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Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

NASA confirms US's 2,500-square-mile methane cloud

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

18th October 2014

Floating over the US Southwest is a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, writes Mike G - reflecting the release of almost 600,000 tonnes of the powerful greenhouse gas every year. Its origins? Coalbed gas production, fracking and horizontal drilling. more...
The author at an oil production site in Ecuador. Photo: David Poritz.

Certified-responsible oil and gas - we need it now!

David Poritz

21st October 2014

The oil and gas industry is disrupting communities and damaging ecosystems worldwide, writes David Poritz. Tough, independent social and environmental standards for the industry can bring urgently-needed improvements to company practices - even where government regulation has failed. more...
It was Greenpeace wot won it. Image: Greenpeace.

Greenpeace victory - LEGO ends Shell promotion link

The Ecologist

9th October 2014

Following a 1 million signature Greenpeace petition, LEGO has pledged not to renew a 50-year link with the oil company Shell. The move comes as Shell bids to renew its Arctic drilling in 2015, and following revelations that it is trying to dilute environmental regulation in Arctic waters. more...
Heavy oil undergoing extraction from tar sands, Alberta. Canada. Photo: Howl Arts Collective via Flickr.

Plan to label tar sands as 'polluting' scrapped by EU

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

The EU is dumping a plan to label fuel made from tar sands as 20% more polluting than oil from conventional sources, making it cheaper for European countries to import. But the concession - intended to smooth the TTIP trade deal - still has to be approved by the European Parliament. more...
Greenpeace action at Shell's petrol station in Davos, January 2013. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

Arctic madness: oil majors plead for lower safety standards

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

6th October 2014

Oil majors are gearing up to exploit Arctic oil, writes Mike G. But they don't want to carry the costs of all the safety equipment the US Government is demanding to protect the fragile Arctic environment from spills. And they're reluctant to give up the use of toxic chemical dispersants. more...
The Indigenous Peoples of Russia's Siberian region are among those opposed to oil development in the Arctic. Is that why officials blocked their representatives from attending the indigenous summit in New York? Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr.

Russia: officials block indigenous leaders from UN Assembly

The Ecologist

26th September 2014

Why so few Russian representatives at the UN's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples? Officials prevented activists - some opposing Arctic oil development - from leaving the country, damaging passports and detaining them so they missed their planes. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...
Mighty Thor - arrested by police on the say-so of a British Museum security guard, later released without charge. Photo: BP or not BP?

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?

Danny Chivers

17th September 2014

Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots? more...
Greenpeace action for an Arctic Sanctuary in front of the melting mouth of Austria's Goldbergkees glacier. The banner reads

Global support for a sanctuary to protect the Arctic

The Ecologist

4th September 2014

International polling today revealed strong public support for a formally protected area in the High Arctic for mammals and other marine life. The weakest support came from Japan, where opinion was evenly split over the industrialization of the Arctic. more...
Konstantin Rubakhin is currently in hiding. Photo: Konstantin Rubakhin.

Western sanctions could help Russia's environment - but will they?

Konstantin Rubakhin

19th September 2014

Sanctions against Russian natural resource tycoons could be good for the environment, writes eco-campaigner Konstantin Rubakhin - if only they would target the right people. But so far, the EU has been turning a blind eye to powerful Kremlin insiders with an open licence to pollute and destroy. more...
Drought under a torrid sky in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photo: Claudio.Ar via Flickr.

Britain's real 'terror threat': eco-sceptic politicians

Paul Mobbs

3rd September 2014

Politicians are forever citing 'terror' as a reason to expand the security state and restrict civil liberties, writes Paul Mobbs. But when it comes to the real threats that face the world - ecological breakdown, climate disruption, resource crises, and an unjust and rapacious world order ... well, that's all 'green crap'. Isn't it? more...
The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr.

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...

oil: 1/25 of 313
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A Fairbanks to Anchorage oil train on the Alaska Railroad. Photo: Renaud CHODKOWSKI via Flickr.

Keystone XL - who needs it? We got a railroad!

Justin Mikulka / DeSmogBlog

25th August 2014

Climate change and tar sands activists opposing Keystone XL need to wake up to a new reality - the pipeline has already been eclipsed by rail transport which is both cheaper and more flexible, writes Justin Mikulka. The expanded production and export of tar sands oil just got a whole lot more likely. more...
The Canada's Northwest Territories' first fracking project, carried out by ConocoPhillips over the winter in the NWT's Sahtu region, was approved last summer with no public review. Photo: ConocoPhillips.

Drills away in Canada's Arctic - 1.35 million hectares of wilderness open to fracking

Ed Struzik /

3rdt September 2014

Hydraulic fracturing is roaring ahead in the Canadian Arctic, writes Ed Struzik. Companies are competing to exploit the Northwest Territories' 2-3 billion barrels of shale oil, as the NWT government ignores calls from indigenous nations and scientists for a moratorium on fracking pending an open review of its impacts.
more...
Fishing for plastic in the open ocean on the Rozalia in the 2013 Gaia to Gyre expedition. Photo: Ceri Lewis via Flickr.

Microplastic ocean pollution - will you join our research voyage?

Kate Rawles

5th August 2014

Plastic pollution in the oceans is impacting every level of marine life, writes Kate Rawles, from micro-plankton to whales. And here is your chance to do something about it - join a research expedition to the Azores next month to study the problem and develop solutions! more...
A Shell oil well-head in Ogoniland - situated in a wetland, and surrounded by spilt oil. Photo by Friends of the Earth International via Flickr.

Niger Delta oil - Shell ignores horrendous pollution

Oliver Tickell

4th August 2014

The systemic failure of the Nigerian government and oil giant Shell to clean up the horrendous oil pollution in the Niger Delta has been branded 'shameful' by a group of Nigerian and international NGOs. more...
In Obama's America, oil is no longer a sunset industry. Photo: Sunset in Texas by Reto Fetz via Flickr.

Obama's achievement: the US is the world's biggest oil producer, again

Don Lieber

29th July 2014

The US, long the world's biggest oil consumer, has just surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's top oil producer, writes Don Lieber. Oil exports to Europe and Asia will begin shortly. Now what was that Obama said about climate change? Oh, forget it ... more...
Under the new guidance, even Stonehenge could by destroyed by fracking if it would 'achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.'

Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2014

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers. more...
Syncrude refinery, Alberta. Photo from the 2014 Tar Sands Healing Walk (www.healingwalk.org) by Rainforest Action Network.

Ignore tar sands emissions! EU buckles under US, Canada pressure in TTIP talks

Derek Leahy

23rd July 2014

The EU's Fuel Quality Directive is set to be the first casualty of the TTIP trade talks, writes Derek Leahy. Canada and the US have threatened to pull out unless the EU ignores the massive emissions of oil from tar sands - and the EU is collapsing under the pressure. more...
Dark clouds gather over a sunset industry - represented by a Chevron oil tanker. Photo: Jamie Grant via Flickr.

Fossil fuels the 'new sub-prime crisis'

Nathan Wood

14th July 2014

The UK's conservative Daily Telegraph warns: investors in fossil fuels are 'throwing good money after bad', reports Nathan Wood, as renewable energy takes off leaving a potential $19 trillion of oil assets 'stranded'. more...
Even if they survive the war, these children in Homs face a toxic future for many years to come from the release of industrial toxins and residues from munitions, propellants and explosives. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr.

Syria - the toxic footprint of war

Pieter Both & Wim Zwijnenburg

13th July 2014

The devastating human impact of Syria's civil war may persist for decades to come as heavy metals and carcinogens in munitions end up in the environment, along with chemicals from destroyed industrial plants and stores. A long-term public health crisis is in the making. more...
Shell's experimental in situ shale oil facility, Piceance Basin, Colorado, United States. Photo: Wikipedia.

Fracking the US - Monterey Shale's 96% downgrade blows the scam

Dylan Murphy & Jo Muphy

19th June 2014

The US's drive to become a top global oil and gas exporter by fracking has been blown wide open by a 96% write-down of California's Monterey Shale - meant to hold two thirds of the US's shale oil. How long before the whole enterprise is exposed as a monstrous Ponzi scheme? more...
I'll be back ... and next time, no more Mr Nice Guy! Photo: Hugh Warwick.

BP - beware the Viking 'flash-horde' coming your way!

Chris Garrard

11th June 2014

Visit the British Museum's hugely successful Vikings exhibition, and you can't miss the BP branding - a fair price for their sponsorship? No way, writes Chris Garrard, who will join a 'flash-horde' at the Museum next Sunday and give BP its last rites in a Viking longship. more...
The road is up to 60 metres wide. Photo: Finer M, Pappalardo SE, Ferrarese F, De Marchi M (2014) / geoyasuni.org.

Ecuador: oil company has built 'secret' road deep into Yasuni National Park

David Hill

6th June 2014

Ecuador's state oil company PetroAmazonas has, in secret, built a road deep into the heart of the world-famous Yasuni National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, writes David Hill - violating promises and threatening uncontacted indigenous tribes. more...
A hippopotamus on lake Edward, where oil company SOCO is now concluding seismic testing and wildlife surveys. Photo:  weesam2010 via Flickr.

Oil company promises 'no drilling' in Virunga

The Ecologist

11th June 2014

Oil company Soco International is suspending all operations in Virunga World Heritage Site - Africa's oldest national park. It has also committed to keep out of all other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. more...

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