In the cause of of drill, drill, drill, the oil and gas industry is deliberately polluting groundwater to get natural gas from shale and claiming the poisons are proprietary.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New technology and higher prices have
brought vast domestic oil and natural gas deposits within reach to a
country desperate for new energy sources. But danger comes with this
bounty: Chemicals used to extract this energy may contaminate the
The state officials, the report said, gave the drilling a green
light, even though they have no idea what chemicals are being used.
That's because in 2005, Congress passed a law that made the chemicals
proprietary business information, and said they do not need to be made
Moreover, the report said the thumbs up from regulators
came despite hundreds of cases of groundwater contamination in other
states where these chemicals are used - contamination that included
chemicals known to cause birth defects and evidence of naturally
occurring radiation making its way to the earth's surface.
Contrast this cheery little piece about gas drilling in Louisiana from the NYTimes today that doesn't even mention a downside. Not one. Natural gas simply enriches the South and people buy new Cadillacs.
Already, several dozen people who own parcels of land over the field
are becoming instant millionaires as energy companies pay big money for
the mineral rights to the gas, which like other energy sources is worth
far more than it was last year. Jalopies are being traded in for
Cadillacs, plans for swimming pools are being hatched in rusty
trailers, and the old courthouse here is packed to the rafters day
after day with oil company “landmen” (and women), whose job it is to
frantically search the record books for the owners of the mineral
rights to land that has become like gold.
The big lizard paced along the office's glass window frame, slightly panicked. Hapless slithering back and forth - he might have been a lizard engineer seeking sign-off for a grading plan or building permit - in a hurry to get approvals as the lizard housing crisis thickens, pressured by his developer boss to get it done or else.
Snail hunt in the yard to keep them from eating everything. The sound of them squeaking and oozing around on top of each other in a metal bucket is amazing.
It occurred to me that I should eat them rather than waste them but I decided I would have to be hungrier than I was this Sunday. And Smiths would have to stop selling things like chicken. (Chantal did a great snail dinner post on Duke City Fix but I'm far too lazy to go find it.)
What I really need are chickens or ducks to eat the snails to move my dinner a little closer to home and further up the food chain - from slimy to feathered.
And what aspect of development do snails represent? Mobile home industry maybe.
Monday cut and paste from the NYTimes: Gig by Gig on the Erie Canal: No Gas. No Mule.
Mr. ... Bell, 22, of Frewsburg, near Jamestown, is on a summer tour across New York State.
He started his tour from Buffalo on July 20, and plans to canoe 550
miles to New York City in time for a performance at a coffee shop in
Manhattan on Sept. 4. Along the way, he is performing in small towns
like Brockport, as well as in larger cities such as Rochester, Albany
Though he calls it his “great adventure,” it
is also something of a necessity. Mr. Bell typically tours via his 1997
Toyota Corolla, traveling 40,000 miles over a seven- or eight-month
He earns anywhere from $20 to $200 a show, making him
barely able to eke out a living even when gas prices were $1 per gallon
cheaper. “I just get so angry about it,” he said.
This year, Mr.
Bell cut short a tour in Southern California as gas prices surged to
$4.67 a gallon, and headed to his parents’ home in Frewsburg, where he
lives between gigs, to create a more wallet-friendly tour.
New Mexico Independent - Joel Gay has an excellent summation of complex water rights transfer issues and what they mean to the future of agriculture. That is, there will be no agriculture.
How much sense does it make to have a private market for paper water rights? It isn't real water. It isn't a real market. If we wanted to witness the beauty of free enterprise we would make Santa Fe's developer mogul Gerald Peters pay to pump the real water from that old farm in Valencia County to his tony subdivisions.
Kunstler's Monday essays are a favorite read. But I really don't agree with his assessment of planning. In Kunstler Cast - #9 Urban Planning - he blames planners and planning schools for all the bad building of the post war era - literally blaming planners for kids on bikes riding along on 8 lane highways.
He answers a question of his own credentials by launching this attack I've heard from New Urbanists before. Planners disgraced their profession, he says. I want to grab him by the collar and shake him. What about the builders and bankers? What about the big picture?
I understand blaming a profession that is supposed to do something for not doing it. But this is sort of like blaming the wildlife biologist for habitat loss. That biologist may have sold out or not learned the right thing in school, but did he drain the wetland? The planner didn't get rich from land speculation and the housing boom, Jim.
The Clark County Commission, which holds the political power in Las Vegas, is pushing forward with a new terminal at McCarran International in spite of airline industry misgivings. The Daily Sprawl noted this story in the Las Vegas Sun.
The airlines, in a letter to the County, addressed the reality of higher fuel prices and declining tourism. The Commissioners, magical thinking caps firmly in place, went ahead and approved a $1.2 billion contract.
County officials were adamant that nothing be done to jeopardize Las
Vegas’ ability to fill 30,000 more hotel rooms scheduled to open in the
next three years. “For the last number of decades the challenge we’ve had is to keep
up with the growth,” Walker told commissioners. “If we do not build
Terminal 3, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy that those hotels
cannot get filled.”...
“Our choice is to decide to step back and ensure we don’t have the
capacity to make our tourist-driven economy successful,” Chairman Rory
Reid said. “The only reason to do that is to serve the short-term
interest of the airline industry ... It’s not in the community’s
So much for reality. The Growth Fairy, who was headquartered in Vegas for a time, was seen flitting on the shoulders of Commissioners whispering, Believe!
“Our expectation is for the economic environment to continue to be weak
– and to likely get weaker – and for the capital markets to remain
“Prime looks terrible,” he told analysts on the call. “And we’re sorry, and there’s nothing else we can say.”
The company currently holds $34.4 billion of jumbo mortgages, along
with $2.5 billion of Alt-A mortgages. Net charge-offs among prime loans
in the second quarter rose to $104 million, more than double the $50
million recorded just one quarter earlier. JP Morgan jumped in headlong
into jumbos and Alt-A mortgages during 2007 — obviously an ill-timed
bet, given where the market has headed.
“We were wrong, we obviously wish we hadn’t done it,” Dimon told analysts. “We’re very early in the loss curve.”
The Dr. says: "This is as honest as any top CEO has come out in the recent housing
debacle. To take ownership of a blunder in your company plan. The fact
that we are now being told that “prime looks terrible” is simply
another way of saying we are now all in this mess. No one in this
country will be able to hide from the hideous repercussions of this
housing and credit bubble bursting."