This week in fossil fuels

By Christopher B. Daly 

To the best of my knowledge, no one in the mainstream media covers the fossil fuel business as a beat. So, as a public service, I am launching a series of occasional roundups to bring attention to seemingly disparate events that all flow from the world’s dependency on oil, gas, and other fossil fuels. From exploration to extraction to transportation to combustion, there are many steps in the process of using these fuels. I hope to draw collect stories and images about every phase and all the players — drillers, shippers, refiners, retailers and their many lobbyists, p.r. teams, and investors. I hope to touch on the current flashpoints involving issues like fracking and divestment, while also keeping an eye on the traditional roster of spills, blowouts, pollution, and corruption.

So, here goes:

–As if settlers from Europe have not done enough to the native peoples of the Americas, here is a story about the sale of land that is holy to the Apaches. What could be so important? You guessed it: oil

Despite these protections, in December 2014, Congress promised to hand the title for Oak Flat over to a private, Australian-British mining concern. A fine-print rider trading away the Indian holy land was added at the last minute to the must-pass military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. By doing this, Congress has handed over a sacred Native American site to a foreign-owned company for what may be the first time in our nation’s history.

–Here is the early stage of efforts to clean up the latest oil spill into the Pacific Ocean off Santa Barbara. (Not to be confused with the notorious 1969 spill.)

–Big Oil objects to the safeguards sought by Obama even as he gives the industry to drill in the Arctic.

Protesters carry a large sign as they rally at the Port of Seattle, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Seattle. Demonstrators opposed to Arctic oil drilling were showing opposition to a lease agreement between Royal Dutch Shell and the Port to allow some of Shell's oil drilling equipment to be based in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Protesters carry a large sign as they rally at the Port of Seattle, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Seattle. Demonstrators opposed to Arctic oil drilling were showing opposition to a lease agreement between Royal Dutch Shell and the Port to allow some of Shell’s oil drilling equipment to be based in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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