Pollution

ExxonMobil CEO Says Oil Industry "Not Well Equipped" For Deep Water Spill
June 22, 2010 02:27 PM - BC Upham, Triple Pundit

The CEO of the world's largest publicly traded oil company told a Congressional panel last week that the oil industry is "not well equipped" to deal with deep water spills like that now ravaging the Gulf of Mexico. Rex Tillerson, an engineer who rose to the CEO chair during his 35 years at ExxonMobil, told Democratic Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, "that's why the emphasis has always been on preventing these things from occurring: because we're not well equipped to handle them, and that's just a fact of the enormity of what we’re dealing with."

The Dangers of Arsenic
June 22, 2010 11:11 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Arsenic is an extremely potent carcinogen and toxic to vital organs such as the liver, skin, kidney, and cardiovascular system. A common pathway of human exposure is through drinking water. Previous studies that assessed the long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water have lacked resolution and rely too heavily on retrospective analysis. However, a 10-year study in Bangladesh has been released recently, and promises to be the definitive study to determine the long-term effects of arsenic exposure.

The Return of the Superfund Tax
June 22, 2010 11:08 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sent a letter to Congress in support of reinstating the old and lapsed Superfund polluter pays taxes. Superfund is the federal government's program that investigates and cleans up the nation's most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. If reinstated, the Superfund tax would provide a stable, dedicated source of revenue for the program and increase the pace of Superfund cleanup. It would also ensure that parties who benefit from the manufacture or sale of substances that commonly cause environmental problems at hazardous waste sites, and not taxpayers, help bear the cost of cleanup when responsible parties cannot be identified.

Oil firms challenge U.S. deepwater drilling ban
June 22, 2010 05:49 AM - Mary Rickard and Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

Oil services companies were waiting on Tuesday to see if their legal bid would succeed in overturning a six-month ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as more fishing areas were closed in response to the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The ban by President Barack Obama's administration was imposed in response to the explosion aboard an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 that killed 11 workers and ruptured a well owned by BP Plc, unleashing millions of gallons of crude oil and causing an environmental catastrophe.

Saharan Sun Power
June 21, 2010 01:52 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There is plenty of sun in deserts and the Sahara is one of the biggest deserts in the world. Europe intends to import its first solar generated electricity from North Africa within the next five years, European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said in an interview on Sunday. The European Union is backing projects to turn the plentiful sunlight in the Sahara desert into electricity for Europe, a scheme it hopes will help meet its target of deriving 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Partner puts blame on BP, claims negligence
June 19, 2010 06:19 AM - Jeffrey Jones, Reuters

BP Plc's costs for the worst spill in U.S. history appeared set to rise as a partner in the out-of-control well laid the blame at BP's feet and the new federal czar overseeing damage claims said BP would pay more if $20 billion was not enough. The British oil company said it would not be distracted by a dispute with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The owner of a quarter of the well gushing into the Gulf broke its near-silence on the spill to squarely pin blame -- and financial responsibility -- on BP. "There appears to be gross negligence or willful misconduct," Houston-based Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that helped to drive his company's shares up 2.2 percent in after-hours trading on the hopes it could avoid multi-billion-dollar liabilities.

Antarctic Sea Ice Paradoxically Growing
June 18, 2010 09:50 AM - Molika Ashford, Live Science

While Arctic sea ice continues to shrink as the world warms, the ice around Antarctica is actually growing, thanks to the influence of the ozone hole over the southernmost continent, scientists have reported. But the south polar growth won't be permanent, they warn.

No-Fish area in Gulf expanded again
June 17, 2010 06:37 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The area of the Gulf of Mexico closed to fishing has been expanded again by NOAA to capture portions of the oil slick moving beyond the area’s current northern boundary, off the Florida panhandle’s federal-state waterline. This boundary was moved to Panama City Beach. The federal closure does not apply to any state waters. Closing fishing in these areas is a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers.

BP agrees to $20 billion spill fund, cuts dividend
June 17, 2010 06:05 AM - Jeff Mason, Reuters

Under intense pressure from President Barack Obama, BP Plc agreed on Wednesday to set up a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and suspended dividend payments to its shareholders. The deal gave Obama his most tangible success since the crisis began 58 days ago and came after weeks of criticism of his handling of the disaster. It also eased U.S. pressure on BP, whose share price has withered amid uncertainty over the spill's cost to the British energy giant. Obama announced the agreement after White House officials held four hours of talks with BP executives, who emerged to offer an apology to the American people for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Monitoring the Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in the Earth
June 16, 2010 11:28 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Global Warming is caused by several factors such as the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. One solution to the problem is to capture the carbon dioxide before it enters the atmosphere, and instead, deposit the CO2 into the ground. However, up to this point, scientists have been unable to effectively track how it might move underground. The desire is to get the CO2 in place and not have it move elsewhere and potentially cause problems. Now, with the advent of Electric Resistance Tomography (ERT), developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), tested by the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB), and funded by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, sequestration of greenhouse gases may expand.

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