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Amy Mall blogs a National Resources Defense Council analysis that says nearly six percent of total U.S. land is being leased by 70 of the largest oil and gas companies, including 38.5 million acres of public land:

According to a new NRDC analysis, at the end of 2011, seventy of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the United States held leases covering at least 141 million net acres of American land—an area greater than California and Florida combined.
Stripper wells (50 bbls of oil or less a day)
Given the sordid environmental history of oil and gas development that has already occurred across the United States, NRDC is extremely concerned about the additional harmful environmental, health and safety impacts that oil and gas development of this magnitude will bring in the future. Since it has been reported that more than ninety percent of oil and gas wells are fracked, there is a lot of new fracking slated for our future--tens of millions of acres of new fracking. Clean air, clean water, healthy communities, wildlands, and wildlife habitat are all threatened.

These astounding numbers illustrate just how much of America’s land is already at risk from oil and gas development. In the face of this reality, clean air, clean water, healthy communities, and the health of these lands across the country depend on the strongest possible state, local and federal rules, as well as the inspections, monitoring, and record-keeping needed to enforce them over such a large area.

On top of this, of the total acreage leased nationwide, 38.5 million acres—an area slightly bigger than Florida—were leased for federal oil and gas resources. This is worth noting because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of creating new rules for fracking that takes place under federal leases nationwide. These new rules will determine how oil and gas companies are allowed to operate in a wide range of places. That’s because the federal leases occur everywhere from national forests and public wildlands, to municipal and private drinking water supplies, on Indian land, and on private property when landowner’s do not own the mineral rights below the surface.

Unfortunately, BLM’s initial draft of the rules was woefully inadequate, and earlier this month a second draft was leaked to the press, revealing that the rules are becoming even weaker in some aspects. [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Green Diary Rescue & Open Thread: Green Stimulus Edition:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his not-a-state-of-the-union speech, "It begins with energy." That means investment in fossil-fuel alternatives, in expanding the number of high-mileage automobiles, a smart grid. Some of the plan is incredibly simple and straightforward.
Retrofitting homes is a labor-intensive endeavor. An average home retrofit takes a crew of three people about five days to complete. There are 111 million homes in this country. We can cut consumption in these homes 30 to 50 percent or $700 to $1150 annually on average. Every four crews or so needs a project manager. Every retrofit company needs accountants, executives, salesmen, and administrative staff. They need legal advice, they need office supplies, and they need to advertise. The insulation, caulk and sealants, appliances, and mechanical systems they install have to be manufactured. The money that each person saves from being wasted on energy will be spent, supporting other industries and creating more jobs. Add to this projection the 4.8 million commercial buildings in this country, representing 72 million square feet of space.
The stimulus bill includes $5 billion for weatherization, a project that could have been completed decades ago if Ronald Reagan hadn't chopped the budget for that the way he did most other conservation and efficiency measures. But even Jimmy Carter's weatherization budget didn't come close to what's in the stimulus package.

Tweet of the Day:

If you've had your fill of quiet despair for the day, might I suggest impotent rage?
@NeinQuarterly via Twitter for iPhone




On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we talked to Greg Dworkin about the looming sequester, and  the launch of United Physicians of Newtown. Also: a post on elastic English, warped by Republicans, from jurassicpork, and surprising hard data on gun usage by CCW permit holders in Minnesota. More states should do this!


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