LNG tanker at sea (Photo courtesy of FERC)
The Obama Administration is blocking a comprehensive environmental study on the impact of exporting massive quantities of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, on the grounds that new gas drilling induced by the exports is not “reasonably foreseeable.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy is resisting calls by Dow Chemical and other manufacturers for a more clearly defined and transparent DOE process for determining whether proposed LNG export projects serve the “public interest.”
Both the DOE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission face mounting pressure to evaluate the economic and environmental consequences of licensing LNG export facilities. Since the agencies licensed an LNG export terminal in Sabine Pass, La., in 2011, 19 other applicants have lined up with licensing requests. Continue reading Obama Administration Says No to Full Environmental Study of LNG Exports
Other Major Safety and Environmental Issues Confront Inergy in the New York Finger Lakes Region
Inergy Salt Plant, Watkins Glen, NY
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.—A Kansas City energy company is urging New York and federal regulators to disregard explicit warnings about the structural integrity of two salt caverns that it plans to use to store millions of barrels of highly-pressurized liquid propane and butane.
One cavern was plugged and abandoned 10 years ago after a consulting engineer from Louisiana concluded that its roof had collapsed in a minor earthquake. He deemed the rubble-filled cavity “unusable” for storage. It is now scheduled to hold 600,000 barrels of liquid butane.
The other cavern sits directly below a rock formation weakened by faults and characterized by “rock movement” and “intermittent collapse,” according to a 40-year-old academic study that cautioned that the cavern might be plagued by “difficulties in production arising from the geological environment.” That cavern is scheduled to hold 1.5 million barrels of liquid propane.
Continue reading Inergy Seeks Approval for Gas Storage in Once Deemed Unusable Salt Caverns
DEC Not Up To The Job – Oil & Gas Industry Influences Regulators
Louis W. Allstadt
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Former Mobil Oil Corp. executive Louis W. Allstadt did not start out as an anti-fracking activist. He had to analyze the issue and then switch sides.
Initially, he bought into the natural gas industry’s gaudy promises that high-volume horizontal hydrofracturing could work economic miracles in rural upstate New York. He wrote in a 2009 newspaper opinion article that gas drilling “could provide enormous quantities of clean-burning natural gas with great economic benefits” to the state.
But after digging deeper, Allstadt veered away from the party line. Continue reading Louis W. Allstadt – From Supporter to Skeptic on New York State Fracking
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After natural gas drilling began near their rural homes about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Carol Moten and her neighbors noticed that their well water began to smell. Then came the headaches, skin lesions, and diarrhea, in household after household. A two-year-old dog fell over dead.
“We’re talking about little children that have nosebleeds, cats that fall off windowsills,” she said.
Three years ago, Moten and her neighbor, Donald Allison, visited Dr. Amelia Pare in nearby McMurray for their skin infections. Allison’s health continued to deteriorate and earlier this month he died from what the neighborhood understood to be bone cancer. He was 46. Continue reading Cuomo and Corbett Ignore Health Concerns from Gas Fracking