Huge ice floe continues to shut down drilling on Shell’s Burger prospect.

Ice still delaying Shell Arctic offshore drilling – CBS News.

Shell moves off Chukchi Sea well to avoid ice – Offshore.

Shell announced yesterday that it began drilling its Burger prospect 70 miles offshore Alaska’s northwest coast that morning at 8:30 am eastern time.  The drillship Noble Discoverer is being used for this prospect, which is in about 150 feet of water.  The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) gave the go-ahead to Shell on August 30 after years of planning, legal challenges, and great environmental concern.  The environmental concern, obviously, continues. Read the rest of this entry

Fuel Fix » Chemical Safety Board: Offshore industry falls short on key safety monitoring.

President Obama speaks regularly about how the United States government should encourage the development and deployment of clean technology to reduce our dependence on oil, especially the oil imported from countries that hate us. I couldn’t agree more. The problem is, though, that no matter who sits in the White House, there are thousands of nameless unaccountable career bureaucrats who arbitrarily stonewall the development of the very resources that the President himself is promoting. That stonewalling costs probably billions and kills off fledgling clean technology innovators. Read the rest of this entry

The recent boom in domestic oil and gas development, spurred by new  technologies in geologic interpretation, horizontal drilling, completion techniques, and hydraulic fracturing, has exposed a huge gap between our knowledge of getting oil and gas out of the ground and our knowledge of the  long-term damage to the environment these activities could be causing. When Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing activity from The Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, the exemption, lobbied for strongly by the industry, came before the proliferation of new drilling brought on by new technologies. Read the rest of this entry

Huffington Post is reporting the arrest yesterday morning of Josh Fox, who produced Gasland, a documentary about the environmental risks of oil and gas operations, who was attempting to film at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.  Republicans objected to him being in the hearing room, which is open to the public; the chairman of the subcommittee, Republican Andy Harris of Maryland, ordered the arrest.  Democrats moved to allow Fox to stay, but Republicans voted him down.  Fox, who is well regarded in the environmental and media communities, was led away in handcuffs by Capitol Hill police.  Here’s the video:


Now, I have to say that I disagreed with much of Gasland, and believe some of his conclusions were not supported by the facts.  However, I NEVER agree that politicians who disagree with a person trample his constitutional rights.  He caused no disturbance, broke no laws.  The Constitution was dealt as severe blow today, led by Republicans and aided by armed Capitol Hill police officers.

This is shameful, and I challenge anyone to argue that this action was acceptable.

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