Thanks, National Geographic, for spreading the word on the consequences of the Mississippi River low water to your readers. And I suspect thanks are also due to our advocacy organizations as well. The one positive outcome of this low water crisis has been the quality and consistency of the “regular” media coverage.
NBC examines whether or not shale drilling areas have the capacity to handle the amounts of frac water generated.
It’s not just Mississippi River ports that are feeling the pinch of reduced funds for dredging.
The U.S. could become the world’s top oil producer this coming year- 7 years ahead of predictions.
“Overall, US oil production rose by 760,000 b/d last year—the largest annual increase since crude oil started to be pumped commercially in the US in 1859. BP said the US will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer this year, on the back of higher tight oil and biofuels production and expected cuts in Opec supply.”
In the Dallas News, a piece about why the “third coast” is now driving innovation and job-creation.
Not surprisingly, “Energy is the key driver. The Third Coast already accounts for roughly 28 percent of the nation’s oil and gas employment, despite the federal crackdown on offshore drilling after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The region boasts new shale plays, such as those now being developed in northern Louisiana, and massive crude reserves, which follow the arc of the Gulf Coast from Brownsville to New Orleans.
“The future for American energy is bright. According to the consultancy PFC Energy, the United States is on course to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil and gas producer sometime during this decade. With the Atlantic and Pacific coasts either banning or sharply curtailing energy production, the gulf’s pro-business, right-to-work states have emerged as the likely staging ground for this energy resurgence.”
But note: “Another important part of the region’s economy is exports, since trade patterns are shifting away from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and toward the gulf. Since 2003, the Third Coast’s total exports have tripled in value, and its share of total American exports has grown from roughly 10 percent to nearly 16 percent. The trends favoring the Third Coast will accelerate further once the $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014. The wider canal will be able to accommodate Asian megaships, now forced to dock in California. That will open the gulf to more Pacific trade.”
The largest assessment and repair project in the 55-year history of Gavins Point Dam is underway.
Because the Coast Guard is considering allowing barge transport of used fracking water (which should be a routine matter), well-funded anti-frackers are revving up a bogus scare campaign against the idea—even though fracking water is many times less toxic than many chemicals routinely barged today.
So far, the campaign against fracking has to proceed totally on innuendo and suggestion, since no hard facts have ever documented groundwater contamination, for example—despite the EPA’s best efforts.
The lack of hard facts showing groundwater contamination reportedly led to mid-filming script changes in Matt Damon’s anti-fracking film Promised Land, partly funded by the oil-producing United Arab Emirates.