Posts tagged ‘dirty energy’

Oil continues to dump into the Gulf

<cross-posted on It’s Getting Hot in Here>

They said it was safe. BP’s environmental impact statement from February 2009 stated that it was,  “unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities”, and that “due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected [1].” Now, millions of gallons of oil have dumped into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20thand more continues to poor into the waters every day. Yesterday President Obama visited Louisiana to assess the threat posed by this growing oil spill [2].

An oil containment boom is swamped by waves along the Louisiana coast at South Pass of the Mississippi River Thursday, April 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) via Boston.com

The Earth is now bleeding. Unfortunately a run to the pharmacy wont supply the Band Aids needed for this injury. Five thousand feet under the sea a pipe is spilling unknown volumes of oil straight into the Gulf. Attempts to recap it have been unsuccessful. Stopping the spill now looks like it could take weeks if not months, as a giant dome is developed to capture the oil and a “relief” well is drilled [3].

Oil, bottom right, is seen approaching the Louisiana Coast, top left, in this aerial photo taken 8 miles from shore, Wednesday, April 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Via Boston.com

Oil has already covered over 3,800 square miles of ocean [4]. At risk are the fragile ecosystems of birds that are just beginning to build nests and mate, fish, shellfish, and countless threatened species are found in and around the ten wildlife preserves that are likely to fall in the path of the oil spills as it continues to disperse [5]. The economic impacts of this spill will spread far as fisherman who weathered Hurricane Katrina are seeing Gulf fisheries shut down that are America’s biggest source of seafood.

They are lighting the Gulf on fire. Burning the fuel off is one of many efforts being used to contain the spill. Rough seas for the past few days however, have stymied many efforts at burning the oil off and sending it into the atmosphere. Already 34 miles of boom have also been deployed to form a skirt around a small part of the Gulf Coast to protect the shore from oil. Dispersal agents are another method being used, though in untested ways as they are released in unprecedented volumes both underwater and above.

Dirty energy is jeopardizing human survival. This incident has cost 11 lives and comes in the wake of several other fossil fuels related disasters in the past month including, the methane explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 miners, the collapse of a mine in Kentucky that killed 2, and the wreck of a coal carrying ship that spilled oil across the Great Barrier Reef [6][7][8].

People hold the solutions. Hair salons with the organization, Matter of Trust are beginning to collect hair clipping, that can be made into mat to soak up oil [9]. People are submitting ideas for ways to clean up oil spills that can be readily implemented to the website InnoCentive [10]. Fishermen are signing up to lend their boats and time to the clean up effort as the oil begins to come ashore. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Sierra Club and a number of other organizations are calling on people everywhere to call the White House and their Congressmen to put an end to offshore drilling, fossil fuel subsidies, and move to clean energy options [11]. If we don’t move away from our dependence on fossil fuels these accidents will continue to occur.

Let’s stop being fuelish and get to work building a clean energy future.

—————-

[1] Burdeau, Cain; Holbrook Mohr (2010-04-30). “Document: BP didn’t plan for major oil spill”. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-30.  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5gnWbqZ9SqBHvSYqJeE2AT5KebwD9FDNQR00

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/02/obama-visits-louisiana-oil-spill

[3] BP (2010-04-30). “BP Steps Up Shoreline Protection Plans on US Gulf Coas”. Press release. Retrieved 2010-04-30.  http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7061565

[4] “Gulf Oil Spill, by the Numbers”. CBS News. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/30/national/main6447428.shtml

[5] http://www.deccanherald.com/content/66822/oil-spill-reaches-us-coast.html

[6] http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2010/04/23/preventing-the-next-mine-disaster-unionize/

[7] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/us/30mine.html

[8] http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2010/04/05/coal-and-oil-destroying-great-barrier-reef/

[9] http://www.matteroftrust.org/

[10] https://gw.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/overview/9383447

[11] http://www.cleanenergy.org/www.sierraclub.org/oilspill

May 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm 2 comments

Citizens Gather for Biggest NC Climate Action in 2 Decades!

On the eve of one of the largest climate actions in North Carolinas history  activists and organizer young and old gathered  from across the country  at a charlotte Unitarian church today to prepare for the monumental action against Duke Energy’s proposed Cliffside coal plant expansion. People have shown up from over 20 states, including Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, California, New Jeresey, and most sany03261surrounding southern States just to name a few.

We gathered to go over logistics, but more importantly to discuss the issue and learn Non-violent strategy and its importance in this movements actions.  “non-violence is  a necessary  part of this action because it doesn’t allow the focus to shift away from the key issue, coal. In addition to showing your dedication and commitment, this non-violent direct action serves as an a opportunity to educate your peers, family, and public about the power we have to stand up to dirty energy” -Graymon Ward – Croatian Earth First Raleigh

The new proposed coal plant would use conventional, pulverized coal technology. This facility would have NO ability to capture or control carbon, which means all of these emissions will pump freely into our already warming atmosphere for at least the next 50 years. The new 800 MW coal-fired facility that would emit over 6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. We expect a facility of this size will live at least the average of a 50-year lifespan, which means a total of 312 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere throughout its life. This grand total is equal to adding one million cars to the road each year!

Over the past few years as we have seen the imminent need for solutions to climate change, poverty, failing economy, and joblessness. These things, among others, have brought about a surging interest by citizens young and old and solution supporting organizations that have continuously stood by their fellow citizens putting their efforts behind real solutions, bodies, and freedom in the way of injustice and debilitating ways of thinking.

For those of us who can’t be with us in Charlotte you can follow the Greenpeace twitter via stopcliffside.org or subscribe to the Southern Energy Network Twitter feed.

Further show your support by calling into Duke’s Headquarters(704) 382-8000 & Governor Perdue’s office (919) 733-7350

Also

Gather photos from your friends and your campus visit http://powershift09.org/wevotedfor for details

During the week of April 20th, the first hearing around the American Clean Energy & Security Act (ACES) will take place – we’ll deliver thousands of photos to the hearing to make sure that our voices are heard, and that the faces of our movement are in the room.

April 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm 1 comment

Cliffside air quality permit contested at Forest City Hearing

Inside the auditorium there were maybe 200 of “them” and maybe 20 of “us”. Virtually all of “them” either worked for Duke, for Shaw Construction, or were local chamber or economic “development” types and politicians who read three versions of the same talking points over and over.

N.C. Division of Air Quality held a hearing tonight on a proposed air quality permit revision for the new coal-fired boiler (unit 6) that Duke Energy is building at its Cliffside plant in Rutherford County.Duke is asking the agency to revise its permit to classify the 800-megawatt addition as a “minor” source of hazardous air pollutants and set limits based on those emissions.

The proposed revisions and hearing are a partial response to a recent court decision that directed Duke to undergo a review to ensure it was using the best-available clean air technology at its Cliffside Steam Station. Facilities that are a minor source of pollution do not have to go through a review to ensure it is using the maximum achievable technology to control emissions.

The issue is far from cut and dry. Many local residence were far more interested in the 1,600 temporary jobs the plants construction will bring about. Apparently the moving testimonies and facts that concerned citizens, legal representatives, scientists, and professional environmental organizations did little to stifle the opinions of Duke employees as they have been fed a series of “magic numbers” by Duke Power that the new unit will remove virtually 90% of all pollutants and will even be….get this…..Carbon Free (for your non-science types coal is carbon). Duke created their new series of numbers after the unit was going to be classified as a “Major source of hazardous pollution”. Without changing 1 single thing to the design or technology of the unit Duke reduced the numbers of toxins/pollutants, emissions, and impact of the unit. The N.C. Division of air quality took those numbers and ran with Duke’s new numbers.

Duke Energy holds the power and they have their people firmly in their pockets, but the fact remains that they are severely lying about the impact of this unit and people need to realize that its not what Duke can do for them in the short term, but what they need to be doing to lead the way in a better future for North Carolina: Cleaning up their act, Creating a Green Jobs infrastructure, and putting peoples health before profit and shortcuts!

You can hear Jill Rios of interfaith power and light give her press statement and Russ Anderson give his testimony at http://www.youtube.com/RussSENNc

You can also read more about the efforts here: http://www.canarycoalition.org/

January 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm 2 comments


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