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....