Large numbers of bottlenose dolphins have been washing up on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to theverge.com. It was the largest spill to take place in US waters. The dolphins actually started washing up in elevated levels two months before the spill, potentially because of a cold winter.
“The evidence to date indicates that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the adrenal and lung lesions that contributed to the deaths of this unusual mortality event,” said Stephanie Venn-Watson, a researcher with the National Marine Mammal Foundation who was the lead author of the report, writes the New York Times.
“We reached that conclusion based on the accumulation of our studies including this paper,” she added.
The deaths have continued into 2015.
In the latest study, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration point to serious health issues in washed-up dolphins that are linked to petroleum product exposure, strengthening the link between dolphins’ deaths and the BP-owned well’s spill, writes theverge.com.
The Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, 54, has courted the Clintons for at least nine years – in the United States, the Alps and Ukraine, states Newsweek.
Earlier this year, he was confirmed as the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation, whose aims include the creation of “economic opportunity and growth.”
Pinchuck also has connections to the Tony Blair Foundation and was its biggest single donor in 2013.
He is the fourth richest man in Ukraine and owns Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors.
Newsweek has seen declarations and documents from Ukraine that show a series of shipments from Interpipe to Iran in 2011 and 2012, including railway parts and products commonly used in the oil and gas sectors.
Among a number of invoices for products related to rail or oil and gas, one shipment for $1.8m (1.7m) in May 2012 was for “seamless hot-worked steel pipes for pipelines” and destined for a city near the Caspian Sea.
Clinton’s political enemies are likely to seize on news that Pinchuck is a major benefactor to the Clinton Foundation and has been trading with Iran and may be in breach of U.S. sanctions imposed on the country, according to Newsweek.
Newsweek states that U.S. sanctions laws are complex and, in certain areas, ill-defined. Interpipe may qualify for penalties due to the mere presence on American soil of North American Interpipe Inc, its United States subsidiary.
The US authorities can also penalize non-American subsidiaries with no base in the US at all which it judges to be working counter to its foreign policy, as happened to Zhuhai Zhenrong, a Chinese oil company, in 2012.
So be sure to watch for the new “scandal” on FOX !
A natural gas well in Arlington, Texas, was sealed up on Sunday by a company called Boots and Coots after a mishap at the drilling site. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram states that the issue prompted voluntary evacuations of homes.
No natural gas was reportedly released during the incident, city officials said, but 115 people were asked to leave their homes during the third effort to plug the well, according to the Star-Telegram.
Just before 3:30 p.m., Arlington city officials claimed that the well was sealed off and residents could go home. Those asked to evacuate had homes within an eighth of a mile from Vantage Energy’s Lake Arlington Baptist Church well site.
“This was a very serious situation,” Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said in a prepared statement.
“To get this incident under control, we worked closely with all city departments, Vantage Energy, AISD, the Red Cross and our faith-based organizations. Working together, we resolved this as quickly and safely as possible.”
At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Vantage Energy called 911 to report that natural gas was pushing pressurized fracking water out of the well.
As a precaution, the Fire Department at first evacuated 13 nearby homes. The evacuation zone was expanded at about noon Sunday after two efforts to plug the leaking well were unsuccessful. The well was reportedly brought under control around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Public safety crews created dirt berms to contain fracking water that was back-flowing out of the well. Fire officials said the water did not enter Lake Arlington, a source of the city’s drinking water.
They said the drilling company would need to remedy effects of the incident at the drilling site. The Fire Department and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducted air monitoring, and no flammable gases were detected, Crowson said..
To help displaced residents, the Red Cross opened an Emergency Evacuation post at Martin High School in Arlington.
The drilling incident comes just days before a proposed state law, House Bill 40, comes up for debate in the Texas Legislature on Tuesday.
The bill, which would bolster state control over urban drilling, had to be rewritten after city officials complained during a contentious hearing in Austin that it limits local government influence over urban drilling.
The bill limits local control to surface activities such as noise abatement and trucking. Attempts to ban drilling would not be allowed.
Shortly before the well was brought under control, Fire Chief Crowson met with an elected state official Sunday afternoon at an Arlington fire station to reaffirm the need for cities to maintain local control.
“I’m concerned there is a potential that local control may be lessened. It is exactly local control that keeps the local community safe,” Crowson said.
Arlington has 56 pad sites with 306 gas wells, Crowson said. While the Fire Department has responded to gas releases and other incidents at pad sites in the past, Crowson said this was the first time an emergency well control team had to be called in.
Malta and Azerbaijan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of a LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) hub which would serve for local and international markets, reports the Times of Malta.
The MOU targets “strategic collaboration” in the oil and gas sector as part of the government’s vision to transform energy and petroleum sectors into key value added economic activities, and both sides identified a number of key areas, according to MarineLink.com.
The European Union is also looking southwards to develop a “southern gas corridor” for natural gas from Azerbaijan to fuel the European mainland.
Comedian Russell Brand gives his reaction to Fox News’ coverage of President Obama’s statement that the media overstates the threat of terrorism in comparison to the threat of climate change.
In other news…
The British paper The Guardian has decided to put coverage of climate change “front and center.”
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger: “…changes to the Earth’s climate rarely make it to the top of the news list. The changes may be happening too fast for human comfort, but they happen too slowly for the newsmakers – and, to be fair, for most readers.
“The climate threat features very prominently on the home page of the Guardian on Friday even though nothing exceptional happened on this day. It will be there again next week and the week after. You will, I hope, be reading a lot about our climate over the coming weeks.”
Rusbridger will be leaving the Guardian this year, and he asked himself if he had any regrets.
“Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.
“So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness the Guardian’s best resources to describe what is happening and what – if we do nothing – is almost certain to occur, a future that one distinguished scientist has termed as ‘incompatible with any reasonable characterization of an organized, equitable and civilized global community.'”
In other news…
Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, walked onto the floor of the Senate with what he declared was persuasive evidence climate change is a hoax: a snowball. Inhofe is the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, with jurisdiction over the climate problem.
The Huffington Post: “Indeed, even on his own terms, the snowball doesn’t make the point he thinks it does. Climate change produces wild and extreme swings in weather. That Washington, D.C., is experiencing record cold and snowfall is not refutation of climate change, but rather one more data point to add to the pile in support of it.”
Maryland lawmakers concerned about increasingly common rail shipments of crude oil through Maryland are calling for the state to conduct a full assessment of the risks and for railroads to be more transparent about their operations, according to The Baltimore Sun.
CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern bring train shipments of crude oil into Maryland, including to a barge terminal in South Baltimore’s Fairfield area and through Cecil County on the way to refineries in Delaware.
Legislation filed last week in Annapolis, Md. would require the state’s health and environment departments to establish statewide accident prevention, emergency response and contingency plans in the case of a major railroad disaster involving crude oil. It also would require both railroads to disclose more information about their crude shipments to the public.
Recently, a recent derailment of a CSX crude oil train during a snowstorm in West Virginia burned one home to the ground, forced hundreds of others to be evacuated, shuttered water treatment plants and sparked concern about pollution to the nearby Kanawha River, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Under a federal law that took effect in May, railroads are required to disclose to local jurisdictions the volumes, routes and frequency of all Bakken crude-oil shipments that are more than 1 million gallons. However, in the past, much of that information has been unavailable to the public in Maryland.