Ecowatch: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to allow drilling on the Roan Plateau in Colorado—a 50,000 acre area that the energy industry believes to contain “one of the largest gas fields in the continental United States,” according to Reuters—has been stopped by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger for failing to adequately address environmental impacts. Among the largest concerns are air-quality issues resulting from ozone emissions.
The Selling of America: Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will purchase $9.5 million worth of “used” water from Aurora for its oil and gas drilling operations across the state, pending Aurora City Council approval July 9.The Houston-based company would pay Aurora Water over five years to use 1,500 acre feet of “effluent” water per year, according to city officials.Greg Baker, spokesman for Aurora Water, said this is the city’s first foray into selling water to an oil and gas company and the revenues will ultimately help to keep water rates low for customers.
Waterwatch: Last Thursday, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), which regulates how much water industries can withdraw from the Susquehanna and its tributaries, ordered22 companies to suspend their withdrawals because of low water conditions in north central Pennsylvania . This is the second time this year the SRBC has ordered water users to stop taking water from streams that have hit critical low flows. The 22 companies hold 37 permits to take water from our rivers and streams. Many of the companies affected by the suspension order are gas drillers.
The Libor scandal and the price of prosperity: Let me couch this for you in the pedestrian terms of financial hydraulics — the tawdry terms which seem to substitute for thinking in what's become of our thin, shallow economic and political discourse. The most basic function of a financial system is to price money. If a financial system can't undertake that simple task effectively — if the price of money is fixed like a roulette wheel stuck on red — all else must necessarily fail: investment must become malinvestment, speculation must precede creation, "profit" must become divorced from benefit, and wealth is effectively transferred from poor to rich, in a form of quiet but lethally effective institutionalized theft.
10 Reasons Countries Fall Apart: 1. Lack of Property Rights 2. Forced Labor 3. A tilted Playing Field 4. The Big Men Get Greedy 5. Elites Block New Technologies 6. No Law and Order 7. A Weak Central Government 8. Bad Public Services 9. Politacl Exploitation 10. Fighting over the Spoils
Electric Vehicles:The Obama Administration has made putting a total of 1 million electric vehicles on American roads by 2015 a centerpiece of its transportation policy. In response, automakers in Japan and the United States ramped up production of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) quickly over the last 2 years. The practical challenges of launching new models and expanding PEV sales to mainstream consumers, however, have proven more difficult than automakers or policymakers foresaw. According to a new report from Pike Research, around 410,000 PEVs will be sold between 2011 and 2015 in the United States, and cumulative U.S. sales will not reach the 1 million mark until 2018.
Lithium: The United States was the world leader in producing lithium, a key ingredient for electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries for consumer electronics, in the early 1990s, but now the U.S. imports most of its supply from South America, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu recognized a North Carolina outfit on June 29 for increasing the U.S. lithium production and creating jobs in the process.