Aug 19 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: GOP Candidates Don’t Like the EPA and News from Shell Oil Leak in North Sea

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Apr 25 2011

Fracking Problem: Shale Gas may be Worse for Climate than Coal

Published by under Energy

Natural Gas Processing Plant, via wikimedia

Natural gas has recently been touted as a major up and coming energy source for getting us off of dirtier sources such as coal and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.  However, many communities have complained about one of the main methods of harvesting this resource: hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”.  The process involves pumping large amounts of water and proprietary chemicals into the shale rock in order to allow the gas to come up faster and easier.  It has already been banned from Pittsburgh, PA and Buffalo, NY and is the subject of a proposed study from the EPA as well.  Now, a new study from Cornell argues that during the fracking process so much methane is released that, from production to burning, natural gas from shale may contribute more than 20% more to climate change than coal does.  This is in part because methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the main GHG from coal.  Shale natural gas also about 30% worse for the climate than natural gas gotten by more conventional means.  This study adds another weapon for opponents of fracking to use in trying to get the industry to move away from the practice.  On the other hand, Andrew Revkin in his Dot Earth column points out that the science is still in its beginning stages.  Furthermore, there may be profitable ways to capture the greenhouse gases and make fracking cleaner.  See his article and more linked below. Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: The Pika Headed for Extinction and BP Sues Transocean

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– Yale360: @YaleE360 The American #Pika is in big trouble as their extinction rates skyrocket due to climate change http://bit.ly/eMIxfU

– CBF: @chesbayprogram Underwater Bay Grasses Decrease by 6,239 Acres in Chesapeake Bay and Rivers in 2010 http://bit.ly/hkmUX6 (RT)

– TH: @TH_RSS What Could the Oil Spilled in the Gulf Have Been Used For? Animated Video Explores the Answer…http://bit.ly/eMkrPa (RT)

– BBC: @BBCWorld #BP sues Transocean and maker of blowout preventer on the anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill http://bbc.in/gQzujE

– MSNBC: @msnbc New dam project in Laos could threaten world’s most productive inland fishery http://on.msnbc.com/eoEfhr Continue Reading »

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Apr 15 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Budget Fights Over Environmental Programs and A New Natural Gas Study

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– SA: @sciam Australian mathematicians say some endangered species “not worth saving” http://bit.ly/hn2Zj9 (RT)

– SA: @sciam Penguin population on Antarctic peninsula has dropped more than 50% in past 30 years http://bit.ly/gO8Fgx

– NYT: @nytenvironment Obama, Entering the Budget Fray, Warns Against Clean Energy Cuts http://nyti.ms/gax75b (RT)

– TH: @TreeHugger Decline in coffee production could be first indicator of disastrous climate change effects http://bit.ly/hlKDxY

– CBF: @chesbayprogram Congress Approves Offshore Drilling Near Chesapeake Bay http://ow.ly/4AaQy (RT) Continue Reading »

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Mar 04 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Clean Air Act Regulation will Save $2 Trillion and Eastern Cougar Declared Extinct…Sort Of

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– SA: @sciam Australians pitch in to save the mahogany glider after a cyclone hit its sole, 100 km long habitat http://bit.ly/hfJCEr

– NYT: @nytenvironment Clean Air Act regulations will benefit American people to the tune of $2 trillion, says EPA study http://nyti.ms/eOw7gu

– Guardian: @guardianeco UK facing 1970s-style oil shock which could cost economy £45bn – Huhne http://gu.com/p/2nfjk/tf (RT)

– NYT: @nytimesgreen Continuing coverage of the budget hearings in Congress that may affect funding for enviro programs http://bit.ly/hNtQ8J

– NYT: @nytenvironment The FWS has declared that the eastern cougar is extinct…with a caveat http://nyti.ms/e90i2s Continue Reading »

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Feb 16 2011

Fracking Regulation: The EPA Makes Plans to Study Drilling Technique

Published by under Energy

Texas Barnett Shale gas drilling rig near Alvarado, Texas, via wikimedia

As natural gas takes a center stage in the push to move away from coal, the methods used to draw the raw material out of the ground are coming under greater scrutiny. The process is called hydraulic fracturing and is also known as frac’ing or “fracking.” It involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals into a drilled well in order to fracture the shale below and allow natural gas to flow out more easily. A loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act has allowed natural gas drillers to be exempt from disclosing the chemicals they use in fracturing fluid. In 2010, a documentary called “Gasland” displayed the impacts fracturing was having on drinking water across the nation and drew attention to potential dangers, the most striking scene showing a man setting his tap water on fire. The cities of Pittsburgh, PA and Buffalo, NY have both banned the practice and the state of New York is considering a bill that would ban fracking as well. Currently, the EPA has drafted a plan for studying fracking and the impact it has on drinking water.  The EPA’s Draft Plan can be found here (pdf).  Below are more articles on the EPA’s Draft Plan and the results of previous studies on the effects of fracking on drinking water. Continue Reading »

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