Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
Governors on both coasts are going to battle with oil and gas companies over climate change. Continuing his strong environmental protection agenda, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced new regulations putting in place a moratorium on fracking and curbed steam-injected oil drilling in the state, which environmentalists have long opposed. Meanwhile, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is locked in a “standoff” with natural gas supplier National Grid and has threatened to revoke the company’s license to operate in the southern part of New York unless they resume doing gas hookups for both new and returning customers immediately.
Why This Matters: The California Governor’s actions are not happening out of the blue. In fact, a series of high profile and uncontrolled releases of crude oil and tainted water from Chevron wells in California that began in May and continue today has made the high-pressure cyclic steaming process even more controversial than it had been. Meanwhile, the NY Governor — as well as residents on Long Island — are stuck between the state’s regulators and the company because back in May the regulators denied a permit for construction of additional natural gas infrastructure for climate change and other environmental reasons. The transition away from gas — whether by fracking bans or the denial of additional gas infrastructure — is likely to be the first battleground over how to wean ourselves from fossil fuels.
California’s Permit Moratorium
It has been reported that as a result of this breach, more than 900,000 gallons of oil and brine have been released from the Chevron facility, for which the State has been fined $2.7 million. The decision seems like a prudent precaution to obviously problematic conditions at the Chevron facility that would lead to questions about whether high-pressure cyclic steaming can be done safely or should be prohibited altogether.
The rationale for California’s moratorium is to improve oversight and public safety related to fracking, and new fracking permits will only be allowed after undergoing and independent scientific review by experts at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled yesterday that the Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down and empty all its oil until the government completes an environmental review of the pipeline’s impacts, giving the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies downstream, a huge victory. Similarly, late in the day, the Supreme Court refused to overturn the order of a district judge that shut down construction of parts of the Keystone XL pipeline so it is also blocked for now.
Why It Matters: The Dakota and Keystone XL news is greatly tempered by the fact that numerous other pipeline projects can go ahead despite their inadequate permit unless they are individually challenged in court and blocked.
Yesterday, Dominion Energy and its partner, Duke Energy, announced they were ending a 600-mile natural gas project that would have cost at least $8 billion to complete. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, Dominion and Duke canceled the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the face of mounting regulatory uncertainty caused by a federal court […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.