Environment Forum

Now is not the time to research oil cleanup

rona

– Rona Fried, Ph.D., is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com, a news and networking site for green businesses: including a green jobs service and a green investing newsletter.  Any views expressed here are her own. —

Before the catastrophic BP oil drilling failure, polls showed that Americans favored oil drilling as a safe way to increase our energy independence. This was after decades of polls trending in the opposite direction.

Are Americans learning something from this?

I submit that Americans have become too trusting and complacent toward multinational corporations – will this be a wake-up call? Since the Obama Administration came into office, we’ve seen stark reminders of corporate greed and lack of appropriate regulatory oversight in just about every industry – the recent coal mining accidents, the outrageous behavior of Wall Street firms, a health care industry that raises premiums 40 percent even in the face of regulation, and now an oil industry that proves it’s completely unprepared to deal with an accident.

It’s bad enough that BP and the U.S. government have no idea how to stop or contain the oil spill, but why couldn’t they protect the shorelines and wetlands from the inevitable drift of oil?

Is it too much to ask that before oil drilling is approved that a plan be in place to prevent it from reaching our shores?

The Green Gauge: Statoil rapped over oil sands

Another oil company besides BP is drawing the ire of environmental groups this month. The Norwegian-based Statoil is under fire for development of the oil sands of Alberta Canada, a bi-weekly analysis of companies in the news by ASSET4 data providers shows.

Here is a breakdown of the companies that made headlines May 8 to May 21 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.

Company selections were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.

The Green Gauge: BP’s environmental history scrutinized

The ongoing struggle in the Gulf of Mexico to contain and remove oil spilling from a ruptured deepwater well is damaging more than the environment, a bi-weekly analysis of companies in the news by ASSET4 data providers shows.

Here is a breakdown of the companies that made headlines Apr. 23 to May 7 for making or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.

Company selections were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.

Oil is on the beach – now what?

OIL-RIG/LEAK

–Dan Howells is deputy campaigns director for Greenpeace USA. Any views expressed here are his own.–

On repeated trips over the last couple of weeks, Greenpeace found the first traces of oil coming ashore at Port Eads, the southernmost tip of Louisiana.

Greenpeace’s mission in the Gulf is to bear witness and record what might be the biggest environmental disaster of our lifetime and to provide independent assessment of the harm that is being done to the ecosystem, and share stories of what we are seeing.

Oil spill on ice not worth the risk

ENERGY CONGRESS

– Dennis Takahashi-Kelso is executive vice president of Ocean Conservancy and was Alaska Commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez spill. Jim Ayers is vice president and senior adviser at Oceana and was executive director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. Any views expressed here are their own. –

As we are seeing each day, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform blowout in America’s Gulf coast is a human and environmental tragedy.

The oil platform was drilling an exploratory well for British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico when there was a blowout, resulting in the loss of 11 workers’ lives and uncontrolled releases of fuel and crude oil.

How would you clean up the Gulf coast?

USA-RIG/LEAK

In supermarket aisles, when a bottle of oil smashes on the floor, a bag of sawdust or kitty litter is hauled out to soak up the mess.

To rescue a favorite silk tie from a dribble of gravy, douse it with corn starch and hope for the best.

How to clean up oil is a reoccurring theme in elevators and Internet chatrooms across the country this week, thanks to the unprecedented, growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico costing BP $350 million in cleanup costs so far, and threatening environmental disaster.

What offshore miners know

CHINA OIL

Dr. Beverly A. Sauer is a professor of management communication at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Any views expressed here are her own.

Despite massive attention to environmental impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the death of 11 rig workers has not had the same impact as the tragic deaths of 29 coal miners in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.

One article in The Washington Post described events at the moment of disaster, but there has been little tribute to the knowledge and experience these workers bring to the job of managing risk and preventing future disasters.

Live video: Day 2 for BP, Transocean in Congress

Appearing for a second day, the presidents of BP America and Transocean are scheduled to recount for a Senate subcommittee what caused the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers. Watch live video here starting at 10 a.m.

Could seaweed stop offshore drilling accidents?

OIL-RIG/LEAK

–Dr. Gunter Pauli, PhD, MBA, is an entrepreneur and founder of the ZERI Foundation (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives). He is the author of 17 books and 36 children’s fables. His latest book The Blue Economy contains one innovation outlined in this article. —

One wonders if the oil industry will ever learn.

When in the summer of 2006 holes in pipelines forced British Petroleum to shut down a major part of its network in Alaska, oil prices shot up to record levels.

The analysis of the problem unveiled that microbial induced corrosion (MIC) contributed to a dramatic domino effect.

Video: Jean-Michel Cousteau weighs in

Jean-Michel Cousteau, environmentalist, documentary producer and the son of ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, urges a moratorium on offshore oil drilling as a result of the catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

In this video blog on the Ocean Futures Society website, he points to the spill and ongoing leak as fuel for the argument to embrace renewable energy and end dependence on fossil fuels as our primary energy source.

Cousteau has produced over 70 films, including the documentary series Ocean Adventures in 2006.

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