Off-Shore Drilling and the Environment: Irreconcilable Differences

As if we needed another facet to the global climate change and energy demand debates, we can now add the following: evidence is mounting that our insatiable consumption of petroleum has finally (and inevitably) brought us to the cusp of Peak Oil. More hard decisions are going to be required in the near future, and it is critical that we avoid succumbing to our natural inclination towards easy fixes.

Among other things, surpassing Peak Oil means that the sheer volume of crude oil coming from the Gulf states is going to be regulated not by production, but by availability, and we can safely assume that the oil companies will turn this into another huge profit-making opportunity. We can also assume that the huge profits they've already made will be used to color the debate about how to deal with the soon-to-be-dwindling supplies of the substance we are so addicted to, so it's important to keep an eye out for "science for hire" elements in these debates:

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.

The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN's panel as "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and ask for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".

While these efforts to sway the climate change debate ultimately failed, they have helped to create a distrust the average citizen feels towards scientific opinion in general, and particularly in areas where it conflicts with our lifestyle and behavior.

So, just as nuclear power has become more "palatable" to the average citizen in light of carbon emissions worries, on- and off-shore domestic oil exploration and drilling are becoming more desirable, especially in light of current gas prices, looming Peak Oil and our growing distrust of oil-rich countries in the Middle East. While this is a natural reaction to the problems we are facing, it is not a wise course of action, for several reasons.

For economic purposes, the costs of pursuing this course, especially in light of the limited amount (density) of crude oil deposits that can be harvested domestically, makes this a questionable venture at best. We will not see a substantial market-driven drop in the price of gas at the pump, and the sheer volume of oil that we use means we will have to continue to import from dubious sources in an ever-increasing competition with other nations. Whatever resources we dedicate to this delaying action are resources that could be used to develop newer technologies and efficiency measures, both of which have the potential to offset several times the amount of oil we could suck out of the ground here at home.

Environmentally speaking, the expansion of off-shore drilling operations to include Western Atlantic areas (such as the N.C. coast) will have a devastating and irreversable effect on benthic and beach ecosystems, as well as migratory fish and bird species. And in answer to a comment on another thread here:

I've been to the Texas Gulf Coast. Have you? Those habitats are doing just fine. In fact marine life thrives at the oil rigs.

First of all, the term "thriving" is often associated with an imbalance in an ecosystem, indicating that something's out of whack. It is true that many benthic species are extremely adaptable, and the introduction of a drilling platform seemingly only disrupts life cycles for around 8-10 months before (most) populations return in numbers, often appearing to have benefited from the disruption. But that is a deceptive phenomenon, as it serves to conceal vast changes that have taken place.

The ecosystems themselves are incredibly complex, composed of thousands of species ranging from the tiniest of single-celled creatures all the way up to very large and far-ranging fish species. They are all connected to each other through predation, and any sudden change in the numbers and/or physiology of one species sets a ripple effect in motion that can affect changes in predation cycles a thousand (or more) miles away. This is one of the reasons I am against dredging, because it always has an impact, and we rarely pay much attention to what it will mean in the long run.

In addition to this, the makeup and behavior of these ecosystems vary (sometimes greatly) from one oceanic region to the next, and a comparison of the environmental impact of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to those proposed for the Continental Shelf on the Atlantic coast will only produce inaccurate assumptions of the impact on ecosystems here. Basically, we don't know what to expect, but there will be changes.

We can, however, observe the behavior and likely contamination from the platforms themselves in the Gulf of Mexico, just to get an idea of what we could expect here in North Carolina. Here's Enid Sisskin, from her testimony before Congress two years ago:

These declines are for the most part, caused by humans. In Environmental Impact Statements for lease sales and drilling permits, the MMS and USEPA admit concern about the long-term and regional effects of some of the wastes that would be discharged into the Gulf of Mexico by drilling rigs.

In spite of some of the testimony you’ve heard, drilling, whether for oil or natural gas is a dirty, polluting business. Each rig discharges drilling muds and cuttings and produced water, as well as producing trash. Again, according to the environmental documents, these waste discharges could affect biological communities by smothering living organisms or through toxicity, causing slow growth, decreased species abundance, or altered reproduction.

Specifically, discharged muds have been found to cause heavy metal, mercury and cadmium, sediment contamination. Documented biological effects on benthic organisms from drilling discharges include elimination and inhibited growth of seagrasses, declined abundance in species, altered community structure, and decreased coral coverage. Localized effects on benthic marine organisms in proximity to OCS drilling sites have been measured, causing altered community structure, and changes in abundance lasting for ten years, or in some cases, permanently.

And considering the paths that many tropical storms take, bringing them into close proximity of Cape Hatteras, this part is extremely important:

Another potential impact is from spills. There’s a new urban myth – that there have not been any spills from drilling rigs in years. Unfortunately, that’s just not true. Just a year ago, almost to the day, a 560 gallon spill from an Amerada Hess drilling platform washed up on the Breton National Wildlife Refuge oiling more than 800 pelicans in the rookery and killing almost 500 of them.

According to the MMS, due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 113 drilling platforms were lost and 146 hurricane-related oil/condensate/chemical spills were reported, six of at least 1,000 barrels (42,000 gal) were identified, the largest being 3,625 barrels (152,250 gal). Based on historical spill events, it is expected that elevated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons measurable in the water column would be gone as early as 6 months after the spill event, but residual water quality effects could occur as long as two years after the spill.

In addition to pollutants, there is another (and possibly more devastating) impact to benthic and coastal ecosystems that mobile drilling platforms are known to bring about: invasive species.

As I mentioned earlier, these regional ecosystems are comprised of a multitude of varying species interconnected through predation. Individual species have developed behaviors and physical traits which allow them to prey and defend within their niche. The introduction of an "alien" species into the ecosystem renders some of these species totally defenseless, and populations can be obliterated in short order while the newcomers spread like wildfire. Folks from coastal areas are probably already familiar with this problem, but I hadn't really noticed the issue until I started visiting my sister in the Puget Sound.

Here's an Oyster Drill, which is a Japanese emigre that has been wreaking havoc on Liberty Bay (remember my kayak picture?)

While this phenomena is most commonly associated with surface vessels, mobile drilling platforms represent a much greater threat. They are often the home of what's known as "cities", literally hundreds of different species that have attached themselves and formed their own ecosystem on the platform structure itself. Which is then transported and plopped down directly on the seabed elsewhere, producing the benthic equivalent of a Normandy Invasion.

As I stated above, we have some hard decisions ahead of us. In order for us to make the right ones, we must be prepared to accept a few painful facts: 1) our behavior has brought us to this crossroads, and 2) our behavior must change. Plainly put, we have way too many cars on the road. It's the primary reason we've hit Peak Oil so soon, and it's also contributed a great deal to the carbon levels in our atmosphere and the toxicity of our air and water. The thing is, we can change that behavior. It won't be easy, and our consumer-based society and economy will resist this behavioral change vigorously. But we can change. If I didn't believe that, I would not waste my time talking about these things.

Comments

Beautiful work, Steve

I hope you've sent a copy to Sue Myrick, who won't bother to read it since it doesn't jive with her quick-fix pandering mentality.

Nice job.

Thanks. :)

I got interrupted like four times while I was writing this, and I know there was something else I wanted to cover, but I can't remember what it was! ;/

Maybe it was something about carbon monoxide affecting memory...

Could it be about how seismic blasting can kill

Whales, dolphins, seals and other sea life? From Environment News Service:

In the underwater darkness, marine mammals use their own sounds and sounds made by other marine animals to navigate while migrating, to locate each other over great distances for mating, to find food, avoid predators, and care for their young.

High decibel noise can interfere with all of these activities, testing the ability of marine animals to survive. Examinations of whales that have beached themselves after they were exposed to sonar used in military battle exercises show the whales were bleeding internally around their brains and ears.

"Ocean noise is an insidious form of pollution. The tremendous damage it is doing to life in the sea is becoming more evident with each passing year," said Michael Jasny, the report's principal author.

......

The Scientific Committee expressed "great concern" over the impacts of oil and gas exploration on large whales, noting "several cases of impacts" on large whales from these activities. The report cited an incident in 2002 in which humpback whales stranded off the coast of Brazil in unusual numbers during an underwater oil and gas survey of the area that generated intense sound pulses.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Coincidence?

I find it amusing that the same people who are running around shrieking "peak oil" are the same ones doing their best to make sure that no oil is discovered ever again.

Every deliberation

In every deliberation we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.

Great Law of the Iroquois

Sorry but they're all gone

Didn't work out too well for them did it?

Of course descendants are still around

They are not part of a whole lot of decision making

Actually, you're mistaken.

Here is a list of the modern communities that are part of the Iroquois group. From Wikipedia

Modern tribal communities

* Canada
o Kahnawake Mohawk in Quebec
o Kanesatake Mohawk in Quebec
o Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne in Ontario
o Onyota'a:ka First Nation of Oneida in Ontario
o Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario
o Tyendinaga Mohawk in Ontario
o Wahta Mohawk in Ontario

* United States
o Cayuga Nation in New York
o Ganienkeh Mohawk — not federally controlled
o Kanatsiohareke Mohawk — not federally recognized
o Onondaga Nation in New York
o Oneida Indian Nation in New York
o Oneida Tribe of Indians in Wisconsin
o St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians in New York
o Seneca Nation of New York
o Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma
o Tuscarora Nation of New York

You'll see that some of the groups are federally recognized and some are not, but there are certainly several large groups that have self-governance and decision making as a feature.

Just sayin'. Maybe it did work out for them after all.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Sure they have small local government

And their influence on national policy making is what, exactly?

I never said it was US Federal policy.

But they do govern themselves, and enter into treaties with both the US and Canadian government. In the face of very high odds, they have survived as a distinct language and racial group. So they are not gone.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Locomotive Breath

You have just jumped into the category of irredeemable imperialist asshole. Thanks for saving me the trouble of responding to anything else you write.

Interestingly enough

Ooooh. You called me a name. I'm so scared.

You're probably one of the ones who complains when the US tries to defend itself from the influx other peoples who want to substitute their culture for the predominant culture that's already here. Maybe if the Iroquois had had a more effective immigration policy they still be around to run things.

Maybe they didn't have domination as a value.

I'm not saying that they did or didn't. I'm not foolish enough to believe the Disney-fied version of Native American tribes. Nor am I foolish enough to believe that they held or hold the same Western European values that led our ancestors to attempt to dominate and subdue the rest of the known world. They yet survive as a people, as a governing body, despite the fact that they were indeed ill-used by many subsequent generations of white europeans/americans. I respect that.

Who knows what things will be like 7 generations from now?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Well, you can rest assured

that everybody's going to be running around shrieking within 10-15 years from now.

And as far as exploration is concerned, most of the "giant" fields have already been discovered (and tapped), meaning the world's current usage of around 30 billion barrels per year is going to be increasingly more expensive to supply from smaller deposits.

The Peak Oil formula is not (necessarily) about total world deposits, it's about the longevity of giant fields and the economics and accessability of what the smaller fields can yield.

I have this suspicion that the oil industry only let's out...

just enough info to serve their purpose. We are supposed to take their word that mostly everthing has been tapped. But who really knows, except Exxon, BP, Shell, etc. I can remember back in the 70s when we had the embargo, and the Arabs had us shut down, my father had a friend who worked for Mobil oil in the fields. He said Mobil had hundreds of wells capped, and they weren't going to be used until the price was right. We never heard this because we have to wait for a congressional hearing, and 'big oil' is not very transparent about anything. And when you watch the congressional speeches on C-Span, there's always that hint by the Republicans that the solution is to open that area of northern Alaska to the oil industry. In the meantime, they already have huge areas of land leased either in the Gulf or on land, which hasn't been tapped yet. There is a reason for so many countries to nationalize their oil fields. The land and the minerals belong to those countries, and they don't want to give it up so easily to a bunch of crooks, as we so easily do. And if you believe that we will overcome them, just ask what happened to the 'windfall profits' tax that was recently threatened? I'll believe it when it happens!

The land and the minerals belong to those countries

Er, no. Although I understand that the concept of private property doesn't go over well with socialists.

Everything need to know I learned from Maxine Waters

Democrat Maxine Waters Wants To Nationalize Big Oil

Eeek! Eeek! Fox News. Unless they have an audio animatronic Maxine and have fabricated the video it's accurate. Note how she can't even come up with the word "Nationalize". For extra laughs look at the people sitting next to her and rolling their eyes.

And I learned a little bit from the Soviet Union during the cold war. Particularly the refugees therefrom. Like the guy from Poland who was having to ship care packages back home. With things like aspirin in them. He always put in two bottles because he knew the customs people would steal one. I could repeat some of the information he gave me about life in Poland.

And I learned some more from the Vietnamese refugee I used to work with. Who got to this country, literally, with just the shirt on his back but who had become a happy and productive citizen. I could repeat some of the horror stories he told me about life in Vietnam after the North took over the South. (Nowadays, looking over at S. Korea and Japan, Vietnam is going capitalist just as quickly as they can.)

And from some people from England I used to work with who had fled their country to come here. First thing they did after getting here, and getting access to decent dental care, was to get their teeth fixed because that was impossible back home. One of them was contemplating flying a relative here to get treatment because of the long waiting list back home.

I have about 6 or 7 more nationalities I could go through but that's enough.

That's what I know about socialism. First hand contact with people who had fled it.

Just to add in for those who say all the oil has been found.

Big Oil Find Is Reported Deep in Gulf
While it is too early to know exactly how big the fields are, the oil companies expressed hope that they had the potential of being even larger than those at Prudhoe Bay, off the northern coast of Alaska.

I find amusing the NYT's argument that a new Prudhoe Bay would be a marginal addition. Not that I believe the two years line but you know what? Two years here two years there and it starts to add up.

There's oil. It's all about the price.

30 year old predictions

Yeah, I remember the predictions back in the 70s that we were supposed to be out of oil by 10 years ago. How'd that work out?

For you to convince me that "peak oil" is accurate you'd have to

1) convince me that we've looked everywhere to discover all sources of oil
2) know exactly how much oil is in each of those locations

Both 1 and 2 are false. We've made many potentials sites in this country off limits to exploration so by definition we cannot say how much oil is, or is not, there.

As someone else admitted in another thread, the political agenda here is to prevent the utilization of oil under any circumstances. Period. So why not be honest and say that? Why make up phony economic analyses that increasing the supply of oil won't affect the price of oil?

At some point we will, in fact, run out of oil. As it becomes more scarce energy costs will rise and some of the alternatives will become more attractive. That might be happening now. But it might not. I remember in the early 80s when gas was at an all time high. But then the bottom dropped out for 25 years. But that's a free market concept. I know that's poison around here too.

ETA: Inflation Adjusted Crude Oil Prices

Dec 1979: $100
Jul 2006: $66
Jan 2007: $47

So if we ignore the relatively small inflation for the past year, only just barely recently has oil become more expensive than it was 29 years ago.

Not enough coffee in me yet,

but I'll try to converse with you if you'll do me a favor: try not to be such a jackass. It's really not that hard, and you might even enjoy it.

Yeah, I remember the predictions back in the 70s that we were supposed to be out of oil by 10 years ago. How'd that work out?

Hubbert's(sp?) predictions actually date back to the 1950's, and he was specifically referring to domestic (U.S.) production. Part of the reason his estimate was off is the U.S. has imported a much higher percentage of the crude it uses than was projected back in the day, and the main reason for that is because it was (almost) always cheaper to get it from the Persian Gulf.

Pay attention to that last part, because it's important. Even if we drilled in ANWR and dotted our coastline with rigs, the costs of domestic production will not drop substantially, and the market will take advantage of that fact.

For you to convince me that "peak oil" is accurate you'd have to

1) convince me that we've looked everywhere to discover all sources of oil
2) know exactly how much oil is in each of those locations

Both 1 and 2 are false. We've made many potentials sites in this country off limits to exploration so by definition we cannot say how much oil is, or is not, there.

As far as the Continental U.S. (including Alaska), the USGS has incredibly detailed studies of the geologic strata, meaning any possible "giant" field has already been located. I'm sure there are numerous smaller deposits that have yet to be discovered, but again we get back to economics.

As far as areas that are "off-limits" like ANWR, there have been numerous studies, core samples taken, etc. Saying "we won't know" until the oil companies get in there is patently wrong, and you should know that.

As someone else admitted in another thread, the political agenda here is to prevent the utilization of oil under any circumstances. Period. So why not be honest and say that? Why make up phony economic analyses that increasing the supply of oil won't affect the price of oil?

So we have an "agenda"? That's rich. Getting more than three BlueNCers to move in one specific direction is harder than coaching a monkey volleyball team. :)

My political agenda is to reduce our unnecessary consumption of oil. Automobiles carrying only one person? Unnecessary. Automobiles that can only travel 12 miles on a gallon of gas? Unnecessary. Trains carrying empty boxcars and flatbeds while tractor-trailers gobble diesel like it's going out of style? Unnecessary. Our use of oil is not the problem, it's the sheer volume we use that's the problem.

Proving that we have reached peak oil.

Oil City, Pennsylvania - the place where Standard Oil had their birth, is once again producing oil competitively. Basically, everyone should take a tour of the sites in "There will be blood" and buy up those oil rights, because every drop will be sucked out of those milkshakes.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

If oil stays at current prices

If oil stays at the current price then there is a whole lot more that is economically recoverable. It will be interesting to see if the recent increase is a permanent feature or looks like it back in the 80s. The jury is still out.

The fact that some areas have again been economical to extract oil from proves that the oil there is to be had at higher cost. Same as oil shale of which there is a bunch that's never been touched. All those things were started in the 80s and discontinued when the price of oil crashed. It's all about the price.

Quote of the Week!

Getting more than three BlueNCers to move in one specific direction is harder than coaching a monkey volleyball team. :)

Hahahaha! I needed that this afternoon!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

There's more:

"Okay, that wasn't half-bad. Now, you move over there, and you shift over here. No, it's still not your turn to serve yet, just be pa...oh, that's just fantastic. Okay, I'm going to explain this one. More. Time. Hurling feces is an extreme example of poor sportsmanship, and it's also incredibly unhealthy. It's potentially more dangerous than throwing rocks at somebo...*sigh*. It was an analogy, okay? I wasn't suggesting that rock-throwing was a better form of dis...*sigh*. Okay, I think that's enough for today."

There is a cold beer waiting for you.

for whenever I have the chance to raise it with you. :)

Are you still way out there (on the West Coast?)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I'm back, and I'm bad. :)

Still a little jet-laggish, and I'm really missing the cool crisp Puget Sound air, but I'll survive.

I took a bunch of cool pics (the rhododendron's were in bloom), but then I left my #$%^&* camera in my sister's car the morning we left! ;/

It should be ariving UPS any day now, and I'll post some choice ones here.

rising competition

One of the key points I don't see discussed here that really differentiates 2008 from 1973 or 1983 is the rise of developing nations like China and India. I'm reading an excellent book, "Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy" by Michael Klare. I heard him speak in Charlotte, and he's been studying and writing about this issue for years. He believes that the days of "easy", cheap oil are over, and what's left is "tough" oil...tough to find, expensive to
reach, and located primarily in places that are unstable and dangerous. It's worth a read if you are interested in this topic...

from The Nation, May 1 2008, where Klare is defense correspondent:

As we approach the 2008 elections, two paths lie before us. One leads to greater reliance on imported fuels, increased militarization of our foreign fuel dependency and prolonged struggle with other powers for control over the world's remaining supplies of fossil fuels. The other leads toward diminished reliance on petroleum as a main source of our fuel, the rapid development of energy alternatives, a reduced US military profile abroad and cooperation with China in the development of innovative energy options. Rarely has a policy choice been as stark or as momentous for the future of our country.
link to the full Nation article:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080519/klare

Interesting article, Fredly.

Reading it gives me a reminder of a replay of the rising Japanese industry prior to WW2, where they saw the US as an obstacle to their expansion. My only reason for bringing up the situation in the 70s was to mention that we put much trust in the oil industry. I'm not denying where we know, with geological probing, where large deposits of oil exist. But after drilling these wells, how do we know the crude is being removed, and not capped, to control market supply. But, getting back to that article, it is precisely the reason why this nation shouldn't be bogged down in endless, and futile wars of 'choice'. The fact that China is so willing to drill for their oil in an area between Key West and Cuba tells us that they have no recognition of any 'sphere of influence', and reminds me of when they used the term, 'paper tiger', in describing the United States so many years ago.

Good points

It seems obvious that there is lots of posturing going on among world powers, different players trying to position themselves to get the upper hand in the chess game that decides who controls the energy going forward. Klare's concern is that all this competition will only lead to serious conflict down the road, and the US policy of using our military to secure energy is a flawed and outdated. He believes that there is a new world "energy" order, which will shift the balance of power in the world.
Here's an interesting and worrisome comment I heard awhile back during a presentation with a climate scientist. In regard to global warming, the Pentagon predicts the following in regard to unmitigated climate change: drought, migration and war.

I sort of touched on this above,

we will have to continue to import from dubious sources in an ever-increasing competition with other nations.

but you're right. The inclusion of large "developing" nations into the oil consumption formula is critical, and it ensures prices will stay at a fairly high level from here on.

There is so much

we each can do to control our own consumption, as well.

I can't put solar panels on my rental house, but I've been driving a 32 mile a gallon car for 8 years. These days I drive that car at 65 mph on the highway, no more, which makes a big difference in the gas I use as opposed to the gas used by the lady in the 2008 minivan who blows by me at 75 mph in the far left lane every morning. You know, we both end up creeping through the 40/US1 interchange at about the same time anyway.

Anyone see the article in the business section of the N&O about top prices being paid for older, more energy efficient cars?

Yes, we absolutely must invest in alternative energies to reduce our dependence and our consumption, but conservation on an individual level really is not brain surgery. If we Americans just paid as much attention to fuel efficiency as we do to the image or status we think a car conveys to us we'd go a long way towards reducing our needs.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Leslie....been doing much of the same thing myself

I rarely go out. One week - few weeks ago - I paid over $120 in gas for one week. I went into a panic. I rarely spend more than $30 - $40 and that includes what I put in the mower. I just don't drive anywhere. I told the girls we would not be using our AC. I've started parking the car in the garage so it is cooler if/when we get in the car. Usually the AC in my car isn't very cold by the time we reach our destination anyway. I've been amazed at how little gas I use on these short trips now. I drive the speed limit and get flipped off for doing that, so maybe I won't slow down any further on these country roads. :D I will on the highway, though. (Don't worry you speed demons.....I will stay in the right lane and won't go too far below the speed limit.)



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new

electric mower. It's a Neuton. The electrics a re a bit pricy up front but no gas, noise, oil etc. I hope to recharge it at least partly with some solar panels and a battery/inverter. (Compatibility and amp-hours of stirage are possible issues.) Even without the solar option it will only cost about 8 cents per use.

It should arrive Tuesday!!!

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Yay!!!

Another convert. Here's my Neuton.

Photobucket

Here's the air around my house after I mow ...

clean air

One yard at a time. ;)

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Cool pics ... you've gotten me even more anxious to

get my electric mower.

I am sure my neighbors are equally impatient for me to get my mower as well. Heh heh. I kind of let the yard go just a wee bit.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I've been threatening to buy a scooter

for a few years now (I really want an enduro). I live less than eight miles from work, and there are a couple of non-highway routes I could take. My Accord does pretty good mpg-wise (over 30 hwy), but it's now costing $50 to fill 'er up. :o

Steven and I have agreed to dedicate (at least) every other Saturday to on-site research for my blogs, which means we're going to be logging some miles on my car, but this local driving could be handled nicely with two wheels.

Roll down the windows and pretend

it's a convertible. :D



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Do you remember 4-60 air conditioning?

Back before AC was standard (like the 70's) many of my high school friends had cars that did not have AC. We called our version of AC 4-60 ... 4 windows down and 60 mph.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Exactly!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I have no grass

I live in the middle of woods, not a blade of grass on my property. Nothing but trees. It is usually 10 degrees cooler on our deck than what the radio says is the "official" temp for my area.

But on the bad side - I do a raging case of poison ivy right now on my legs, lol.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Same here.

While I do have a few patches of grass here and there, I only mow about three times a year.

Now, if you want to talk about leaves, twigs and other assorted tree-droppings, that's a different story. :) But it's all good. When I see these new developments where they've clear-cut all the trees and then plant a few sorry little non-native saplings, it makes me sick to my stomach.

We have lots of trees.

Our forest-y land backs right up to a swamp. We've got mosquitos that have been known to carry off small children!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Kudos

on your comprehensive piece....you did a great job putting this together. Prof. Klare is in agreement with you that we are reaching peak oil, and he looks beyond oil to reserves of natural gas, coal, and other precious minerals. Bottom line, the path we're on is unsustainable in the long term. We can't keep using all of the planet's resources and expect them to last forever.
It's well past time for a major shift in energy policy.

BTW, I just heard that the Cliffside Permit will be re-opened as reported by the Charlotte Observer!

That's great! I think...

BTW, I just heard that the Cliffside Permit will be re-opened as reported by the Charlotte Observer!

Okay, tell me if I miss something: a Federal (DC) judge ruled the current permit was in violation of the Clean Air Act (I think) because Duke Energy did not pursue/implement all available pollution control technologies in the design of Cliffside. So the permit should never have been granted (which we all knew).

If a new permit is applied for and granted, the whole thing starts over again, right? Meaning, this time (depending on the sitting judge) the previous finding won't have to be "overturned", as it is a different permit, the judge can merely find that the Federal government has no dog in the fight.

I know, that sounds paranoid, but we've been gut-punched so many times on this it's hard for me to remain optimistic. *sigh*

my response

to your well earned skepticism about the Cliffside fight comes from a fellow activist in Greensboro:

We slog on!

I remembered what I forgot:

I added a section in the main body (up there) about invasive species.

Sorry it took me so long. It's a testament to our behavioral modification by the MSM to ignore issues that aren't sexy enough to...*sigh*. Okay, I'm getting old and forgetful. :(

Finally got around to cross-posting

over at Kos. If you're bored and need something to do...

This is an wonderful post, sc.

Pro-drilling people love to pull the wool over our eyes. I'll be armed with a few facts next time I hear, "but it's clean and there have been no spills and it's totally safe."

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

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