Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
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Concerns About Safety Of Pipeline Weights Raised By Regulators Investigating Recent Keystone Oil Spill

Concerns About Safety Of Pipeline Weights Raised By Regulators Investigating Recent Keystone Oil Spill | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
An investigation into the causes of the recent TransCanada Keystone pipeline oil spill on November 16 has raised serious questions about the widespread use of weights on pipelines, regulators have revealed.

To be more specific, a report from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration stated that the recent Keystone oil spill in South Dakota may have been caused by a weight that was put in place during the construction of the pipeline back in 2008.
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Residents Challenge Harmful Oil Drilling - Community Coalition

Residents Challenge Harmful Oil Drilling - Community Coalition | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
  By Bob Wing Oil has been a source of tremendous wealth for Los Angeles, but the city’s 1,071 active oil wells also pose serious health risks for the nearly 628,000 Angelenos who live near them. That’s why residents and environmental justice organizations ar
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Fire hits California refinery - maritime global news

An explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Torrance, California, on Saturday forced the partial shutdown of the plant, leading oil traders to expect a spike
PIRatE Lab's insight:
These complex chemical engineering plants are always a potential accident waiting to happen.  This same plant in Torrance Los Angeles had a huge problem about two years ago that drove a several month reduction in capacity and associated gasoline supply disruption for much of southern California.
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Dakota Access Pipeline to win US Army permit for completion - BBC News

Dakota Access Pipeline to win US Army permit for completion - BBC News | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
But Standing Rock Sioux lawyers pledge to fight approval of the $3.8bn, four-state project.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
More oil, more pipelines.
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What's next for the Dakota Access pipeline

What's next for the Dakota Access pipeline | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Corps of Engineers headed off a showdown on the plains, but what will happen to plans for moving oil out of North Dakota's Bakken fields?
PIRatE Lab's insight:
In requiring a full blown EIS for (at least the last segment of) the pipeline the Corps may well have threatened the viability of this fracking oil pipeline.  The key variable here is that the pipeline contracts specify a target activation date no later than January 2017.  I suspect that if the momentum is such that they will be moving forward with construction under the Trump Administration such that the pipeline would be heading to active flows with only a few months delay from that targeted start date, they will be able to keep most of their contracts live.  

But if this turns into a legal morass and quagmire (AND oil prices remain low) that may well kill this project.  If that were to happen, look to this as a "yuge" motivator for an overhaul of the current system of EIS/EIRs and NEPA-realted environmental oversight by the anti-regulation, anti-bureaucracy, pro-unimpeded development crowd. 

See for example the rumblings to pass new legislation specifically approving the construction of this segment:

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Southern California Gas Co. ordered to stop cleaning Porter Ranch-area homes

Southern California Gas Co. ordered to stop cleaning Porter Ranch-area homes | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered Southern California Gas Co. late Sunday to stop cleaning the homes of Porter Ranch-area residents affected by the gas leak at the company's Aliso Canyon facility, concluding that the utility’s contractor was not properly trained o
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Southern Leg of Keystone Begins Exporting Oil

A Canadian company on Wednesday started delivering oil through the Texas portion of a proposed cross-border pipeline that has stirred controversy and tension between the United States and its northern neighbor.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

TransCanada began delivering oil on Wednesday from Oklahoma to customers in Nederland, Texas, through the southern portion of a controversial proposed cross-border pipeline. The start of commercial operations for this leg of the Keystone XL pipeline came with little fanfare after approval by the president nearly two years ago. Although landowners in East Texas continue to challenge TransCanada’s right to take their land for the pipeline, it’s the northern leg of the pipeline, which is projected to carry oil from Canada, that’s been most controversial.


The northern portion of the pipeline still awaits approval by the U.S. State Department. Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry brushed aside pressure from Canada, offering that he’s not yet received a critical environmental report on the long delayed project.


TransCanada acknowledged it has plans to look at building rail terminals in Alberta and Oklahoma if the Obama administration declines to approve the pipeline’s northern leg. Recent accidents involving oil-bearing trains may put more pressure on the administration to approve the pipeline.

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Lessons From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Lessons From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A Retro Report looks at the poor planning and technological challenges that contributed to the nation’s worst oil disasters, the 1989 Exxon spill and the 2010 BP blowout.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

While brief, this is a surprisingly accurate and fair summary of the Valdez spill vs Deepwater Horizon blowout.

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Dakota Access Pipeline

Dakota Access Pipeline | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Explore the pipeline route, the effects it will have on surrounding communities and beyond, and a few of the alternatives to the fossil fuel-dependent economy of which DAPL is one small piece.
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Shell corruption probe: New evidence on oil payments - BBC News

Shell corruption probe: New evidence on oil payments - BBC News | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The BBC has seen evidence that top executives at Shell knew money paid to the Nigerian government for a vast oil field would be passed to a convicted money-launderer.
It also had reason to believe that money would be used to pay political bribes.

Via pdeppisch
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Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline

Seattle becomes the first city to sever ties with Wells Fargo in protest of Dakota Access pipeline | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to end its relationship with Wells Fargo in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Divestment is an interesting approach.  In the global marketplace of today, such efforts have much less impact than they did two decades ago.  But such efforts when clearly targeted and applied via many actors can still indeed produce change in the companies in question.  There is also the moral issue at the heart of such protests.  It is interesting to me how rarely this latter argument is proffered as a justification for folks contesting the existing status quo.
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Native Americans vow legal action after proposed suspension of DAPL environmental review

Native Americans vow legal action after proposed suspension of DAPL environmental review | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is vowing legal action after the US Army Corps of Engineers was directed to complete an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The tribe insists the environmental impact statement should be completed first.
Read more
Army Corps starts Dakota Access Pipeline environmental study
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), intended to carry crude oil from the Bakken shale fields to Illinois, has been nearly completed aside from a segment running under Lake Oahe, which supplies drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota. The tribe and water protectors believe the four-state pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.

Via ThePlanetaryArchives/BlackHorseMedia - San Francisco, pdeppisch
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Pipeline protesters clash with police in North Dakota

Pipeline protesters clash with police in North Dakota | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
More than 400 protesters clashed with police on a bridge north of a protest encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribal reservation in North Dakota on Sunday night.
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Southern California braces for summer blackouts due to Porter Ranch gas leak

Southern California braces for summer blackouts due to Porter Ranch gas leak | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
State officials warn that Southern California could face as many as 14 days of scheduled blackouts this summer because of depleted reserves of natural gas caused by the massive leak in Aliso Canyon. The canyon in the hills above Porter Ranch is a crucial gas storage facility, supplying 1
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Public Meetings : NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration

Public Meetings : NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

During the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, the trustees are engaging with the public to explain NRDA and to solicit comments and input on the restoration plan as needed. The most prominent forum to engage the public is through the use of public meetings. The trustees are presenting a series of public meetings in each Gulf state.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

Public meetings this month are a chance for folks to give input as to the Deepwater Horizon Spill restoration plan.

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