Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tell Governor Cuomo to reject Dominion's "New Market Project"

 



Dear friends, please consider signing the following letter...


From: Liz Haskins <madcopreservation@aol.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 5:59 PM
Subject: Tell Governor Cuomo to reject Dominion's "New Market Project"
 




Let's maintain the momentum seen in New York's rejection of the Constitution Pipeline!
Today Dominion Transmission Inc. is proposing a major expansion of its 50-year-old aging pipeline to bring more fracked gas into our state (112 million cubic feet/day more). The so-called "New Market Project" would increase the capacity of Dominion's 200-mile long pipeline from Pennsylvania to the Finger Lakes, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany, and build a new connection to the Iroquois pipeline for sending gas out of the country: two new polluting compressor stations in Chemung and Madison counties, the massive expansion of another in Montgomery County, and additional equipment in Tompkins County, Utica, and Schenectady. Besides promoting fracked gas, threatening public health, and endangering the safety of communities along the corridor, Dominion's "New Market Project" will exacerbate climate change by pumping 200,000 tons of additional carbon dioxide into the air every year from compressor stations, along with over TWO MILLION tons of carbon dioxide a year when additional gas flowing in the pipeline is burned. Add methane into the equation and those greenhouse gas impacts double. We need a consistent policy against more fracked gas infrastructure in New York. Tell Governor Cuomo to reject Dominion's "New Market Project" by sending the letter below...

To send the following letter to Governor Cuomo, click here

.....................................................................
Dear Governor Cuomo,
 
I urge you to reject Dominion's proposed "New Market Project."
 
Across New York, people have become increasingly aware of the danger that natural gas and the proliferation of gas infrastructure poses to our future—our health, our climate, and our economy. Several gas expansion projects being considered, and some now already under construction, are moving our state toward greater dependency on fossil fuels at precisely the time when you have correctly said we must take a different course to prevent climate catastrophe. You have the authority and moral obligation to lead us in a better direction and make the Empire State a positive example for the United States. This calls for not only the rapid large-scale development of renewables, but also a clear departure from gas. I appreciate that you prohibited high-volume hydraulic fracking in New York and denied permits for the Constitution Pipeline. However, New York is more dependent on fracked gas today than it was when you announced a ban on fracking over a year ago. Standing up to FERC requires a consistent and timely response to the myriad of gas infrastructure projects that threaten our state, including those that have not made headlines.
 
Dominion's proposed "New Market Project" stretches over 200 miles with new facilities or modifications proposed in Chemung, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Schenectady and Tompkins Counties--all in New York. The project would involve the construction of two new compressor stations, the massive expansion of a third, and other changes to recklessly pump an additional 112,000 Dekatherms per day of fracked gas into our state from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia through a pipeline that is over 50 years old. And we are not so naive as to believe that Dominion's goal stops there. Given the scale of what has been proposed, we have no doubt that if this project is approved, Dominion will seek to push even more gas through New York in the future. In Chemung County, the project would cross a tributary of Bulkley Creek, a designated "Class C" water for fish that Dominion wants to trench through like the Constitution Pipeline that you wisely rejected.  Exacerbating climate change, the project would pump 200,000 tons of additional carbon dioxide into the air every year from compressor stations, along with over TWO MILLION tons of carbon dioxide a year when additional gas flowing in the pipeline is burned. Add methane into the equation and those greenhouse gas impacts double.
 
The public has provided ample reasons to FERC for why this project should be rejected and how mitigation measures are inadequate, but so far they have fallen on deaf ears. Despite the insistence of numerous citizens and municipalities, a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement has not been performed of the health, safety, and climate impacts of this project. Further, instead of taking a close look at the growing body of evidence submitted by the Madison County Department of Health and others regarding the adverse impacts of compressor stations on public health, FERC offered up its own flawed health assessment based on models that categorically dismiss those real-world impacts. How many more examples of adults and children with daily nausea, headaches, nose-bleeds like in Minisink will New York accept? Or worse, when will it be too late to undo the damage of respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological disease, cancer, and birth defects caused by exposure to pollutants that the gas industry and FERC continue to underestimate? In the absence of any meaningful government response, accredited researchers in cooperation with concerned communities in both Madison and Montgomery counties have initiated studies of air pollution and public health surrounding Dominion's proposed compressor stations there, should this flawed project move forward.
 
Yet Dominion and FERC have dismissed our concerns, rejected alternative sites or other mitigation like vapor recovery that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and public exposure, instead pushing forward with the singular goal of promoting the consumption of more fracked gas. Perhaps most insidious, the gas industry and its partners like National Grid, continue to use the worn-out scare tactic that more gas is needed to meet winter heating needs. The fact is that Dominion's existing compressor station in Montgomery County remains idle most of the time because of limited demand in Albany. In reality, almost all of the gas associated with Dominion's "New Market Project" would be transferred to the Iroquois Pipeline using leaky reciprocating compressors proposed for the same facility that would operate around the clock. It is also common knowledge that Dominion, which has more than a 50% share in Iroquois, intends to reverse flow of the Iroquois pipeline so that gas can be exported to Canada. Most of Dominion's "New Market" is not even the United States.
 
Finally, except for a few temporary construction jobs, almost no one will be gainfully employed as the result of this project. Dominion stated in its application to FERC that this project would create merely three permanent, full-time jobs. Studies have consistently shown that there are far more permanent jobs to be created with renewable energy, including wind and solar. Those could be solid manufacturing, installation, and maintenance jobs tied to the production of renewable energy right here in the great state of New York. The only big winners in Dominion's project are corporate executives who stand to profit by raising the domestic price of gas while depleting America's reserves. The rest of us will pay dearly with reduced air quality, impaired health, and higher energy bills.
 
Governor, the future is in your hands. Rather than attaching our state to a toxic fossil fuel feeding tube from Pennsylvania, I urge you to lead us in a different direction. You can put a stop to FERC's reckless endangerment of New York and New Yorkers by rejecting air and water permits for Dominion's "New Market Project" and demanding that a full comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement be prepared. Again, please do what is right to protect the people and environment of New York.
.............................................................

To send this letter to Governor Cuomo, click here

Thank you!








--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kinder-Morgan hired Crisis Communications Specialist to break the news about NED

It's a benign-looking link on the project page(1), and not where their press releases normally go(2).

(1) http://www.kindermorgan.com/business/gas_pipelines/east/neenergydirect/
(IR means "investor relations". Interesting to go there and check out the glorious stories about their cash flow...

HOWEVER-- If you "view properties" on the PDF, you can see certain Meta-Data, like the author of the document.

Turns out this guy is a "crisis communications specialist".

So while we're all trying to sort out what this means, what really happened, just keep in mind the K-M Board HIRED a "Crisis Communications Specialist" to break the news. I think that is noteworthy, that the K-M board thinks this is a crisis

See attached.

BH

--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

May 3, Endicott: Health of local rivers: Important mtg coming up



What: WBESC meeting

When: May 3 2016, 6 pm

Where: First United Methodist Church, 53 McKinley Ave, Endicott, NY 13760(At the intersection of McKinley Ave and Monroe St, entrance at rear)

This concerns a NYS DEC permit application to legally dump 80,000 or more gallons per day of highly toxic landfill leachate into the Susquehanna River, directly on top of 1 of 2 shallow wells which is Endicott's primary water source, and upstream of the other.

My friend Mark Bacon is one of the few people who has been tracking the local landfill leachate issue.

He has a coffee shop in downtown Endicott (he hauls spring water for his coffee from Lisle).

4-5 times per day he sees either a 130 BBL or a 215 BBL (5,000-9,000 gallon) tanker truck carrying landfill leachate drive by each day, some of it comes from over 2 hours away, which is minimally treated by EIT/Huron, then dumped into the Susquehanna River.

As far as we know, the volume is 80,000 gallons each day. This is 21B gallons per year, 1.7M gallons per month.

Huron/i3 Electronis (owned the Maines and Matthews families) have made tons of money in the leachate dumping business.

PS: This is just one "approved" source out of dozens all along the river. (actually i3 owns one SPDES permit, and Huron owns another. So there are 2 different pipes which discharge toxic waste into the river).

It's not really approved. It's been going on since April 2011 as a secret DEC "pilot program". It was only through the investigative effort by members of WBESC (Jim Little, Mark Bacon, Scott Lauffer and me) to figure out what was going on.

There was even a *media disinformation* campaign in 2011 coincident when it started. The headline was "Huron Campus Won't be Treating Frack Waste!". Why is this even a story!?

Yet every news outlet in town reported it. And NONE reported about the unpermitted leachte "pilot program" granted by the NYS DEC in secret.

Are the local media lapdogs, and the local business elites in the Greater Binghamton Chamber (who control the media) engaged in a coverup here? And a smokescreen?

And even the claim "we won't be treating fracking waste" turned out to be untrue. (Google: "What Stinks in Endicott" for more info).


Mark also fishes and helps stock the rivers with fish. Huh? Yes, he puts the farm-hatched fish into the river, then he goes and catches the fish he put in the water.

I thought this sounds unnatural. I asked him, "why do we have to stock the rivers with fish?" His answer shocked me.

"Fracking". Yes of course! We've all heard about fish in the Susquehanna with tumors.

But long before fracking there were many threats. "Dams, quarries (stone for building cities and highways), illegal dumping..."

Then there is *LEGAL* dumping under the "Clean Water Act" (1) including landfill leachate and industrial wastes, toxic runoff from farms (fertilizer, pesticides/herbicides and animal wastes), human sewage.

(1: In NY, the CWA permit is called SPDES, "State Pollution Discharge Elimination System"! The license to pollute claims in name to be eliminating pollution! Each permit considers each point source only. As far as I can see, there are no cumulative impacts analyses being done.)

Also over-fishing impacts natural fish population.

Still, he eats the fish he catches from the river polluted by many sources he tells me about.

Because fishing in the river is how people have lived for centuries.

Except the natural system has been really FUBARed* by humans.

FUBAR = F'ed up beyond all recognition. So much so we oblivious to how unnatural and what a red flag stocking the river with fish is! It's "normal", so we don't see it.

Friends, if we are having to stock the rivers with fish, because the natural fish have died off, this is a big problem!!

If we cannot drink river water without filtration, this is a big problem!

My friend Mark hates fracking, but not for the same reason we do. Mark hates fracking, because as an issue, it has completely dominated local environmental reporting for the last 5-6 years.

This obliterates and displaces reporting on many other environmental threats.

Please come to this important meeting with a DEC rep about Huron/i3's application

What: Western Broome Environmental Stakeholders Coalition (WBESC) meeting with NYSDEC officials regarding Endicott i3 on (Huron Campus) effluent permit.

Issues: Presently, 80,000 gallons per day of minimally processed, highly toxic landfill leachate from Seneca Meadows landfill, and also Broome County Landfill.

1) Is this a good idea?
2) What exactly is being dumped?
3) What is the "treatment" process?
4) Who is performing input composition analysis and output analysis?
5) what controls are in place?
6) WHEN IS THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PERMIT?? DEC promised us one 2 years ago: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ScoBNTlVM0c

The meeting is open to the public. The DEC will explain the treatment process and permitting process, and will answer questions and take concerns.

Where: First United Methodist Church
53 McKinley Ave, Endicott, NY 13760
(At the intersection of McKinley Ave and Monroe St, entrance at rear)

When: May 3 2016, 6 pm

Contact: Frank Roma, WBESC spokesperson at 607-727-5705 if you have questions.


--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)




--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dilbit is not Oil! (again)

Comment here:
http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/04/06/keystone-pipeline-spill-transcanada-scrambles-latest-mishap

Thanks Julie/Desmog. But you should never, ever refer to Dilbit as "oil".

Dilbit is not oil, it is not "crude", it is not "heavy crude" or "crude oil". It is none of those things.

For 250 years these words have referred to a raw, natural, complex mixture of a broad spectrum of hydrocarbons which comes out of the ground.

Dilbit is a brand new (only since 1995), high-tech, SYNTHETIC Franken-fuel never before seen on planet.

There are at least aa dozen important distinctions between your grandfather's "crude oil" and dilbit.

Even experts get this wrong:

> "Dilbit is not the same as crude oil," Vokes told DeSmog.

Great!

> "It is processed crude that has more benzene in it than crude oil." 

Bzzzzt. Not only is this logically an error (how can "processed crude" not be "crude oil"?), but it is also technically incorrect.

Since 1745, when the first oil well and refinery were built in Ukhta, Russia, the term "crude oil" has referred to a NATURAL product. Poke a hole in the ground, and up comes the bubbling sticky black stuff, a mixture of the light methane (C1), ethane (C2), propane (C3), butane (C4), pentane (C5), ... to kerosene (C6-C16), natural gasoline (C5-C10), naptha, heavier diesel (C8-C21), lubricating oil (C20-C30), fuel oil (C30-C40), grease and waxes (C40-C50), and bitumen (C50+).

But the global supplies of natural, broad spectrum "crude oil" are almost all gone. It takes extreme tech like arctic drilling or deep ocean drilling to recover the few remaining global deposits of crude left on the planet (outside of Saudi Arabia and other places in the middle east).

Just like how drug addicts turn to sniffing glue to get high, in utter desperation, the fossil fuel addicts looking for a fix have turned to the dregs of hydrocarbons: mining extra heavy bitumen, at great capital costs, energy inputs, as wells as social and environmental costs.

Bitumen, aka, "pitch", or "asphalt" is the heaviest of hydrocarbon tars, often made up of 60+ Carbon ions per molecule.

Raw bitumen is not oil -- the word denotes a "slippery liquid". Whereas bitumen is a semi-solid, resembling coal, and fractures like a rock when struck with a hammer.

There are two problems with trying to make refined products like gasoline out of bitumen.

First is that, while it is possible to smash the extra-long hydrocarbon molecules into smaller bits, which can then be recombined into useful products, it takes extremely high energy levels to do this, upwards of 800-1,000'C. It is also expensive in terms of capital: one refinery which can "upgrade" bitumen is the Suncor Upgrader in Ft. Mcmurray Alberta, which cost nearly $12 Billion Dollars.

The next problem is that only a few refineries can process bitumen in this way, most are on the Gulf Coast. So how do we get it there when raw bitumen, being a semi-solid, cannot be shipped in a pipeline?

However, in 1995, a Canadian scientist wrote a paper on how to change the viscosity of bitumen by adding light hydrocarbon fractions (variously called "natural gas liquids" or "condensate") as solvents, thus allowing it to flow in a pipelinem. Thus, "dilbit" was formed. 10 years later, the first dilbit pipeline was constructed, the Keystone-1, to take this product of the Alberta Tar Sands formation to the refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Here's the bottom line: for 250 years, the term "crude oil" has referred a natural product.

Dilbit is an ultra high-tech, SYNTHETIC (man-made) Franken-fuel.

It can be thought of as a form of SYNTHETIC crude, but it is really different and should be called something different.

There are many other important distinctions: the chemistry is different, the spill/cleanup properties are different, implications to human health are different, the corrosivity is different, it is regulated and taxed differently. The way it is produced is different.

Please, do not refer to dilbit as oil, even if Transcanada calls it that. Dilbit IS NOT OIL!


--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Was Bill Cosby "taken out" by Kinder Morgan?

I have no idea about any of the Cosby sexual assault allegations. Maybe the victims are real. I don't know. I am only noticing a very strange coincidence in the timing. I have seen the gas industry use a (false) charge of sexual depravity to take out another activist.

Please Refer to this Graphic from Google Trends as we discuss the timeline below:


Here is the timeline:

  • Other outlets soon follow:

  • ... passage of time ...

    Lots of people fighting the Kinder-Morgan NED. Several Facebook groups, and email lists. People are training for NVDA.

    And then today, this caught my eye:

    Do you think after all this family has been through they have harassed them into consent?
    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/kinder_morgan_wants_to_use_bil.html

    Hell No!
    Give them hell, Bill!

    I'm with you.

    Fuckoff, Kinder Morgan. 

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    3 years after Mayflower, STILL confusion about Dilbit & Crude Oil!

    Forgive the cross post.
    This is also being published to my blog: http://WilliamAHuston.blogspot.com

    Today is the 3 year anniversary of the Mayflower Arkansas "Pegasus" Pipeline spill. (The pipeline is operated by Exxon Mobil)

    No celebrations here.

    I am sending this quick note because there is still
    apparently lots of confusion about the nature of these terms:

    * Tar Sands -- refers to a geological formation, NOT a shippable product
    * Bitumen -- aka, Pitch, Asphalt, Tar, a very heavy hydrocarbon being mined in the Alberta Tar Sands. It is a semi-solid and resembles coal.

    And the most important distinction between

    * Oil, Crude Oil, Heavy Crude etc.  -- A natural product, a slippery liquid, and
    * Diluted Bitumen or Dilbit -- a relatively new, SYNTHETIC, man-made, extreme-tech, Franken Fuel, never before seen on Planet Earth.

    Including a post today from Pipeline Safety Trust, and also recently on email lists regarding the Pilgrim Pipeline from some very senior people.

    My background:

    in 2003, I became obsessed with the Mayflower disaster.  I don't know why.  Something about the photos and videos. I have had friends in the Little Rock area and felt a connection to the place.

    I was already getting interested in pipelines and infrastructure and mapping due to the impacts of fracked-gas production near where I live.

    I have done an immense amount of research into the accident.  When the event first happened, I tried to find a map of the Pegasus Pipeline. There was none online that was accurate. So I stayed up (for 24 hours! +4 pots
    of coffee I think)  and created one. I used NPMS and built the map, 850 miles, though IL, MO, AR, TX, county by county.



    http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/2013/04/pegasus-pipeline-maps.html
    One of the things I noticed right away was, what appeared to me,
    a deliberate attempt by industry (and the mainstream media)
    to confuse people about the facts about the contents of this pipeline.

    (A brand new, synthetic, man-made, high tech, franken-fuel called Dilbit).
    The industry and the press kept calling it an "oil spill" or "crude oil", "heavy crude" or "heavy oil".  Dilbit is none of these!


    ---------------------------------------------
    Re: this post by PST to facebook:

    https://facebook.com/273169844517/photos/a.416543169517.197761.273169844517/10154062185994518/

    QUOTE: As of today it&#039;s been three years since crude oil flowed through the neighborhood in Mayflower Arkansas. Has there been any meaningful change? Still no better leak detection, still no automated valve requirements, still no verification of the fitness of old pipelines, still no better spill planning, still no one looking at health effects. ENDQUOTE


    No, it wasn't "crude oil", it was Dilbit, "Diluted Bitumen". There are very important distinctions. While many in the mainstream media got this wrong, PST should know better and should be reporting this correctly so the people can be informed.

    What is being mined in Alberta Tar Sands IS NOT OIL. It is not anything like you grandfather's "crude", which is a complex mixture of a broad spectrum of hydrocarbons, from the lightest (methane, ethane, propane, butane), to the mids (kerosene, pentane, decane), to heavy oils (fuel oil, lubricating grease, waxes), to the heaviest (asphalt, tar, bitumen, pitch).

    No, what they are mining is a very low-grade hydrocarbon, bitumen, which can be considered equivalent to the heaviest fractions of crude oil. Bitumen in raw form is a semi-solid like coal, and smashes with a hammer when struck. No one would look at a chunk of bitumen and think of it as "oil", which denotes a slippery liquid.

    Bitumen/asphalt/pitch/tar is such a low-grade product, it was considered refinery waste. On many old refinery diagrams it is called "residuum" or "bottom's product". It is literally the dregs of hydrocarbons.

    Now even this low grade substance can be chemically smashed at extremely high energy levels, broken down into smaller-chain hydrocarbons, and then recombined and fractionated into refined products. However, this can only be done, at great expense and energy inputs, at a very few refineries which have been specially equipped.

    I have not found proper estimates of the EROEI (net energy returned on net energy invested) for e.g. gasoline made from Dilbit, but it is very low, approximating 1:1.  

    Not only that, but the environmental costs of mining and refining bitumen are extremely high. The Alberta scar on the ancient Boreal Forest, including tailing ponds hundreds of square miles, is so large, you can see it from space. There are also the "Great Sulfur Pyramids", which are as large as the pyramids of Egypt.


    http://williamahuston.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-great-sulfur-pyramids-of-alberta.html


    Raw bitumen cannot be shipped in a pipeline. So the industry came up with is to dilute it with condensate, aka, Natural Gas Liquids (some of the lightest hydrocarbons), hence "Dilbit".

    Again, Dilbit is chemically very different from natural crude oil, and must be shipped to special refineries via pipeline or rail.

    Dilbit pipelines have failed, both in Canada and the US at very high rates. So much so that there have been studies commissioned to see if it is more corrosive than traditional crude.

    Dilbit spills are extraordinarily difficult to clean up, since when it hits water, it separates. The NGLs float, and the bitumen sinks.

    Dilbit transportation  is also regulated differently, since Dilbit IS NOT crude, it is exempt from a tax levied on crude oil that is used to clean up spills.

    All of these points are important for people to understand, since Dilbit is (last checked) now around 15% of all US refinery inputs, and growing.

    If people understand all of this, they might ask the question: Why is it that 15% of all refined products begins as a low-grade hydrocarbon dregs, which can only be transformed into refined products at extremely high costs,  in every sense: in terms of capital costs, energy inputs, and environmental costs?

    So I hope PST corrects this very serious error. Thanks.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120731/oil-spill-liability-trust-fund-coast-guard-tar-sands-refineries-excise-tax-irs-epa-enbridge

    -----------

    PS: Here are some of the reasons why I fell the making the distinction between Dilbit and any variation of the word "Oil" or "Crude" is important, from the Talk page of the Wikipedia article on the Mayflower Arkansas Oil Spill.

    Dilbit is not oil, it
    is not crude oil. There are many important distinctions, including,
    •  chemistry
    •  refining
    •  natural gas and NGL (condensate) consumption, additional infrastructure required, pipelines, compressors, etc.
    •  area-intensive mining, inc. massive Boreal Forest destruction, massive tailings ponds, the "Great Sulfur Pyramids" at the Suncor Upgrader in Ft. McMurray
    •  potential corrosivity distinction
    •  spill mechanics and cleanup
    •  regulation distinction
    •  taxation (Dilbut exempt from cleanup fund--- because dilbit is not oil!
    •  energy-intensive mining/refining (EROEI discussion)
    •  capital-intensive refining
    • Fire/Explosion properties during transport
    And I would also add,
    • The apparent intentional effort to mislead the public about these important distinctions, including in the mainstream media, and perhaps also on Wikipedia itself, such as Title of this article refers to an "oil spill", The article on "Tar Sands" is titled "Oil Sands".
    As an online encyclopedia, we need to strive for accuracy WP:V and also maintain a neutral point of view WP:NPOV. I am adding Controversial tag, to indicate my question about both Accuracy, and NPOV, and tagging the word "oil" as Disputed. Thanks

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Mayflower_oil_spill

    Here are some of the very few outlets that got the distinction correct:

    PST gets it wrong (Dilbit vs "Crude")

    Re: this post by PST to facebook:

    https://facebook.com/273169844517/photos/a.416543169517.197761.273169844517/10154062185994518/

    QUOTE: As of today it&#039;s been three years since crude oil flowed through the neighborhood in Mayflower Arkansas. Has there been any meaningful change? Still no better leak detection, still no automated valve requirements, still no verification of the fitness of old pipelines, still no better spill planning, still no one looking at health effects. ENDQUOTE


    No, it wasn't "crude oil", it was Dilbit, "Diluted Bitumen". There are very important distinctions. While many in the mainstream media got this wrong, PST should know better and should be reporting this correctly so the people can be informed.

    What is being mined in Alberta Tar Sands IS NOT OIL. It is not anything like you grandfather's "crude", which is a complex mixture of a broad spectrum of hydrocarbons, from the lightest (methane, ethane, propane, butane), to the mids (kerosene, pentane, decane), to heavy oils (fuel oil, lubricating grease, waxes), to the heaviest (asphalt, tar, bitumen, pitch).

    No, what they are mining is a very low-grade hydrocarbon, bitumen, which can be considered equivalent to the heaviest fractions of crude oil. Bitumen in raw form is a semi-solid like coal, and smashes with a hammer when struck. No one would look at a chunk of bitumen and think of it as "oil", which denotes a slippery liquid.

    Bitumen/asphalt/pitch/tar is such a low-grade product, it was considered refinery waste. On many old refinery diagrams it is called "residuum" or "bottom's product". It is literally the dregs of hydrocarbons.

    Now even this low grade substance can be chemically smashed at extremely high energy levels, broken down into smaller-chain hydrocarbons, and then recombined and fractionated into refined products. However, this can only be done, at great expense and energy inputs, at a very few refineries which have been specially equipped.
    I have not found proper estimates of the EROEI (net energy returned on net energy invested) for e.g. gasoline made from Dilbit, but it is very low, approximating 1:1.  

    Not only that, but the environmental costs of mining and refining bitumen are extremely high. The Alberta scar on the ancient Boreal Forest, including tailing ponds hundreds of square miles, is so large, you can see it from space. There are also the "Great Sulfur Pyramids", which are as large as the pyramids of Egypt.

    Raw bitumen cannot be shipped in a pipeline. So the industry came up with is to dilute it with condensate, aka, Natural Gas Liquids (some of the lightest hydrocarbons), hence "Dilbit".

    Again, Dilbit is chemically very different from natural crude oil, and must be shipped to special refineries via pipeline or rail.

    Dilbit pipelines have failed, both in Canada and the US at very high rates. So much so that there have been studies commissioned to see if it is more corrosive than traditional crude.

    Dilbit spills are extraordinarily difficult to clean up, since when it hits water, it separates. The NGLs float, and the bitumen sinks.

    Dilbit transportation  is also regulated differently, since Dilbit IS NOT crude, it is exempt from a tax levied on crude oil that is used to clean up spills.

    All of these points are important for people to understand, since Dilbit is (last checked) now around 15% of all US refinery inputs, and growing.

    If people understand all of this, they might ask the question: Why is it that 15% of all refined products begins as a low-grade hydrocarbon dregs, which can only be transformed into refined products at extremely high costs,  in every sense: in terms of capital costs, energy inputs, and environmental costs?

    So I hope PST corrects this very serious error. Thanks.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120731/oil-spill-liability-trust-fund-coast-guard-tar-sands-refineries-excise-tax-irs-epa-enbridge


    --
    --
    May you, and all beings
    be happy and free from suffering :)
    -- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

    Sunday, March 27, 2016

    Mark Bacon, IBM TCE contamination, Ambient Air Testing

    I have been hearing Mark Bacon talk about "Ambient Air Testing" for years.

    I am now working on getting videos online from the NYS DEC meetings we had on
    IBM remediation, as well as the NIOSH study.

    After reviewing these videos, and many hours of discussion with Mark,
    I am finally getting an idea of why he thinks this is so important.

    • Before Remediation began, IBM did an ambient air test (Jan-Apr 2003).

      • I found this raw data on the DVDs that Alex sent us.
        Notice that all sites registered some levels (non-zero) Summary data attached.

      • Some Ambient Air Tests at that time showed levels near NEW action level 2ug/m3. 
        The results were redacted so the exact locations and property owner's name was redacted.

      • they tested indoor ambient air test. Mark got 3 canisters, basement, 1st floor, outside by patio. He also observed one across the street by building 18.

    • Date?? Big IBM meeting at Endicott Village HS. Mark asked: "If these vapors are not harmful, then why do we need a ventilation system?" A: "It's safe, but no exposure is better than exposure". (we have video of this)

    • In the summer of 2003, IBM installed sub-slab vapor intrusion mitigation systems on many houses in the plume.

    • In March of 2004, DEC changes Superfund classification of entire site from a Class 4 to a Class 2:

      "the disposal of hazardous waste has been confirmed and the presence of such hazardous waste or its components or breakdown products represents a significant threat to public health or the environment:"

    • A frenzy of remediation activity started immediately.
      Tore up big parking lot. 16 inches of blacktop added.
      (compare photos of Endicott (homes and other structures destroyed) vs. Love Canal attached)

    • 2004-2006. IBM drilled many "monitor wells" near Mark's house See photo collage.

    • in 2005, IBM claims they did an ambient air test in the village, but this was done in secret. It was nothing like the test in Jan-April 2003. Mark had no idea it was going on. There were no visible canisters outside his property, Bldg 18, or the parking lot where the monitor wells were being drilled.

    • We cannot find the raw data for this test on the DVD's that Alex sent. We also cannot find the final report on this test. There is a lot of data there. It could be there, and we just missed it. We have a FOIL request into Alex for this information.

    • Mark feels these monitor wells can act as a TCE vent
    • injection well program began (2008/2009)

    • Mark feels injection wells in conjunction with monitor well venting,
      logically, must have increased ambient air levels of TCE near his home and vicinity.

    • RECALL, the pre-remediation tests levels in 2003 were already near the NEW action threshold of 2 ug/m3.

    • N.B. The only Ambient Air tests done in 2003, and (allegedly) 2005 which was BEFORE many "monitor wells" drilled near Mark's house, and also BEFORE injection well program began.

    CONCLUSION: I have come to agree with Mark, that a sustained and continuous Ambient Air Test of the village in the vicinity of the plume is need now, and was especially important to obtain during the initial remediation efforts 2005-2009, but this data is lost forever, at what risk to the residents of the village?  

    But since remediation is still occurring, I believe (as does Mark) sustained and continuous ambient air test should be initiated immediately.


    Bill Huston


    --
    --
    May you, and all beings
    be happy and free from suffering :)
    -- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

    Monday, March 14, 2016

    Why I am withdrawing my support of #BXE Beyond Extreme Energy

    (I am publishing this simultaneously on my blog.  http://WilliamAHuston.blogspot.com )

    #BXE Beyond Extreme Energy is a group which has done some amazing and necessary work against the rogue and industry-captured Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

    They have been regularly disrupting FERC meetings, and have organized two week-long blockades of the FERC office building in Washington DC.

    All this is urgent, vital work.

    I was a huge early supporter of Beyond Extreme Energy
    #BXE, I promoted their events in my public presentations. I was extremely happy and encouraged by #BXE.

    Then I saw how they actually operate:

    The core organizers of #BXE are bigots who demand that participants agree to a kind of loyalty oath to support other off-topic side issues like climate change and Black Lives Matter in order to join the fight against FERC.

    People who do not agree are banned from the listserv, and banned from commenting on the Facebook page.

    I know because this happened to me.

    While I think most people fighting pipelines agree about the pending global crisis of anthropomorphic climate change, and it is what I would call a tangential issue, IMO this should not be a litmus test in order to join the fight against pipelines. I was on a BXE call once, and someone from Ohio raised the issue that he lived in a conservative area. They were opposed to the NEXUS pipeline, and wanted to join the fight against FERC, however were uncomfortable with info on the website about climate change. His concerns were treated dismissively.

    I raised an issue with overt and off-topic support for the Black Lives Matter movement on the BXE Facebook page. (A news article was posted showing a BLM protest where they had closed down a highway. I could see absolutely no connection to extreme energy).

    #BLM is a highly charged and controversial movement, and not even remotely tangential to the topic of extreme energy. It's not even on the same page.

    I raised this issue, my discomfort with the #BLM movement, and my request that BXE stick closely to the subject matter of getting "Beyond Extreme Energy". And after a BRIEF discussion on the listserv, where NOT ONLY were my concerns not heard, addressed, or treated with respect, but I was mocked, attacked, ridiculed, called nasty names, and ultimately censored and banned.

    This no way to run a successful campaign.

    We need a BIG TENT approach to fighting FERC and Climate Change (again I feel these two campaigns should only be loosely linked), where anyone who shows up should be welcomed, not treated with hostility and contempt because they have concerns with a completely unrelated side issue.

    There are all kinds of important issues of the day, GMO's, Animal Rights, Labor issues, WTO, TPP, LGBTQ, etc. etc. Should BXE take a position on all of these? And more importantly, REQUIRE participants to adhere to a certain view on each of these, or suffer banishment, and censorship as I did?

    No, I don't think so. BXE, to be anything more than a fringe group, to become a broad movement encompassing the greatest number of people, should closely stick to it's core mission: Extreme Energy.

    What I have seen is that we DO have a successful movement to fight climate change. We DO have growing momentum in fighting FERC and pipelines.

    HOWEVER-- I also see how this charge of "environmental racism" is being used to FRACTURE THESE MOVEMENTS.

    I believe there are agent provocateurs who are inside our movement trying to subvert, fracture and divide it.
    The charge of RACISM is one (very effective) way this is being done.


    In response, I submit the following facts:


    1. Science has spoken:
      There is no such thing as Race.
      There is only ONE HUMAN RACE.

    2. Benzene in your drinking water will kill you
      WITHOUT REGARD to skin color.
      Benzene is toxic to whites and blacks equally.

    3. The problem of FERC and Pipelines
      is not White People vs. Black People.

      It's Exxon Mobil, Chesapeake, Kinder-Morgan,
      Williams, Spectra etc. vs. EVERYONE.

    I will not be participating or financially supporting or promoting #BXE until such a time as these issues are addressed, with compassion and care, and I am reinstated in good standing.

    I encourage others to withdraw financial support of BXE until these issues are addressed.


    Furthermore, I am urging EVERYONE in the climate movement, and people fighting fracking and pipelines etc.
    to LEAVE RACE OUT OF THE DISCUSSION. 

    I am working to fight for clean air and water FOR ALL PEOPLE
    without regard to skin color of the victim.

    If there is ONE PERSON suffering due to water contamination from fracking,
    or breathing contaminated air downwind from a compressor station,
    THEN THAT IS A PROBLEM. 

    The color of the victim's skin DOES NOT MATTER
    (except to maybe a racist).

    Please don't get sucked in to racist and divisive frameworks.

    We ALL need to WORK TOGETHER
    to save the planet FOR ALL PEOPLE
    of all skin hues and all other species too.


    Thanks,
    Bill Huston
    Binghamton NY


    --
    --
    May you, and all beings
    be happy and free from suffering :)
    -- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    Fwd: Breaking: Ely/Hubert families WIN ~$5M settlement against Cabot!


    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: William Huston <williamahuston@gmail.com>
    Date: Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 11:59 AM
    Subject: Breaking: Ely/Hubert families WIN ~$5M settlement against Cabot!
    To:


    Breaking: Ely/Hubert families WIN ~$5M settlement against Cabot!

    From Craig Stevens:

    $1M+ settlement each for Scott and Monica Ely,
    more cash for the kids.
    Hubert family similar. 

    I don't have the exact amounts, but the total settlement is in the range of $4.5-5M.

    HISTORIC WIN AGAINST FRACKING!


    --
    --
    May you, and all beings
    be happy and free from suffering :)
    -- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)



    --
    --
    May you, and all beings
    be happy and free from suffering :)
    -- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)