Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Keep It In The Ground … By Blocking Pipelines

Paul Driessen

You can understand Greenie frustration as the steady stream of radical environmentalist successes during the Obama years has been replaced with endless setbacks. Oil, gas and coal leasing, permits and production have risen significantly.

Big Green just lost its first Big Cities v. the Big Oil climate-change shakedown lawsuit. President Trump pulled the USA out of the economy-wrecking, all-pain-no-gain Paris Climate Treaty and will soon nominate another Supreme Court justice.

The fracking revolution (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) not only slipped in under their radar. The technology they absolutely detest has utterly destroyed their mantra that the world is rapidly running out of petroleum – and now is helping create millions of jobs, generate billions in government revenues, launch a petrochemical resurgence, and turn the United States into an oil and gas exporter!

Anticipated and activated regulatory and tax reforms and rollbacks, combined with far lower energy prices, have brought record stock market gains, record lows for black and Hispanic unemployment, far fewer people on welfare, thousands of extra dollars in family bank accounts, and renewed consumer confidence. Q2 economic growth could reach 4.5% (which pessimists had said was impossible).

Just as awful, extreme greens despise oil and natural gas, but are “forced” to use these resources every day for transportation, electricity, heating, air conditioning, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, plastics in cell phones and solar panels, and countless other blessings that they never acknowledge.

In other examples, the Cardiac 3-D Print Lab at Phoenix Children’s Hospital makes precisely crafted replica hearts, blood vessels, ears, bones and other organs out of colored plastics to prepare for surgeries and save kids’ lives; and natural gas is slowly replacing high-sulfur bunker fuel in ocean transport.

But anti-fossil-fuel fanatics are clever, resilient and well-funded by liberal foundations and Russians. (See here, here, here, and here.) If they can’t block leasing, drilling, and fracking directly, they find ways to “keep oil and gas in the ground” indirectly – by claiming methane from gas production could cause climate cataclysms, filing lawsuits, and taking “direct action” to delay or block pipeline construction.

A recent EDF report claims industry leaks 60% more methane than previously recognized. The industry says the claim is wrong, methane leakage is minimal and going down every year as technologies and practices improve – and natural gas production and transportation make a trifling contribution to a trivial amount of atmospheric methane.

In fact, methane is just 0.00017% of the atmosphere (1/235th the amount of CO2), and neither gas has replaced the sun and other powerful natural forces that actually control the climate.

Moreover, nearly one-third of all global methane comes from natural sources, and in the USA 60% of human methane comes from livestock and agriculture, municipal landfills and sewage treatment plants.

New pipelines are needed to move record amounts of US oil and gas to refineries, petrochemical plants, export terminals– and gas-fired generators that replace coal-fired units, provide emergency electricity for hospitals, or back up sporadic wind and solar power.

Many lines serve new oil and gas fields; others will replace aging, deteriorating pipelines that pose increasing risks of leaks and spills or replace railroad tanker cars that present much higher environmental and human safety risks than pipelines.

Enormous Permian Basin shale formations beneath Eastern New Mexico and West Texas feed an oil-producing region that is already North America’s biggest, and in a few more years could be producing more oil than every other nation in the world except Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The oil reduces Russian, Iranian and OPEC ability to employ their oil as political weapons, and keeps oil and gasoline prices low.

Oil and gas production in the Permian, Bakken, Haynesworth, Marcellus and other shale plays creates thousands of construction, manufacturing and STEM jobs, plus vital city, state and federal revenues.

And yet plans to build or complete pipelines are often met with anger, resistance, litigation, and violence. The nearly completed Dakota Access Pipeline spawned illegal protest camps that left behind tons of trash and excrement, and housed hardcore radicals who destroyed construction equipment, shot at guards, tried to destroy a bridge, killed cattle and bison, and threatened to murder local residents.

The $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline has brought seemingly endless litigation – and protesters who occupy trees, chain themselves to construction equipment and bizarrely claim they are acting in the finest traditions of the civil rights movement.

A 16-mile-long and 100-foot-wide segment of the Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline right-of-way would affect a mere 195 acres out of 1.1 million acres in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest; but agitators say it would create a vast “industrial zone” and “severely degrade some of the best remaining natural landscapes” in the entire Eastern United States.

More rabid activists have closed pipeline valves, creating risks of ruptures, explosions, fires, and deaths.

Compared to these actions, litigation seems mild, and most projects are eventually approved by FERC, the Army Corps of Engineers and the courts. However, prolonged delays, multiple environmental studies, and forced route changes amid construction add tens or even hundreds of millions to costs, for few benefits.

Many legal battles dragged on for years: Keystone XL in Nebraska (oil), Sandpiper in Minnesota (oil), Mariner East 2 in Pennsylvania (gas), Bayou Bridge in Louisiana (oil), for example.

The double standards are glaring and unacceptable when all this is compared to minimal environmental studies and environmentalist concern typically associated with wind or solar installations, despite the enormous habitat and wildlife losses that those “renewable” technologies unavoidably cause.

Ironically, the anti-petroleum, anti-pipeline campaigns have been significantly aided by an unlikely and unexpected source: a “people’s politician” whose job and economic growth promises, policies, and expectations are intrinsically linked to fossil fuels.

It is becoming increasingly clear that President Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are adding significantly to pipeline and oil patch woes.

Even Energy Secretary Rick Perry has voiced concern that “a bullet” intended for the trade and tariff parity target might hit the oil production and transportation sector behind the target. Domestic metals producers benefit from the tariffs, but domestic users of steel and aluminum are getting hammered.

In fact, the tariffs and environmentalist actions are having a profoundly negative impact on pipeline projects and oil and gas production in many regions.

In the Permian Basin, for example, oilfield service workers are being idled, and the number of drilled-but-uncompleted wells soared to 3,200 in May, a 90% increase from a year ago, as the lack of pipeline capacity forced fracking companies to reduce production.

Permian operators will likely have to close older wells within four months because there aren’t enough pipelines to get the oil to customers, one industry CEO has said. The worsening bottleneck there could benefit Russia, Iran, and OPEC, as they step in to fill global oil demand. Greenies must be chortling.

But maybe not all that much. The US fossil fuels boom may be slowing, but only temporarily and only a little. China, India, Africa, South America and Europe are all burning far more oil, gas, and coal.

China and Eastern Europe are anxious to buy more US liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce coal use, and in the former Soviet Bloc to avoid being too reliant on Putin gas that could be used in strategic extortion.

Meanwhile, China has launched its first fracking operations, in a mountainous area south of Chongqing in southwestern China. It wants to help meet natural gas demands that are expected to increase by more than 700% over the next two decades. Britain too is gearing up for major fracking-based gas production.

So all these rabidly anti-fossil-fuel actions in Oakland and New York and across the USA will have no effect on global emissions or even theoretically on Earth’s climate.

It’s all a petulant part of the radical Left’s determination to employ lawsuits, Saul Alinsky tactics and violence to seize control of our economy, livelihoods, living standards and lives – regardless of the human or environmental costs.

Responsible people across the globe need to push back – or help the anti-fossil-fuel folks live according to their ideology, by cutting off their access to anything derived from the fuels they despise.

Via email

Pesticides, Hormones, EPA and Scientific Integrity

Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality.

By Rich Kozlovich

Occasionally when talking to people about pesticides and chemicals in general I find that some have a smattering knowledge about studies that make all sorts of claims about chemicals and pesticides in particular.

The reality is that 10,000 poorly designed studies with weak associations filled with weasel words and assumptions (and possibly outright fraud such as the Tulane endocrine disruption study)  amount to nothing more than “conclusions in search of data”; and they are not worth one well designed study that is “data in search of a conclusion”. In short….they lie. Lies of commission and lies of omission. As my friend Dr. Jay Lehr says; they don’t get government grant money unless they give these people what they want. Government grant money has turned the term “scientific integrity” into an oxymoron. When science gets rich, it gets political.

There are a number of articles I wish to highlight in this post dealing with two issues. Pesticides and IQ, and pesticides and endocrine disruption. In the developed world, where pesticides were used the most IQ's have up over the last fifty years.

(Editor's Note: Currently that's reversing worldwide. RK)

 As for sperm count issues - one of the many falacious knocks on DDT was that it causes a loss of sperm count.  Even if this was true, it doesn’t seem to much matter because the generation most heavily exposed to DDT was also the generation that created the baby boomers.

At the end of WWII the world’s population numbered around two billion people, and it took thousands of years to accomplish that. The world’s population has soared to almost seven billion in less that seventy five years.   The reality is this; everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality.

Dr. Gil Ross, M.D. of the American Council on Science and Health recently wrote an article called, “Better Living Through Chemistry (If Permitted)”, Ross states: “The overwhelming body of scientific evidence supports the safety of myriad chemicals in use today. A fusillade of recent items by the New York Times, US News, CNN, and others purports to show how certain common pesticides lead to reduced IQs among children of women exposed to these chemicals while pregnant.”

He goes on to say: “Dismayed, I carefully went over the paper that lies at the ground zero of the media frenzy. It is a study of the organophosphate (OP) class of pesticides by a group of researchers based at the University of California at Berkeley and led by Brenda Eskenazi.”

Furthermore: “Analogously, pesticides kill pests—insects, weeds, fungi—and increase crop yields and the safety of our food. Yet the anti-pesticide, anti-chemical, anti-technology crowd says the opposite.” “These same “friends of the earth” oppose genetically modified (or biotech) agriculture, again for no science-based reason. This technology is another potential method to increase production of desperately needed staple crops—yet the opposition stems from a fear of “frankenfoods,” despite these crops’ demonstrated safety over the past 15-plus years—echoing the never-ending crusade against DDT”

Ross continues: “It was a sign of things to come, as the EPA expanded its search for “toxic” problems to fix—even if it had to invent them. Now the law of diminishing returns has set in: fewer serious (or even real) problems to fix, so the search for “toxins” to justify the huge EPA budget has become increasingly desperate. Is this know-nothing obstructionism what being “earth-friendly” means today?”

I keep hearing all sorts of claims by activists and government grant chasing “scientists” that chemicals (especially pesticides) cause cancer, autism, low sperm count and a host of other unproven scares. This has been particularly true of DDT. More outrageous claims have been made against DDT than almost any product that has ever been developed, with the possible exception of bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. As for claims that there has been a drop in sperm count over these many decades. Gil posted an article dealing with this issue.

In one of this week’s Daily Dispatches the American Council on Science and Health cited a study that clearly demonstrated that: “the 1992 study by a group of Danish researchers that claimed sperm counts declined by 50 percent worldwide from 1938 to 1991”, was wrong! They point out that the study was “heavily criticized for its many flaws, methodological problems, and biases” at the time. “We know that the so-called decline in sperm count is just another myth promulgated by the ‘our stolen future’ crowd who say that environmental chemicals lead to infertility in men,” ...........“But now we have proof that’s simply not true.”

Michael Fumento also addressed, “Our Stolen Future” in an article in 1999 entitled, Hormonally Challenged, and I published what I think is a definitive response to this claim in my article, Endocrine Disruption Is A Medieval Spell in the Hands of Environmentalists.

So, do chemicals really cause a drop in sperm count? Although it was obvious for years that all these claims were junk science, we can finally answer with an absolute and resounding; NO!


Global Warming Smackdown: Tankers Trapped In Midsummer Arctic Sea Ice

Shipping in the Gulf of Ob is paralysed and the situation complicated, icebreaker company Rosatomflot says.

Via The Barents Observer :

It is late June, but the winter has not abandoned the Gulf of Ob. The shallow bay, which houses two of Russia’s biggest Arctic out-shipment terminals for oil and gas, remains packed with fast ice.

It has created a  complicated situation, Rosatomflot says. The state company which manages the Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers, confirms that  independent shipping in the area is «paralysed» and that LNG carriers and tankers are stuck.

The shipping companies had expected the Gulf of Ob to be free of ice in the course of June and that icebreaker assistance would not be necessary. They were wrong.

According to Rosatomflot, there appears to be a need for icebreaker services in the area at least until after the first week of July. There are currently two nuclear-powered icebreakers in the Gulf of Ob, the «Taymyr» and the «Vaygach». In addition, there are several smaller tugs and icebreakers working in the waters around the Sabetta port.

According to the icebreaker company, this is the first summer in four years that the Gulf of Ob is packed with this much ice.

«The global warming, which there has been so much talk about for such a long time, seems to have receded a little and we are returning to the standards of the 1980s and 1990s,» says company representative Andrey Smirnov.

AND how we have been repeatedly promised the “end of summer Arctic ice” by the Climate Crisis Industry and sycophant mainstream media!

HOW sure they were that your lifestyle and “carbon pollution” was melting away the Arctic and drowning cuddly Polar Bears!

2007 : BBC claimed Arctic summers would be ice free ‘by 2013′…



For only the second time on record, no one killed by tornadoes in US in May or June

Extreme weather?

For the first time since 2005, and only the second time on record, no one was killed by tornadoes in the U.S. in either May or June. 

Those are typically two of the USA’s deadliest months for tornadoes, along with March and April. Official U.S. tornado records go back to 1950.

Although we have a long way to go, the U.S. could see its least deadly year for tornadoes on record: So far in 2018, tornadoes have killed only 3 people this year. The most recent was on April 13 in Louisiana, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

An average of 71 Americans are killed each year by tornadoes, based on data from 1987-2016, the Weather Channel reported.

Based on the official database, the year with the fewest tornado deaths was 1986, when 15 people died. Unofficial records – from before 1950 – show that in 1910, only 12 people were killed by tornadoes.

Not surprisingly, the lack of tornado deaths coincides with a very quiet year for twisters overall. So far, there have been 571 reports of tornadoes across the U.S. this year. (That number is preliminary, and will likely be reduced once duplicate reports are discounted.)

On average, during the first six months of the year, about 1,000 tornadoes hit the U.S.

NOAA spokesman Chris Vaccaro said the lack of tornado deaths is only partly due to fewer tornadoes: "Accurate and timely watches and warnings – including cell phone alerts – supported in part by improved radar technology play a major role in saving lives throughout the tornado season," he said.

Warm, humid air is one of the ingredients needed for tornadoes to form, and for much of the early part of the year, it was lacking in the central U.S.

Frequent rounds of chilly air from Canada, thanks to a persistent southward dip in the jet stream over the eastern U.S., helped to keep temperature and humidity surges to a minimum, according to AccuWeather.

The biggest tornado droughts this year are in the Plains states of Texas and Oklahoma, in the southern part of "Tornado Alley." An unfavorable jet stream position kept twisters away from the region until early May, the Weather Channel reported. And when storm systems finally did arrive, they didn't produce many tornadoes.

Meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory said there aren't typically many U.S. tornado deaths after the spring storm season. Summer and early fall are typically quiet, he said, before the "second tornado season" of November.


Thermal coal boom a big boost for Australia

COAL will be declared “king” again by Resources Minister Matt Canavan amid eye-watering price surges that will resuscitate the fortunes of Adani’s mega mine and entrench battle lines for Turnbull Government agitators fighting for another coal-fired power station.

World demand and high prices drove Australia’s thermal coal exports to a record high of $23 billion last financial year, with coal this financial year set to overtake iron ore as our biggest export.

Senator Canavan will point to today’s release of the Chief Economist’s Resources and Energy Quarterly June report to vindicate his assurances that coal is not dead, and to underscore that billions of dollars flowing to federal and state coffers come from the black rock.

Financial analysts Wood Mackenzie estimates the coal from the Adani mine will raise about $US40 per tonne – but with coal prices now more than $US100 per tonne, the project in central Queensland has become more profitable.

The chief economist’s projections come at a critical time for Malcolm Turnbull, who is fending off calls from Tony Abbott and the Nationals to create a multibillion-dollar fund to build a new coal-fired generator, potentially in Queensland, at the same time he tries to limit carbon emissions from the national electricity market.

World demand and high prices drove Australia’s thermal coal exports to a record high of $23 billion last financial year.
It is also likely to give Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg political heartburn ahead of next month’s meeting with states where he aims to sign-off on a new national energy plan. Mr Turnbull does not want to give coal any subsidies.

And this week, the LNP’s state convention will put to vote resolutions calling on the Federal Coalition to invest in new coal-fired stations and fund a rail line between Abbot Point and the Galilee Basin.

“Prices are back at near record levels, and the future demand looks bright. It’s time for Labor to end its war on coal,” Senator Canavan said. “Coal produces thousands of jobs, billions in tax revenues and record exports. A strong coal industry means a strong economy.

“The strong demand for coal also gives us the chance to get projects like Adani and the Galilee Basin going. Opening up the Galilee would generate 16,000 direct mining jobs and tens of billions in taxes.”




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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