Saturday, February 27, 2016

California methane leak 'largest in US history'

From:  CNN 

26 February 2016 
leak site
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The site of the massive natural gas leak near Los Angeles

Friday, February 26, 2016

True Change in Society Happens Only After Individual Hearts Are Changed

By Father Teo

During the 1960’s I was a professor in a private high school in Bolivia. Our students were sons and daughters of those with power in government and wealth. It was these future leaders of Bolivia that we wanted to be aware of the Social Justice teachings of the Catholic Church. Not only ourselves, but also those who taught in the other private high schools did an excellent job.

During my time there I lived through 7 revolutions, 7 different attempts to change and better the country, but with no success. I was sometime during the last month of my stay that one of my former students invited me to his home for dinner. Before, during and after dinner the two of us had a wonderful conversation. He confidentially told me that he was the commandante of the guerrilla movement living in the semi jungles of Bolivia and they were about ready to begin the revolution that Bolivia needed to restore social justice and Christian love for one another, two virtues that were missing. 
As I listened, I begin to notice that something wasn’t correct. He had relayed to me exactly all the teachings on social justice. It was all being done for the glory of God and the betterment of our fellow brothers and sisters, especially the poor and indigenous. After taking control of the government and the country, they would immediately establish that longed for Christian society of brotherly love. 
I asked Roberto a question. “Tell me. How are you going to change overnight the country into such a loving just country? To win the revolution you are putting guns in the hands of people, commanding them to kill if necessary in order to take control. We can’t put those feelings into people one day, and then the next day replace that with brotherly love.” He replied, “Oh, yes we can because we are doing it right.”

That was the moment that I realized that I had spent my many years forming and teaching the youth how to change society, and never once did anything to help them change their hearts first. I had wasted my time. Unless the heart is changed with love first, there is no way to change society. The revolution failed. Most of the guerrillas were killed. 
This happened in the early days of Liberation Theology, the theology of social justice that was being taught throughout South and Central America. It was an attempt to rid the hemisphere of all the terrible social evils that had existed for centuries. And it was now able to be done with a clear conscious. It was a part of the Church’s theology. It proved the justification of warfare as a last resort, which really became the first resort. This is what we taught our students.

It was only at that dinner engagement with Roberto that I saw for the first time that war does not solve problems because even though it changes leaders of government it does not change anyone’s heart. Unless the heart is changed with love, the same evil will again appear. All will be the same. 

Fortunately, it was the following year that the Liberation Theologians realized the same thing, and their teaching was changed. It became based the realization that only those people who had experienced our Heavenly Father’s love were able to share that love, a love that changes and heals hearts of hurts and hatred. That love does not and cannot use force nor warfare as a means to accomplish its end.

Recently, I attended a lecture given by Dr. C.T. Vivian, a minister who knew Dr. Martin Luther King. In the lecture he stated how hard Dr. King insisted that all their demonstrations had to be done from a spiritual non-violent attitude. Adding the spiritual element was adding love for the one who was the cause of their suffering and lack of justice. I realized that Dr. King in choosing in a sense Liberation Theology had correctly based it on one’s experience of the Father’s Love. As a result, his “revolution” was successful. There was and has remained change!

February 26, 2016

Don't Forget Hillary and her Love Relationship with the Corporations who run America

Hillary is addicted to power.

Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died

Listen to the words of a man no dead and understand what is happening to us today. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

After 10 years, neighbors of a Wilmington oil drilling operation still complain of health, environmental issues

From:  LA Times

A decade ago, Los Angeles city planners gave an energy company permission to drill up to 540 wells and produce up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day on a Wilmington site next door to a youth baseball field and blocks of homes.

The next few years were, in the words of one neighbor, "a living hell." People living nearby complained of foul odors, gas flaring, oily dust, round-the-clock noise, diesel truck traffic and foundation-damaging vibrations. They said the fumes made them nauseous, gave them headaches and itchy eyes.

In response, the regional air quality board issued orders to stop the flaring violations. The planning department imposed some new conditions — and reiterated its support of the drilling.  MORE

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 12:30 PM PST America’s shameful state of decay: Sanders is campaigning on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure — will it work?

From:  Salon 

America's shameful state of decay: Sanders is campaigning on rebuilding the country's infrastructure -- will it work?Bernie Sanders (Credit: Reuters/Jim Young)
“Every generation needs a new revolution.”

                                                                                                Thomas Jefferson

Infrastructure. Not a very exciting word, and certainly not one to whip up the hysteria of the electorate in an election year. We have other words for that: immigration, terrorism, religious extremism or Russian aggression. The usual suspects.

Yet, perhaps the word “infrastructure” will become more exciting if we unpack it, learn what it is – and understand that it is not any external cause that most threatens America, but instead decades of negligence to the very “infrastructure” of this nation. There is that word again: infrastructure. But, what does it mean?

A short list will suffice: water treatment, roads, bridges, public housing, passenger and freight rail, marine ports and inland waterways, national parks, broadband, the electric grid, schools, hospitals, government buildings, dams – in other words, to use a medical metaphor, the conditions for the healthy life of a nation.  MORE

Pundit Living With Clinton Staffer Smears Sanders

From:  Justice Integrity Project 

by Andrew Kreig

Posted: 21 Feb 2016 05:25 AM PST

As the Democratic presidential race next moves to the heavily black electorate in South Carolina, two misleading smears of candidate Bernie Sanders by prominent African-American supporters of Hillary Clinton taint the critics' fairness and that of the institutions they represent.
Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Rep. John Lewis officialCapehart and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights hero shown in an official photo at right, separately suggested in misleading remarks that Sanders had puffed up his 1960s civil rights activism.
The controversies arose as Sanders and Clinton scramble for African-American support in the South Carolina primary Feb. 27 following Clinton's victory in the Nevada caucuses Feb. 20. The big prize is the 11-state Super Tuesday contests March 1, most in Southern states where, like South Carolina, the Democratic electorate is majority or near-majority African-American.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie SandersLewis dissed Sanders Feb. 11 at a news conference called by Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee at the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Democratic National Committee,
"I never met him," Lewis said of Sanders, referencing the early 1960s when Lewis led the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in courageous civil rights struggles that included the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march in Selma, Alabama. "But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton." Two days later, Lewis had to walk back his remarks by noting that Sanders had been active in the early 1960s, whereas the Clintons had been in high school then and Lewis did not meet them until the 1970s.
Also on Feb. 11, Capehart published a Washington Post column Stop sending around this photo of ‘Bernie Sanders,'  citing Randy Ross, the widow of former Chicago student Bruce Rappaport, as saying her late husband was the man shown standing in a photo (below) that the Sanders' campaign had been using to illustrate the presidential candidate's commitment to civil rights.
Both Sanders and Clinton have refrained from comment, thereby stating above the battle. But, as indicated below, the controversy provides a window into the high stakes of the race and the deceptive tactics of candidate surrogates and media organizations to provide a competitive edge to their favorite candidate. More dramatically, we see also how a much-honored civil rights figure stepped forward to set the record straight.

1960s Civil Rights Student Activist

As a student at the University of Chicago, Sanders led a chapter of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in sit ins that protested the university's tacit support of segregated student housing in its Hyde Park locale surrounded by black neighborhoods. Sanders also participated in the famed 1963 March on Washington led by famed civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The University of Chicago has long identified Sanders as the man standing in the 1962 photo below left taken by then-student Danny Lyon, who went on to become the official photographer for SNCC and a much-honored photographer and film maker.    
Capehart is a contributor on MSNBC, whose host Chris Matthews presented the controversy as if it were a major campaign scandal that implied devious tactics by the Sanders camp just as he was trying to win African-American support following his strong showings in the white-dominated states of New Hampshire and Iowa. Part the problem is that Capehart reportedly been living for years with a Clinton staffer and has not disclosed that relationship to audiences for his pro-Clinton commentaries.
Bernie Sanders at 1962 University of Chicago CORE sitin Danny Lyon photoIf Sanders had falsely puffed up his civil rights record it would have been one of the worst possible introductions to the heavily black Democratic primary audiences in the South.
But the photographer Lyon stepped forward to confirm that Sanders was the man standing in the photo. Lyon denounced Capehart for his shoddy reporting.
The photo, along with a similar one shown on the next page of this column, is courtesy of the Danny Lyon/Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library).
The Lyon statement, confirmed by his release last week of his "contact sheets" of images when he was developing his images for the university's student newspaper, brings disturbing scrutiny on the journalistic methods of Capehart, as well as his newspaper and cable colleagues at the Washington Post and MSNBC.
After Capehart's attacks on Sanders the website Men's Trait reported in Pro-Clinton Columnist In Bed With Clinton Staffer — Literally that the pundit has been been living for years with a Clinton staffer.
True, such conflicts of interest between journalists and political advocates are common in Washington and other media centers, and are rarely revealed.
But a factually inaccurate smear by a prominent pundit during a presidential race can easily elevate routine questionable behavior to news, as here.

What Will Be the Health Impact of 100+ Days of Exposure to California's Methane Leak?

From:  Inside Climate News


With little research into the chemicals involved, scientists can't pinpoint the cause of nosebleeds in households near Aliso Canyon.
A resident living near SoCal Gas's leaking gas storage site holds a protest sign at a meeting of air quality regulators on January 20, 2016. Although the leak has been plugged for now, scientists say the long-term health risks associated with exposure to methane are unknown. Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
One big unknown clouds the aftermath of the Los Angeles County methane disaster: the health effects for thousands of people living nearby who were exposed to the gas while it leaked for three and a half months.
People from 600 households near the leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage unit reported headaches, nosebleeds, nausea and other symptoms to county officials as thousands were evacuated from their homes. It isn't known which, if any, toxic chemicals in the natural gas may have caused the symptoms, or whether there will be long-term health ramifications, according to environmental scientists.
"We're dealing with a gap in the science," said Michael Jerrett, professor and chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. "We just don't have a very good scientific understanding of what that means for long-term health effects."  MORE


Friday, February 19, 2016

Oil driller cut 25,000 jobs, paid CEO $18 million

From:  CNN

2015 was a tough year for oil driller Schlumberger. Unless you were the CEO.

CEO Paal Kibsgaard received total compensation worth $18.3 million in 2015, the company reported, down only slightly from $18.5 million the year before. 

The rest of Schlumberger didn't fare so well. The company cut 25,000 jobs during the year, or 20% of its workforce. Revenue was down 27%, and profit plunged 41%. 

Schlumberger (SLB) shares tumbled 18%. MORE

Exxon's Never-Ending Big Dig: Flooding the Earth With Fossil Fuels

From:  Truth Out 

Thursday, 18 February 2016 10:32  
By Bill McKibben, TomDispatch | News Analysis 

(Photo: Oil Pump via Shutterstock)
(Photo: Oil Pump via Shutterstock)

Here's the story so far. We have the chief legal representatives of the eighth and 16th largest economies on Earth (California and New York) probing the biggest fossil fuel company on Earth (ExxonMobil), while both Democratic presidential candidates are demanding that the federal Department of Justice join the investigation of what may prove to be one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history. And that's just the beginning. As bad as Exxon has been in the past, what it's doing now - entirely legally - is helping push the planet over the edge and into the biggest crisis in the entire span of the human story.
Back in the fall, you might have heard something about how Exxon had covered up what it knew early on about climate change. Maybe you even thought to yourself: that doesn't surprise me. But it should have. Even as someone who has spent his life engaged in the bottomless pit of greed that is global warming, the news and its meaning came as a shock: we could have avoided, it turns out, the last quarter century of pointless climate debate.
As a start, investigations by the Pulitzer-Prize winning Inside Climate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism School revealed in extraordinary detail that Exxon's top officials had known everything there was to know about climate change back in the 1980s. Even earlier, actually. Here's what senior company scientist James Black told Exxon's management committee in 1977: "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels." To determine if this was so, the company outfitted an oil tanker with carbon dioxide sensors to measure concentrations of the gas over the ocean, and then funded elaborate computer models to help predict what temperatures would do in the future.

The results of all that work were unequivocal. By 1982, in an internal "corporate primer," Exxon's leaders were told that, despite lingering unknowns, dealing with climate change "would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion." Unless that happened, the primer said, citing independent experts, "there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered... Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible." But that document, "given wide circulation" within Exxon, was also stamped "Not to be distributed externally."

So here's what happened. Exxon used its knowledge of climate change to plan its own future. The company, for instance, leased large tracts of the Arctic for oil exploration, territory where, as a company scientist pointed out in 1990, "potential global warming can only help lower exploration and development costs." Not only that but, "from the North Sea to the Canadian Arctic," Exxon and its affiliates set about "raising the decks of offshore platforms, protecting pipelines from increasing coastal erosion, and designing helipads, pipelines, and roads in a warming and buckling Arctic." In other words, the company started climate-proofing its facilities to head off a future its own scientists knew was inevitable.  MORE


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lawsuit Filed Over Oklahoma’s ‘Fracking’ Earthquakes as Its Third Largest Quake Is Felt in 7 Other States

From:  EcoWatch 

| February 17, 2016 11:15 am

The Sierra Club and the public interest law firm Public Justice have filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against three energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, in Oklahoma.
The suit against New Dominion, Chesapeake Operating and Devon Energy Production Company alleges that wastewater from fracking and oil production have contributed to the state’s alarming spike in earthquake activity.
Map of Oklahoma. The orange dots represent the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 and higher from 2010 to date. The blue dots represent the state’s wastewater disposal wells. Photo credit: Earthquakes in Oklahoma
The lawsuit demands the companies, as a first step, to “reduce, immediately and substantially, the amounts of production waste they are injecting into the ground.”  MORE

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

3 Reasons ExxonMobil's Stock Could Fall Further

Feb 16, 2016 at 3:30PM 
Any more weakness from oil prices, a decline in industry-wide downstream margins, and a shrinking cash cushion could all significantly impact share prices at ExxonMobil.

Xom Beaufort Sea Corporate Website
Image source: ExxonMobil corporate website.

It's been a long, long time since the oil and gas industry has faced such a severe downturn. To see the stress these companies are under right now, you need only look at ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). For decades, ExxonMobil has been the stoic oil and gas company investing through the cycle with incredible consistency. Yet on the company's most recent conference call, we actually heard it talk about investing more conservatively in this down cycle. 

Shares of ExxonMobil are down 22% from their highs in 2014. While there are reasons to think ExxonMobil is one of the best in the business and a great investment in a down market, there are still reasons ExxonMobil's stock could fall even more than it already has. Here are three reasons shares could fall further and what it investors should do about it. 

Continued low oil price environment

This one is a real no-brainer, but it's definitely worth keeping in mind at all times. As an integrated oil and gas company, ExxonMobil and its peers have assets throughout the entire value chain of oil and gas. In a commodity market, this means when one part of the business does well, it's typically at the expense of the other. MORE

Monday, February 15, 2016

About Hillary

Hillary Clinton: A Career Criminal

Hillary Clinton lying for 13 minutes straight.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

President Kennedy and His Brother Robert Kennedy Were Murdered By The Military-Security Complex

From:  Paul Craig Roberts

by Paul Craig Roberts

Presstitute Media, such as the UK Telegraph, spend a lot of energy debunking exposes of government conspiracies. For example, the thousands of highrise architects, structural engineers, physicists, nano-chemists, demoltion experts, first responders, military and civilian pilots, and former government officials who have provided vast evidence that the official story of 9/11 is a made-up fairy tale at odds with all evidence and the laws of physics are dismissed by presstitutes as “conspiracy theorists.” 

Similarly, those, such as James W. Douglass, who have proven beyond all doubt that President John F. Kennedy was not assassinated by Oswald but by his own paranoid anti-communist military-security complex, are dismissed as conspiracy theorists. 

The 9/11 Commission Report and the Warren Commission Report were cover-ups. VP Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives he sponsored needed a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to begin their military assaults on the Middle Eastern countries that had independent foreign policies instead of being US/Israeli vassals. 9/11 was their orchestrated “new Pearl Harbor,” and this fact had to be covered up when 9/11 families persisted in their demands for an investigation and could not be bought off for large sums of money.
Similarly, the Warren Commission had no choice but to cover up that a popular American president, John F. Kennedy, had been murdered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the Secret Service, because he was believed by paranoid anti-communists to be “soft on communism” and thereby a threat to the security of the United States. The cold war was on, and the Warren Commission could not hold those responsible accountable without destroying the public’s confidence in the American military and security services.
Nevertheless everyone aware of the forged case against Oswald knew what had happened. One of these people was Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother.
Bobby Kennedy understood the situation. He knew that as a member of a cover-up administration he could do nothing about it. However, he knew that if he won the presidency, he could hold accountable those security elements responsible. His brother had told him that after his reelection he was going to “break the CIA into a thousand pieces.” When the Vietnam war desroyed President Lyndon Johnson, Bobby Kennedy emerged as the next president of the US.
Bobby Kennedy was assassinated the evening that he won the California Democratic primary. Sirhan Sirhan was blamed. He was standing in front of Kennedy. He had an eight shot low caliber pistol, which he fired. He did hit Paul Shrade, who was standing next to Kennedy. But he did not hit Kennedy. Kennedy, according to the medical evidence and eye witnesses was killed from shots to his back and to the back of his head.

This was confirmed to me years ago by a distinguished journalist and documentary film maker who was standing just behind Robert Kennedy when he was shot. He told me that he felt the bullet that hit Kennedy go by his ear and saw its impact. He wrote a full report for the FBI and despite his credentials was never contacted by the investigation.

Now, last Wednesday, 48 years later, Paul Shrade has presented ironclad evidence at the parole hearing of the now 71 year old Sirhan Sirhan that Robert Kennedy was shot by someone else from the rear, not from the front where Sirhan Sirhan was standing.
You can read Paul Shrade’s statement here: 

Of course, the presstitute media will say that Paul Shrade, who was himself shot when Kennedy was assassinated, is a “conspiracy theorist.” Remember: a conspiracy theorist is anyone who on the basis of hard evidence challenges a government that blames its crime on an innocent third party.

At the time of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the CIA was conducing mind control experiments. Experts think that Sirhan Sirhan was one of those under the CIA’s control. This would explaine why Sirhan Sirhan has no memory of the event.

President John F. Kennedy had experienced in the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer a high level of insubordination. Lemnitzer showed in White House meetings contempt for the president. When Lemnitzer brought Kennedy the Northwoods Project to shoot down American citizens in the streets of America and to blow American airliners out of the sky in order to place the blame on Castro so that the US could invade and achieve “regime change,” a popular term of the George W. Bush regime, in Cuba, President Kennedy removed Lemnitzer as chairman and sent him to Europe as head of NATO. 

Kennedy did not know about Operation Gladio, an assassination program in Europe run by NATO and the CIA. Communists were blamed for Operation Gladio’s bombings of civilians in train stations in order to erode communist political influence, especially in Italy. Thus, Kennedy’s way of getting rid of Lemnitzer put Lemnitzer in charge of this program and gave Lemnitzer a way to get rid of John Kennedy. 

Anyone who thinks that democratic governments would not kill their own citizens is uninformed beyond belief. If, dear reader, you are one of these gullible people, please go to the Internet and become familiar, for example, with Operation Northwoods and Operation Gladio.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Extreme Inequality = Economic Collapse

From:  EcoWatch 

John Fullerton’s white paper, Regenerative Capitalism, lists eight principles critical to systemic economic health. The Capital Institute’s research group, Research Alliance for Regenerative Economics (RARE), uses recent scientific advances—specifically, the physics of flow [1]—to create a logical and measurable explanation of how these principles work to make or break vitality in the human networks of which economies are built. Here we explain why too much inequality is more than a moral problem. In fact, it drives economic systems towards collapse by sucking the life-blood out of real economies worldwide.

According to a recent study by Oxfam International, in 2010 the top 388 richest people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population—a whopping 3.6 billion people. By 2014, this number was down to 85 people. Oxfam claims that, if this trend continues, by the end of 2016 the top 1 percent will own more wealth than everyone else in the world combined. At the same time, according to Oxfam, the extremely wealthy are also extremely efficient in dodging taxes, now hiding an estimated $7.6 trillion in offshore tax-havens.

Why should we care about such gross economic inequality? After all, isn’t it natural? The science of flow says: yes, some degree of inequality is natural, but extreme inequality violates two core principles of systemic health: circulation and balance.  MORE

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Another PEMEX platform fire results in injuries, fatalities

From:  OffShore

Offshore staff

CIUDAD DEL CARMEN, Mexico – A fire located in the compression area aboard the Abkatun Alfa platform killed three workers and injured more, PEMEX announced Feb. 7 via Twitter. The national oil company said it gained control of the fire, and that an evacuation was not necessary.

One of the employees that died in the fire was a worker from Cotemar, a company that provides offshore services to PEMEX. The company said in a statement that 19 of its employees suffered minor injuries. Another six were taken to different private hospitals in Ciudad del Carmen and Villahermosa, and were receiving care from Cotemar’s doctors. At the time of this writing, another Cotemar employee remains missing.

“It is worth mentioning that this accident has no relation to the work that our staff was doing, since the activities were completely outside the place where the accident was presented,” said Cotemar in a statement dated Feb. 7.    MORE

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Court Rules That Corporations Should Pay to Clean Up Their Disasters, and More

From:  Truth Out 

Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00 
  By Thom Hartmann, The Thom Hartmann Program | Video Report 

In today's On the News segment: The DC Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that corporations, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up their own disasters; Maine will get to vote on marijuana legalization this November; Canada will protect 85 percent of British Columbia's rain forest from development and destruction; and more.

Thom Hartmann here - on the best of the rest of Science and Green news ...
You need to know this. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals says that it's time to end the era of "privatize the gains, and socialize the losses." Last week, the public interest law firm Earthjustice broke the news that one of our nation's highest courts says it's time for the EPA to make polluters pay to clean up their own messes. Working on behalf of conservation groups, Earthjustice attorneys filed suit to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalize so-called "financial assurance" rules that require companies stay financially viable enough to pay for the potential cleanup of any toxic substances that they produce. In other words, these rules prevent companies from causing a toxic spill then declaring bankruptcy to avoid the cost of clean up. And these rules have actually been in place since 1983, when they were issued as part of the EPA's "Superfund" law. But that agency pretty much ignored them until a 2009 court ruling ordered the EPA to start enforcing these regulations. Since that 2009 case, the agency had once again started to ignore these important rules, which left taxpayers picking up the tab for toxic spills. So, Earthjustice and other groups filed suit to force the agency to follow the rules that are already on the books. And the DC Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that corporations - not taxpayers - should pay to clean up their own disasters. Their ruling stated, "It is a common practice for operators [of sites that produce hazardous substances] to avoid paying environmental liabilities by declaring bankruptcy or otherwise sheltering assets." And they agreed that holding corporations accountable will also give them a financial incentive to make their businesses as safe as possible to begin with. Amanda Goodin, one of the attorneys for Earthjustice, said, "Today's court ruling is clear - we will no longer see polluters cheating the system, evading their financial obligations, and skipping town on their toxic messes, leaving taxpayers stuck with hefty cleanup bills." Next time a big company considers skimping on safety in the name of profit, they will have to be willing to back up that decision with corporate dollars.  MORE

Oil Industry Caused 2005 Swarm of California Earthquakes: Newly Published Study

From:  DeSmogBlog

By Sharon Kelly • Monday, February 8, 2016 - 03:58

Oil and gas wastewater disposal has been tied to a series of earthquakes in California for the first time, in a peer-reviewed study published last Thursday.

A string of quakes ending on Sept. 22, 2005 struck in Kern County near the southern end of California's Central Valley  – and the new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, concluded that the odds that those quakes might have occurred by chance were just 3 percent.

Instead, the researchers honed in on a very specific set of culprits: three wastewater injection wells in the Tejon Oil Field. Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of wastewater injection at that oil field quintupled, and up to 95 percent of that wastewater was sent to just that trio of closely-spaced wells, the scientists noted.  MORE

Sunday, February 7, 2016

For Once, Low Oil Prices May Be a Problem for World's Economy

From:  Bloomberg 

Arkansas homeowner wins verdict for damages caused by vibrations from nearby oil drilling operations


The federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a landowner who alleged her home was damages by vibrations from drilling operations. The judgment in favor of the plaintiff was affirmed in Hiser v. XTO Energy. Inc., No. 13–3443 (8th Cir. Oct. 3, 2014).

Ruby Hiser filed a lawsuit against XTO Energy Inc. in Arkansas. Ms. Hiser had lived in her home for six years before XTO began drilling operations nearby. XTO began drilling a gas well on property adjacent to Ms. Hiser’s home in February 2009. According to Ms. Hiser, it was around this time that she started feeling vibrations. Ms. Hiser testified at trial that she feels the vibrations and hears her house “crackle” when XTO’s drill is in use. She testified that people who stayed the night in her home also felt the vibrations. Several witnesses also testified at trial they had felt the vibrations when visiting Ms. Hiser’s property.

Justin Hall, a licensed professional engineer, examined Ms. Hiser’s home on June 5, 2009. Mr. Hall testified that he could hear the nearby drilling during his inspection of Ms. Hiser’s home. Based on his experience, the inspection, and the proximity of the drilling equipment to Ms. Hiser’s home, approximately 150 feet at the time, Mr. Hall concluded that XTO’s drilling was the source of the vibrations. Mr. Hall opined that the damage to Ms. Hiser’s home is consistent with vibrations from drilling, not the result of poor construction.  MORE

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The only place left to invest if ‘Oilmageddon ‘ hits this market

By  BarbaraKollmeyer
Markets reporter

Critical information ahead of the U.S. market’s open

Getty Images

Investors are about to embark on a great adventure — a week without Chinese interference. Millions are hitting the road for the Lunar New Year holidays, and local markets are shut. To keep cash flowing for the holidays, the People’s Bank of China has been pouring money into the financial system all week.

One thing that China break should provide is plenty of time for Wall Street to go into hyper-navel-gazing mode over the U.S. economy — and it’s been doing a lot of that, recently. One giant update in the forms of jobs data comes later today, to polish off the week. (Just in, see below)

Meanwhile, the ripples we’ve been seeing across several asset classes — gold bugs are smelling life and the dollar has tumbled, while the S&P 500 is set to lose over 1% — has brought out some bears. Credit Suisse pushed out a note this morning entitled “Dangerous markets.”  MORE

Warren Buffett's $1 billion bet on oil

From:  CNN

Oil prices have plunged this year, but Warren Buffett isn't scared. He's bet nearly a $1 billion on the sector since the start of the year.

That's how much Phillips 66 stock Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) has bought since Jan. 3, according to company filings, the most recent of which was made Wednesday. 

Berkshire already owned 61.5 million shares of the oil refining giant, and has recently spent $964 million to buy an additional 12 million shares of the company. Buffett's firm now owns 14% of Phillips 66 shares, making it Bershire's sixth largest holding. 

As an oil refining company, Phillips 66 (PSX) is in the one aspect of the oil industry that can benefit from falling oil prices.MORE

Obama proposes $10/bbl crude oil tax to fund transportation plan

The Obama administration proposed a $10/bbl tax on crude oil to help pay for its plan to create a 21st Century Clean Transportation System. Officials from national oil and gas associations immediately said it was a serious mistake.

“The president’s plan would increase American investments in clean transportation infrastructure by roughly 50% while reforming the investments we already make to help reduce carbon pollution, cut oil consumption, and create new jobs,” the White House said in a Feb. 4 fact sheet.

“The new fee on oil will also encourage American innovation and leadership in clean technologies to help reshape our transportation landscape for the decades ahead,” it added. MORE