Monthly Archives: August 2014

Scotland’s double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines





The Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the MeyGen Ltd tidal power development.

The 398MW project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland, will require some £50 million of funding for its first phase.

Investors also include Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Scottish Enterprise.

The location is both highly challenging and promising due to the fast water speeds, according to the Crown Estate.

“The Inner Sound tidal array project has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.”

A long term comittment to unlocking the tidal resource

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, The Crown Estate said: “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over 10 years.

“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”

The Estate has so far leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects, and has now started the first leasing process for tidal range projects. New seabed rights agreed this summer include:

  • Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones across the UK.
  • Five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Crown Estate is legal owner and manager of the UK’s territorial seabed, giving it a key role in the development of the country’s offshore renewable energy assets. It is also promoting the development the offshore wind, with up to a £100 million of investment.

Two-bladed wind turbines

The Crown Estate has also agreed terms with Forthwind Ltd, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two 6MW two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland.

Two-bladed designs at this scale are a major innovation for the offshore wind industry and the deployment offshore of the turbines at Methil will be the first in the world of its kind.

The company will first build a full-scale onshore prototype in the Netherlands ahead of the two offshore machines planned for Methil, which are anticipated for deployment in 2016 subject to planning consent.

Achieving significant cost reductions

For offshore wind to flourish it’s essential to develop new technologies as costs are roughly double those of onshore wind, making it unaffordable for large scale deployment at current prices.

It’s also considered desirable to move the main focus of wind development out to sea to avoid the environmental problems associated with onshore wind; and because the offshore wind resource is far greater, with higher wind speeds.

Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy said: “We hope that through this offshore development and demonstration step, and following the completion of our first on-shore demonstrator in early 2015, to be able to validate significant cost reductions in future offshore wind deployment.”

In addition to two-bladed turbine design, 2-B Energy are seeking to further reduce costs by integrating wind turbine technology with innovations in grid and access systems, the installation process and a new operational strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “In order to fully unlock the potential of offshore wind over the long term, it is vital that opportunities are made available to test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technology platforms to bring down costs and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology.

“We look forward with interest to seeing the technology mature.”

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air





A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development.

A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe.

There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time”, Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.”

The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face.

And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause. “We are ground zero for natural gas and fracking in this country”, he says.

His claim is not hyperbole in many respects. Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming studies that show gas wells harm those living in close proximity, and dozens of stories stretching back over a decade have documented the ill effects of natural gas drilling on Colorado’s citizens.

In response to public unease, the state has created a system to report complaints of oil and gas health effects. The subject has become so acute that it consumes Colorado’s politicians and electorate, who have been squaring off on multiple ballot initiatives to limit where companies can drill, in order to provide a buffer between gas wells and people’s homes.

Don’t mention the tax subsidies!

But there’s one fact the industry would like to hide from the public (but uses in its lobbying of Congress): much of the drilling activity in Colorado would never happen were it not for generous tax subsidies.

Four years ago, the American Petroleum Institute concluded that gas development would fall dramatically in the Rocky Mountain region without certain tax breaks to make development economically viable.

While precise figures for subsidies specific to Colorado are difficult to derive, a recent report by Oil Change International shows that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry continue to grow in value as the fracking boom has hit its stride.

At the national level, the report shows over $21 billion in federal and state subsidies that taxpayers provided to the fossil fuel industry in 2013. The use and value of these subsidies have increased dramatically in recent years-a product of the ‘all of the above’ energy policy.

“They are profitable because of tax breaks”, says Cox.

Scientific alarm

Studies published in leading scientific journals continue to document the potential harm to people living close to gas wells. In 2012, a Colorado nonprofit called The Endocrine Disruption Exchange published the results of gas well air samples tested for chemicals.

The study found several hydrocarbons at levels known to affect the endocrine system and lower the IQ scores of children exposed while they were fetuses.

Last February, researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University released a study that discovered that children born close to gas wells had a 30% greater chance of congenital heart defects and a higher incidence of neural tube defects.

The study was met with criticism from Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer … a perhaps unsurprising reaction from a state official appointed by a governor with well documented strong ties to the oil and gas industry.

The criticism follows a pattern of reactions from government officials throughout the country, pushing back against a growing mountain of evidence of fracking’s ill effects.

Learning from Tobacco

Lisa McKenzie, a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the Colorado study’s authors, acknowledges the study’s limitations and uncertainties. “We would like to go back and get a look at the type of exposures these women had during the first trimester of pregnancy”, she says.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to expand on her publicly-funded research, thus far.

Chuck Davis, a political scientist at Colorado State University, compares attempts by the fossil fuel industry and industry allies to highlight scientific uncertainty to similar strategies tobacco companies undertook in order to underplay health risks.

In both tobacco and the oil and gas industry’s cases, the presence of some form of ‘doubt’ around the science of the impacts of their industries (whether real or contrived) helps the industry continue practices that experts believe to be harmful.

In another example of this strategy, the Colorado public health office again highlighted scientific uncertainties after officials at Valley View Hospital in Garfield County reported an increase in anomalies in fetuses carried by women living close to gas wells.

After state investigators found no common cause to explain the fetal anomalies, Wolk seemed to dismiss legitimate concerns by local public health officials. “People have to be careful about making assumptions”, Wolk told the Denver Post.

Meanwhile, residents of Colorado continue to see new health impacts, and fracking continues at pace in their communities. Many of these residents don’t see the uncertainty state officials continue to push.

Lives ruined beyond repair

When a New York Times reporter went to Garfield County three years ago, the paper published a video on residents complaining of air problems caused by natural gas rigs.

“We’re gonna pack up. We’re leaving”, said Floyd Green, a welder who had lived in the County for the past three years. “We’re moving back East, and we’re having to start completely over.”

Green detailed several symptoms his family experienced, forcing them to leave the area. “We constantly smell the fumes from the condensate tanks which cause headaches, sometimes nausea. Diarrhea, nosebleeds, muscle spasms.”

A link to the video can be found at Frack Free Colorado, which has a webpage devoted to “Colorado’s Affected People”. Green is just one of many people who allege problems from natural gas including Susan Wallace Babbs, of Parachute and Karen Trulove of Silt.

While these individuals were once actively speaking out about the dangers of fracking, their voices have fallen silent. Phone numbers have become disconnected and addresses no longer current.

“They sign nondisclosure forms or move away”, says Tara Meixsell, who lives on a ranch outside New Castle. “Very few win lawsuits. Some sign gag orders, but more just move away, lose everything, and marriages crumble.”

Get out while you can …

Meixsell was featured in the documentary Split Estate and she wrote ‘Collateral Damage‘, a book that chronicles the lives of those affected by gas development.

She became involved around 8 years ago, she says, after she drove out to a nearby ranch to buy hay that was selling for about half of market price. When she got there, the reason for the discount quickly became clear.

The owners were two professionals who had bought a ranch to raise cows, but they soon found their land surrounded by gas rigs, making it impossible for them to breathe the air. After fighting for a year, Meixsell says they were told by their lawyer to give up and move away.

“They were leaving the ranch and didn’t need the hay”, says Meixsell. And it’s not the first time she’s witnessed such events. “When I hear these ranchers come to the state house and testify, ‘My husband and I bought 20 acres and it’s our dream home.’ It’s like a broken record to the politicians because they’ve heard it all before.”

Cox agrees, adding that many of the people he met after first becoming aware of the problem have signed nondisclosure agreements with companies or moved away. In fact, he moved from his former house to an area with little gas development, but the companies are now moving in. “It’s the same old, same old”, he says.

Taxpayers funding a dangerous environmental experiment with their own health

When Meixsell talks about how bad gas development has been to the health of people in Colorado, she does not mince words. “We’re guinea pigs”, she says.

But this experiment of exposing people to toxics released by natural gas development would not occur without billions in subsidies from the federal and state governments. In a recent report,

Oil Change International has found that federal subsidies for production and exploration for fossil fuel subsidies have grown by 45%, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. Much of the increase comes from intensified production.

“At a time when scientists are telling us that oil and gas production is unsafe for our communities and also our climate as a whole, it’s simply irrational to continue pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to this industry via increased subsidies”, says David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

“Despite dire warnings from academics and communities sounding the alarm, these subsidies somehow continue today.”

The White House has estimated that the subsidy for accelerated depreciation of natural gas distribution pipelines was $110 million in 2013. This subsidy allows companies to deduct higher levels of pipeline depreciation costs upfront, providing a financial benefit to the companies.

Or, as the American Gas Association itself puts it, depreciation helps to “encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure.”

Colorado also kicks in financial support. The state currently supplies additional gas production subsidies in the form of sales tax exemptions, allowing industry to escape Colorado’s 2.9% sales tax.

“The rest of the country doesn’t get it”, says Cox. “[Natural gas] is not a clean fuel. But the word is getting out, and they are starting to lose the fight.”

 


 

Take action: help put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and extreme energy extraction.

Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental reporting. He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, Salon.com, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology, and is currently on assignment with Oil Change International.

Postscript: Read more about the current state of Colorado fracking in our recent blog post.

This article was originally published by Oil Change International, the second in a series of ‘subsidy spotlights’ highlighting the real-word impacts of fossil fuel subsidies.

Read the first subsidy spotlight on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Scotland’s double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines





The Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the MeyGen Ltd tidal power development.

The 398MW project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland, will require some £50 million of funding for its first phase.

Investors also include Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Scottish Enterprise.

The location is both highly challenging and promising due to the fast water speeds, according to the Crown Estate.

“The Inner Sound tidal array project has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.”

A long term comittment to unlocking the tidal resource

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, The Crown Estate said: “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over 10 years.

“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”

The Estate has so far leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects, and has now started the first leasing process for tidal range projects. New seabed rights agreed this summer include:

  • Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones across the UK.
  • Five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Crown Estate is legal owner and manager of the UK’s territorial seabed, giving it a key role in the development of the country’s offshore renewable energy assets. It is also promoting the development the offshore wind, with up to a £100 million of investment.

Two-bladed wind turbines

The Crown Estate has also agreed terms with Forthwind Ltd, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two 6MW two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland.

Two-bladed designs at this scale are a major innovation for the offshore wind industry and the deployment offshore of the turbines at Methil will be the first in the world of its kind.

The company will first build a full-scale onshore prototype in the Netherlands ahead of the two offshore machines planned for Methil, which are anticipated for deployment in 2016 subject to planning consent.

Achieving significant cost reductions

For offshore wind to flourish it’s essential to develop new technologies as costs are roughly double those of onshore wind, making it unaffordable for large scale deployment at current prices.

It’s also considered desirable to move the main focus of wind development out to sea to avoid the environmental problems associated with onshore wind; and because the offshore wind resource is far greater, with higher wind speeds.

Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy said: “We hope that through this offshore development and demonstration step, and following the completion of our first on-shore demonstrator in early 2015, to be able to validate significant cost reductions in future offshore wind deployment.”

In addition to two-bladed turbine design, 2-B Energy are seeking to further reduce costs by integrating wind turbine technology with innovations in grid and access systems, the installation process and a new operational strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “In order to fully unlock the potential of offshore wind over the long term, it is vital that opportunities are made available to test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technology platforms to bring down costs and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology.

“We look forward with interest to seeing the technology mature.”

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air





A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development.

A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe.

There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time”, Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.”

The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face.

And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause. “We are ground zero for natural gas and fracking in this country”, he says.

His claim is not hyperbole in many respects. Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming studies that show gas wells harm those living in close proximity, and dozens of stories stretching back over a decade have documented the ill effects of natural gas drilling on Colorado’s citizens.

In response to public unease, the state has created a system to report complaints of oil and gas health effects. The subject has become so acute that it consumes Colorado’s politicians and electorate, who have been squaring off on multiple ballot initiatives to limit where companies can drill, in order to provide a buffer between gas wells and people’s homes.

Don’t mention the tax subsidies!

But there’s one fact the industry would like to hide from the public (but uses in its lobbying of Congress): much of the drilling activity in Colorado would never happen were it not for generous tax subsidies.

Four years ago, the American Petroleum Institute concluded that gas development would fall dramatically in the Rocky Mountain region without certain tax breaks to make development economically viable.

While precise figures for subsidies specific to Colorado are difficult to derive, a recent report by Oil Change International shows that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry continue to grow in value as the fracking boom has hit its stride.

At the national level, the report shows over $21 billion in federal and state subsidies that taxpayers provided to the fossil fuel industry in 2013. The use and value of these subsidies have increased dramatically in recent years-a product of the ‘all of the above’ energy policy.

“They are profitable because of tax breaks”, says Cox.

Scientific alarm

Studies published in leading scientific journals continue to document the potential harm to people living close to gas wells. In 2012, a Colorado nonprofit called The Endocrine Disruption Exchange published the results of gas well air samples tested for chemicals.

The study found several hydrocarbons at levels known to affect the endocrine system and lower the IQ scores of children exposed while they were fetuses.

Last February, researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University released a study that discovered that children born close to gas wells had a 30% greater chance of congenital heart defects and a higher incidence of neural tube defects.

The study was met with criticism from Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer … a perhaps unsurprising reaction from a state official appointed by a governor with well documented strong ties to the oil and gas industry.

The criticism follows a pattern of reactions from government officials throughout the country, pushing back against a growing mountain of evidence of fracking’s ill effects.

Learning from Tobacco

Lisa McKenzie, a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the Colorado study’s authors, acknowledges the study’s limitations and uncertainties. “We would like to go back and get a look at the type of exposures these women had during the first trimester of pregnancy”, she says.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to expand on her publicly-funded research, thus far.

Chuck Davis, a political scientist at Colorado State University, compares attempts by the fossil fuel industry and industry allies to highlight scientific uncertainty to similar strategies tobacco companies undertook in order to underplay health risks.

In both tobacco and the oil and gas industry’s cases, the presence of some form of ‘doubt’ around the science of the impacts of their industries (whether real or contrived) helps the industry continue practices that experts believe to be harmful.

In another example of this strategy, the Colorado public health office again highlighted scientific uncertainties after officials at Valley View Hospital in Garfield County reported an increase in anomalies in fetuses carried by women living close to gas wells.

After state investigators found no common cause to explain the fetal anomalies, Wolk seemed to dismiss legitimate concerns by local public health officials. “People have to be careful about making assumptions”, Wolk told the Denver Post.

Meanwhile, residents of Colorado continue to see new health impacts, and fracking continues at pace in their communities. Many of these residents don’t see the uncertainty state officials continue to push.

Lives ruined beyond repair

When a New York Times reporter went to Garfield County three years ago, the paper published a video on residents complaining of air problems caused by natural gas rigs.

“We’re gonna pack up. We’re leaving”, said Floyd Green, a welder who had lived in the County for the past three years. “We’re moving back East, and we’re having to start completely over.”

Green detailed several symptoms his family experienced, forcing them to leave the area. “We constantly smell the fumes from the condensate tanks which cause headaches, sometimes nausea. Diarrhea, nosebleeds, muscle spasms.”

A link to the video can be found at Frack Free Colorado, which has a webpage devoted to “Colorado’s Affected People”. Green is just one of many people who allege problems from natural gas including Susan Wallace Babbs, of Parachute and Karen Trulove of Silt.

While these individuals were once actively speaking out about the dangers of fracking, their voices have fallen silent. Phone numbers have become disconnected and addresses no longer current.

“They sign nondisclosure forms or move away”, says Tara Meixsell, who lives on a ranch outside New Castle. “Very few win lawsuits. Some sign gag orders, but more just move away, lose everything, and marriages crumble.”

Get out while you can …

Meixsell was featured in the documentary Split Estate and she wrote ‘Collateral Damage‘, a book that chronicles the lives of those affected by gas development.

She became involved around 8 years ago, she says, after she drove out to a nearby ranch to buy hay that was selling for about half of market price. When she got there, the reason for the discount quickly became clear.

The owners were two professionals who had bought a ranch to raise cows, but they soon found their land surrounded by gas rigs, making it impossible for them to breathe the air. After fighting for a year, Meixsell says they were told by their lawyer to give up and move away.

“They were leaving the ranch and didn’t need the hay”, says Meixsell. And it’s not the first time she’s witnessed such events. “When I hear these ranchers come to the state house and testify, ‘My husband and I bought 20 acres and it’s our dream home.’ It’s like a broken record to the politicians because they’ve heard it all before.”

Cox agrees, adding that many of the people he met after first becoming aware of the problem have signed nondisclosure agreements with companies or moved away. In fact, he moved from his former house to an area with little gas development, but the companies are now moving in. “It’s the same old, same old”, he says.

Taxpayers funding a dangerous environmental experiment with their own health

When Meixsell talks about how bad gas development has been to the health of people in Colorado, she does not mince words. “We’re guinea pigs”, she says.

But this experiment of exposing people to toxics released by natural gas development would not occur without billions in subsidies from the federal and state governments. In a recent report,

Oil Change International has found that federal subsidies for production and exploration for fossil fuel subsidies have grown by 45%, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. Much of the increase comes from intensified production.

“At a time when scientists are telling us that oil and gas production is unsafe for our communities and also our climate as a whole, it’s simply irrational to continue pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to this industry via increased subsidies”, says David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

“Despite dire warnings from academics and communities sounding the alarm, these subsidies somehow continue today.”

The White House has estimated that the subsidy for accelerated depreciation of natural gas distribution pipelines was $110 million in 2013. This subsidy allows companies to deduct higher levels of pipeline depreciation costs upfront, providing a financial benefit to the companies.

Or, as the American Gas Association itself puts it, depreciation helps to “encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure.”

Colorado also kicks in financial support. The state currently supplies additional gas production subsidies in the form of sales tax exemptions, allowing industry to escape Colorado’s 2.9% sales tax.

“The rest of the country doesn’t get it”, says Cox. “[Natural gas] is not a clean fuel. But the word is getting out, and they are starting to lose the fight.”

 


 

Take action: help put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and extreme energy extraction.

Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental reporting. He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, Salon.com, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology, and is currently on assignment with Oil Change International.

Postscript: Read more about the current state of Colorado fracking in our recent blog post.

This article was originally published by Oil Change International, the second in a series of ‘subsidy spotlights’ highlighting the real-word impacts of fossil fuel subsidies.

Read the first subsidy spotlight on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Scotland’s double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines





The Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the MeyGen Ltd tidal power development.

The 398MW project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland, will require some £50 million of funding for its first phase.

Investors also include Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Scottish Enterprise.

The location is both highly challenging and promising due to the fast water speeds, according to the Crown Estate.

“The Inner Sound tidal array project has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.”

A long term comittment to unlocking the tidal resource

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, The Crown Estate said: “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over 10 years.

“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”

The Estate has so far leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects, and has now started the first leasing process for tidal range projects. New seabed rights agreed this summer include:

  • Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones across the UK.
  • Five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Crown Estate is legal owner and manager of the UK’s territorial seabed, giving it a key role in the development of the country’s offshore renewable energy assets. It is also promoting the development the offshore wind, with up to a £100 million of investment.

Two-bladed wind turbines

The Crown Estate has also agreed terms with Forthwind Ltd, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two 6MW two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland.

Two-bladed designs at this scale are a major innovation for the offshore wind industry and the deployment offshore of the turbines at Methil will be the first in the world of its kind.

The company will first build a full-scale onshore prototype in the Netherlands ahead of the two offshore machines planned for Methil, which are anticipated for deployment in 2016 subject to planning consent.

Achieving significant cost reductions

For offshore wind to flourish it’s essential to develop new technologies as costs are roughly double those of onshore wind, making it unaffordable for large scale deployment at current prices.

It’s also considered desirable to move the main focus of wind development out to sea to avoid the environmental problems associated with onshore wind; and because the offshore wind resource is far greater, with higher wind speeds.

Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy said: “We hope that through this offshore development and demonstration step, and following the completion of our first on-shore demonstrator in early 2015, to be able to validate significant cost reductions in future offshore wind deployment.”

In addition to two-bladed turbine design, 2-B Energy are seeking to further reduce costs by integrating wind turbine technology with innovations in grid and access systems, the installation process and a new operational strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “In order to fully unlock the potential of offshore wind over the long term, it is vital that opportunities are made available to test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technology platforms to bring down costs and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology.

“We look forward with interest to seeing the technology mature.”

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air





A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development.

A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe.

There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time”, Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.”

The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face.

And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause. “We are ground zero for natural gas and fracking in this country”, he says.

His claim is not hyperbole in many respects. Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming studies that show gas wells harm those living in close proximity, and dozens of stories stretching back over a decade have documented the ill effects of natural gas drilling on Colorado’s citizens.

In response to public unease, the state has created a system to report complaints of oil and gas health effects. The subject has become so acute that it consumes Colorado’s politicians and electorate, who have been squaring off on multiple ballot initiatives to limit where companies can drill, in order to provide a buffer between gas wells and people’s homes.

Don’t mention the tax subsidies!

But there’s one fact the industry would like to hide from the public (but uses in its lobbying of Congress): much of the drilling activity in Colorado would never happen were it not for generous tax subsidies.

Four years ago, the American Petroleum Institute concluded that gas development would fall dramatically in the Rocky Mountain region without certain tax breaks to make development economically viable.

While precise figures for subsidies specific to Colorado are difficult to derive, a recent report by Oil Change International shows that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry continue to grow in value as the fracking boom has hit its stride.

At the national level, the report shows over $21 billion in federal and state subsidies that taxpayers provided to the fossil fuel industry in 2013. The use and value of these subsidies have increased dramatically in recent years-a product of the ‘all of the above’ energy policy.

“They are profitable because of tax breaks”, says Cox.

Scientific alarm

Studies published in leading scientific journals continue to document the potential harm to people living close to gas wells. In 2012, a Colorado nonprofit called The Endocrine Disruption Exchange published the results of gas well air samples tested for chemicals.

The study found several hydrocarbons at levels known to affect the endocrine system and lower the IQ scores of children exposed while they were fetuses.

Last February, researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University released a study that discovered that children born close to gas wells had a 30% greater chance of congenital heart defects and a higher incidence of neural tube defects.

The study was met with criticism from Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer … a perhaps unsurprising reaction from a state official appointed by a governor with well documented strong ties to the oil and gas industry.

The criticism follows a pattern of reactions from government officials throughout the country, pushing back against a growing mountain of evidence of fracking’s ill effects.

Learning from Tobacco

Lisa McKenzie, a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the Colorado study’s authors, acknowledges the study’s limitations and uncertainties. “We would like to go back and get a look at the type of exposures these women had during the first trimester of pregnancy”, she says.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to expand on her publicly-funded research, thus far.

Chuck Davis, a political scientist at Colorado State University, compares attempts by the fossil fuel industry and industry allies to highlight scientific uncertainty to similar strategies tobacco companies undertook in order to underplay health risks.

In both tobacco and the oil and gas industry’s cases, the presence of some form of ‘doubt’ around the science of the impacts of their industries (whether real or contrived) helps the industry continue practices that experts believe to be harmful.

In another example of this strategy, the Colorado public health office again highlighted scientific uncertainties after officials at Valley View Hospital in Garfield County reported an increase in anomalies in fetuses carried by women living close to gas wells.

After state investigators found no common cause to explain the fetal anomalies, Wolk seemed to dismiss legitimate concerns by local public health officials. “People have to be careful about making assumptions”, Wolk told the Denver Post.

Meanwhile, residents of Colorado continue to see new health impacts, and fracking continues at pace in their communities. Many of these residents don’t see the uncertainty state officials continue to push.

Lives ruined beyond repair

When a New York Times reporter went to Garfield County three years ago, the paper published a video on residents complaining of air problems caused by natural gas rigs.

“We’re gonna pack up. We’re leaving”, said Floyd Green, a welder who had lived in the County for the past three years. “We’re moving back East, and we’re having to start completely over.”

Green detailed several symptoms his family experienced, forcing them to leave the area. “We constantly smell the fumes from the condensate tanks which cause headaches, sometimes nausea. Diarrhea, nosebleeds, muscle spasms.”

A link to the video can be found at Frack Free Colorado, which has a webpage devoted to “Colorado’s Affected People”. Green is just one of many people who allege problems from natural gas including Susan Wallace Babbs, of Parachute and Karen Trulove of Silt.

While these individuals were once actively speaking out about the dangers of fracking, their voices have fallen silent. Phone numbers have become disconnected and addresses no longer current.

“They sign nondisclosure forms or move away”, says Tara Meixsell, who lives on a ranch outside New Castle. “Very few win lawsuits. Some sign gag orders, but more just move away, lose everything, and marriages crumble.”

Get out while you can …

Meixsell was featured in the documentary Split Estate and she wrote ‘Collateral Damage‘, a book that chronicles the lives of those affected by gas development.

She became involved around 8 years ago, she says, after she drove out to a nearby ranch to buy hay that was selling for about half of market price. When she got there, the reason for the discount quickly became clear.

The owners were two professionals who had bought a ranch to raise cows, but they soon found their land surrounded by gas rigs, making it impossible for them to breathe the air. After fighting for a year, Meixsell says they were told by their lawyer to give up and move away.

“They were leaving the ranch and didn’t need the hay”, says Meixsell. And it’s not the first time she’s witnessed such events. “When I hear these ranchers come to the state house and testify, ‘My husband and I bought 20 acres and it’s our dream home.’ It’s like a broken record to the politicians because they’ve heard it all before.”

Cox agrees, adding that many of the people he met after first becoming aware of the problem have signed nondisclosure agreements with companies or moved away. In fact, he moved from his former house to an area with little gas development, but the companies are now moving in. “It’s the same old, same old”, he says.

Taxpayers funding a dangerous environmental experiment with their own health

When Meixsell talks about how bad gas development has been to the health of people in Colorado, she does not mince words. “We’re guinea pigs”, she says.

But this experiment of exposing people to toxics released by natural gas development would not occur without billions in subsidies from the federal and state governments. In a recent report,

Oil Change International has found that federal subsidies for production and exploration for fossil fuel subsidies have grown by 45%, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. Much of the increase comes from intensified production.

“At a time when scientists are telling us that oil and gas production is unsafe for our communities and also our climate as a whole, it’s simply irrational to continue pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to this industry via increased subsidies”, says David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

“Despite dire warnings from academics and communities sounding the alarm, these subsidies somehow continue today.”

The White House has estimated that the subsidy for accelerated depreciation of natural gas distribution pipelines was $110 million in 2013. This subsidy allows companies to deduct higher levels of pipeline depreciation costs upfront, providing a financial benefit to the companies.

Or, as the American Gas Association itself puts it, depreciation helps to “encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure.”

Colorado also kicks in financial support. The state currently supplies additional gas production subsidies in the form of sales tax exemptions, allowing industry to escape Colorado’s 2.9% sales tax.

“The rest of the country doesn’t get it”, says Cox. “[Natural gas] is not a clean fuel. But the word is getting out, and they are starting to lose the fight.”

 


 

Take action: help put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and extreme energy extraction.

Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental reporting. He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, Salon.com, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology, and is currently on assignment with Oil Change International.

Postscript: Read more about the current state of Colorado fracking in our recent blog post.

This article was originally published by Oil Change International, the second in a series of ‘subsidy spotlights’ highlighting the real-word impacts of fossil fuel subsidies.

Read the first subsidy spotlight on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Scotland’s double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines





The Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the MeyGen Ltd tidal power development.

The 398MW project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland, will require some £50 million of funding for its first phase.

Investors also include Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Scottish Enterprise.

The location is both highly challenging and promising due to the fast water speeds, according to the Crown Estate.

“The Inner Sound tidal array project has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.”

A long term comittment to unlocking the tidal resource

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, The Crown Estate said: “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over 10 years.

“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”

The Estate has so far leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects, and has now started the first leasing process for tidal range projects. New seabed rights agreed this summer include:

  • Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones across the UK.
  • Five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Crown Estate is legal owner and manager of the UK’s territorial seabed, giving it a key role in the development of the country’s offshore renewable energy assets. It is also promoting the development the offshore wind, with up to a £100 million of investment.

Two-bladed wind turbines

The Crown Estate has also agreed terms with Forthwind Ltd, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two 6MW two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland.

Two-bladed designs at this scale are a major innovation for the offshore wind industry and the deployment offshore of the turbines at Methil will be the first in the world of its kind.

The company will first build a full-scale onshore prototype in the Netherlands ahead of the two offshore machines planned for Methil, which are anticipated for deployment in 2016 subject to planning consent.

Achieving significant cost reductions

For offshore wind to flourish it’s essential to develop new technologies as costs are roughly double those of onshore wind, making it unaffordable for large scale deployment at current prices.

It’s also considered desirable to move the main focus of wind development out to sea to avoid the environmental problems associated with onshore wind; and because the offshore wind resource is far greater, with higher wind speeds.

Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy said: “We hope that through this offshore development and demonstration step, and following the completion of our first on-shore demonstrator in early 2015, to be able to validate significant cost reductions in future offshore wind deployment.”

In addition to two-bladed turbine design, 2-B Energy are seeking to further reduce costs by integrating wind turbine technology with innovations in grid and access systems, the installation process and a new operational strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “In order to fully unlock the potential of offshore wind over the long term, it is vital that opportunities are made available to test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technology platforms to bring down costs and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology.

“We look forward with interest to seeing the technology mature.”

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air





A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development.

A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe.

There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time”, Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.”

The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face.

And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause. “We are ground zero for natural gas and fracking in this country”, he says.

His claim is not hyperbole in many respects. Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming studies that show gas wells harm those living in close proximity, and dozens of stories stretching back over a decade have documented the ill effects of natural gas drilling on Colorado’s citizens.

In response to public unease, the state has created a system to report complaints of oil and gas health effects. The subject has become so acute that it consumes Colorado’s politicians and electorate, who have been squaring off on multiple ballot initiatives to limit where companies can drill, in order to provide a buffer between gas wells and people’s homes.

Don’t mention the tax subsidies!

But there’s one fact the industry would like to hide from the public (but uses in its lobbying of Congress): much of the drilling activity in Colorado would never happen were it not for generous tax subsidies.

Four years ago, the American Petroleum Institute concluded that gas development would fall dramatically in the Rocky Mountain region without certain tax breaks to make development economically viable.

While precise figures for subsidies specific to Colorado are difficult to derive, a recent report by Oil Change International shows that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry continue to grow in value as the fracking boom has hit its stride.

At the national level, the report shows over $21 billion in federal and state subsidies that taxpayers provided to the fossil fuel industry in 2013. The use and value of these subsidies have increased dramatically in recent years-a product of the ‘all of the above’ energy policy.

“They are profitable because of tax breaks”, says Cox.

Scientific alarm

Studies published in leading scientific journals continue to document the potential harm to people living close to gas wells. In 2012, a Colorado nonprofit called The Endocrine Disruption Exchange published the results of gas well air samples tested for chemicals.

The study found several hydrocarbons at levels known to affect the endocrine system and lower the IQ scores of children exposed while they were fetuses.

Last February, researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University released a study that discovered that children born close to gas wells had a 30% greater chance of congenital heart defects and a higher incidence of neural tube defects.

The study was met with criticism from Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer … a perhaps unsurprising reaction from a state official appointed by a governor with well documented strong ties to the oil and gas industry.

The criticism follows a pattern of reactions from government officials throughout the country, pushing back against a growing mountain of evidence of fracking’s ill effects.

Learning from Tobacco

Lisa McKenzie, a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the Colorado study’s authors, acknowledges the study’s limitations and uncertainties. “We would like to go back and get a look at the type of exposures these women had during the first trimester of pregnancy”, she says.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to expand on her publicly-funded research, thus far.

Chuck Davis, a political scientist at Colorado State University, compares attempts by the fossil fuel industry and industry allies to highlight scientific uncertainty to similar strategies tobacco companies undertook in order to underplay health risks.

In both tobacco and the oil and gas industry’s cases, the presence of some form of ‘doubt’ around the science of the impacts of their industries (whether real or contrived) helps the industry continue practices that experts believe to be harmful.

In another example of this strategy, the Colorado public health office again highlighted scientific uncertainties after officials at Valley View Hospital in Garfield County reported an increase in anomalies in fetuses carried by women living close to gas wells.

After state investigators found no common cause to explain the fetal anomalies, Wolk seemed to dismiss legitimate concerns by local public health officials. “People have to be careful about making assumptions”, Wolk told the Denver Post.

Meanwhile, residents of Colorado continue to see new health impacts, and fracking continues at pace in their communities. Many of these residents don’t see the uncertainty state officials continue to push.

Lives ruined beyond repair

When a New York Times reporter went to Garfield County three years ago, the paper published a video on residents complaining of air problems caused by natural gas rigs.

“We’re gonna pack up. We’re leaving”, said Floyd Green, a welder who had lived in the County for the past three years. “We’re moving back East, and we’re having to start completely over.”

Green detailed several symptoms his family experienced, forcing them to leave the area. “We constantly smell the fumes from the condensate tanks which cause headaches, sometimes nausea. Diarrhea, nosebleeds, muscle spasms.”

A link to the video can be found at Frack Free Colorado, which has a webpage devoted to “Colorado’s Affected People”. Green is just one of many people who allege problems from natural gas including Susan Wallace Babbs, of Parachute and Karen Trulove of Silt.

While these individuals were once actively speaking out about the dangers of fracking, their voices have fallen silent. Phone numbers have become disconnected and addresses no longer current.

“They sign nondisclosure forms or move away”, says Tara Meixsell, who lives on a ranch outside New Castle. “Very few win lawsuits. Some sign gag orders, but more just move away, lose everything, and marriages crumble.”

Get out while you can …

Meixsell was featured in the documentary Split Estate and she wrote ‘Collateral Damage‘, a book that chronicles the lives of those affected by gas development.

She became involved around 8 years ago, she says, after she drove out to a nearby ranch to buy hay that was selling for about half of market price. When she got there, the reason for the discount quickly became clear.

The owners were two professionals who had bought a ranch to raise cows, but they soon found their land surrounded by gas rigs, making it impossible for them to breathe the air. After fighting for a year, Meixsell says they were told by their lawyer to give up and move away.

“They were leaving the ranch and didn’t need the hay”, says Meixsell. And it’s not the first time she’s witnessed such events. “When I hear these ranchers come to the state house and testify, ‘My husband and I bought 20 acres and it’s our dream home.’ It’s like a broken record to the politicians because they’ve heard it all before.”

Cox agrees, adding that many of the people he met after first becoming aware of the problem have signed nondisclosure agreements with companies or moved away. In fact, he moved from his former house to an area with little gas development, but the companies are now moving in. “It’s the same old, same old”, he says.

Taxpayers funding a dangerous environmental experiment with their own health

When Meixsell talks about how bad gas development has been to the health of people in Colorado, she does not mince words. “We’re guinea pigs”, she says.

But this experiment of exposing people to toxics released by natural gas development would not occur without billions in subsidies from the federal and state governments. In a recent report,

Oil Change International has found that federal subsidies for production and exploration for fossil fuel subsidies have grown by 45%, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. Much of the increase comes from intensified production.

“At a time when scientists are telling us that oil and gas production is unsafe for our communities and also our climate as a whole, it’s simply irrational to continue pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to this industry via increased subsidies”, says David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

“Despite dire warnings from academics and communities sounding the alarm, these subsidies somehow continue today.”

The White House has estimated that the subsidy for accelerated depreciation of natural gas distribution pipelines was $110 million in 2013. This subsidy allows companies to deduct higher levels of pipeline depreciation costs upfront, providing a financial benefit to the companies.

Or, as the American Gas Association itself puts it, depreciation helps to “encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure.”

Colorado also kicks in financial support. The state currently supplies additional gas production subsidies in the form of sales tax exemptions, allowing industry to escape Colorado’s 2.9% sales tax.

“The rest of the country doesn’t get it”, says Cox. “[Natural gas] is not a clean fuel. But the word is getting out, and they are starting to lose the fight.”

 


 

Take action: help put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and extreme energy extraction.

Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental reporting. He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, Salon.com, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology, and is currently on assignment with Oil Change International.

Postscript: Read more about the current state of Colorado fracking in our recent blog post.

This article was originally published by Oil Change International, the second in a series of ‘subsidy spotlights’ highlighting the real-word impacts of fossil fuel subsidies.

Read the first subsidy spotlight on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Scotland’s double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines





The Crown Estate has committed to invest nearly £10 million into the MeyGen Ltd tidal power development.

The 398MW project in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland, will require some £50 million of funding for its first phase.

Investors also include Atlantis Resources Ltd, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Scottish Enterprise.

The location is both highly challenging and promising due to the fast water speeds, according to the Crown Estate.

“The Inner Sound tidal array project has the potential to play a crucial role in advancing technology and developing essential construction and operating experience on the path towards larger commercial schemes around the UK and worldwide.”

A long term comittment to unlocking the tidal resource

Rob Hastings, Director of Energy and Infrastructure, The Crown Estate said: “We have been a major player in the development of the offshore renewable energy industry for over 10 years.

“Our commitment to this investment is part of our strategy to explore the potential of tidal stream energy on a commercial scale with a project that offers a crucial stepping stone on the path towards unlocking the nation’s tidal energy potential over the long term.”

The Estate has so far leased over 40 sites for tidal current and wave projects, and has now started the first leasing process for tidal range projects. New seabed rights agreed this summer include:

  • Six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones across the UK.
  • Five new wave and tidal current sites, each with the potential to deliver a project of between 10 and 30 MW.

The Crown Estate is legal owner and manager of the UK’s territorial seabed, giving it a key role in the development of the country’s offshore renewable energy assets. It is also promoting the development the offshore wind, with up to a £100 million of investment.

Two-bladed wind turbines

The Crown Estate has also agreed terms with Forthwind Ltd, a subsidiary of 2-B Energy, for the UK’s first offshore demonstration of two 6MW two-bladed turbines on the seabed at Methil in Scotland.

Two-bladed designs at this scale are a major innovation for the offshore wind industry and the deployment offshore of the turbines at Methil will be the first in the world of its kind.

The company will first build a full-scale onshore prototype in the Netherlands ahead of the two offshore machines planned for Methil, which are anticipated for deployment in 2016 subject to planning consent.

Achieving significant cost reductions

For offshore wind to flourish it’s essential to develop new technologies as costs are roughly double those of onshore wind, making it unaffordable for large scale deployment at current prices.

It’s also considered desirable to move the main focus of wind development out to sea to avoid the environmental problems associated with onshore wind; and because the offshore wind resource is far greater, with higher wind speeds.

Mikael Jakobsson, chief operating officer for 2-B Energy said: “We hope that through this offshore development and demonstration step, and following the completion of our first on-shore demonstrator in early 2015, to be able to validate significant cost reductions in future offshore wind deployment.”

In addition to two-bladed turbine design, 2-B Energy are seeking to further reduce costs by integrating wind turbine technology with innovations in grid and access systems, the installation process and a new operational strategy.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate said: “In order to fully unlock the potential of offshore wind over the long term, it is vital that opportunities are made available to test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technology platforms to bring down costs and secure the UK’s position as a global leader in offshore wind technology.

“We look forward with interest to seeing the technology mature.”

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com

Fracked off – natural gas victims flee Colorado’s toxic air





A general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development.

A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe.

There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time”, Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.”

The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face.

And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause. “We are ground zero for natural gas and fracking in this country”, he says.

His claim is not hyperbole in many respects. Scientists in Colorado are publishing alarming studies that show gas wells harm those living in close proximity, and dozens of stories stretching back over a decade have documented the ill effects of natural gas drilling on Colorado’s citizens.

In response to public unease, the state has created a system to report complaints of oil and gas health effects. The subject has become so acute that it consumes Colorado’s politicians and electorate, who have been squaring off on multiple ballot initiatives to limit where companies can drill, in order to provide a buffer between gas wells and people’s homes.

Don’t mention the tax subsidies!

But there’s one fact the industry would like to hide from the public (but uses in its lobbying of Congress): much of the drilling activity in Colorado would never happen were it not for generous tax subsidies.

Four years ago, the American Petroleum Institute concluded that gas development would fall dramatically in the Rocky Mountain region without certain tax breaks to make development economically viable.

While precise figures for subsidies specific to Colorado are difficult to derive, a recent report by Oil Change International shows that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry continue to grow in value as the fracking boom has hit its stride.

At the national level, the report shows over $21 billion in federal and state subsidies that taxpayers provided to the fossil fuel industry in 2013. The use and value of these subsidies have increased dramatically in recent years-a product of the ‘all of the above’ energy policy.

“They are profitable because of tax breaks”, says Cox.

Scientific alarm

Studies published in leading scientific journals continue to document the potential harm to people living close to gas wells. In 2012, a Colorado nonprofit called The Endocrine Disruption Exchange published the results of gas well air samples tested for chemicals.

The study found several hydrocarbons at levels known to affect the endocrine system and lower the IQ scores of children exposed while they were fetuses.

Last February, researchers with the Colorado School of Public Health and Brown University released a study that discovered that children born close to gas wells had a 30% greater chance of congenital heart defects and a higher incidence of neural tube defects.

The study was met with criticism from Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer … a perhaps unsurprising reaction from a state official appointed by a governor with well documented strong ties to the oil and gas industry.

The criticism follows a pattern of reactions from government officials throughout the country, pushing back against a growing mountain of evidence of fracking’s ill effects.

Learning from Tobacco

Lisa McKenzie, a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and one of the Colorado study’s authors, acknowledges the study’s limitations and uncertainties. “We would like to go back and get a look at the type of exposures these women had during the first trimester of pregnancy”, she says.

Unfortunately, she has not been able to expand on her publicly-funded research, thus far.

Chuck Davis, a political scientist at Colorado State University, compares attempts by the fossil fuel industry and industry allies to highlight scientific uncertainty to similar strategies tobacco companies undertook in order to underplay health risks.

In both tobacco and the oil and gas industry’s cases, the presence of some form of ‘doubt’ around the science of the impacts of their industries (whether real or contrived) helps the industry continue practices that experts believe to be harmful.

In another example of this strategy, the Colorado public health office again highlighted scientific uncertainties after officials at Valley View Hospital in Garfield County reported an increase in anomalies in fetuses carried by women living close to gas wells.

After state investigators found no common cause to explain the fetal anomalies, Wolk seemed to dismiss legitimate concerns by local public health officials. “People have to be careful about making assumptions”, Wolk told the Denver Post.

Meanwhile, residents of Colorado continue to see new health impacts, and fracking continues at pace in their communities. Many of these residents don’t see the uncertainty state officials continue to push.

Lives ruined beyond repair

When a New York Times reporter went to Garfield County three years ago, the paper published a video on residents complaining of air problems caused by natural gas rigs.

“We’re gonna pack up. We’re leaving”, said Floyd Green, a welder who had lived in the County for the past three years. “We’re moving back East, and we’re having to start completely over.”

Green detailed several symptoms his family experienced, forcing them to leave the area. “We constantly smell the fumes from the condensate tanks which cause headaches, sometimes nausea. Diarrhea, nosebleeds, muscle spasms.”

A link to the video can be found at Frack Free Colorado, which has a webpage devoted to “Colorado’s Affected People”. Green is just one of many people who allege problems from natural gas including Susan Wallace Babbs, of Parachute and Karen Trulove of Silt.

While these individuals were once actively speaking out about the dangers of fracking, their voices have fallen silent. Phone numbers have become disconnected and addresses no longer current.

“They sign nondisclosure forms or move away”, says Tara Meixsell, who lives on a ranch outside New Castle. “Very few win lawsuits. Some sign gag orders, but more just move away, lose everything, and marriages crumble.”

Get out while you can …

Meixsell was featured in the documentary Split Estate and she wrote ‘Collateral Damage‘, a book that chronicles the lives of those affected by gas development.

She became involved around 8 years ago, she says, after she drove out to a nearby ranch to buy hay that was selling for about half of market price. When she got there, the reason for the discount quickly became clear.

The owners were two professionals who had bought a ranch to raise cows, but they soon found their land surrounded by gas rigs, making it impossible for them to breathe the air. After fighting for a year, Meixsell says they were told by their lawyer to give up and move away.

“They were leaving the ranch and didn’t need the hay”, says Meixsell. And it’s not the first time she’s witnessed such events. “When I hear these ranchers come to the state house and testify, ‘My husband and I bought 20 acres and it’s our dream home.’ It’s like a broken record to the politicians because they’ve heard it all before.”

Cox agrees, adding that many of the people he met after first becoming aware of the problem have signed nondisclosure agreements with companies or moved away. In fact, he moved from his former house to an area with little gas development, but the companies are now moving in. “It’s the same old, same old”, he says.

Taxpayers funding a dangerous environmental experiment with their own health

When Meixsell talks about how bad gas development has been to the health of people in Colorado, she does not mince words. “We’re guinea pigs”, she says.

But this experiment of exposing people to toxics released by natural gas development would not occur without billions in subsidies from the federal and state governments. In a recent report,

Oil Change International has found that federal subsidies for production and exploration for fossil fuel subsidies have grown by 45%, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. Much of the increase comes from intensified production.

“At a time when scientists are telling us that oil and gas production is unsafe for our communities and also our climate as a whole, it’s simply irrational to continue pumping billions of taxpayer dollars to this industry via increased subsidies”, says David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International.

“Despite dire warnings from academics and communities sounding the alarm, these subsidies somehow continue today.”

The White House has estimated that the subsidy for accelerated depreciation of natural gas distribution pipelines was $110 million in 2013. This subsidy allows companies to deduct higher levels of pipeline depreciation costs upfront, providing a financial benefit to the companies.

Or, as the American Gas Association itself puts it, depreciation helps to “encourage the expansion and revitalization of the natural gas utility infrastructure.”

Colorado also kicks in financial support. The state currently supplies additional gas production subsidies in the form of sales tax exemptions, allowing industry to escape Colorado’s 2.9% sales tax.

“The rest of the country doesn’t get it”, says Cox. “[Natural gas] is not a clean fuel. But the word is getting out, and they are starting to lose the fight.”

 


 

Take action: help put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and extreme energy extraction.

Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine and environmental reporting. He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, Salon.com, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology, and is currently on assignment with Oil Change International.

Postscript: Read more about the current state of Colorado fracking in our recent blog post.

This article was originally published by Oil Change International, the second in a series of ‘subsidy spotlights’ highlighting the real-word impacts of fossil fuel subsidies.

Read the first subsidy spotlight on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

 






The professional company bwicarservice provides all the information on BWI Airport Limo Service. adult toys for couples If you are not interested in Marine Hull and Machinery Insurance (H&M , then you have already missed a lot. Find all the info that you need about " kona coffee kcups pookismahi " at http://www.pookismahi.com