Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

December 2017 Prez Sez

Oil leaks and spills are no deterrent to permitting more oil facilities.

Here are some of the headlines regarding oil mishaps in the U.S. in recent months:

“Keystone pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.”   “About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site.”  This was last month (November) just a week before the Nebraska officials were set to permit the pipeline through the state.  Ultimately, they decided to permit it, however it would have to change route.  TransCanada, owner of the pipeline, was not happy with the change, so we will see how that works out.

“BP Struggles to Control Damaged Well in Alaskan Arctic”  “BP worked through the weekend in April 2017 to control a damaged oil well on Alaska’s remote North Slope that had started spewing natural gas vapors on a Friday morning," the company and Alaska officials said. There have been no injuries or reports of damage to wildlife, but crews trying to secure the well have failed amid frigid winds gusting to 38 miles an hour

“How a 672,000-Gallon Oil Spill Was Nearly Invisible”.  Sixteen thousand barrels of oil leaked through a fracture in a well line in the Gulf of Mexico in October and nearly went unnoticed.  There was no oil on the surface, just a light sheen.  The reason it was discovered was the difference in production from the well and the company’s floating production system, Delta House, which is in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles southeast of Venice, La.  The authorities determined that most of the oil droplets that escaped from the pipe, which was pressurized to more than 3,000 pounds per square inch, were so small that they were measured in microns and so were not the environmental threat the BP oil spill was.

Against this backdrop, President Trump, in step with the donors to his and many other campaigns, is a staunch supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline and gave it the go ahead early in his administration.  The new GOP tax bill will allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Now, what does drilling in ANWR have to do with taxes?

On the bright side, however: “Everglades oil well application rejected.”  An Administrative Law Judge recommended the permit for KANTER Real Estate LLC to drill an exploratory well in marshy wilderness about six miles west of Miramar in West Broward County, FL.   Noah Valenstein, secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, signed a final order turning down the application.  The final order by the State noted that the last drilling permit for the Everglades was issued in 1967 — 50 years ago.

Score one for the “good guys”.

Happy birding,