The AP reports today that states, seeking new sources of revenue, are allowing or considering allowing drilling for gas inside state parks. Has it really come to this?
Chesapeake Energy told state regulators they "may have" caused a series of minor earthquakes in North Texas, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Quote of the day:
"The superimposition of mining sites in Lobeke and Boumba Bek national parks and some logging concessions, runs counter to international engagements made by the state of Cameroon, with regards to biodiversity protection." -- from Cameroon: mining threatens wildlife (Africa News)
[News story links after the jump]
EARTHWORKS and eight other nongovernmental organizations sent a letter to the mining and jewelry industry trade association, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), outlining serious concerns with the RJC's mining standards and process. Among the criticisms from the NGOs are the absence of key environmental and social criteria, such as community consent, no-go areas for biodiversity conservation, and protection of natural water bodies from tailings disposal.
In today's New York Times, Verlyn Klinkenborg's Editorial Observer Column Walking Where the Drilling Rigs Will Go, ruminates on what is lost by drilling in the Marcellus Shale -- and the ultimate loss of landowner control that goes along with it.
"[I]t is still hard to imagine how much this effort will transform the landscape. I walked with a friend along a gravel road near Peas Eddy. In a relatively flat spot in the woods, we came upon a surveyor s stake. If the state gives the go-ahead, that subtle opening will be replaced by an industrial-sized clearing to make space for a drilling rig and all the machinery needed to fracture the shale and extract and pump the gas. All of that equipment will travel on the gravel road we had just walked, which runs along a stream bank.
My friend has refused to sign a mineral lease for his land. Yet his refusal makes no difference. Once a certain percentage of landowners in a development block have agreed to sign and the state gives the green light the drillers can go ahead. The rigs will run up and down the roads, and the woods will take on the look of a heavy construction zone, all in the immediate vicinity of people who have tried to hold out against the drilling."
"Releasing its official-sector gold activity report, GFMS estimated that net official-sector gold sales in the first half were 39 t, down by a hefty 73% year-on-year. GFMS anticipated sales of 140 t for the full year, which, if realised, would be the lowest since the 1994 trough of 130 t."