Oil Rig Blowout Creates Environmental Catastrophe

From a press release issued by Defenders of Wildlife earlier today:

The impacts of the nine-week West Timor oil rig blowout are creating an environmental catastrophe for wildlife and ocean ecosystems. In August, the West Atlas/Montara offshore drilling rig, widely touted as a "safe, modern" operation, suffered what the rig's operators termed a "loss of well control." Despite three attempts to stop the resulting massive oil spill, oil continues to leak into the surrounding ocean. Estimates of the volume of oil spilled since the August 21 Australian blowout have now expanded as much as five-fold, to more than 9.7 million gallons, while the oil slick has covered several thousand square miles of ocean waters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is now discussing allowing essentially the same kind of "environmentally-responsible" offshore drilling to go forward off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle beaches.

"If anything like the Australian blowout ever takes place off of the Southeast U.S. beaches or in Florida waters, the economic and environmental consequences will last for decades," said Richard Charter, government relations consultant with Defenders of Wildlife. Worldwide, conservation interests have become increasingly concerned as satellite images have shown that the mega-spill has spread from Australia's whale and sea-turtle rich Kimberley Coast into distant Indonesian waters as well. Three prior attempts to stop the flow of oil have failed, and a fourth attempt this week had to be postponed due to equipment failure.

More photos

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oil Spill Repair Delayed Yet Again
“So it’s really difficult to repair oil spills? Oil drilling companies lack the technical skills to stop oil spills, even given two and a half months to work on the problem? If that’s true, then why are we drilling for oil at all? If no one knows how to stop these oil spills, why are American politicians pushing to have more of these offshore drilling platforms installed along America’s shorelines?”

When offshore oil goes horribly wrong

Promise of drilling is vastly overblown (FL)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oil Spill's Real Effects

It's not just conjecture anymore. We're now seeing real effects to
sea critters
in the Timor Sea after an oil spill from a "state of the art" technology oil rig. Remember that when oil companies tell you that there is no risk associated with offshore oil drilling. By the way, that gusher off the northwest coast of Australia has been going on for over two months now with no end in sight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anti-Drilling Momentum Builds in Florida

There is a steady and growing list of cities, commissions and chambers of commerce who are voicing their opinion that new offshore oil drilling is NOT THE ANSWER. Here's the current list:

* Bay County Chamber of Commerce
* Bay County Commission
* Barrier Islands Governmental Council, 'Big C'
* Captiva Erosion Prevention District
* Clearwater, City of
* Cocoa Beach Surfrider
* Collier County Commission
* Destin Area Chamber of Commerce
* Escambia County Commission
* Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
* Florida's Great Northwest (Military Interests)
* Indian Rocks, City of
* Indian Shores Town Council
* Lee County Commission
* Lee County Tourist Council
* Miami Beach, City of
* Pensacola City Council
* Redington Beach, Town of
* Redington Shores, Town of
* Safety Harbor, City of
* Sarasota, City of
* Sarasota, County of
* St. Petersburg, City of
* Tampa, City of
* Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce
* Tarpon Springs, City of
* Treasure Island, City of
* Wakulla County Commission
* Walton Area Chamber of Commerce
* Walton County Commission

These resolutions all have a few common themes, the most signficant are:

1. Oil drilling significantly threatens Florida's coastal environment and beaches
2. Healthy coasts and beaches are critical to support Florida's massive coastal tourism economy

More information on resolutions against oil drilling in Florida here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

DRILL, BABY, DRILL? Oil, gas money flows in Florida as offshore drilling debate looms

Offshore drilling debate enters new round in Tallahassee
Drilling off coast is too risky (FL)

Is offshore drilling doomed yet again in the Senate? (FL)

State GOP senators skeptical on offshore oil drilling (FL)

County commission to talk drilling pros, cons (FL)

Environmentalists nervous as Legislature gears up for vote on offshore drilling (FL)
Oil industry stages blitz to push offshore drilling (NC)

Aussie Oil Spill - Third Try is Not the Charm

PTTEP Australasia, the company that promised that its offshore oil drilling rig in the Timor Sea was constructed with state of the art technology that made an oil spill nearly impossible, has now for two months been unable to stop a leak that has coated the Timor Sea with a massive toxic slick. Dolphins, penguins and sea birds have been filmed swimming through the oil slick. Indonesian fishermen are reporting huge losses of income.

As this article states: "How can anyone watch this environmental disaster and still promote expanded offshore drilling along the shores of the United States of America?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Second attempt to plug leaking oil rig in Australia fails
The bad news just keep on comin’ from this oil well blowout that wasn’t supposed to happen.
“The spill is reportedly Australia's worst since offshore drilling began more than 40 years ago, and ecologists fear the toxic cocktail of oil and dispersant chemicals could threaten marine and coastal species.”
Also - Offshore Oil Drilling Disaster Continues

FSU pledges honesty amidst offshore drilling debate (FL)

Monday, October 12, 2009

1. Australian Oil Spill
PTT Exploration Says Next Attempt to Stop Leak Due Oct. 13
Also - Plugging of oil spill leak delayed again

2. NOAA Comments on Offshore Drilling Plan
Federal scientists: Limit offshore drilling plans,0,2819272.story
“In a letter sent to Interior officials last month, NOAA recommended excluding large tracts of the Alaska coast, the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico from Interior's draft offshore drilling plan for 2010 to 2015. NOAA recommends establishing buffer zones around the Southern California Ecological Preserve off Santa Barbara. In addition, it suggests that its broader recommendations, such as taking greater account of drilling's effects on marine life, could affect potential lease sales off California. The agency calls for a ban on drilling in the Arctic until oil companies greatly improve their ability to prevent and clean up oil spills. And it asks Interior to delay new drilling plans until an Obama administration ocean policy task force completes its work late this year.”
Also - NOAA Raises Red Flags on Aggressive Offshore Drilling Plan (PEER)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Legislator, lobbyist wife raise conflict issues in oil drilling case (FL)

Drilling proposal protects Pinellas (FL)
"Ocean currents don't respect aquatic preserve lines."
After a hurricane there were no reports of an oil spill, but "everything you touched was oily."

Off-shore drilling off our coast? (FL)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Anybody Got a Plan B?

Attempt To Plug Oil Spill In Timor Sea Fails

It’s now 46 days since the oil spill in the Timor Sea, caused by offshore oil drilling operations there, began, and the oil is still spewing out, uncontrolled. Estimates of the amount of oil spilled so far range into the millions of gallons.

The latest development in the spill is not good news. The first attempt to plug the spill took place only within the last week, and it has failed.

More proof that Drill Baby Drill = Spill Baby Spill.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coastal oil drilling backers aim to sidestep state's barrier (CA),0,5470610.story
“Supporters want to get around a state commission's opposition to new drilling off California's coast by passing a bill that would create a governor-appointed panel that could then approve the project.”
In other words, if you can’t get what you want, change the rules of the game.

Beware the Sirens of Big Oil (AK, CA, FL)
“People in Florida, California, and other coastal states considering offshore oil should beware. What good will come of sabotaging your existing tourism and sport fishing industries, and your beautiful coastlines where residents and visitors recreate, with the false promises of Big Oil? Falling for the siren song will only indenture your state to an oil-dependent future that is already past. It's time to grow new green industries, rooted in regional strengths, rather than support transnational oil corporations that do not factor your community's quality of life or values in their bottom lines. Just say 'no' to the Sirens.”

Public forum scheduled to discuss offshore drilling (FL)

Drilling in state waters is too great a threat (FL)

Don't drill in Gulf of Mexico, beach cities agree (FL)

Friday, October 2, 2009

'Gettin' Schooled'

Yesterday we posted a link to a story out of Florida stating that the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association had sided with Big Oil, saying that revenue from offshore oil and natural gas production could help provide revenue for programs that invest in renewable energy technologies. We termed this a 'sell out.'

Today, other environmental organizations, including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund came to the same conclusion.

The association's decision "to trade Florida's coast to the drillers for the pittance of future, undefined and unbankable amounts of solar rebate money is the most shockingly self-interested, embarrassing and sad politcal moves I have seen in my over 10 years working on conservation in Florida," Gerald Karnas, Florida climate project director for the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote in an e-mail to Florida Solar Energy Industries Association's President Bruce Kershner. "Was that the best deal you could cut? Rebate money 10 years from now?" Karnas said. "On a basketball court that's called 'gettin' schooled.' "

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oil Slick from Drilling Rig Blowout Nearing Timor

Residents living along the coast of West Timor in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) are worried about the impacts of an oil spill in the Timor Sea originating from a leaking well head in Australia.

A Kolbano resident, Daniel Missa, said dozens of residents had experienced nausea and skin irritation after eating dead fish found along the beach.

"Residents didn't know why the fish were dead, so they picked them up and ate them. They apparently suffered from itchiness, felt nauseous and vomited," said Daniel.

A fisherman in Oesapa subdistrict in Kupang, Ridwan, 34, who had just returned from fishing in the Timor Sea on Monday, said that the sea was filled with a crude oil slick.

"The surface of the sea is covered by masses of crude oil resembling sand," said Ridwan. A large part of the slick is in Indonesian waters, he said, but so far none of the authorities have taken responsibility for cleaning the oil spill. "Eight of my colleagues and I saw with our own eyes the dead fish floating on the surface at a distance of around 300 kilometers, emitting a foul smell," he said.

The Montara oil field, located around 690 kilometers west of Darwin, North Australia, and 250 kilometers north west of Truscott in Western Australia, exploded on Aug. 21, releasing huge volumes of crude oil across waters in the region. The oil spill, reaching a volume of 500,000 liters per day, is moving close to Timor Island, located only 70 nautical miles from the oil field.

"The oil slick is expected to arrive in Kolbano, a densely populated area in South Central Timor regency, by the second week of October," said West Timor Care Foundation director Ferdi Tanoni at a press conference in the provincial capital of Kupang on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cities and county unite to oppose offshore drilling (FL)
Sarasota County and its four cities unanimously approved a resolution to maintain the bank against oil drilling off of Florida's coast.

Let's Talk About Off Shore Oil Drilling (CA)
Just imagine the strip of beach from Ventura to Malibu closed and polluted. Think it can't happen? Well it did. On August 21, over a month ago, an off shore rig in Austalia began to spill oil from a broken underwater pipe. Reports say that it could still take "at least three weeks to plug the spill." It has been estimated that between 400 and 3000 barrels of oil are being spilled into the ocean each day. With the spill taking so long to contain, it is forseeable that if a rig off the Santa Barbara coast had a spill, the oil could seep clear down to Los Angeles and maybe San Diego. That's a lot of soiled beaches.

The End of Oil?

Oil is the curse of the modern world; it is “the devil’s excrement,” in the words of the former Venezuelan oil minister Juan Pablo PĂ©rez Alfonzo, who is considered to be the father of OPEC and should know. Our insatiable need for oil has brought us global warming, Islamic fundamentalism and environmental depredation. It has turned the United States and China, the world’s biggest consumers of petroleum, into greedy, irresponsible addicts that can’t see beyond their next fix. With a few exceptions, like Norway and the United Arab Emirates, oil doesn’t even benefit the nations from which it is extracted. On the contrary: Most oil-rich states have been doomed to a seemingly permanent condition of kleptocracy by a few, poverty for the rest, chronic backwardness and, worst of all, the loss of a national soul.
We can’t be rid of the stuff soon enough.

Such is the message of Peter Maass’s slender but powerfully written new book, “Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

PxP Exposed and Opinion: PXP’s offshore drilling project not right deal for us (CA)

Menendez and Nelson lead effort to block offshore drilling
Sen. David Vitter (R.-La.) was supporting an amendment to the Interior Department appropriations bill that would have allowed Bush administration offshore drilling plans to be included in the bill.Sen. Robert Menendez (D.-N.J.), working with Sen. Bill Nelson (D.-Fla.), blocked the amendment and led the Senate in a 56-42 vote against Vitter’s attempt to send the bill back to committee for the inclusion of his amendment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beware the Sirens of Big Oil (AK)

Opinion: Bristol Bay should be cut from the five-year OCS leasing schedule (AK)

Florida lawmakers gather to debate offshore oil drilling in Clearwater

Offshore drilling supporter tells tourism agency: It's safe (FL)
Note that Rep. Dean Cannon is from Winter Park, FL (near Orlando) which is in the middle of Florida, far from the beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Australian Oil Spill Keeps on Gushing and Spreading

This is from Skytruth:

New images from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites keep coming in. At 8:45 am local time, the Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this image, showing oil slicks and sheen throughout a 9,870 square mile area (=7,455 square nautical miles). Part of the slick appears to be in contact with Cartier Island, a national marine reserve.

Five hours later the Aqua satellite took this image. The wind speed had increased from 10 knots to 18 knots, creating a much rougher sea surface and breaking up or obscuring the thinner slicks and sheen. Only thicker portions of the slick are apparent in this image, adjacent to the Montara platform, covering about 3,940 square miles (=2,976 nautical square miles). No slicks are apparent near Cartier - a good sign on Day 34 of this continuing spill. See all our satellite and aerial images of the spill here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oil Industry Sets a Brisk Pace of New Discoveries
“In 30 years I’ve been in the business, the Gulf of Mexico has been called the Dead Sea countless times,” said Bobby Ryan, the vice president of global exploration at Chevron. “And yet it continues to revitalize itself.”
Interesting uses of “dead” and “revitalize.” I guess in Chevron’s world, dead means no oil and revitalize means a new oil discovery. Evidently they aren’t aware of the real “dead zone” in the area.

Senate blocks bid to keep offshore drilling policy

Two Ocean Views in Congress
Here we go again. The Rep from Florida says protect our ocean and coasts, while the Rep from Nebraska says Drill Baby Drill.